- Provincial Minister for Religious Affairs warns that he will personally strangle any Ahmadi Muslim who distributes a copy of the Holy Quran
On 22nd January 2018 in a live Urdu current affairs show on Channel 24, the Chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council Mr Tahir Ashrafi demanded a ban be imposed on all Qadiani (Qadiani is a derogating term for Ahmadi Muslims) literature and the Holy Quran which is translated by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community should be confiscated.
The Minister for Religious Affairs in the Punjab Government, Mr Zaeem Qadri in reply said that we have banned all their literature, raided and sealed their presses. He further remarked that “I’ll personally strangle anyone who still distributes the Quran”.
The IHRC notes that the statement given by the Minister confirms our repeated concern of state sponsored persecution. Ahmadis continue to face serious threat in Pakistan. The state of Pakistan is unwilling to safeguard the basic human rights or provide any protection. The life of every Ahmadi member is at stake. Statements such as these encourage further persecution and justifies further killings.
The IHRC urges the Pakistani authorities to unequivocally condemn this and take strong action against the Spokesperson of the Punjab Government. PEMRA which is the regulatory authority for TV channels should also take action against this TV channel for airing hate filled content.
The IHRC notes that Members of the Ahmadiyya community are facing decades of persecution. Since 1984, when the blasphemy laws were amended to include several Ahmadi-specific clauses, more than 250 Ahmadis have been killed. Hundreds have been persecuted. Ahmadis are continuing to face social boycott.
The state of Pakistan continuously fails to protect and uphold the fundamental human rights of Ahmadi Muslims. We urge the international community to put pressure on Pakistan to uphold the rights of its citizens.