Report Ahmadis in Pakistan face an existential threat

Download PDF (16MB)

The purpose of this report is to assess the human rights and security situation of the Ahmadi community in Pakistan, and more specifically to identify and analyze trends emerging since the beginning of 2015.

In December 2014, on behalf of the International Human Rights Committee and the Asian Human Rights Commission, a group of independent human rights experts undertook a fact-finding mission to assemble facts about the persecution of the Ahmadi community in Pakistan.

The report that was subsequently produced was the first comprehensive report specifically focusing on the persecution of Ahmadis. The well-received report of the mission has been widely referenced and used by international bodies and the NGO community in efforts to assist Pakistan to meets its international human rights obligations regarding the protection of Ahmadis and other religious minorities.

Subsequently, the International Human Rights Committee (IHRC) and Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) supported by the Forum for Religious Freedom – Europe (FOREF) and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) assembled a team that visited Pakistan in April 2017.

This report has been produced as a result of this most recent visit. It highlights the position of Ahmadis in Pakistan since 2015.

Key Findings

  • Anti-Terror laws are being misused against Ahmadis and other religious minorities

  • Educational Texts promote intolerance and hatred, particularly syllabi for Religious Education

  • Ahmadi women are extremely vulnerable and more easily identifiable leading to an increase in the persecution

  • The Constitution and the laws of Pakistan discriminate against Ahmadi Muslims

  • The amendment to the penal code in 1984 prohibiting the expression of their Muslim identity further entrenched the position of Ahmadis

  • Voting Rights – the separate electoral system for Ahmadis renders the community an exposed and disenfranchised community. Effectively Ahmadis do not have the right to vote

  • Nationalized schools and colleges of Ahmadis have still not been returned to the Ahmadi Community in accordance with the Pakistan government’s policy

  • Space for civil society is shrinking given the rise in religiosity and influence of hard line clerics who have considerable street power

  • Children are being taught from a young age to hate Ahmadis

  • The Constitutional amendment of 1974 designating Ahmadis as Non-Muslims laid the foundation for many years of hardship and persecution for this Muslim sect

  • The Judiciary is intimidated and placed under pressure by clerics and lawyers who share fundamentalist ideology

  • There is little freedom of expression in the media and journalists who report issues openly sympathetic to Ahmadis do so at risk to themselves

Recommendation

The Mission notes that the recommendations set out in the fact-finding report of 2015 are still relevant today. The Mission expresses its dismay in noting that little, if any, progress has been made since its last Report. We set out our recommendations below and, urge Pakistan to fulfill its international obligations by repealing certain laws that are incompatible with established human rights law and international conventions that Pakistan has ratified.

We also call on the international community to make a concerted effort to ensure that human rights norms are adopted and implemented in Pakistan and applied without discrimination of any kind. We note that the fight against extremism, the fight against terrorism and the hopes of economic and social development – cannot be attained without the protective mantle of the law covering all citizens in Pakistan equally.

Short term

  • ALL CITIZENS HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE
    Abolish the separate electoral list of Ahmadis, and ensure that all citizens have an equal right to vote, regardless of their religious or nonreligious philosophical beliefs. or nonreligious beliefs or convictions

  • ANTI-TERROR LAWS
    Anti-Terror laws should not be used against Ahmadis or other religious or ethnic minorities and their literature should not be classified as hate literature for these purposes

  • RELEASE ALL AHMADIS KEPT IN PRISON
    Release all Ahmadis kept in prison under the Blasphemy Law, the Anti-Terror legislation and the laws that focus on Ahmadis. Immediately release and drop charges against Abdul Shakoor and all the men arrested during the raid on Rabwah

  • RETURN THE NATIONALIZED SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
    Return the nationalized schools and colleges of the Ahmadis in accordance with the Pakistan government’s policy in this regard

To the State of Pakistan

Long Term

We call upon the government of Pakistan to live up to the principles of religious freedom espoused by the father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and protect and defend the fundamental rights of all communities of faith, including the Ahmadis who have contributed so much to the nation.

Download PDF (16MB)