Report of the fact finding mission to Pakistan
This report has been produced and commissioned jointly by the Asian Human Rights Commission and the International Human Rights Committee.
The report has been written by independent parties who are not associated with the Asian Human Rights Commission or the International Human Rights Committee and have not been paid any compensation for their contribution. In this regard the Asian Human Rights Commission and the International Human Rights Committee gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the delegates of the mission which include independent journalists from Sweden and Holland and Nilmini Roelens LLM Solicitor and XX for the initial drafting of this report.
Following our observations the mission had identified a number of areas in which there is much needed improvement to ensure that some progress is made towards assuring the basic human rights of the Ahmadi community in Pakistan.
Clearly little progress can be made whilst the mindset remains highly charged with an “overzealous” outlook which is based on violence. It is equally clear that until more liberal and sensible politicians pool together their strength and find the political will required to resist the pressure from the fanatical elements in the orthodox clergy headway cannot be made.
Whilst training and encouragement may treat some of the dystopiac symptoms of the country only an abatement of the sources of the funding for madrassas and long term investment in secularisation and freely available state education to remove the core reasons that make individuals become radicalised will alleviate the propagation of the fundamentalist thinking and eradicate the terrorism that plagues the nation.
Whilst we realise in today’s climate it is unlikely that a wholesale reform of the Blasphemy laws would be “unrealistic” we believe that failing short of that for the time being the Government should entertain at least the following measures so that the process of reform and modernisation can begin.
The global threat from terrorism and Islamic radicalisation closer to home as evidenced by the attack on the Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo on 9 January 2015 and numerous incidents around the world will make it more pressing that the international community pays close attention to the need for urgent action to check the ever rising tide of fundamentalist ideology.
We have identified the following core essentials by way of long term and short term recommendations on the one hand to the state of Pakistan and on the other to the international community.