Preparation of the new tool to persecute the Religious minorities in Pakistan : By Farrukh Saif

Berlin, Germany -3rd March,2018  : Pakistan has always been a failed state in defending the rights and providing the  protection to  its minorities and once again Pakistani Government will be failed to defend the “freedom of expression” in their Country. This new tool to persecute the minorities is in its preparation period in Islamabad High Court.

The Islamabad High Court, situated in the Federal capital of Pakistan, has directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to provide detailed information of 10,000 Pakistani citizens who have had changed their religion from Islam to Ahamdiyya. Furtherly, the Court also directed the authorities of “NADRA” to submit a comprehensive report on the ages, names of their parents and their International travel history.

On Monday 26th of Feb 2018, this direction was given by Justice Shoukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court, In the Petition moved by the Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat’s follower, Allah Wasaya, against the controversial amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath in the constitution which had earlier been considered as a clerical error and afterwards rectified.

Earlier to this direction, the National Database submitted their report of 10,205 persons who have changed their religious belief from Islam to Others. Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) requested for the additional time to submit the report regarding the 6001 persons along with their travel history and other necessary information about their families. Saddiqui has given them the time until the next date which will be fixed on 5th of March,2018.

During the hearing of this petition the Islamabad High court was assisted by Hafiz Hassan Madni,  a professor of Punjab University. He in an open court stated that…

Whosoever left Islam for another faith was an Apostate and deserved a punishment for his/her Act. He further stated Ahamdiyya are more dangerous than infidels (Christians), they are neither Muslim nor Christians and in fact they get cover themselves in the shelter of Islam.

As ground observers in Pakistan, we strongly believe that after Blasphemy laws, apostasy laws will also be the biggest challenge for the religious minorities in coming days. Same happened in 1974 when Ahmadiyya was declared as NON- MUSLIMS, but right after the approval of the 1973 constitution, Pakistani Christians became the soft target as their schools, medical centres and colleges were taken by the government. The discrimination and persecution of Christians and other Religious minorities are rooted in the constitution of 1973, drafted by Zulifqar Ali Bhutto’s Government and approved by the parliament on 10th April 1973. Due to this 1973 constitution, all the religious minorities were barred from any higher official status in the government. Moreover, the Major setback for the Christians and Other Religious minorities was the 8th amendment in the constitution made by the dictator Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul Haq and empowered by the Nawaz Sharif government in May, 1991, and gave a reawakening call to the religious persecution through the Blasphemy Laws and now in coming days we  all will be going to witness a new series of Persecution starting with Ahmaddiyya and ending on Christians.

We request the International Community to observe this violation of religious freedom in Pakistan. Pakistan who has signed the resolution to provide the freedom of expression to its citizens is completely failed to compliance. For the protection of the religious minorities in Pakistan,  International community should step forward and do the needful for the protection of the minorities living in Pakistan.

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