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Author: Hadhrat Mirza Bashiruddin M. Ahmed (ra), 2nd Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Report of the PHRG Fact Finding Mission to Pakistan
Introduction

1. Introduction

Following on from its report on the legal position of Ahmadis in 20071, the Parliamentary Human Rights Group [“PHRG”] dispatched a second fact-finding mission [“the Mission”] to Pakistan from 13th to 22nd February 20102. The decision to conduct further research was taken in the light of continuing reports of persecutions of members of religious minorities in Pakistan. The four members of the Mission visited Karachi, Faisalabad, Rabwah, Lahore and Islamabad and met members and representatives of the Ahmadiyya, Shia and Christian communities.3 The Mission also interviewed various state actors, human rights activists and lawyers and took evidence from individuals who alleged to have been victims of persecution because of their religious beliefs.

In March 2010 the Mission released a summary of its conclusions and recommendations4. Missing from that summary report were any references to the evidence gathered by the Mission in the course of its visit to Pakistan. This Report aims to fill this gap by expressly linking the findings and the recommendations to the evidence obtained the Mission.

By way of introduction to this Report, two issues deserve mention. Firstly, for a number of years a number of highly respected non-governmental organisations have monitored and campaigned for an improvement of the human rights position of religious minorities in Pakistan, releasing regular reports as well as providing direct assistance to victims. The Mission met representatives of some of these organisations, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and CLAAS, and gratefully acknowledges the assistance and support received from them. The mission does not seek, nor is it able, to replicate the work of these organisations, which is based on many years of consistent, on the ground, research and involvement. In contrast, this Report focuses on those cases that came to the attention of the Mission in the course of its visit, either through statements made by the representatives of religious communities, or by the victims themselves.

Secondly, shortness of time made it impossible to realise the original objective of the Mission, namely to broaden the scope of the report and to include all religious minorities. Whilst the Mission met representatives of the Shia and Christian communities and was able to gather some evidence, there is no doubt that this task remains incomplete and needs to be addressed again in the future5. With respect of the Ahmadiyya community, however, the Mission has been able to form conclusions and to make recommendations which are based on a large body of evidence, in many cases based on published reports and corroborated by the victims themselves.

As a result, this Report focuses on the situation of the Ahmadiyya community.


1
PHRG, Rabwah: A Place for Martyrs?, London, 2007.
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2
The members of the Mission were Dr Martin Lau, Barrister, Essex Court Chambers, Reader in Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; Mr Lionel Blackman, Solicitor-Advocate, Chairman Solicitors International Human Rights Group and Mr Tom Cox former MP. The expenses of the Mission were met by the Ahmadiyya community. The members of the Mission have not received and will not receive compensation for their time. The Mission wish to acknowledge the leadership of Lord Eric Avebury in its formation, Mr Salim Malik for his role as facilitator and Ms Rachel Quillen for assistance in the drafting of this Report.
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3
Limitations of time meant that it was not possible to include other religious minorities. The PHRG notes that their exclusion from this report does not imply that their human rights are adequately protected in Pakistan.
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4
PHRG, The Treatment of Religious Minorities in Pakistan — A Report to the UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group [PHRG]: Preliminary Conclusions and Recommendations of a Mission to Pakistan, London, 2010.
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5
A summary of the issues brought to the attention of the Mission in the course of the meetings with representatives of the Christian and Shia communities is contained at Appendix 1.
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