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Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan were denied voting rights
Wed, 2008-02-20 03:11
Colombo, 20 February, (Asian Tribune.com): Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan were denied voting rights in the Parliamentary elections held on 18 February. Since 1985 Ahmadiyya Community is continuously are deprived of exercising their democratic rights due to their religious believes.
Elections took place in Pakistan on 18th February with senior members of the Government claiming that they were conducted freely and fairly. What they failed to disclose was that due to certain wholly unjust provisions, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community were denied the fundamental right to vote.
In 1985 under the cruel regime of General Zia-ul-Haq, the 8th Amendment to the Pakistan Constitution of 1973 was sanctioned and this led to the development of a Separate Electorate list. Under the provisions of this list those who claimed to be Muslim had to sign a certificate denying the truth of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
This Separate Electorate list remained in force during the subsequent regimes of the late Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.
There is a general, wholly incorrect, impression that President Pervez Musharraf abolished this system upon assuming the Presidency. In fact by virtue of ‘The Chief Executive’s Order No.15 of 2002’ a ‘Supplementary’ list of voters was created in which members of the Ahmadiyya Community were classed as ‘non-Muslims’. This Order remains in force.
Speaking about the current elections, A. Abdul Aziz, the Press Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Sri Lanka said:
“The Pakistani Government is making claims that this year’s Elections have been free and fair. Yet no Ahmadi Muslim can ever take part in such elections, as to do so they would have to publicly disassociate themselves from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This is something that no Ahmadi Muslim could ever countenance as we believe that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the greatest Prophet and that he has no equal in the history of mankind.
The Pakistani Government has instigated this policy due to the pressure of the Mullahs (religious extremists) who cannot bear to see the prosperity of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.”
The press statement released by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamath of Sri Lanka, “In other countries such injustice would never be tolerated. Yet the International Community stands by, turning a blind eye to the continuing persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan and in other countries.
It is hoped that such leaders come to the fore in Pakistan who value truth and justice above personal wealth and power.”
- Asian Tribune -