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Home Media Reports 2000 President declares …
President declares Qadianis as non-Muslim

DAWN - the Internet Edition

01 November 2000
04 Shaban 1421


Simply unpardonable

ON MONDAY morning when the Ahmadis gathered together at a place which they could not any longer call a mosque, to offer their prayers in a village in Sialkot, a couple of over-zealous 'Muslims' opened fire on them, killing five people and grievously injuring twice as many. A press note issued by the district magistrate, Sialkot, said blandly that the victims were 'Qadianis' and that all the wounded in the assault were in precarious condition. They had been moved to a 'safer place' by the district administration, the press note added. This is not the first instance when the Ahmadis have been subjected to inhuman treatment by a majority which thinks that, for whatever reasons it considers are plausible, the Ahmedis are outside the pale of Islam and that they must, therefore, be put to the sword.

The Ahmadis were anyhow declared a non-Muslim minority by a constitutional amendment under the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the seventies. He claimed privately that he had taken this step to 'save' the Ahmadis from being massacred en masse. How has this helped? Nearly 25 years have passed and intolerance against the minorities has gone on with unabated malevolence.

It is not the Ahmadis alone who have been at the receiving end of the majority's 'largesse'. The Christians, too, have had a bitter taste of 'tolerance' to which the majority is committed by the very faith it professes. We find no words strong enough to condemn the unpardonable crime that has been committed against the hapless Ahmadis in a remote village in Sialkot district. It is time the government woke up to protect and preserve the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of the minorities to profess their faiths in whatever manner they deem fit. The right to religious freedom is not negotiable in any civilized society. Nor can it be abridged in any manner whatsoever. It is now for the government to stand up and be counted among the defenders of basic rights guaranteed by Islam and also by the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

© The DAWN Group of Newspapers, 2000
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