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Letter: The fate of minorities in Pakistan
This is in reference to “Pakistan, Ahmadiyah and democracy, (the Post, March 16) by Sanaullah, the Ambassador of Pakistan.
Sanaullah is ambassador of Pakistan and it’s his duty to paint a glorified picture. But the reality is too bleak. Living in Pakistan is altogether different from what Sanaullah states.
As far as the economy is concerned, I am not an economist but the figures available on the Internet indicate Pakistan’s GDP Growth rate is now at 2 percent as compared to 6.8 percent in 2007.
Minorities, in fact, are treated as second-grade citizens. Constitutionally, they are free to worship but practically an Ahmadi cannot worship freely; thanks to blasphemy laws. Minorities are not allowed to build places of worship according to their needs.
Hindus are fleeing to India. According to a recent report published in media, more than 50,000 have fled in recent years, including legislator Ram Singh Sodho. The plight of the Ahmadis is even worse.
Let alone building new places of worship, they are not allowed to repair their old and dilapidated ones. They are routinely bullied in their neighborhoods, discriminated in government jobs, and the education and business sectors.
Their headquarters town (Rabwah; forcibly re-named Chenab Nagar by the government under pressure from radical mullahs), which is built on purchased land, is practically under siege by fanatics who have forcibly occupied their land.
They are not allowed to purchase land around the town to expand their housing.
Wake up Indonesia. Religion-related laws are a bad omen of radicalism/Talibanization, which have plagued Pakistan where no place/community and sect is safe. It all started with just a constitutional amendment.