Some 200,000 members of Pakistan‘s minority Ahmadi community will boycott next month’s election in protest at their treatment by the authorities, a spokesman said Monday.
Ahmadis, who believe that the founder of their sect was a prophet, were declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government in 1974 and now suffer discrimination and violent attacks.
It is against the law for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslims, but they still see themselves as such and object to being treated as a religious minority at election time.
“We have been boycotting the election process since 1985 when Ahmadi voters were put in the list of religious minorities,” Saleemuddin, a spokesman for Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya told AFP.
He said the community wanted its voters to be included in the joint electorate system.
“We will stay away from the election and boycott it like in the past to register our protest,” he said.