NGOs and Foreign reports – 2013

2013

A statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission
September 12, 2013: Murder of three Ahmadis for their faith in quick succession in Karachi induced the Asian Human Rights Commission to issue another statement highlighting the plight of Ahmadis in Pakistan. Excerpts:

Asian Human Rights Commission
PAKISTAN: Innocent Ahmadis continue to be harassed, persecuted and mu

2013

 A statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission

September 12, 2013:   Murder of three Ahmadis for their faith in quick succession in Karachi induced the Asian Human Rights Commission to issue another statement highlighting the plight of Ahmadis in Pakistan. Excerpts:

Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: Innocent Ahmadis continue to be harassed, persecuted and murdered while the government looks on

 September 12, 2013

Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan continue to be persecuted, prosecuted, humiliated, harassed, tortured and subjected to target killings. In the very recent past hundreds of Ahmadis have been murdered for their faith and belief and this horrifying brutality continues under the very eyes of the Government who take no notice or action and blatantly allow the culprits to go scot-free.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community keeps the world aware of such atrocities in the hope that the international community will raise their voices against such inhumane, cruel practices and pressurize Pakistan to honour its commitments to the International Code of Conduct, the UNDHR, the values and principles of democracy and the promises made in its very own Constitution.

Once again the Asian Human Rights Commission is sharing with our readers the murder of three more innocent Ahmadis during the past weeks.

These are the latest tragic incidents which have become the fate of Ahmadis in Pakistan. The Government authorities intentionally deny Ahmadis any protection or security. The judiciary too takes no notice of Ahmadi cases and Ahmadis are discriminated against in every sector of life.

The Worldwide Ahmadiyya Community once again pleads with the international community to do whatever can be done to bring to an end this barbarity and stop those who freely publish and distribute hate material against Ahmadis publically inciting people to kill them.

There will be no democracy, peace or prosperity in Pakistan until it honours the very founding values of human dignity and fundamental freedoms of all without any discrimination of faith or belief.

The Asian Human Rights Commission calls on President Mamnoon Hussain to honour the commitments Pakistan has made to the international community and the promises contained in the Constitution of Pakistan to protect freedom of religion and the minorities of his country. Freedom of religion in Pakistan is guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan for individuals and religious sects. However this freedom is declared subject to “reasonable restrictions”. In no way can “reasonable restrictions” justify murder!

Document Type :           Statement

Document ID :   AHRC-STM-169-2013

Countries:                     Pakistan           http://www.humanrights.asia/countires/pakistan

Education in Pakistan – A statement of great import by AHRC

October 12, 2013:       The Asian Human Rights Commission issued a weighty statement on the quality and content of religious education in Pakistan. It is reproduced below as it refers directly to its impact on peace and security of the Ahmadiyya community in this country.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHRC-STM-185-2013

October 12, 2013

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN:  The Government must take the immediate steps to stop the desecration of the education

In his message for the world peace day, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said:

“On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.”

There is an onerous responsibility on member states that the quality of materials used for education they offer complies with expectations and aspirations of the world community. However, some countries, particularly Pakistan, are acting contrary to this and are using education to promote extremism and fundamentalism by instilling hatred in the minds of young children in their formative years when their outlook on the society they live is based on the environment they live in and ideology they are exposed to. This creates disorder, hate and disharmony in society rather than promoting peace, love, mutual respect and co-operation for the benefit of society as a whole. Such countries are instilling hatred, intolerance and sowing the seed of extremism and violence in the mind of youngsters.

Recently in Pakistan, text books which are part of the national syllabus are being used in the Sindh province to promote hate and extremism against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. For instance in this text book titled, ‘Islamiat for Class VI’ published by Spectrum on page 10 the text teaches children to not be tolerant of the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The worst part is that as part of the instructions given to teachers, the teachers are encouraged ‘to ensure students are aware of the evils of the Qadianis’.

Education should not be used as a political or ideological tool and should be free from any form of prejudice, bias and extremist philosophy. However, Pakistan appears to be steeped in appeasing fanatical and extremist Muslim fundamentalists by allowing them to use the education system to promote hate. Please click here to find the syllabus of primary school based on hate.

We draw the attention of the international community to this matter. It becomes the responsibility of the international community that whilst we are observing world peace day to promote and build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity, Pakistan is acting contrary to this by not only destroying peace in Pakistan but undermining the efforts of the rest of the world. Wherever education is used for such despicable purposes and objectives it must be checked. As the Secretary-General has said let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.

This situation of the hate based educational system must be checked by the civilian government and parliamentarians otherwise in the presence of such systems democracy, enlightenment and openness in the society will be stifled. The incumbent government and parliamentarians must revisit the curriculum particularly at primary and secondary levels.

Release of USCIRF Annual Report 2013

Washington DC; January 2013:       U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom released its annual report 2013. This commission is chaired by Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett. A chapter of 17 pages has been allocated for abuses of religious freedom in Pakistan. On the title page it is observed:

“USCIRF STATUS:

Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern

BOTTOM LINE:

Religious freedom violations in Pakistan rose to unprecedented levels due to chronic sectarian violence particularly targeting Shi‘i Muslims. The government continues to fail to protect Chritians, Ahmadis, and Hindus. Pakistan’s repressive blasphemy laws and anti-Ahmadi laws are widely used to violate religious freedoms and foster a climate of impunity.”

 Some highlights of the report are given below:

  • The government of Pakistan continues to engage in and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief. Page: 1
  • Pakistan represents the worst situation in the world for religious freedom for countries not currently designated as “countries of particular concern” by the U.S. government. Page: 1
  • Despite a civilian government, the Pakistani military and intelligence services continue to be influential and independent of civilian oversight and are believed to maintain close contacts with terrorist organizations and other militant groups.Page: 2
  • Discriminatory laws promulgated in previous decades and persistently enforced have fostered an atmosphere of religious intolerance and eroded the social and legal status of members of religious minorities, including Shi‘a, Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus.Page: 2
  • Overall, the U.S. Department of State has noted a five-fold increase in extremist violence since 2006. In this environment, armed extremists, some with ties to banned militant groups, continued their attacks on religious minorities, including bombings, against Shi‘a, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus and others. Page: 3
  • During the reporting period, USCIRF received reports of 44 different attacks targeting Ahmadis, with 22 incidents resulting in the death of 23 individuals. Page: 5
  • The poor legal standing of Ahmadis under Pakistan’s constitution and criminal code (discussed below) fosters a climate of impunity, where perpetrators feel empowered to attack them with little or no fear of arrest or prosecution. Page: 5
  • In addition to attacks on individual Ahmadis, local police repeatedly forced Ahmadis to remove Quranic scripture from mosques and minarets. Page: 5
  • There were also at least seven instances of Ahmadi graves being desecrated, some by local police. Page: 5
  • Pakistan’s Ahmadi community is subjected to the most severe legal restrictions and officially-sanctioned discrimination. Page: 9
  • During the reporting period, USCIRF received reports of 10 Ahmadis being charged under Article 298. In many of these cases, police were pressured to act by local religious leaders who are opposed to the Ahmadi faith. Page: 10
  • In 2002, then President Musharraf issued an executive order that abolished Pakistan’s separate electorate system. However, he soon thereafter issued Chief Executive’s Order No. 15 mandating that Ahmadis register in a separate voter registry, therefore keeping a separate electoral system for this religious community alone. Page: 10
  • In addition, obtaining a Pakistani national identity card or passport requires the applicant to sign a religious affirmation denouncing the founder of the Ahmadi faith as a false prophet. Page: 10
  • In 2012, the government blocked the international website for the Ahmadi community.Page: 10
  • For instance, in public schools, all children, regardless of their faith, had to use textbooks that often had a strong Islamic orientation and frequently omitted mention of religious minorities or made derogatory references to them. Page: 11
  • Also, both public school and madrassa teachers lacked an understanding of religious minorities and a large portion of their pupils could not identify these minorities as citizens of Pakistan. Page: 11

 

Members of US Congress support Ahmadis’ political rights in Pakistan

Washington: A fairly large number of Members of the US Congress wrote a letter to Mr. John Kerry, Secretary of State on April 16, 2013 on the issue of obstacles in the way of Pakistani Ahmadis’ participation in Elections 2013.

“… Unfortunately, Pakistan’s electoral system discriminates on the basis of religion, rendering the promise of free and fair elections a sham,” they wrote.

After referring to the rules and procedures that make it impossible for Ahmadis to register as voters, they warned, “Absent the ability for Pakistan’s entire electorate to participate, we will not be able to endorse the May elections.”

“We urge you to press Pakistani President Zardari to immediately repeal Executive Order No. 15 and remove any discriminatory restrictions on Ahmadis being able to vote in the upcoming May elections,” they concluded.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader, and Senator John Cornyn wrote a similar letter to the Secretary of State on April 25, 2013.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by United States Commission of International Religious Freedom

Washington D.C, July 2, 2013: Alarmed by the severity of an attack by a suicide bomber on a neighborhood in Quetta that was preceded by a similar attack in Peshawar, the USCIRF issued its statement on ‘rising violence’ against religious communities in Pakistan. Extracts:

“Over the past 18 months, USCIRF has become aware of over 250 attacks targeting religious communities in Pakistan. Over 650 individuals have been killed, the overwhelming majority coming from the Shia Community. Nongovernmental organizations also recently reported several drive-by shootings targeting Ahmadis. The Hindu community continues to suffer discrimination and the threat of forced conversion to Islam. The Punjab government has not taken effective measures against those who attacked the Christian Community in Jacob Colony in March 2013.”

Jamaat Islami leader executed in Bangladesh

Dhaka:            Jamaat Islami and its supporters are found in a number of countries of the world. Its founder Maulana Maududi lived in Paksitan and the main faction is also based here. Its impact on Pakistani politics and religious landscape is substantial. It has played a significant role in anti-Ahmadiyya movements and is a partner with others in perpetuating the persecution of Ahmadis in this country. Accordingly, this report of the ABC News by its South Asia correspondent Michael Edwards on Friday, 13 December 2013 merits a place in this document (extracts):

“Bangladesh executes Islamist leader Abdul Kader Mullah for war crimes

…. The 65-years old was convicted of being a leader of pro-Pakistan militia in 1971 that killed some of Bangladesh’s top professors, doctors, writers and journalists.

He was convicted of rape and mass murder, including the killing of more than 350 unarmed civilians.

Prosecutors described him as the Butcher of Mirpur, a Dhaka suburb where he committed most of the atrocities…

“He has told us that he is proud to be a martyr for the cause of Islamic movement in the country,” Mullah’s son Hassan Jamil said afterwards.

….. a judge had stayed the hanging just 90 minutes before the scheduled execution (on Tuesday night) amid international concerns over the fairness of the war crimes trials of many opposition leaders.”

Jamaat Islami Pakistan led a protest campaign in Pakistan against the execution. The National Assembly passed a resolution to the same effect. This led to exchange of display of anger and disapproval between the two countries.

 

dered while the government looks on

September 12, 2013
Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan continue to be persecuted, prosecuted, humiliated, harassed, tortured and subjected to target killings. In the very recent past hundreds of Ahmadis have been murdered for their faith and belief and this horrifying brutality continues under the very eyes of the Government who take no notice or action and blatantly allow the culprits to go scot-free.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community keeps the world aware of such atrocities in the hope that the international community will raise their voices against such inhumane, cruel practices and pressurize Pakistan to honour its commitments to the International Code of Conduct, the UNDHR, the values and principles of democracy and the promises made in its very own Constitution.
Once again the Asian Human Rights Commission is sharing with our readers the murder of three more innocent Ahmadis during the past weeks.

These are the latest tragic incidents which have become the fate of Ahmadis in Pakistan. The Government authorities

intentionally deny Ahmadis any protection or security. The judiciary too takes no notice of Ahmadi cases and Ahmadis are discriminated against in every sector of life.

The Worldwide Ahmadiyya Community once again pleads with the international community to do whatever can be done to bring to an end this barbarity and stop those who freely publish and distribute hate material against Ahmadis publically inciting people to kill them.
There will be no democracy, peace or prosperity in Pakistan until it honours the very founding values of human dignity and fundamental freedoms of all without any discrimination of faith or belief.
The Asian Human Rights Commission calls on President Mamnoon Hussain to honour the commitments Pakistan has made to the international community and the promises contained in the Constitution of Pakistan to protect freedom of religion and the minorities of his country. Freedom of religion in Pakistan is guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan for individuals and religious sects. However this freedom is declared subject to “reasonable restrictions”. In no way can “reasonable restrictions” justify murder!

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-169-2013
Countries: Pakistan http://www.humanrights.asia/countires/pakistan

Education in Pakistan – A statement of great import by AHRC
October 12, 2013: The Asian Human Rights Commission issued a weighty statement on the quality and content of religious education in Pakistan. It is reproduced below as it refers directly to its impact on peace and security of the Ahmadiyya community in this country.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-185-2013
October 12, 2013

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: The Government must take the immediate steps to stop the desecration of the education

In his message for the world peace day, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said:
“On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.”
There is an onerous responsibility on member states that the quality of materials used for education they offer complies with expectations and aspirations of the world community. However, some countries, particularly Pakistan, are acting contrary to this and are using education to promote extremism and fundamentalism by instilling hatred in the minds of young children in their formative years when their outlook on the society they live is based on the environment they live in and ideology they are exposed to. This creates disorder, hate and disharmony in society rather than promoting peace, love, mutual respect and co-operation for the benefit of society as a whole. Such countries are instilling hatred, intolerance and sowing the seed of extremism and violence in the mind of youngsters.
Recently in Pakistan, text books which are part of the national syllabus are being used in the Sindh province to promote hate and extremism against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. For instance in this text book titled, ‘Islamiat for Class VI’ published by Spectrum on page 10 the text teaches children to not be tolerant of the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The worst part is that as part of the instructions given to teachers, the teachers are encouraged ‘to ensure students are aware of the evils of the Qadianis’.
Education should not be used as a political or ideological tool and should be free from any form of prejudice, bias and extremist philosophy. However, Pakistan appears to be steeped in appeasing fanatical and extremist Muslim fundamentalists by allowing them to use the education system to promote hate. Please click here to find the syllabus of primary school based on hate.
We draw the attention of the international community to this matter. It becomes the responsibility of the international community that whilst we are observing world peace day to promote and build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity, Pakistan is acting contrary to this by not only destroying peace in Pakistan but undermining the efforts of the rest of the world. Wherever education is used for such despicable purposes and objectives it must be checked. As the Secretary-General has said let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.
This situation of the hate based educational system must be checked by the civilian government and parliamentarians otherwise in the presence of such systems democracy, enlightenment and openness in the society will be stifled. The incumbent government and parliamentarians must revisit the curriculum particularly at primary and secondary levels.

Release of USCIRF Annual Report 2013
Washington DC; January 2013: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom released its annual report 2013. This commission is chaired by Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett. A chapter of 17 pages has been allocated for abuses of religious freedom in Pakistan. On the title page it is observed:

“USCIRF STATUS:
Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern
BOTTOM LINE:
Religious freedom violations in Pakistan rose to unprecedented levels due to chronic sectarian violence particularly targeting Shi‘i Muslims. The government continues to fail to protect Chritians, Ahmadis, and Hindus. Pakistan’s repressive blasphemy laws and anti-Ahmadi laws are widely used to violate religious freedoms and foster a climate of impunity.”

Some highlights of the report are given below:
• The government of Pakistan continues to engage in and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief. Page: 1
• Pakistan represents the worst situation in the world for religious freedom for countries not currently designated as “countries of particular concern” by the U.S. government. Page: 1
• Despite a civilian government, the Pakistani military and intelligence services continue to be influential and independent of civilian oversight and are believed to maintain close contacts with terrorist organizations and other militant groups.Page: 2
• Discriminatory laws promulgated in previous decades and persistently enforced have fostered an atmosphere of religious intolerance and eroded the social and legal status of members of religious minorities, including Shi‘a, Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus.Page: 2
• Overall, the U.S. Department of State has noted a five-fold increase in extremist violence since 2006. In this environment, armed extremists, some with ties to banned militant groups, continued their attacks on religious minorities, including bombings, against Shi‘a, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus and others. Page: 3
• During the reporting period, USCIRF received reports of 44 different attacks targeting Ahmadis, with 22 incidents resulting in the death of 23 individuals. Page: 5
• The poor legal standing of Ahmadis under Pakistan’s constitution and criminal code (discussed below) fosters a climate of impunity, where perpetrators feel empowered to attack them with little or no fear of arrest or prosecution. Page: 5
• In addition to attacks on individual Ahmadis, local police repeatedly forced Ahmadis to remove Quranic scripture from mosques and minarets. Page: 5
• There were also at least seven instances of Ahmadi graves being desecrated, some by local police. Page: 5
• Pakistan’s Ahmadi community is subjected to the most severe legal restrictions and officially-sanctioned discrimination. Page: 9
• During the reporting period, USCIRF received reports of 10 Ahmadis being charged under Article 298. In many of these cases, police were pressured to act by local religious leaders who are opposed to the Ahmadi faith. Page: 10
• In 2002, then President Musharraf issued an executive order that abolished Pakistan’s separate electorate system. However, he soon thereafter issued Chief Executive’s Order No. 15 mandating that Ahmadis register in a separate voter registry, therefore keeping a separate electoral system for this religious community alone. Page: 10
• In addition, obtaining a Pakistani national identity card or passport requires the applicant to sign a religious affirmation denouncing the founder of the Ahmadi faith as a false prophet. Page: 10
• In 2012, the government blocked the international website for the Ahmadi community.Page: 10
• For instance, in public schools, all children, regardless of their faith, had to use textbooks that often had a strong Islamic orientation and frequently omitted mention of religious minorities or made derogatory references to them. Page: 11
• Also, both public school and madrassa teachers lacked an understanding of religious minorities and a large portion of their pupils could not identify these minorities as citizens of Pakistan. Page: 11

Members of US Congress support Ahmadis’ political rights in Pakistan
Washington: A fairly large number of Members of the US Congress wrote a letter to Mr. John Kerry, Secretary of State on April 16, 2013 on the issue of obstacles in the way of Pakistani Ahmadis’ participation in Elections 2013.
“… Unfortunately, Pakistan’s electoral system discriminates on the basis of religion, rendering the promise of free and fair elections a sham,” they wrote.
After referring to the rules and procedures that make it impossible for Ahmadis to register as voters, they warned, “Absent the ability for Pakistan’s entire electorate to participate, we will not be able to endorse the May elections.”
“We urge you to press Pakistani President Zardari to immediately repeal Executive Order No. 15 and remove any discriminatory restrictions on Ahmadis being able to vote in the upcoming May elections,” they concluded.
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader, and Senator John Cornyn wrote a similar letter to the Secretary of State on April 25, 2013.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by United States Commission of International Religious Freedom
Washington D.C, July 2, 2013: Alarmed by the severity of an attack by a suicide bomber on a neighborhood in Quetta that was preceded by a similar attack in Peshawar, the USCIRF issued its statement on ‘rising violence’ against religious communities in Pakistan. Extracts:
“Over the past 18 months, USCIRF has become aware of over 250 attacks targeting religious communities in Pakistan. Over 650 individuals have been killed, the overwhelming majority coming from the Shia Community. Nongovernmental organizations also recently reported several drive-by shootings targeting Ahmadis. The Hindu community continues to suffer discrimination and the threat of forced conversion to Islam. The Punjab government has not taken effective measures against those who attacked the Christian Community in Jacob Colony in March 2013.”

Jamaat Islami leader executed in Bangladesh
Dhaka: Jamaat Islami and its supporters are found in a number of countries of the world. Its founder Maulana Maududi lived in Paksitan and the main faction is also based here. Its impact on Pakistani politics and religious landscape is substantial. It has played a significant role in anti-Ahmadiyya movements and is a partner with others in perpetuating the persecution of Ahmadis in this country. Accordingly, this report of the ABC News by its South Asia correspondent Michael Edwards on Friday, 13 December 2013 merits a place in this document (extracts):
“Bangladesh executes Islamist leader Abdul Kader Mullah for war crimes
…. The 65-years old was convicted of being a leader of pro-Pakistan militia in 1971 that killed some of Bangladesh’s top professors, doctors, writers and journalists.
He was convicted of rape and mass murder, including the killing of more than 350 unarmed civilians.
Prosecutors described him as the Butcher of Mirpur, a Dhaka suburb where he committed most of the atrocities…
“He has told us that he is proud to be a martyr for the cause of Islamic movement in the country,” Mullah’s son Hassan Jamil said afterwards.
….. a judge had stayed the hanging just 90 minutes before the scheduled execution (on Tuesday night) amid international concerns over the fairness of the war crimes trials of many opposition leaders.”
Jamaat Islami Pakistan led a protest campaign in Pakistan against the execution. The National Assembly passed a resolution to the same effect. This led to exchange of display of anger and disapproval between the two countries.