Global News - Redeem the Oppressed

The New Discrimination Policy for the Religious Minorities in Pakistan

Pakistan has always been a failed state in defending the rights and providing the  protection to  its minorities and once again Pakistani Government will be failed to defend the “freedom of expression” in their Country. This new New Discrimination Policy for the Religious Minorities in Pakistan is in its preparation period in Islamabad High Court.

The Islamabad High Court, situated in the Federal capital of Pakistan, has directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to provide detailed information of 10,000 Pakistani citizens who have had changed their religion from Islam to Ahamdiyya.

Further, the Court also directed the authorities of “NADRA” to submit a comprehensive report on the ages, names of their parents and their International travel history.

On Monday 26th of Feb 2018, this direction was given by Justice Shoukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court, In the Petition moved by the Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat’s follower, Allah Wasaya, against the controversial amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath in the constitution which had earlier been considered as a clerical error and afterwards rectified.

Earlier to this direction, the National Database submitted their report of 10,205 persons who have changed their religious belief from Islam to Others. Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) requested for the additional time to submit the report regarding the 6001 persons along with their travel history and other necessary information about their families. Saddiqui has given them the time until the next date which will be fixed on 5th of March,2018.

During the hearing of this petition the Islamabad High court was assisted by Hafiz Hassan Madni,  a professor of Punjab University. He in an open court stated that…

Whosoever left Islam for another faith was an Apostate and deserved a punishment for his/her Act. He further stated Ahamdiyya are more dangerous than infidels (Christians), they are neither Muslim nor Christians and in fact they get cover themselves in the shelter of Islam.

As ground observers in Pakistan, we strongly believe that after Blasphemy laws, apostasy laws will also be the biggest challenge for the religious minorities in coming days. Same happened in 1974 when Ahmadiyya was declared as NON- MUSLIMS, but right after the approval of the 1973 constitution, Pakistani Christians became the soft target as their schools, medical centres and colleges were taken by the government. The discrimination with the Religious minorities are rooted in the constitution of 1973, drafted by Zulifqar Ali Bhutto’s Government and approved by the parliament on 10th April 1973.

Due to this 1973 constitution, all the religious minorities were barred from any higher official status in the government. Moreover, the Major setback for the Religious minorities was the 8th amendment in the constitution made by the dictator Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul Haq and empowered by the Nawaz Sharif government in May, 1991, and gave a reawakening call to the religious persecution through the Blasphemy Laws and now in coming days we  all will be going to witness a new series of Persecution starting with Ahmaddiyya.

We request the International Community to observe this violation of religious freedom in Pakistan. Pakistan who has signed the resolution to provide the freedom of expression to its citizens, whereas Pakistan is completely failed to compliance. For the protection of the religious minorities in Pakistan,  International community should step forward and do the needful for the protection of the minorities living in Pakistan.

By Farrukh Saif

Farrukh Saif is a Pakistani human rights activist based in Germany. He founded his own organization, the Farrukh Saif Foundation (FSF), in 2009 with the goal of supporting marginalized and oppressed minorities in Pakistan who are affected by religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, forced conversions, abductions, rape, and bonded slavery. The main focus of the FSF is on the liberation of bonded laborers, particularly those working in brick kilns in rural areas of Pakistan. In 2018, the FSF merged with the US-based Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved. Throughout his career, Farrukh has been a leading voice for the rights of minorities in Pakistan and has gained international attention for his campaigns against the misuse of blasphemy laws and the belief that asylum is not a crime. In 2014, he played a key role in the release of hundreds of asylum seekers from Thai jails and has worked with his legal team to save numerous victims of strict blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Farrukh has also been invited by the Hungarian government to discuss his work and the issues he addresses. In addition to his work with the FSF, Farrukh has also been involved in various other humanitarian efforts, including providing health care services to internally displaced persons in Khayber Pakhtoon Khawa in 2009 and assisting flood victims in Sindh and Punjab in 2010. He has worked to aid victimized minorities in Pakistan and has a strong track record of successfully advocating for their rights. Farrukh joined forces with Keith Davies in 2018 to co-found the Emergency Committee to Save The Persecuted and Enslaved, and since 2009, they have collectively successfully rescued more than 36000 individuals from slavery and persecution.