Pakistan’s Failed Commitment: How Pakistan’s Institutionalized Persecution Of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Violates The International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights


By Qasim Rashid*

“My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and cooperation, I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest Nations of the world.”

– Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s Founder and First Governor

General at the Presidential Address to the Constituent

Assembly of Pakistan on 11th August, 1947.



The United Nations (“UN”) adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”) in 1966 and officially implemented it in 1976 to ensure, among other guarantees, that no human is denied his or her right to equal voting, freedom of political association, due process of law, freedom of life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is among 166 nations that have signed and ratified the ICCPR. Since signing the ICCPR in 2008 and ratifying it in 2010, however, Pakistan has perpetuated state-sanctioned and violent persecution of religious minority groups such as Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, and Hindus, through anti-blasphemy legislation and voting disenfranchisement. This article examines the plight of Pakistan’s religious minorities, focusing primarily on the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, in the context of the ICCPR. It demonstrates that Pakistan’s Ahmadi Muslims are robbed of basic human rights in violation of the ICCPR and the imminent threats such violations pose to the international community. It concludes with an analysis of the practical steps the international community should take to remedy these threats, methods to revive religious freedom in Pakistan, and better ensure national and international security.

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About the author

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Qasim Rashid

Qasim Rashid is a best-selling and critically acclaimed author, practicing attorney, visiting fellow at Harvard University's Prince AlWaleed bin Talal School of Islamic Studies, and national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.

Qasim’s new book #TalkToMe: Changing the Narrative on Race, Religion, & Education is due out in December 2015. #TalkToMe is a non-fiction memoir on how the power of dialogue can overcome racism, xenophobia, intolerance, and violence.

Previously, Qasim published EXTREMIST: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists Everywhere (2014), which became an Amazon #1 Best Seller on Islam.

Qasim’s first solo-authored work is the critically acclaimed book, The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution & Perseverance (2013).

Qasim regularly publishes on TIME, The Huffington Post, Washington Post, Daily Caller, and CNN. His work has additionally appeared in USA Today, The Daily Beast, National Public Radio, Virginia Pilot, among various other national and international outlets. He also regularly speaks at a variety of universities and houses of worship, and interviews in a variety of media including the New York Times, FOX News, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International, Huff Post Live, Al Jazeera, NBC, CBS, Voice of America, among several other national and international outlets.

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