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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