The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has criticized Pakistan for its treatment of Ahmadiyya Muslims.
In a report submitted before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 5th, Special Rapporteur, Ahmed Shaheed said:
Ahmadis have been subject to systematic persecution by means of State-sanctioned discrimination and other repressive measures, including the closing of their businesses, schools and places of worship and the imprisonment of those who violate the restrictive laws imposed on the community.
Special Rapporteur Shaheed further declared that:
Discriminatory measures include the denial of equal rights of citizenship, including in standing for public office.
Adherents of the faith are subject to an ongoing campaign of threats and intimidation and acts of violence and terrorism, with little or no protection from the authorities.
Pan-African Union for Science and Technology also reiterated the concerns of the Special Rapporteur and recounted that Christians and Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan were considered second-class citizens.
Responding to the report, Pakistan’s envoy to the UN claimed that the Special Rapporteur’s observations on the Ahmadiyya minority in the country were “grossly exaggerated” and “inaccurate”.
They Pakistani envoy insisted that Ahmadis enjoyed equal rights and had risen to high ranks in public and private sectors.
In a separate event on March 1st, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations also hinted at Pakistan’s persecution of Ahmadis and said:
Muslims have had to endure growing intolerance, discrimination, and even persecution by some States out of Islamophobia as well as attacks by from fellow Muslims who do not believe they adhere to the correct form of Islam.
Each year there are likewise many documented cases of targeted discrimination and persecution against Hindus, Buddhists, Samaritans, Sikhs, Falun Gong, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ahmadis, Scientologists and others. The Yazidis, as no one needs to be reminded, suffered a genocidal attack. And in various places, atheists, too, have endured systematic discrimination and persecution in violation of their right freely to believe that there is no God and to order their life according to that conviction.