Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Recommend UsEmail this PagePersecution News RSS Blog
Introduction & Updates
<< ... Worldwide ... >>
Monthly Newsreports
Annual Newsreports
Media Reports
Press Releases
Facts & Figures
Individual Case Reports
Pakistan and Ahmadis
Critical Analysis/Archives
Persecution - In Pictures
United Nations, HCHR
Amnesty International
US States Department
Urdu Section
Feedback/Site Tools
Related Links

By Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, The Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at.
Darurat-ul-Imam, or The Need for the Imam, spells out in depth the urgency and need for the Imam of the age, and his qualities and hallmarks as the Divinely appointed guide, the voice articulate of the age, and the constant recipient of Divine revelations, and how all these qualities are fully present in the person of the holy author.
US$7.00 [Order]
Author: Hadhrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad (ra), The 2nd Head of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Description: The purpose of this book is to convey an authentic account of the beliefs and doctrines of the Movement and the purpose of its establishment. It also refutes the false charges that were made by the orthodox divines and contradicts the baseless allegations made against the Movement. (read it online)
US$15.00 [Order]

Home Media Reports 2010 Legitimate discrimination
Legitimate discrimination
Express Tribune, Pakistan
Legitimate discrimination
Basil Nabil Malik
By Basil Nabi Malik
May 09, 2010
The writer is a lawyer with Malik, Chaudhry, Ahmed and Siddiqi in Karachi (

In my preceding article, I talked about the precariousness of defining the terms ‘Muslim’ and ‘non-Muslim’ in the Constitution of Pakistan. This article, in continuation, attempts to follow the unfortunate consequences of doing exactly that.

In addition to Article 260 discussed in the previous article, the constitution also contains Article 20 which guarantees every citizen the “right to profess, practice, and propagate his religion”, whereas it’s sub-article (b) allows every religious denomination and every sect “the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions”. Both are subject to “law, public order and morality”. Looking at the same, one would think that any discrimination on the basis of one’s religion would be a violation of said article.

In addition to this, Articles 4 and 25 of the constitution, which require citizens to be treated in accordance with the law and mandate that everyone be equal before the law, amongst others, also ensure that discrimination on the basis of religion is not allowed. If any discriminatory law is made targeting a group, the said law is liable to be struck down, subject to a “reasonable classification” founded on a reasonable distinction and on a reasonable basis.

And this may very well be the reason that provisions are usually content neutral, meaning that certain actions are made punishable for all and sundry who undertake them, rather than certain groups.

However, the inclusion of Article 260 in the constitution seems to have complicated the situation at hand and made lawful certain provisions which would otherwise be termed discriminatory and illegal.

A case in point would be Section 298-B and Section 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code which relates to Qadianis. According to them, “any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori Group” cannot refer his or her place of worship as ‘masjid’, cannot call the call to prayer ‘azaan’ or recite it in any way similar to that of Muslims. It is interesting that as per this law, if someone from another group undertook these actions, presumably this section would have no issues with that. As per Section 298-C, with respect to the two groups mentioned above, it would be a crime to ‘pose’ as a Muslim, refer to your faith as Islam, or do anything which “either spoken or written, or by visible representations or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims”.

On the face of it, these two sections of the Pakistan Penal Code seem to be plainly discriminatory. However, it seems that the Supreme Court, in 1993 SCMR 1718, due to Article 260, had no option but to come to a different conclusion. In a majority decision, the Supreme Court in this landmark case held that these sections were legal and in line with the Constitution. Article 260(3) was used as the foundation upon which the said provisions were held to be intra vires of the Constitution, wherein the specifying of certain groups was declared a reasonable classification in terms of the said Article. Amongst other things, it was stated by the Supreme Court that such provisions were “in advancement of the Constitutional mandate and not in derogation of it”.

Hence, in a nutshell, whereas the inclusion of Article 260 in the Constitution of Pakistan was dubious for the many reasons already enunciated, its implications are nonetheless probing in as much as it allows for the propagation of discrimination on the basis of one’s beliefs on the touchstone of the constitution.

In light of this, perhaps the political forces should take some time out of their busy schedules to review the said legal provisions which directly impact the lives of certain segments of Pakistani society, rather than dillydallying on other issues.

Top of page