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

Author: Iain Adamson
Description: This is the first biography in English of Ahmad who said that he came in the gentle spirit of Jesus. But Christian, Hindu, and Muslim priests alike received him with Physical violance. His followers, as in early Christian times, have been murdered and martyred. (read it online)
US$19.99 [Order]
The Author: Mujeeb-ur-Rehman
A chronicle and a critique of the legislative and the judicial events leading to a gradual denial and erosion of religious freedom to Ahmadis in Pakistan. This work is intended to provide an insight into the background of the Supreme Court judgment in the Ahmadis' case.
US$10. [Order]
The Author: Mujeeb-ur-Rehman
A chronicle and a critique of the legislative and the judicial events leading to a gradual denial and erosion of religious freedom to Ahmadis in Pakistan. This work is intended to provide an insight into the background of the Supreme Court judgment in the Ahmadis' case.
US$10. [Order]
Author: Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmadra, 4th Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Description: The doctrine of Christianity has acquired its present shape through a process of change that is spread nearly over it's entire history. Rather than venture into the endless debate on the course of this evolutionary process, the author has chosen to examine the current Christian beliefs primarily on the basis of logic and reason. Among others, the subject of 'Sonship' of Jesus Christ, Atonement, Trinity and the second coming of the Messiah have been discussed at length in this book. (read it online)
US$6.99 [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]
A revised edition of this excellent thesis which, on the basis of detailed research proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Jesus survived crucifixion and later died in India. US$5.99 [Order]
Author: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi
Description: Nineteenth century's greatest thesis on the resuscitation and survival of Jesus from the ordeals of crucifixion, his historic journey in search of the lost tribes of Israel and his eventual settlement in Kashmir, heavily supported by the medical and historical research.
US$10.00 [Order]
Author: Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan
Description: This book provides a translation by Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan of the Riyad as-Salihin, literally "Gardens of the Rightous", written by the Syrian Shafi'i scholar Muhyi ad-din Abu Zakariyya' Yahya b. Sharaf an-Nawawi (1233-78), who was the author of a large number of legal and biographical work, including celebrated collection of forty well-known hadiths, the Kitab al-Arba'in (actually containing some forty three traditions.), much commented upon in the Muslim countries and translated into several European languages. His Riyad as-Salihin is a concise collection of traditions, which has been printed on various occasions, e.g. at Mecca and Cairo, but never before translated into a western language. Hence the present translation by Muhammad Zafarullah Khan will make available to those unversed in Arabic one of the most typical and widely-known collection of this type.
US$14.99 [Order]

Home U.S. Department of State Annual Report 2008
Pakistan: Human Rights Practices, 2008

Excerpts from
U.S. Department of State
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2008
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor,
February 25, 2009
Despite some improvements after the state of emergency at the end of the previous year, the human rights situation remained poor. Major problems included extrajudicial killings, torture, and disappearances. There were also instances in which local police acted independently of government authority. Collective punishment was a problem particularly in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which falls under the legal framework of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). Lengthy trial delays and failures to discipline and prosecute those responsible for abuses consistently contributed to a culture of impunity. Poor prison conditions, arbitrary arrest, and lengthy pretrial detention remained problems, as did a lack of judicial independence. Corruption was widespread within the government and police forces, and the government made few attempts to combat the problem. Although implementation of the 2006 Women’s Protection Act somewhat improved women’s rights, rape, domestic violence, and abuse against women remained serious problems. Honor crimes and discriminatory legislation affected women and religious minorities respectively. Religious freedom violations and inter-sectarian religious conflict continued. Widespread trafficking in persons, child labor, and exploitation of indentured and bonded children were ongoing problems. Child abuse, commercial sexual exploitation of children, discrimination against persons with disabilities, and worker rights remained concerns.


Section 1
Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

Attacks on houses of worship, religious gatherings, and religious leaders linked to sectarian, religious extremist, and terrorist groups outside FATA resulted in hundreds of deaths during the year. Examples of these cases include the following:

On September 7, the local anchor of a religious affairs program on Geo Television, Amir Liaquat Hussain, declared that Islamic teachings necessitated the killing of members of the Ahmadi sect and prompted two religious scholars who were guests on the program to affirm the injunction. Amir, a former minister of religious affairs in the Musharraf government, repeated the statement the next day. Within days, two local Ahmadi leaders were killed in Sindh. Two gunmen killed Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqui, an Ahmadi doctor and local leader known for his charity work, in a Mirpurkhas hospital on September 8. The gunmen also shot an Ahmadi guard and two patients. A day later, gunmen killed another local Ahmadi leader, Seth Muhammad Yousuf, in the bazaar in Nawab Shah. The Pakistan Medical Association called for official investigations into the case, but as of year’s end, the government continued to stall investigation into the deaths. Local media and human rights organizations condemned the Geo program for inciting sectarian violence.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The law prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; there were reports, however, that security forces, including intelligence services, tortured and abused individuals in custody. Under provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, coerced confessions are admissible in antiterrorism courts. The NGO SHARP reported 1,013 cases of torture by police between January and June, including approximately 500 cases by the Punjab police and nearly 350 cases by the Sindh police.……

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison conditions were extremely poor and failed to meet international standards. Overcrowding was widespread, except for cells of wealthy or influential prisoners. According to SHARP, nearly 90,000 prisoners occupied 87 jails originally built to hold a maximum of 36,075 persons.

Inadequate food and medical care in prisons led to chronic health problems and malnutrition for those unable to supplement their diet with help from family or friends. Foreign prisoners often remained in prison long after completion of their sentences because they were unable to pay for deportation to their home countries.

Police reportedly tortured and mistreated those in custody and at times engaged in extrajudicial killings. Christian and Ahmadi communities claimed their members were more likely to be abused. Non-Muslim prisoners generally were afforded poorer facilities than Muslim inmates and often suffered violence at the hands of fellow inmates.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus

Police often failed to protect members of religious minorities from societal attacks, including Christians, Ahmadis, and Shias.

Arrest and Detention

The law stipulates detainees must be brought to trial within 30 days of their arrest. Under both the Hudood and standard criminal codes, there are bailable and nonbailable offenses. Bail pending trial is required for bailable offenses and permitted at a court's discretion for nonbailable offenses with sentences of less than 10 years. In practice judges denied bail at the request of police, the community, or on payment of bribes. In many cases trials did not start until six months after the filing of charges, and in some cases individuals remained in pretrial detention for periods longer than the maximum sentence for the crime for which they were charged. Human rights NGOs estimated that approximately 50 percent of the prison population was awaiting trial.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

Lower courts remained corrupt, inefficient, and subject to pressure from prominent wealthy, religious, and political figures. The politicized nature of judicial promotions increased the government's control over the court system. Unfilled judgeships and inefficient court procedures resulted in severe backlogs at both trial and appellate levels.

Trial Procedures

Courts routinely failed to protect the rights of religious minorities. Judges were pressured to take strong action against any perceived offense to Sunni orthodoxy. The judiciary rarely heard discrimination cases dealing with religious minorities.

Laws prohibiting blasphemy continued to be used against Christians, Ahmadis, and members of other religious groups, including Muslims. Lower courts often did not require adequate evidence in blasphemy cases, which led to some accused and convicted persons spending years in jail before higher courts eventually overturned their convictions or ordered them freed.

Original trial courts usually denied bail in blasphemy cases, claiming that since defendants faced the death penalty, they were likely to flee. Many defendants appealed the denial of bail, but bail was often not granted in advance of the trial. Lower courts frequently delayed decisions, were intimidated, and refused bail for fear of reprisal from extremist elements.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

In accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, the government banned the activities of and membership in several religious extremist and terrorist groups. Some of the banned groups changed their names and remained active, including: Jaish e Muhammad (new name: Tehrikul Furqan & Al Rehmat Trust); Tehrik e Ja’afria Pakistan (new name: Tehrik e Islami Pakistan); and Sipah e Sihaba Pakistan (new name: Millat e Islamia Pakistan). Lashkar e Taiba regrouped under the new name Jamaat ud-Dawa but was again banned in December in response to its designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under UN Security Council resolution 1267. On August 25, the government labeled Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) a terrorist organization and ordered the State Bank to freeze all the organization’s accounts. The TTP is a militant umbrella organization formed in December 2007 by Baitullah Mehsud.

Section 2
Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

On September 7, the local anchor of a religious affairs program on Geo TV, Amir Liaquat Hussain, declared that Islamic teachings necessitated the killing of members of the Ahmadi sect. Within days, two local Ahmadi leaders were killed in Sindh (See section 1.a.).

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The law provides for freedom of assembly and freedom of association, subject to restrictions imposed by law.

Freedom of Assembly

Although the constitution provides for this right, in practice the government placed selective restrictions on the right to assemble. By law, district authorities can prevent gatherings of more than four people without police authorization. Separately, Ahmadis have been prohibited from holding conferences or gatherings since 1984.

c. Freedom of Religion

The constitution states that adequate provisions shall be made for minorities to profess and practice their religions freely, [*] but the government limited freedom of religion in practice. Islam is the state religion, and the constitution requires that laws be consistent with Islam. According to the constitution, Shari’a can be applied to a situation deemed to be in contradiction to the Koran, and therefore citizens who are normally governed by secular law can be subject to Shari’a. Shari’a also was applied in some tribal areas. In the PATA of NWFP, religious advisors assisted judges. All citizens were subject to certain provisions of Shari’a and the blasphemy laws. Freedom of speech is constitutionally subject to “any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam.”

Reprisals and threats of reprisals against suspected converts from Islam occurred. Members of religious minorities were subject to violence and harassment, and at times police refused to prevent such actions or charge persons who committed them, leading to an atmosphere of impunity. The constitution stipulates the president and the prime minister must be Muslim. The prime minister, federal ministers, and ministers of state, as well as elected members of the Senate and National Assembly (including non-Muslims), must take an oath to “strive to preserve the Islamic ideology,” the basis for the creation of the country.

The law declares the Ahmadi community, which considers itself a Muslim sect, to be a non-Muslim minority. The law prohibits Ahmadis, who numbered more than two million, from engaging in any Muslim practices, including use of Muslim greetings, referring to their places of worship as mosques, reciting Islamic prayers, using specific Islamic terms, and participating in the Hajj or Ramadan fast. Ahmadis were prohibited from proselytizing, holding gatherings, or distributing literature. Government forms, including passport applications and voter registration documents, require anyone wishing to be listed as a Muslim to denounce the founder of the Ahmadi faith. The Ahmadi community claimed that during the year, 31 Ahmadis faced criminal charges under religious laws or because of their faith. As of November, there had been four targeted killings of Ahmadis during the year, according to the AHRC.

The penal code calls for the death sentence or life imprisonment for anyone who blasphemes the Prophet Muhammad. The law provides for life imprisonment for desecrating the Koran and as long as 10 years in prison for insulting another’s religious beliefs with the intent to offend religious feelings. The latter was used only against those who allegedly insulted the Prophet Muhammad. Groups such as the Khateme Nabuwwat Movement, which considered anyone who questioned the finality of Prophet Muhammad to be a heretic, were reported to insult Ahmadi beliefs, but authorities did not prosecute these cases.

On June 8, police charged all the residents of Rabwah in Punjab under anti-Ahmadi laws and arrested Muhammad Yunus. The basis for the police charges against the thousands of Rabwah residents, according to the FIR, included lighting fireworks and lamps and greeting each other, which the government considered to be preaching their faith, a crime by law. The case was pending at year’s end.

In August communities near Multan warned Ahmadis in the area to close their places of worship. When they refused, the communities lodged a complaint with local police, alleging the Ahmadis were attempting to proselytize. Police ordered the “temporary closure” of Ahmadi centers in the area. They remained closed at year’s end.

During the year, there were no developments in the January 2007 case in which an Intelligence Bureau district officer ordered the arrest of five Ahmadis, including two minors ages eight and 11, after a teacher discovered the minors carrying an Ahmadi children’s magazine, Tashhizul Azhan. The case received wide press coverage, following which the charges were dropped. The case was re-filed in February 2007 against two adults.

There were no developments in the trial of the March 2007 case of a retired assistant sub-inspector who shot and killed a recent Ahmadi convert in a restaurant in Seerah, near Mandi Bahauddin in Punjab. The retired officer, Riaz Gondal, later surrendered to police and admitted to the killing, claiming the act was justified under Islamic apostasy laws. At year’s end, he was incarcerated and the case was pending.

Complaints under the blasphemy laws were used in business or personal disputes to harass religious minorities or other Muslims, but most complaints were filed against the majority Sunni Muslim community. Many blasphemy complaints were lodged by Sunnis against fellow Sunnis. The appellate courts dismissed most blasphemy cases; the accused, however, often remained in jail for years awaiting the court’s decision. Trial courts were reluctant to release on bail or acquit blasphemy defendants for fear of violence from extremist religious groups. In 2005 the president signed a bill into law revising the complaint process and requiring senior police officials to review such cases in an effort to eliminate spurious charges. According to human rights and religious freedom groups, however, this process was not effective because senior police officers did not have the resources to review the cases. In 2007 courts convicted two individuals and acquitted two others under the blasphemy laws; 71 cases were ongoing at the end of the year.

Societal Abuses and Discrimination

Sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia extremists continued during the year. Shias, Christians, and Ahmadis were also the targets of religious violence across the country.

According to the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), one church, one Hindu temple, and five Ahmadi mosques were attacked and damaged in different parts of the country during the year; four of the seven attacks took place in the province of Punjab.

In the same period, the NCJP reported 53 Ahmadis and 93 Christians faced trials or were in prison on charges of desecrating the Koran.

Human rights lawyer and chairman of the NGO Legal Aid for Destitute and Settlement Parvez Aslam Chaudhry was forced to travel with police security during the year, following an attack on him in January 2006 for his work defending blasphemy cases. Although Punjabi authorities filed a case against an unknown assailant in 2007, no arrests were made during the year.

Ahmadi leaders charged that militant Sunni mullahs and their followers sometimes staged marches through the streets of Rabwah, a predominantly Ahmadi town and spiritual center in central Punjab. The Ahmadis claimed that police generally were present during these marches.

Ahmadi, Christian, Hindu, and Shia Muslim communities reported significant discrimination in employment and access to education, including at government institutions.

Shia, Christian, Hindu, and Ahmadi communities faced discrimination and societal violence. The government removed religiously sensitive material from new textbooks on religious differences and on how to worship. Other religions can opt out of these readings and read the more generic “Book of Ethics.”

For a more detailed discussion, see the 2008 International Religious Freedom Report.

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government

Elections and Political Participation

The government required voters to indicate their religion when registering to vote. The Ahmadi community boycotted the elections, according to the European Union Election Observation Mission, because they were required to register on a separate voter roll.

There were 10 religious minority members in reserved seats in the National Assembly and one served in the cabinet as the Federal Minister for Minorities. Such seats were apportioned to parties based on the percentage of seats each wins in the assembly. Under the law, minorities held 23 reserved seats in the provincial assemblies: eight in Punjab; nine in Sindh; three in NWFP; and three in Balochistan.

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Disability, Language, or Social Status

The constitution provides for equality for all citizens and broadly prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, caste, residence, or place of birth; in practice, however, there was significant discrimination based on each of these factors.

Top of page