Court sentences Ahmedis to death over blasphemy while Pakistan earns seat at UN’s Human Rights Council

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ISLAMABAD: (Christian Times) – Renowned rights activist Kashif N Chaudhry on Tuesday came up with scathing criticism of Pakistan earning a seat at the United Nations (UN) Council of Human Rights just days after its court sentenced three Ahmedis to death in a blasphemy case.

As it happened, a court in Punjab had last week sentenced three Ahmedi Muslims to death after they had been alleged of having torn apart posters with holy verses written on them. The facts were, however, different. The three men had actually taken down posters that had been calling for their social boycott.

It is pertinent to mention here that the actual number of these arrested men wasn’t three but four. One of them had been gunned down after being arrested in police custody. Instead of making sure that the police caught the murderers, the court sentenced the remaining three of them to death.

Under such conditions, with such laws and institutions guarding those laws, it is to amusement of many that Pakistan was able to secure a seat at the UN’s Human Rights Council.

Kashif reminded the readers of how Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif had to apologise for meeting Ahmadi leaders in the United States during his visit there. The minister also said that he had firm belief in Ahmadis being infidels and stated that he had met them by mistake as he didn’t know who he was meeting at the time of the encounter.

Fact is that Pakistan has a human rights record not worthy of being mentioned. Its constitution is discriminatory and the people running the government as well as the institutions are visibly bigoted against the Ahmadiyya community in particular.

It is pertinent to mention here that even the people who do try to speak up in favour of the persecuted community gets labelled and also taken to the task by the so-called religious scholars. Only last year, a renowned actor Hamza Ali Abbasi was taken off air by the media regulatory body PEMRA for speaking up against the discriminatory laws that govern the relationship between the state and the Ahmadis.

Pakistan acquiring a seat at the UN Human Rights Council has come as a shock to everyone who is aware of how the minorities, both ethnic and religious, are discriminated against in the country.