UK Parliament urges Pakistan to protect Ahmadis, thrashes law & order situation

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LONDON: The House of Commons, the lower house of British Parliament took once again the issue of safety of Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan and urged the Pakistan Government to make sure their safety and take appropriate measures to protect their fundamental rights as citizens.

The debate on this very sensitive issue was initiated by Imran Ahmad Khan, the Conservative MP from Wakefield, who detailed the history of insecurity and human and properties loss in Pakistan termed the country as “the epicentre of hatred”. He earlier raised a query to weeks before during the question time at the Commons and Prime Minister Boris Johnson while responding to him said that Lord Tariq Ahmad has discussed this issue with Pak minister and we urge Pakistan Government to ensure the fundamental rights of Ahmadiyya community.

On Monday, November 23 a debate titled ‘Persecution of Ahmadis’, was participated by seven members including the Minister for Asia, Nigel Adams MP, mover Imran Ahmad Khan MP, Siobhain McDonagh MP, Fiona Bruce MP, Matt Western MP, John Spellar MP and Elliot Colburn MP. Imran Ahmad Khan acquainted the House about issue of Ahmadi community and political manoeuvrings in Pakistan in detail. The debate started at 7.32 and ended at 8.08pm.

Summarising the debate, the Minister for Asia, Nigel Adams observed that “Followers of other religions including Christians and Shi’as also suffer discrimination and violence in Pakistan. British high commissioner especially went to Rabwah to get first-hand information”.

He informed the House that the Minister for Overseas and Commonwealth Affairs Lord Tariq Ahmad continues to raise this issue at the highest level with Pak Govt officials. “We shall protect our communities in UK from hatred and discrimination”.

Meanwhile, three human rights organizations—the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists—on Thursday called on the Government of Pakistan to probe a recent surge in attacks on Ahmadis and to take prompt action to protect their rights.

In a joint statement, the three groups noted that in the past five months, at least five members of the Ahmadiyya community were killed in seemingly targeted attacks. Noting that only two of these cases have resulted in arrests, the statement warned that “Pakistani authorities have long downplayed, and at times even encouraged, violence against Ahmadis, whose rights to freedom of religion and belief are not respected under Pakistani law.”

India has also criticised the killing of an 82-year-old man due to his Ahmadi faith in Peshawar as a “sad reflection of the state of minorities in Pakistan”. On Sunday, 82-year old Mahboob Khan was shot dead as he stood at a bus terminal in the city of Peshawar. A spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya minority group said that he had been killed for his faith.