Following is a statement issued yesterday by individuals and organizations representing a cross section of Pakistani Canadian communities. The Statement discusses the most recent victimization of Ahmedis in Pakistan in the context of discriminatory laws that encourage the extreme right to carry out acts of terrorism against religion-based minority populations, and demands changes in the Eighth Amendment of the 1973 Constitution to award Ahmedis full citizenship rights.
Please view the statement below, and add your name to it via Comments. I will do the same after posting it.
The Massacre of over 80 Ahmedis in Pakistan: Yet another crime by Fundamentalist Terrorists
We, the undersigned Canadians of Pakistani origin, strongly condemn the massacre of over eighty and the wounding of many more Ahmedi citizens of Pakistan assembled in their mosques
in Lahore to offer Friday prayers on May 28, 2010.
Our heart-felt sympathies and condolences go to the loved ones of those killed and injured in the brutal and unprovoked attacks. The harassment, persecution and killing of Ahmedis which began in the early 1950s – and has come to include Christians, Zikris and Shias in the intervening six decades – is partly an attempt to divide people and partly to divert their attention from the
pressing issues of poverty and inequality and denial of national rights fostered by an undemocratic and exploitative set-up.
We deplore the escalating trend in Pakistan to promote hatred and religious bigotry against the Ahmedi community through the media of mass communication, press and pulpit.
We condemn the negligence at all levels of the government of Pakistan to restrain and prosecute under law all those who openly incite violence against the Ahmedi, or any religious community,
through their inflammatory speeches, sermons and fatwas.
As the Asia Human Rights Commission points out Ahmedi citizens of Pakistan do not have the right to vote under the eighth amendment of the 1973 Constitution and have no freedom to practice their faith, belief, practice or worship. In spite of its claim to be a democracy the government of Pakistan has shown no inclination to repeal its disgraceful laws and regulations against the Ahmedis.
We demand that the present democratically elected parliament of Pakistan remove from the constitution of the country and all statute books discriminatory clauses and regulations referring to the religious beliefs and institutions of minority citizens, and withdraw forthwith the much abused ‘blasphemy law’.
We urge the present government of Pakistan to take full responsibility for the protection of life and liberty of all its citizen, irrespective of their religious beliefs, national or ethnic affiliation
or political creed and stop hiding behind phony assertions of “foreign hands.”
We demand that the political leadership of Pakistan return to the golden rule enunciated by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that “religion has no place in the affairs of the state.”
Toronto, May 29, 2010
. Abdul Hamid Bashani Khan (South Asian People’s Forum)
. Abbas Syed (Committee of Progressive Pakistani Canadians)
. Anwar Ahmad (Society of Pakistani Professionals and Academics)
. Frenk Saptel (The Left Institute)
. Haider Nizamani
. Hassan Nawaz Gardezi
. Khair Mohammad Kolachi
. Munir Pervaiz (Saami)
. Nadeem Ahmed
. Nazeer Chaudhry
. Omar Latif (Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians)
. Pervaiz Salahuddin (Family of the Heart)
. Syed Azeem (South Asian Peopleos Forum)
. Tariq Amin Khan
. Zahid Makhdoom
. Zulfiqar Gilani (Pashtun Peace Forum)
Feel free to add your name to it via Comments.
You do not have to be a Pakistani Canadian to support Ahmedi human rights in Pakistan.