Anticipated Religious Lockdown Ahead

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Mohsin Sheikh;
The pandora box opening of Ahmadis rights has brought a lot of criticism on the federal government lead by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The inclusion of Ahmadis into the National Commission for Minorities has incited agitation among Muslims of all sects in Pakistan. Upon which the Ministry of Religious Affairs approached the federal cabinet to review their decision. Pakistan has already faced nationwide strikes, sit ins, and censure by people for religious affiliations. Apparently, the federal government hasn’t learned from past incidents. Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims in 1974 by the then party (Pakistan People’s Party) in power. However, even now, neither they call themselves non-Muslims nor they accept the supreme law of the land. If they call themselves Muslims and are unwilling to accept the constitutional identity, then why on earth they want to be inducted in the National Commission for Minorities.

It is one of the primary fundamentals of Islam to have firm belief in the finality of prophethood of Muhammad (SAW) which shall never at any cost be compromised. Meanwhile, Ahmadis contention of being Muslims is frivolous, made up, and in contradiction of the very concept of Emaan. As it has been clearly stated in Holy Quran, “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.”- Surah Al Ahzab 33: 40. The unrest caused by the issue before hands during this pandemic may escalate unanticipated outcomes. In addition, Noorul Haq Qadri’s, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, stated that no member of any sect shall be included in National Commission for Minorities till they accept the Constitution of Pakistan while clarifying the issue few days back. However, this statement too has infuriated common people as the Ahmadis are not to be inducted in National Commission for Minorities since they are apostates. In other words, they are negators of the fundamentals of Islam and thus, are not non-Muslims but are apostates and must not be recognized and included in the National Commission for Minorities. To recapitulate, perchance federal government is deliberately trying to give favors to Ahmadi Community of the country which has and shall bring catastrophic political cum social outcomes. Similarly, the federal government seems to violate section 295-A of Pakistan Penal Code which states, “Whoever, with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the ‘religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.” Furthermore, if they induct them in the aforementioned commission, they are deliberately and directly giving them the green signal to preach and propagate their “cooked up” religion, thus violating section 298-C of Pakistan Penal Code. Apparently, they’ll have to amend several laws and suppress nationwide sit ins, strikes, and commotions. -The author is a lawyer, human rights activist and adjunct faculty member of University of the Punjab.