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Legal Persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan

Delissa A Ridgway, Amjad Mahmood Khan, Katrina Lantos Swett, Usman Karim-ud-Din, Harrison Akins, and Mahmood Ahmad

The program explores the legal issues surrounding the ongoing persecution of Ahmadi Muslins and discuss options for response.

In 1974, a Pakistan constitutional amendment declared Ahmadis non-Muslims, denying them the right to self-identify as Muslims and effectively excluding them from exercising other basic citizenship rights. In addition to these provisions, Pakistan maintains several laws, including criminal blasphemy and anti-Ahmadiyya laws, that further restrict freedom of religion or belief and are often used to target religious minorities. On March 7, 2023, the District Bar Association of Gujranwala announced a new requirement that any individual seeking admittance to the Bar of Pakistan in Gujranwala must positively assert that they are Muslim and denounce the teachings of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and specifically its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. A similar notice was issued by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council on May 3, 2023.

Pakistan ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in 1966 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 2010, the later with limited reservations.