Denied voting

Pakistan: Ahmadi Muslims won’t vote on 25th – spokesperson

LAHORE: Spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan Saleem-ud-Din has dissociated the community from the upcoming general elections.

He said though the elections are ostensibly being held under a joint electoral system, there is, however, a separate voter list for Ahmadi Muslims. The process for the registration of votes and the preparation of the voter lists is now completed.

The forms issued for the registration of the votes include the religion box and the Oath-Declaration. “Currently there is one voter list that includes all religious groups including Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Sikhs, whereas in the case of Ahmadi Muslims, a separate voter list is being prepared bearing the titles Qadiani Men/Women. This ‘discriminatory’ treatment on the basis of religion is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise the Ahmadi Muslims of Pakistan from the electoral process by to all intents and purposes denying them their right of vote. Such prejudicial behaviour is an open violation of Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims as citizens of the state and goes against the vision of the founding father of the country Muhammad Ali Jinnah and contravenes the constitution and the joint electoral system,” the spokesperson alleged.

He said under these circumstances, Ahmadi Muslims consider taking part in the elections against their faith. And if there is anyone who may be contesting these elections as an Ahmadi, then he cannot and should not be seen as a representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as a whole and nor will any Ahmadi Muslim accept him as such, he added.

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