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Did Modi Government Ignore The Most Persecuted Minority In World Under New Citizenship Bill?

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With the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the Modi Government had laid a path to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted migrants i.e. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before 31 December 2014.

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Has the Modi Government ignored the Ahmadiyya sect which is by far the most oppressed minority group in Pakistan and not even considered Muslims by the constitution of the country?

The Ahmadiyya sect has been subjected to extreme forms of religious oppression and discrimination since the movement’s inception in 1889. The Ahmadiyya Muslim movement arose from the Sunni tradition of Islam and its followers believe in all the five pillars and articles of faith required of Muslims.

Ahmadis are considered non-Muslims by many mainstream Muslims since they consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the movement, to be the promised Mahdi and Messiah awaited by the Muslims.

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The Second Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan and Ordinance XX declare Ahmadis to be non-Muslims and further deprive them of religious rights. Hundreds of Ahmadis were killed in the 1953 Lahore riots and the 1974 Anti-Ahmadiyya riots.

The May 2010 Attacks on Ahmadi mosques, infamously known as the Lahore Massacre, resulted in the murder of 84 Ahmadis by suicide attack. The 1974 riots resulted in the largest number of killings of Ahmadis.

In a number of countries, Ahmadis have faced strong resistance. In many Muslim-majority nations, Ahmadis have been considered apostates and non-Muslim and subjected to persecution and systematic, sometimes state-sanctioned, oppression.

Approximately 2–5 million Ahmadis live in Pakistan, which has the largest population of Ahmadis in the world. It is the only state to have officially declared the Ahmadis to be non-Muslims as they do not consider Muhammad to be the final prophet; and their freedom of religion has been curtailed by a series of ordinances, acts and constitutional amendments.

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In 1974, Pakistan’s parliament adopted a law declaring Ahmadis to be non-Muslims; the country’s constitution was amended to define a Muslim “as a person who believes in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad”.

The treatment of religious minorities continues to be authorised by the Government of Pakistan. It is evidently deficient to protect these minority groups adequately or at all, especially from targeted, systematic and foreseeable (and preventable) violence. As the USCIRF reports, the laws not only curb the rights of non-Muslims but also Shi’a Muslims and Ahmadis.

In 2014,  a case involving four Ahmadi men were imprisoned for allegedly removing posters mentioning anti-Ahmadi slogans and prosecuted on blasphemy charges. In 2017, three of them were sentenced to death and the fourth man died in police custody.

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Ahmadis in Pakistan are also barred by law from worshipping in non-Ahmadi mosques or public prayer rooms, performing the Muslim call to prayer, using the traditional Islamic greeting in public, publicly quoting from the Quran, preaching in public, seeking converts, or producing, publishing, and disseminating their religious materials.

These acts are considered illegal by imprisonment of up to three years. In applying for a passport or a national ID card, all Pakistanis are required to sign an oath declaring Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be an impostor prophet and all Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. The word “Muslim” was erased from the gravestone of the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Abdus Salam, because he was an Ahmadi.

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For the five million Ahmadis, religious persecution has been particularly severe and systematic in Pakistan, which is the only state to have officially declared that Ahmadis are non-Muslims. Pakistani laws prohibit the Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims, and their freedom of religion has been curtailed by a series of ordinances, acts and constitutional amendments.

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Pakistan Unhappy With The Arrest, Expulsion Of ‘Spy Diplomats’ By India

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India recently expelled two officials of the Pakistan high commission after they were arrested by the security forces on charges of espionage, the Indian external affairs ministry said.

According to reports, three officials of the Pakistani mission were detained on Sunday while allegedly trying to obtain classified information on the Indian security establishment. The Indian move came as tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours are already high.

The three men initially reportedly insisted that they were Indians and even displayed fake Aadhar cards, the officials said. “Later, during interrogation, they admitted they were officials at the Pakistan high commission and worked for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI),” according to reports in the Indian media.

A case was registered against them under the Official Secrets Act. Consequently, the government ordered the expulsion of Abid and Khan, who both work for the visa section at the Pakistani mission.

“The government has declared both these officials persona non grata for indulging in activities incompatible with their status as members of a diplomatic mission and asked them to leave the country within twenty-four hours,” read an official handout issued by the Indian foreign ministry, which also summoned the Pakistani chargé d’affaires on the issue.

But within hours of the Indian move, Pakistan reacted sharply and denounced the expulsion of its diplomats. “The Indian action has been accompanied by a negative pre-planned and orchestrated media campaign, which is a part of persistent anti-Pakistan propaganda,” said a foreign office statement.

The statement said the two staff members of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were detained by the Indian authorities on “false and unsubstantiated charges.” They were, however, released on intervention by the High Commission.

“We condemn the detention and torture as well as threatening and pressuring of the diplomatic officials to accept false charges,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui. She said Pakistan strongly rejected the baseless Indian allegations and condemned the Indian action calling it a violation of the Vienna Convention.

“The High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi has always worked within the parameters of international law and diplomatic norms. The Indian action is clearly aimed at shrinking diplomatic space for the working of Pakistan High Commission,” she added.

Later, Indian Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office for a demarche over declaring two officials of Pakistan High Commission persona non grata.

“The Indian Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office for a strong demarche, conveying Pakistan’s condemnation of the Indian decision to declare two officials of the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi persona non grata and rejection of all baseless Indian allegations against the High Commission officials,” a Foreign Office statement stated.

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Featured

Pakistan Unhappy Over The Arrest, Expulsion Of ‘Spy Diplomats’ By India

Published

on

India recently expelled two officials of the Pakistan high commission after they were arrested by the security forces on charges of espionage, the Indian external affairs ministry said.

According to reports, three officials of the Pakistani mission were detained on Sunday while allegedly trying to obtain classified information on the Indian security establishment. The Indian move came as tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours are already high.

The three men initially reportedly insisted that they were Indians and even displayed fake Aadhar cards, the officials said. “Later, during interrogation, they admitted they were officials at the Pakistan high commission and worked for the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI),” according to reports in the Indian media.

A case was registered against them under the Official Secrets Act. Consequently, the government ordered the expulsion of Abid and Khan, who both work for the visa section at the Pakistani mission.

“The government has declared both these officials persona non grata for indulging in activities incompatible with their status as members of a diplomatic mission and asked them to leave the country within twenty-four hours,” read an official handout issued by the Indian foreign ministry, which also summoned the Pakistani chargé d’affaires on the issue.

But within hours of the Indian move, Pakistan reacted sharply and denounced the expulsion of its diplomats. “The Indian action has been accompanied by a negative pre-planned and orchestrated media campaign, which is a part of persistent anti-Pakistan propaganda,” said a foreign office statement.

The statement said the two staff members of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were detained by the Indian authorities on “false and unsubstantiated charges.” They were, however, released on intervention by the High Commission.

“We condemn the detention and torture as well as threatening and pressuring of the diplomatic officials to accept false charges,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui. She said Pakistan strongly rejected the baseless Indian allegations and condemned the Indian action calling it a violation of the Vienna Convention.

“The High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi has always worked within the parameters of international law and diplomatic norms. The Indian action is clearly aimed at shrinking diplomatic space for the working of Pakistan High Commission,” she added.

Later, Indian Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office for a demarche over declaring two officials of Pakistan High Commission persona non grata.

“The Indian Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office for a strong demarche, conveying Pakistan’s condemnation of the Indian decision to declare two officials of the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi persona non grata and rejection of all baseless Indian allegations against the High Commission officials,” a Foreign Office statement stated.

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China Warns India Of Economical Repercussions If It Supports The US In Cold War Against China

China’s aim of upholding friendly ties with India hasn’t changed, so Beijing will still provide assistance to India by boosting bilateral partnership to help its economic recovery and expanding bilateral trade ties.

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As US-China tensions intensify, Chinese state media – Global Times writes that many experts are predicting that both nations are set to enter a Cold War and advises India to stay away from US-China rivalry.

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GT writes – with sentiment building in India, many experts have urged New Delhi to join the new Cold War and utilise the situation. Such senseless opinions are nothing but ridiculous and should not influence the Indian government’s position.

GT claims that India has little to gain from interfering in US-China dispute and Modi government needs to face the new geopolitical development objectively and reasonably. India needs to be cautious not to include the US factor in its approach with China.

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The same holds true in China-India border conflict and the offer of US arbitration is worthless as both China and India have the ability to resolve their problems bilaterally.

In a possible US-China Cold War, India must not favour the US or becomes a US pawn against China as it would deteriorate economic ties between both the nations and the Indian economy may not be able to take ‘financial hit’ at such time, GT cautions.

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China’s aim of upholding friendly ties with India hasn’t changed, so Beijing will still provide assistance to India by boosting bilateral partnership to help its economic recovery and expanding bilateral trade ties.

GT warns that China doesn’t want to see a situation where politics leads to financial consequences, so Modi government is encouraged to view the India-China ties with the practical mindset instead of being lured by nationalist sentiment.

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