Pakistan minorities commission excludes Ahmadi religious group

Islamists in Pakistan protest the appointment of an Ahmadi as government adviser in Lahore, Sept. 7, 2018. Credit: A M Syed/Shutterstock.

Pakistan’s government has declined to include the Ahmadi religious group in its National Commission for Minorities, drawing attention to the group whose Muslim self-identification is rejected by many Muslims.

The Catholic News Agency noted a Reuters report saying that Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs said Ahmadis should not be included in the commission “given the religious and historical sensitivity of the issue.” Pakistan’s constitution does not recognize the Ahmadis as Muslim.

However, Ahmadis consider themselves part of Islam. The movement was founded in 1889 in British-ruled India. They consider their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad a “subordinate prophet.” Other Muslims see this as a violation of the tenet that Muhammad was the last prophet.

There are about 500,000 Ahmadis in Pakistan and up to 20 million adherents worldwide. Some observers estimate the Ahmadi population in Pakistan is higher, but persecution encourages Ahmadis to hide their identity.

Pakistan’s religious freedom record has been a matter of international concern.

The 2020 report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has said Ahmadis continue to face “severe persecution from authorities as well as societal harassment due to their beliefs.”

Read details at Catholic News Agency