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Ahmadis residing in Germany fear deportation to Pak

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Berlin | April 15, 2021 12:44:03 PM IST
As the persecution against the minority community of Ahmadis continues to mount in Pakistan and overseas, Ahmadi Muslims are threatened with deportation from Germany.

However, according to DW News Agency, other countries have recognized the need for the protection of a minority often persecuted in Pakistan under the Imran Khan government.

"The exclusion of Ahmadis is even enshrined in the constitution [of Pakistan]," said Mohammad Suleman Malik, spokesman for the Ahmadi community in the German states of Thuringia and Saxony, as quoted by DW news agency.

Some 535 Ahmadis are currently being threatened with deportation in Germany. A spokesperson for the interior ministry told DW that merely belonging to this religious community is not sanctioned under criminal law in Pakistan. This is why "cases are examined individually on the basis of the individual circumstances."

Malik was sceptical about this. "Ahmadis in Pakistan are not safe anywhere," he said. "Ahmadis are also regularly murdered in Rabwah." He said that the deportations are politically motivated. After the pandemic put them on hold temporarily, the council claims that the German government wanted to make their mark with a tough migration policy in this important election year.

"I think there is a lack of knowledge or political will. This, unfortunately, comes at the detriment of the persecuted people who live here and are now being deported in droves," Malik said, shaking his head.

"It's a matter of life and death for these people," he added. Ahmad families are not optimistic about their prospects. "Germans live in freedom, they may not understand -- but when you come here from Pakistan and leave everything behind, you carry a pain with you," said Sahar Kalsoon, a mother and a wife of an Ahmadi told DW.

"It's not easy to leave a country and leave everything behind. And now that we're here, we're told we can't stay here. But where can we go?"

Her husband fears there will be repercussions if they return, as happened to his uncle who returned from the UK in 2005 back to Pakistan. A rumour circulated in the village that he, an Ahmadi, was a foreign spy. He was lynched by a mob.

Ahmadis, a four million-strong minority group in Pakistan, have been facing death threats, intimidation and a sustained hate campaign for decades.

Revealing the ongoing human rights abuses in Pakistan, yet another rights group has disclosed how the lives of minority communities in the country are perpetually under siege, and religious minorities are treated as "non-citizens", one without a voice and any legally protected rights.

The Centre for Democracy, Pluralism and Human Rights (CDPHR), in its report released earlier this month, said, "Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan are forced to lead lives which are perpetually under siege. Theoretically, Pakistan's Constitution provides equal rights to all citizens, but these are only on paper. Religious minorities - Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Ahmadis even Shias - are treated as non-citizens. They are people without a voice; people without any constitutionally or legally protected right

Last year, a 168-page report by the UK-based All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Ahmadi Muslim Community had revealed details about the discrimination the Ahmadi community has been facing in Pakistan.

The report titled "Suffocation of the Faithful - the persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan and the rise of International Extremism" categorically says that persecution against the peace-loving community intensified following the partition of the Indian subcontinent and the formation of Pakistan.

"This culminated in the events of 1974 when Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto turned the anti-Ahmadi movement into fully-fledged state-sponsored persecution. He enacted a 1974 Constitutional Amendment specifically targeting Ahmadi Muslims, declaring them 'not Muslims for purposes of law and constitution'. It was a watershed moment in Pakistan's history", said the report. (ANI)

 
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