Monday, June 20, 2011

Embassy should have remained silent instead of lying

The Nation, Thailand
Opinion »
Embassy should have remained silent instead of lying
Published on June 20, 2011
Re: “Ahmadiya people are safe in Pakistan” June 18, 2011

I understand that it is the job of embassy staff to defend their country in foreign lands. However, there should be some decency to avoid complete fabrication of truth.

The Department of Consular Affairs, Embassy of Pakistan has the audacity to claim that lives of Ahmadi Muslims is not in mortal danger, and there is no persecution at state level of the Ahmadiya Muslim community.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A simple search on Google will list reports from the US, EU, UN and Asian human rights organisations that clearly document persecution faced by Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan on a daily basis.

The embassy should try to tell about the safety in Pakistan to widows and orphans of Ahmadis who were massacred in their own mosques. What will the embassy say to the old parents who had to bury their sons killed for being an Ahmadi Muslim?

Even as I write this letter, leaflets and posters are all being distributed in Faisalabad (one of the largest cities in Pakistan) that openly encourage Pakistanis to “kill all Ahmadis” in order to receive their high station in paradise. Is this the definition of Pakistan as a safe heaven for Ahmadis?

It is the state law that declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims thus encouraging killing of Ahmadis as apostates. If this was not enough, special ordinance was passed to ensure that any act of an Ahmadi Muslim to practise his or her faith becomes blasphemous in the eyes of the law.

In a country where a provincial governor and a minister of the state were killed in broad daylight for speaking against the blasphemy law, I am astonished how the counsellor affairs can sing songs about the safety of Ahmadi Muslims.

Shame on the Consular Affairs, it would have better to keep quiet!

Farhan Khokhar
Ontario, Canada

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