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US criticises Pakistan’s anti-terrorism laws on peaceful Ahmadiyya Community

Pakistani laws do not recognise the Ahmadiyya community as Muslims and forbids them from calling themselves members of that religion

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Muslim community people are condemning violent acts (Representative Image), VOA

Washington, Dec 10, 2016: Pakistan’s crackdown on Ahmadiyya community under the guise of anti-terrorist action has been denounced by the State Department and the Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

“We’re obviously very concerned about the reports that Punjab counter-terrorism police have raided the international headquarters of Ahmadiyya — Muslim community in Rabwah,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said here on Friday.

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According to Toner, the country’s laws that restrict peaceful religious expression, particularly by the Ahmadiyya community, “are inconsistent with Pakistan’s international obligations.”

Pakistani laws do not recognise the Ahmadiyya community as Muslims and forbids them from calling themselves members of that religion. But Toner pointedly emphasised that Ahmadiyya is a “Muslim community”.

USCIRF was harsher in its criticism.

“USCIRF condemns the brutal raid on the Ahmadiyya offices, the first such raid since Pakistan amended its constitution 42 years ago declaring that Ahmadis are ‘non-Muslims’,” said Thomas J. Reese, a Catholic priest of the Jesuit order.

“Pakistan’s anti-terrorism laws should not be applied to the peaceful Ahmadiyya community simply because they are Ahmadis,” he added.

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The USCIRF noted in a statement that Pakistan’s Punjab province, where the raid took place, “has a deeply troubling religious freedom record” with two-thirds of all blasphemy cases originating there.

On Monday the Counter-Terrorism Department raided an office of the Ahmadiyya community and arrested several people for publishing religious publications, Tehreek-e-Jadeed and Al-Fazal that the Punjab government had declared as “seditious and treasonable” in 2014.

During this raid “police beat and arrested several Ahmadis who later were charged under provisions in Pakistan’s penal code and Anti-Terrorism Act”, USCIRF said. (IANS)

  • Anila Sadiq

    There is a long history of persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
    despite the fact that none deserve such treatment. we certainly do firmly believe in our silent prayers for ‘Peace’. We, Ahmadi Muslims always try to spread a peaceful message to all regardless of so-called differences among humanity. We always have and always will keep demonstrating “Love for all, hatred for none”.

  • Anila Sadiq

    There is a long history of persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
    despite the fact that none deserve such treatment. we certainly do firmly believe in our silent prayers for ‘Peace’. We, Ahmadi Muslims always try to spread a peaceful message to all regardless of so-called differences among humanity. We always have and always will keep demonstrating “Love for all, hatred for none”.

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  • Anila Sadiq

    There is a long history of persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
    despite the fact that none deserve such treatment. we certainly do firmly believe in our silent prayers for ‘Peace’. We, Ahmadi Muslims always try to spread a peaceful message to all regardless of so-called differences among humanity. We always have and always will keep demonstrating “Love for all, hatred for none”.

  • Anila Sadiq

    There is a long history of persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
    despite the fact that none deserve such treatment. we certainly do firmly believe in our silent prayers for ‘Peace’. We, Ahmadi Muslims always try to spread a peaceful message to all regardless of so-called differences among humanity. We always have and always will keep demonstrating “Love for all, hatred for none”.

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Pakistani Doctors Blame Quacks for Alarming Rise in HIV Cases: Report

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN

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HIV
Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has blamed quack doctors practicing without training and professional certification for an alarming rise in the number of HIV positive patients in the country, the media reported on Wednesday.

The doctors associated with the PMA said that the quacks, especially fake dentists, spread the virus by using instruments that were not sterilized, adding that despite free-of-cost availability of life-saving antiretroviral drugs at government hospitals, mortality ratio among patients carrying the virus was also increasing.

An alarming surge in HIV cases has been witnessed in five districts of Pakistan’s Punjab province, with 70 to 90 cases being reported monthly at the main government health facility in Faisalabad city, Dawn News reported.

Earlier this month, an international team of experts from the World Health Organization kicked off an investigation into the sudden HIV outbreak in Pakistan’s Sindh province after over 700 people were diagnosed with the virus in a matter of weeks, most of them were children.

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School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016. (VOA)

Following the outbreak, authorities launched a crackdown on unqualified doctors as well as illegal blood banks and laboratories said to be involved in spreading the disease. At least 17 quack doctors were arrested and more than 70 clinics in Larkana district were shut down, according to Xinhua news agency.

According to the PMA, over 600,000 quacks are currently practicing in the country with more than 80,000 based in Punjab province alone.

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The association demanded the government to make all-out efforts to stop the menace of quackery in the country.

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN. (IANS)