LAHORE: The Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya (JA) announced its disassociation from the Pakistan general elections 2013 on Sunday to protest the discrimination shown towards the community, ‘more than all other religious minorities’.
A separate voter list, specifically for Ahmadis on the basis of religious beliefs is outright discrimination and against the spirit of a joint electorate, JA spokesperson Saleemudin said in a press release.
According to the election rules the basic eligibility for a voter is Pakistani citizenship, not the religious or ideological beliefs a citizen holds, he observed. Despite this rule, in order to register to vote, Ahmadis have to provide their addresses, disassociate themselves from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and appear on a separate list.
While there is meant to be a single voter list for all citizens, special orders were issued to prepare separate voter lists only for Ahmadis in the 2002 and 2008 general elections. For the 2013 general elections this was not changed.
This is the worst kind of discrimination, the press release stated, adding that such bigotry runs against the conventions on human rights that Pakistan has signed.
The JA spokesperson said he had written to the ECP to resolve this issue, but nothing had been done to address the community’s grievances.