Ahmadis disassociate from Pakistan elections

Published: May 5, 2013

Ahmadiyya spokesperson says separate voter list based on religion is worst form of discrimination. PHOTO: CREATIVE COMMONS

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.

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Reader Comments (72)

  • omer
    May 5, 2013 - 6:19PM

    Should the diaspora of pakistanies living abroad who support this view of discrimination, be not allowed to vote in western countries?

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  • Hammad Javed
    May 5, 2013 - 6:22PM

    Is it a requirment that one has to be Muslim to vote in these elections? Is there any restriction on atheists to vote? Do we have to sign some form declaring we’re theists or something before the election office staff allows people to vote?

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  • Malik
    May 5, 2013 - 6:25PM

    So Ahmadis have become the “Jews of Germany” in Pakistan. Unfortunately Ahmadis are just one of the many matters. People are being murdered daily on the basis of being Shia, Baluch, Pathan, Sindhi and Urdu Speaking. In Pakistan its Sunni vs Shia, Sunni, Shia vs Ahmadis, Baluch vs Punjabi, Pathan vs Urdu Speaking, Taliban vs Pakistan. The list and the combinations are creatively endless.Recommend

  • Asif
    May 5, 2013 - 6:26PM

    Atleast the Ahmadis have got a jamaat of their own and get media coverage.They’re claim of being the most oppressed minority doesn’t hold water.Atheists & agnostics are so discriminated against that they have to live in the closet.Any expression of being an atheist in Pakistani society would bring an immediate beheading at the hands of the faithful.
    The Ahmadis are in a much better position in Pakistan than the atheists.

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  • Umer
    May 5, 2013 - 6:30PM

    What may not be clear to readers is that there is one voter lists for ALL the citizens of the country and separate list specifically for Ahmadis only. Which is amazingly discriminatory. As an added bonus the list also contains the addresses.Recommend

  • Hamaad Haider
    May 5, 2013 - 6:35PM

    Dear Ahmedis, I apologise on behalf of our country’s bigotry. I apologise for Bhutto and Zia-ul-Haq’s religious manipulation against the Ahmedis, and them perverting the legistation to declare you non-Muslims. I apologise for the various PPP and PML governments that followed, and that of the so-called reformist General who had absolute power, who did not repeal such provisions in legislation. I now apologise for the so-called revolutionary Imran Khan, who thinks himself qualified enough to declare you non-Muslim. Only if these bigots remembered that this is not their Pakistan, this is Jinnah’s Pakistan, and Jinnah said on 5th May 1944 “Ahmedis are Muslims if they say they are Muslims and no one, not even the sovereign legislature has the right to say otherwise.

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  • Ahmad
    May 5, 2013 - 6:41PM

    Dr. Abdus Salam, this is how Pakistan repays you..by ensuring you stay excluded!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 5, 2013 - 6:47PM

    What else they would do?. They groomed Imran but he has backed off. There is no point in casting their votes.

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  • FACT
    May 5, 2013 - 6:47PM

    Whatever, suits them. They have already disassociated themseleves from rest of the muslim world now disassocaiting with elections in Pakistan should not be a big thing for them.

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  • Disgusted
    May 5, 2013 - 6:50PM

    Isn’t it shameful that a community that was asked to support the creation of Pakistan by the Quaid-e-Azam himself, and served tirelessly to support and strengthen it, has to resort to this type of peaceful protest against the vicious and deadly persecution it continues to suffer?

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  • Hairaan
    May 5, 2013 - 7:00PM

    Is this news worth publishing?

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    May 5, 2013 - 7:01PM

    This is realy sily. every pakistani has right to vote weater he is beliver or non beliver. This is basic right of human . Recommend

  • INDIAN SHIA
    May 5, 2013 - 7:03PM

    In INDIA ahmadiya s are called ahmadiya muslim. We all r muslim here

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  • Muhammad
    May 5, 2013 - 7:03PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    Do you have any merit in your claim, Ahmadies’ groomed IK??? Funny, isnt it.

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    May 5, 2013 - 7:07PM

    What is this system ? Separate list will anybody explain me pls

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  • Wonderstruck
    May 5, 2013 - 7:09PM

    All citizens should be equal under law and treated the same irrespective of colour, creed or gender. This discriminatory, nay, persecutory attitude by Pakistan’s governments and many of its citizens disgusts me and makes me ashamed to belong to the Sunni majority.
    The hypocrisy of denying some citizens their basic rights.Recommend

  • Zia-Ur-Rehman
    May 5, 2013 - 7:10PM

    This is hight of discrimination in Pakistan. I dont think that this is the Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam. Allah may keep my coutry safe from such non sense stuff.
    Long Live Pakistan.

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  • Aysha
    May 5, 2013 - 7:13PM

    @Hairaan:
    comment is so reflective of the mind set of exclusion in Pakistan

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  • javaid iqbal randhawa
    May 5, 2013 - 7:14PM

    Please do not link Imran Khan with Qadyanis. Yes separate voter list does not make sense when u are electing ur MNA or MPA. If on minority seat elections are required then they may have separate lists.

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  • Omer bin Abdulaziz
    May 5, 2013 - 7:16PM

    @INDIAN SHIA:
    You says this because you don’t know what a Muslim is.

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  • Insaan
    May 5, 2013 - 7:23PM

    @INDIAN SHIA:
    These lists can be used in future if Sunnis decide to punish Ahmadis on large scale. No party can survive in Pakistan by opposing talibans. There is a good chance talibans will take over in the near future.

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    May 5, 2013 - 7:23PM

    @Omer bin Abdulaziz:
    What r u talking abt dear? We do belive in one ALLAH. We do offer NAMAZ. We do celebrate Eid. What else we need to become pure muslim? Even now we enjoy holi.

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  • May 5, 2013 - 7:36PM

    he the best

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  • ali
    May 5, 2013 - 7:38PM

    @FACT:
    not cool man…they are first and foremost pakistanis.. they are our brothers … do not do the same what the western world do to us

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  • ali
    May 5, 2013 - 7:39PM

    @Hairaan:
    yes absolutely… their problems should be highlighted in the media.. they are the oppressed

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  • Salman
    May 5, 2013 - 7:40PM

    Dear Indian Shia, did you take Omer bin Abdulaziz’s permission before calling yourself muslim? Don’t you know Omer bin Abdulaziz can read one’s heart. Please don’t make this mistake again. Regards, Former Sinner.

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  • ali
    May 5, 2013 - 7:41PM

    @INDIAN SHIA:
    who invites you here man…no need to tell us what happens in your country.. go read your own newspapers for god sake

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  • Wonderstruck
    May 5, 2013 - 7:42PM

    @INDIAN SHIA: You may also be surprised to learn that as a Shia your life and limb will be in jeopardy if you enter a “Sunni Muslim” mosque in Pakistan, conversely many Sunni in this country will miss Juma rather than join a Shia jamat.
    We take our prejudiced ignorance very seriously as we have been misled by ignorant Ulema for generations.

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    May 5, 2013 - 7:55PM

    @ali:
    Dear I do read my news. N yes i do read only pakistani web as international bcas i want to know what is happening there so we can leran something frm u.

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  • Wonderstruck
    May 5, 2013 - 7:57PM

    @ali: would you prefer not to learn from others? Are we so perfect?

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  • wow
    May 5, 2013 - 7:58PM

    @ali:Sad state of affairs everywhere. Striving to be like India might just help us a tad bit, but wait, that suggestion in and of itself must be blasphemous.Recommend

  • Zog
    May 5, 2013 - 8:02PM

    There should be just one criteria….PAKISTANI…that’s all…every one should have equal opportunity in Pakistan.

    There should be NO discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or sex. TAKE THE NARROW MINDED VERSION OF RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS…ENOUGH.Recommend

  • Zog
    May 5, 2013 - 8:05PM

    There should be just one criteria….PAKISTANI…that’s all…every one should have equal opportunity in Pakistan.

    There should be NO discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or sex. TAKE THE NARROW MINDED FOREIGN FUNDED MULLA’S VERSION OF RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS…ENOUGH

    Pakistanis from the Ahmadia community are equal citizens period.

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  • Umber
    May 5, 2013 - 8:14PM

    @Indian Shia: just do the opposite of what Pskistan does and trust me by the grace of God, you will prosper. Amen.

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  • Raj
    May 5, 2013 - 8:20PM

    @Omer bin Abdulaziz:

    The problem is not that Indian Shia does not know what Muslims is. The problem is that “you” in Muslim world in general and Pakistan in particular know what Muslim is and want others to stick to it.

    Does that make any sense to “you” ?

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  • Gp65
    May 5, 2013 - 8:24PM

    @javaid iqbal randhawa: In India there are no separate voters lst. Even on reserved seats there is a common voters list. The only thing different about reserved seats is that the candidate must be from the reserved category. So it does not make sense to have a separate voters list even for reserved seats.

    @ your dig at Imran aside, do you support this type of discrimination against a fellow Pakistani?

    @Hairaan the very fact that you do not consider such blatant discrimination of a fellow Pakistani as newsworthy shows that you consider such discrimination as acceptable.

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    May 5, 2013 - 8:28PM

    @Insaan:
    Dear I asked how they used separated list to cadt their vote? So if in Lahore seat thr is 10000 shamadi voter they can vote or not?

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  • Zia-Ur-Rehman
    May 5, 2013 - 8:41PM

    I agree 100%, that there should be only one voter list just Pakistani ((JA) Joint Electorate), Making seprate list based upon religion is just lik target killing.
    Allah may give sense to our leaders & law makers.
    Long Live Pakistan.

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  • Kenneth
    May 5, 2013 - 8:48PM

    @ Zog : Agree with u 100%

    We have forgotten being Pakistani’s , its just religon we keep front first and that as well according to our needs . What not is done in the name of religion in Pakistan . People in other countries say that Pakistani’s have spoilt the name of Islam with their strange views and propganda . Being a Pakistani it hurts when someone say’s something about our country or people but at the end its a fact whcih we cant deny.

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  • pakistani bacha
    May 5, 2013 - 9:06PM

    davidation on the basis of religion is worst kind of discrimination.all citizens are equal then why govt is doing such ridiculous things?what would religion do in vote casting?

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  • May 5, 2013 - 9:29PM

    @INDIAN SHIA:
    My brother you can enjoy Diwali, Holi [with all the works like Bhaang,music etc etc],Sankrant -fly kites, but please dont leave India.

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  • Mansoor
    May 5, 2013 - 10:20PM

    Election commission should take swift action on this discrimination and set an example for all world that in Pakistan there is no sectarianism and no discrimination on any ground nor religious neither racial.

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  • M M Malik
    May 5, 2013 - 10:52PM

    Why separate lists. Why are we afraid of the Ahmadies? In my 82 years on the earth, I have not seen them being un-Islamic or un-patriotic.

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  • SM
    May 5, 2013 - 11:03PM

    @INDIAN SHIA

    This is how two nation theory looks like in practice. Aint Jinnah brilliant?

    This is what he wanted for whole of India if Congress had let go on the bargaining table during the cabinet mission plan. And thank god they didn’t. At least now we have evidence that was a false theory and it didn’t work.

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  • R A
    May 5, 2013 - 11:04PM

    Who is happy to day
    FAZAL OR IMRAN
    Perhaps BOTH
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  • Zog
    May 5, 2013 - 11:18PM

    Very encouraging to see such positive comments on this article – I hope Pakistani minority groups realize as far as we/the respondents are concerned – we are equal, we are one nation, we are proud that you/we are all part of this nation – we all need to work to rescue it from the nightmare unleashed by foreign funded and home grown extremists.

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  • javaid iqbal randhawa
    May 5, 2013 - 11:26PM

    GP65 U cannot understand. As minority cannot be elected because of less voters so to give them representation in parliament, they have been given additional seats on which minorities can only be elected by minority voters. That is sweet thing given in constitution for their representation. Hope u get answer

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  • india ahmadi
    May 5, 2013 - 11:48PM

    we are blessed to be living in India.Recommend

  • Asad
    May 6, 2013 - 12:32AM

    The worst thing is not this separate electorate lists, it’s that if today Ahmadies go out in public and media to defend this right of theirs, no one simply hear; how much genuine their claim might seem!

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  • Asad Malik
    May 6, 2013 - 12:57AM

    @Asif:
    How so? There is no way to tell if someone is an atheist. Atheist do not have to gather for prayer or any religious occasion and therefore cannot be targeted. The only way you can be persecuted is going up to a fanatic and claiming that God does not exist which no one forces you to do. Yes it is wrong but at the same time no one can tell whether you’re an atheist or not. If however you belong to a minority religious group persecution is much more widespread and targeting is easier.

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  • Masheer
    May 6, 2013 - 2:02AM

    @FACT: Oh please, I’m not surprised at your level of ignorance. The Ahmadis Muslims did NOT disassociate themselves from the rest of the Ummah. It was a political stunt by Bhutto to gain votes. Secondly, Ahmadi are already target as it is and I don’t think it’s wise for Ahmadi Muslims to cast in a separate list which can be easily obtained by hardliners/taliban hence making their task of finding Ahmadis easily and executing them. Lastly, I would recommended you do a little research and don’t blindly follow the mullahs. This is the age of reason, so please your facts straights before commenting.Recommend

  • The Rebel
    May 6, 2013 - 4:27AM

    Does it really matter right now if Ahmedis are Muslims or Non Muslims (That’s a debate for another time)? Im a Sunni…but I couldn’t care less about someone’s skin colour, his race and the religion he follows. All I would look for in him is if he is a good human being. By not letting Ahmedis vote or having a separate list for them is discrimination at it’s peak. They are PAKISTANIS…with equal rights. Is mulk ka sachi main Allah hi hafiz hai. A sinking ship.

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  • Aysha
    May 6, 2013 - 6:36AM

    @Hamaad Haider:
    A little late, Hammad, you apologize when it came to your door step, and shias got targetted, if a principled stand was taken in 1974, then, religion would not have come into public domain, you just cannot legislate of this divisive nature, the fault lines go deeper and deeper, we have gone to a point of no return, our nation is trained into judging people of faith other than their own. Societies cannot progress with this mindset

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  • rabia
    May 6, 2013 - 6:53AM

    @Hamaad Haider:

    I saw agree with u Mr. Haider , I wished so many people had your thinking , Our country would be have so prosperous, but unfortunately its so busy pinpointing on another persons or community’s faith or belief .They are throwing the nation to ruins. Our nation will never move forward if they focus on these backward thinking . If thoughts are prosperous actions will follow it !! Please people open your mind

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  • Quantum
    May 6, 2013 - 8:04AM

    @INDIAN SHIA:

    soon imran khan will proclaim shias are not Muslim because they believe in Imamate which is an extension of prophethood. He is a classic example when educated man becomes delusional. I really hope US puts a restriction on his visa even if gets elected to the pakistani parliament.

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  • RHS
    May 6, 2013 - 8:15AM

    So much for “Naya Pakistan”……

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  • Quantum
    May 6, 2013 - 8:16AM

    @Zia-Ur-Rehman:
    Maybe for another 10 years…..

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  • Indian Catholic
    May 6, 2013 - 9:23AM

    @javaid iqbal randhawa: As minority cannot be elected because of less voters so to give them representation in parliament, they have been given additional seats on which minorities can only be elected by minority voters.
    .
    Please do not grant any such “favors” to minorities. What you think is helping the minorities is actually another way to target them. Minorities in a locality should elect from the candidates for their locality. After all who will take care of their local concerns but the local MNA?
    .
    I voted yesterday in our state elections and I voted from the candidates for my locality (constituency). One of the reasons I decided to vote for a particular candidate is because I have met him many times before and he is very approachable and a patient listener. None of the MLAs I have known in India discriminate between religions or sects because they have no particular desire to lose a chunk of their voters no matter how small it is.
    .
    As a legacy of the British Raj, there is one nominated Anglo-Indian seat in assembly and though I could approach him even though I am not an Anglo-Indian, I have no idea who he is. In any case i doubt he would be of any help.

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  • Mirza
    May 6, 2013 - 9:35AM

    In Pakistan the rightwing parties can only win by excluding as many liberal and diverse voters as possible. The permanent exclusion of Ahmedis and separate lists for others is one of the techniques to deprive their liberal supporters to power. No rightwing leader would change this system as they are going to benefit from it. Just like they are benefiting from the atrocities, bombings and murders of liberal parties at the hands of extremist terrorist Taliban.

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  • gp65
    May 6, 2013 - 11:13AM

    ET Mods: I am responding to someone who has written to me directly. Pls. allow.
    @javaid iqbal randhawa: “GP65 U cannot understand. As minority cannot be elected because of less voters so to give them representation in parliament, they have been given additional seats on which minorities can only be elected by minority voters. “

    I do understand the concept of seats reserved for minority. India also has the same concept. So on reserved seats, all parties have to put up candidates that are only from that reserved category. However since the person on that seat will represent that whole geographic area, it is not just people within reserved category who are allowed to vote. Everyone is allowed to vote who lives in tha constituency.

    On the flip side people of reserved category who do not live closeby to whee the reserved candidate is contesting, will vote for whoever is the local candidate. By doing so, their vote also has value and candidates woo them instead of ignoring them.

    In other words it is possible to provide affirmative action through reserved seats without going to separate electorates. I hope I have explained myself.

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  • Gulam Rasool "Kuldeep sharma"
    May 6, 2013 - 1:53PM

    WOW i count myself in the category of Happy Muslims, because i don’t know what kind of Muslim i am? I am just a MUSLIM (as reverted). Here in India No one discriminate between Shia sunni Ahmadiya etc

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  • ashar
    May 6, 2013 - 3:17PM

    ET I think it is too much for this particular debate in which you provide an opportunity to Indians to join giving support to Ahmedis, trying to condemn Muslims of Pakistan on the subject matter that has already been decided years ago by the Parliament. I would request that comments should not be allowed on the news regarding this matter especially, otherwise it would generate an impression that it has an already planned agenda that your newspaper is following.

    You would agree with me that the number of comments and the recommendations does not actually reflect the trend of Pakistani thought.

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  • Gulam Rasool "Kuldeep sharma"
    May 6, 2013 - 4:36PM

    @ashar
    do you know in any Free Democratic country, Press and Media is not a part of Government Agenda.
    (1) Are you reluctant to categorize as a Free Nation (or you are saying the truth?)
    (2) You don’t have any Logic to reciprocate answers with Intellectualism?
    what way you want to lead by criticizing this New Paper?

    For Me: I am just here because i like Black & White Theam of ET, instead of Colored Times of India.
    Gulam Rasool”Kuldeep sharma”
    New Delhi

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  • ashar
    May 6, 2013 - 7:36PM

    Another Indian comment. But where is your ahmedi support?

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  • Genesis
    May 6, 2013 - 8:00PM

    With separate voters list Pakistan can identify easily who are not Sunni muslims and after the elections think of setting concentration camps to isolate non muslims.It is the logical next step.

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    May 6, 2013 - 9:33PM

    @ashar: dear bhai here nobody support to anyone just expressing our views. N we must be thankful to ET for allowing out comments.

    If u think u r ryte then u must convice us. Here no body is supporting AHMADI. Evry one is saying system is not good needs improvment.

    A man can be good or bad bt u cant judge a community by them as a citizen of ur country they must hv same right.

    Hope u understand.

    With love from INDIA

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  • aajafri
    May 6, 2013 - 11:31PM

    I am so ashamed to be born in a country where bigotry is a norm, where persecution of minorities is a law, and where violence has become a way of life.Our so-called leaders are a bunch of dacoits, hypocrites, or outright evildoers. And, it is all done in the name of Islam.

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  • FarmerDr
    May 6, 2013 - 11:50PM

    Guess who is playing the roles of Abu Lahab and Abu Jahal in persecuting weak minorities and that in a country created to protect a minority‘s rights?

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  • KTShamim
    May 7, 2013 - 1:21AM

    Sad but true. Shame on the government.

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  • Indian
    May 7, 2013 - 2:22AM

    @Omer bin Abdulaziz: So only Pakistanis are authorized to certify who is Muslim and who is not.

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  • Bajwa
    May 7, 2013 - 10:05AM

    @Asif:
    Become Ahmadi for a day then you will experience the state of Ahmadis in Pakistan. Its very easy to talk and write but very difficult to experience.

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  • ZR
    May 8, 2013 - 1:29PM

    The problem is that they are declared Non Muslim in the constitution but they claim to be muslims. If they stop claiming that, they can be included in the normal list as a minority.

    Right or wrong, lets leave that debate aside for a minute. They are in breach of constitution. If they don’t like it, they should get the constitution changed.

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