Lahore: Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan will boycott the July 25 general elections in the country to protest the separate voter list for the community.
“In the case of Ahmadis, a separate voter list is being prepared bearing the titles Qadiani Men/Women. This ‘discriminatory’ treatment on the basis of religion is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise the Ahmadis of Pakistan from the electoral process,” spokesman for the Ahmadi community, Saleem Ud Din, said in a statement.
Ahmadis, regarded as heretic in Pakistan, often face hostilities in the country, which even amended the constitution in 1974 to declare them as non-Muslims.
Creating a separate voter list for the country’s estimated four million Ahmadis is the latest example of socio-political exclusion the community faces in Pakistan.
“Such prejudicial behaviour is an open violation of Pakistani Ahmadis as citizens of the state and goes against the vision of the founding father of the country Muhammad Ali Jinnah and contravenes the constitution and the joint electoral system,” the spokesperson alleged,” Saleem Ud Din said.
The spokesperson added that “under these circumstances, Ahmadis consider taking part in the elections against their faith.”
The community has also declared that anyone contesting the upcoming elections as an Ahamadi, should not be seen as a representative of the Ahmadiyya community.