Fri, 02 Dec 2022

Punjab [Pakistan], September 28 (ANI): Four students of a school in Attock district in Pakistan's Punjab province were expelled reportedly for belonging to a minority community, media reports said.

Shedding light on the matter, a relative of the students Tahir Khan, said they had been expelled for simply being from the Ahmadi community, reported Friday Times. According to him, a class fellow had been harassing one of the expelled students for a while.

The expulsion of the students comes after some parents prevailed on school principal Kulsoom Awan regarding the harassment. Tahir Khan presented a document on the expulsion reading that the students had been expelled due to their confession of belonging to the Ahmadi community.

"The following students who were studying in this institute are being withdrawn on the basis of Qadianiat Religion," the document read. The institution, the document read, was not in a position to let them continue.

Notably, Qadianiat is a religious slur used to refer to Ahmadi Muslims, who are also known as Ahmadiyyas, in Pakistan.

While responding to the media queries by The Friday Times the school principal Awan refused to comment citing that the school had been closed for the day and ask to approach in person at her office during school hours.

Meanwhile, a Federal Minister and Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Mian Javed Latif has launched a fresh hate-filled campaign against the persecuted Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan, using religion to score political points, a press release by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights read.

On Wednesday, September 15, Latif appeared on Pakistani State TV Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) to utter falsehoods and propaganda against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which is already under immense threat and subjected to cruelties and state persecution.

Pakistan's media regulatory body - the Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has been criticised for not sanctioning television channels from airing such hate-filled rhetoric.

The use of religion is not new in Pakistani politics but the airing of such rhetoric on mainstream state media is a serious and shocking use of state television and risks furthering an already vile hate campaign against Pakistan's most persecuted community.

The Ahmadi Muslim Community is being used as a scapegoat to score political points and malign political opponents, without any regard for the risk of life and the hatred it spreads.

At the cost of further endangering the lives of Ahmadis in Pakistan, this level of hate speech in mainstream media and social media is shocking and inexcusable and likely to radicalise people further against innocent Ahmadis. As a result of such hate campaigns, an Ahmadi, Mr Naseer Ahmed was killed last month on August 12 by an extremist radicalised by hate-filled religious clerics, the press release read.

Another Pakistani politician, Federal Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique similarly stoked the fire of enmity against the Ahmadis Muslims. He tweeted the anti-Ahmadi trope and baseless allegation that Ahmadis were a conspiracy against Islam and a seditious group.

This format of hate speech and incitement which falsely blame the country's ongoing instability on Ahmadi Muslims has a history of triggering violent attacks against innocent Ahmadis.

On July 13, 2021, UN human rights experts expressed their deep concern over the lack of attention to the serious human rights violations perpetrated against the Ahmadiyya community around the world and called on the international community to step up efforts to bring an end to the ongoing persecution of Ahmadis.

It urged the international community to impress upon the Government of Pakistan to honour its responsibility to provide effective protection and freedom of religious practice to Ahmadis and that perpetrators of such vicious actions should be brought to justice, to bring its laws and practices in conformity with international standards. (ANI)

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