Pakistan’s citizens must now declare their religion when applying for identity documents, or if they want to work in government or register to vote, Islamabad’s High Court ruled this month.
Applicants who disguise their true religion defy the constitution and betray the state, the judge stated. Their true religion must now also be visible on birth certificates, ID cards, voters’ lists, and passports.
Those who apply for a job in the judiciary, armed forces, civil services, and other government jobs also need to submit an affidavit declaring the Khatm-i-Naboowat (that Muhammad was the final prophet), stated Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in his ruling, as reported by Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
Human Rights Watch’s Saroop Ijaz said the judgement “would enable and incite violence,” in particularly directed at the Ahmadi community, Reuters reported.
The court order will make minority groups even more vulnerable, according to Nasir Saeed, director of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance, and Settlement (CLAAS-UK), who told Independent Catholic News the government should rather promote harmony and religious tolerance and establish peace in the country. All Pakistanis, including minorities, need to know they are secure, protected, and equal before the law, he said.
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Reported by: Christianity Today