Advertisment

Ahmadi Community in Pakistan Boycotts National Elections Amid Resurgent Violence

The Ahmadi community in Pakistan, facing a surge in violence leading up to the national elections, has announced their decision to boycott the electoral process. The community's decision underscores the systemic discrimination they face, including separate voter lists and disenfranchisement based on religion.

author-image
Rizwan Shah
New Update
Ahmadi Community in Pakistan Boycotts National Elections Amid Resurgent Violence

Ahmadi Community in Pakistan Boycotts National Elections Amid Resurgent Violence

In the run-up to Pakistan's national elections, a half-a-million-strong religious minority, the Ahmadi community, is confronting a surge of violence. The rise in hostility, targeting members, institutions, and burial sites, has prompted the community to announce a boycott of the forthcoming electoral process.

Advertisment

Historical Prejudice and Persecution

Designated as non-Muslims by the state in 1974, Ahmadis have long been victims of systemic discrimination in Pakistan. This prejudice has manifested in various forms, one of the most significant being disenfranchisement based on religion. Separate voter lists for Ahmadis, a stark deviation from the unified electoral roll used for other Pakistani citizens, has fostered a deep-seated sense of alienation within the community.

A Temporary Respite

Advertisment

In September, following a meeting with top Pakistani officials, the Ahmadi community experienced a brief period of respite. Attacks on its members and sites temporarily decreased, offering a glimmer of hope for the beleaguered community. This momentary calm, however, proved to be fleeting.

Resurgence of Violence and a Call for Boycott

As the national elections loomed, violence against the Ahmadis resurged. The surge in attacks has reinforced the community's feelings of vulnerability and neglect by the government. Driven by a history of discrimination and the recent spike in violent incidents, the Ahmadis have chosen to abstain from the election.

The Ahmadis' decision underscores the ongoing challenges for religious minorities in Pakistan. The community believes that the state has the capability to prevent violence against them but questions its resolve or willingness to take consistent action. This situation is a stark reminder of the systemic issues that plague Pakistan's electoral framework and the pressing need to address them.

Advertisment
Advertisment