Bilawal Bhutto hints at abolishing Pakistan’s anti-Ahmadiyya Laws

Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari dropped hints that he will work towards abolishing Pakistan’s controversial laws against Ahmadi Muslims. The 28-year-old politician admitted that Pakistan had a lot to answer for the way how minorities were being treated in the country.

Responding to a question about the role of Pakistan People’s Party in introducing the legislation against Ahmadis in 1974, Bilawal said:

We can go into the past and keep talking about what people have done at various points in our history…..What I look forward to doing is showing the leadership that’s necessary today and coming up with a practical progressive agenda of something of what we can do and what is achievable and the peoples party is focusing on that and really been taking the lead.

PPP has tried to establish itself as Pakistan’s progressive and liberal party but has faced criticism for failing to protect minorities in its stronghold of Sindh. The province of Sindh which has the largest population of Hindu community in Pakistan has been swamped with hundreds of forced conversion cases where young Hindu girls have been abducted and forced to convert to Islam.

He further said:

I look forward to working with other political parties to create an atmosphere of equality amongst all minority communities of Pakistan. It is a long road ahead and it’s not something that is gonna be able to take place in one election cycle.

Bilawal who is the only son of former two-time premier Benazir Bhutto said he plans to take Pakistan towards a positive and more liberal direction. Taking a shot at the Islamization drive of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the ruling PML-N political party he said:

This is the conservative PML-N Muslim League-Nawaz that used to try and be the AmeeulMomineen (Leader of Muslims)

In his remarks, he further indicated that these “soft power issues” would require more than one election cycle and a broader consensus. He said:

It is a long road ahead and it’s not something that is gonna be able to take place in one election cycle. I am hoping that we will be able to build a more broader consensus on such issues, there is not that space at the moment

Responding to a follow-up question about PPP’s role in the institutionalization of discrimination against Ahmadis and how will PPP go on about changing the discriminatory laws, Bilawal said:

I think it takes a lot of bravery and leadership to break out of what has become a vicious cycle of otherization in Pakistan and where there is a complete and utter lack of empathy and not treating your fellow human beings as equal citizens

I understand there is a lot of….criticism (and) debate around this incredibly controversial topic and the Pakistan people’s party…..well I mean….all the political parties that played a role in this (anti-Ahmadi legislation) really need to have a more open debate about it.

Do (you think) we haven an atmosphere in Pakistan that encourages that open debate (which) would not result in the death of anybody who takes diversion views on this particular issue, I don’t think we are there yet.

I do hope that your and my generation will get to a point where we can have a more open, honest debate about this topic.

In 1974 PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto introduced a constitutional amendment which declared the minority Ahmadi Muslims as ‘non-Muslim’. Since then the Ahmadis faced severe persecution at the hands of the Government as their beliefs are considered heretical not only by the public but also by the state.

Ehsan Rehan
Ehsan is a Washington D.C. based reporter who covers Human Rights & Religious Freedom issues.Twitter: @Ehzan

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10 Comments

  1. Whatever Bilawal Bhutto says now will be taken with a pinch of salt. His maternal grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and his mother Benazir Bhutto had similarly made sweeping promises only to betray the trust so reposed in them. Let’s wait and see. But we know that Allah shall bring about the victory of Islam through Jama’at i Ahmadiyya.

  2. My believe is that Ahamdies Muslims and symbols of Peace; Mullah like (Al Khawarij) because in this century creating they are killing to anyone without habitation

  3. A thousand mile journey begins with a first step. May Allah subhana ta’ala enable Bhutto Sb’s intentions translate into positive actions in this regard. Pakistan has been seriously hurt by this unislamic law and the can of extremism it opened up.
    Until mullahlism is marginalized or fully separated/quarantined from politics Pakistan will not realize its full potential.

  4. Any member of ruling party of Pakistan even have no courage to talk even a single word against this anti-ahmadi law, the silence regarding speaking the truth had not changed the mind of 200 million population to consider about the truth although there are thousads sayings of Prophet of piece (SAS) for their guidence. Every pieceful citizen should at least pray for right path from Allah the Almighty in his daily prayers.

  5. Bilawal will be fine once he receives remedy from Hakeem mullah jee. His grandfather maternal was treated by Hakeem mullah jee in 1974.
    He (Zach bhuto) was also in the heart of hearts close to ahmadiyas and then suddenly he was given lifelong remedy by mullah jee.
    Nothing can change in Pakistan till it is taken over catastrophic destruction by mullah jee which is and more evidently will manifest in the form of group Clash fortified by outside enemies.

  6. I think this is rediculed excuse of BBZ but only to come in power in which Ahmdis shall vote for him in the next Election. In my opinion he doesn’t Even deserve the Chairmanship. Nothing he has done in his whole life for Pakistan and Pakistanis before Chairmanship. WHY? He says many Election Cycles are needed!!! It sounds like his son would be able to challenge the such inhuman Laws May be.!!!

    1. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know much about Pakistani politics, but Ahmadis aren’t allowed to vote…..

  7. I think this is rediculed excuse of BBZ but only to come in power in which Ahmdis shall vote for him in the next Election. In my opinion he doesn’t Even deserve the Chairmanship. Nothing he has done in his whole life for Pakistan and Pakistanis before Chairmanship. WHY? He says many Election Cycles are needed!!! It sounds like his son would be able to challenge the auch inhuman Laws May be.!!!

  8. Bilawal Bhutto should be supported, cautioned and assisted in every possible way to look after his safety, for the courage he has shown, so to say, such things is blasphemy in Pakistan, around the Mullah !!!
    The governor was murdered just doing so saying what Mr. Bilawal has taken up !!!
    But in a greater benefit befitting the nation is Democracy, transparency, equal rights and freedom of speech !!!
    Thank you sir for your courage and taking up this subject to changing this unpopular law in your country !!!
    God Bless you strength and assistance in fighting the cause !!!