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Islamabad’s largest lawyers’ body has made it mandatory for all its members to declare their faith in the finality of the last Prophet of Islam, with an aim to target the lawyers of the particular minority sect in Pakistan.

Sources in Islamabad said the newly elected Islamabad Bar Association has asked its members to submit an affidavit to declare their faith by January 31, 2020. The membership of nonconforming lawyers will be cancelled, sources said.

The affidavit of ‘Khatm-e-Nabuwat’ that these members are supposed to submit, a copy of which IANS is in possession, reads: “I, solemnly swear that I believe in absolute and complete finality of the Prophet Hood of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), the last of the prophets and that I am not follower of anyone who claims to be a Prophet in any sense of word or of any description whatsoever after Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and that I do not recognize such a claimant to be Prophet or a religious reformer, nor do I belong to the Qadiani group or Lahori group or call myself an Ahmadi and I believe that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani was an apostate, liar and hypocrite.”

Ahmadiyya sect among Sunnis was founded in the late 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who declared that he was a messiah and a guide of Islam. However, in Pakistan, Ahmaddiyas, also derogatorily called Qadiani, are seen as heretics and non-Muslims.

Under Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s rule in 1974, Pakistan’s Parliament adopted a law declaring Ahmadiyya to be non-Muslims and the constitution was amended to define a Muslim “as a person who believes in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad”.

Later in 1984, General Zia-ul-Haq, the then military ruler of Pakistan, issued Ordinance XX which forbids Ahmadiyyas to call themselves Muslim or to “pose as Muslims”.

Hundreds of Ahmaddiyas have been killed in attacks and are subjected to various kinds of socio-political persecution for their faith in Pakistan.

“The institutionalization of persecution of minorities is deep-rooted in Pakistan. This membership drive to declare faith is nothing but an attempt to sectoral coercion of Ahmadis,” an Ahmadiyya Pakistani lawyer who did not want to be named told IANS on phone.

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