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Pakistan court ruling against minorities draws criticism

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Rights activists in Pakistan are expressing concern over a court ruling that would require people to declare their religion on all official documents, saying it could lead to the persecution of minorities, particularly adherents of the Ahmadi faith.

The Islamabad High Court ruling on Friday also requires that citizens take a religious oath upon joining the civil service, armed forces or judiciary.
Zohra Yusuf, a board member at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, on Sunday called the ruling “very dangerous.” She said her group would issue a statement in the coming days.

The ruling appeared to be aimed at Ahmadis, who revere the 19th century founder of their faith as a prophet. Pakistan declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974. They already face widespread discrimination and are often targeted by extremists.

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