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Right of freedom of expression far afield for Non-Muslim Pakistanis: PMTA Chairman


In a research report compiled by Chairman Pakistan Minorities’ Teachers Association (PMTA), he endeavored to map out the constitutional edifice of rights of Non-Muslim Pakistanis. “I have tried to find out the status of non-Muslims and non-Islamic religions in Pakistan who are making efforts for equal rights and equal citizenship,” he stated.

Non-Muslim Pakistani citizens

An excerpt from the research report which is titled “CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN 1973 AND ISLAM,” prepared by Professor Anjum James Paul is as below:

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The Constitution of Pakistan 1973 is very much concerned about Islam and Muslims. Non-Muslims do not have even fundamental right of freedom of expression, etc. Non-Muslims members of the Parliament and provincial assemblies even take oath as Muslims according to the third schedule of the constitution of Pakistan.

There is no diversity of faith/s and students of different faiths are considered Muslims because Pakistani national education policy, curriculum and textbooks are designed only for Muslims. There are contents of hatred, intolerance and extremism against non-Muslims, non-Islamic religions, non-Islamic civilizations and non-Islamic cultures.

Article 1 (1) The Republic and its territories
Pakistan shall be a Federal Republic to be known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, hereinafter referred to as Pakistan.
Article 2 Islam to be State religion
Islam shall be the State religion of Pakistan.
Article 2A The Objectives Resolution to form part of substantive provisions.
The principles and provisions set out in the Objectives Resolution reproduced in the Annex are hereby made substantive part of the Constitution and shall have effect accordingly
Article 19 Freedom of speech, etc.
Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defense of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, [commission of] or incitement to an offence.

Article 41 The President
(1)A person shall not be qualified for election as President unless he is a Muslim of not less than forty-five years of age and is qualified to be elected as member of the National Assembly.
Article 62 Qualifications for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament):
(a)he is of good character and is not commonly known as one who violates Islamic Injunctions;
(b)he has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practices obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins;

Article 91 The Cabinet:
(3) After the election of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the National Assembly shall, to the exclusion of any other business, proceed to elect without debate one of its Muslim members to be the Prime Minister.