Lahore; 1st week of December 2022: In a series of tweets, Amnesty International LUMS Chapter told how they were ordered to ‘drop’ a guest they had invited to a talk they were hosting on tolerance in Pakistan with regards to marginalized minorities. Three of these are reproduced below:

Amnesty LUMS

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On 6th December 2022, Amnesty International LUMS Chapter intended to host a talk on tolerance in Pakistan with members of various marginalized minorities. Unfortunately, we were abruptly told to drop the Ahmadi representative we had called to speak last night 4:54 PM December 6, 2022

Amnesty LUMS

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The guests were approved days ago, but OSA randomly chose to recheck our guest profiles. Following which they told us our Ahmadi speaker could not come to the talk.

4:54 PM December 6, 2022

 Amnesty LUMS

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December 6, 2022

While we are continuing with the talk the irony of a particular speaker being dropped on a talk about Tolerance in Pakistan speaks volumes. TV make our dissatisfaction known, we will leave an empty seat representing the dropped speaker. Please join us at 6pm today.

Voice of America report on the incident

VOA reported this incident at some length on December 9, 2022 on Extracts — translation from Urdu:

“Amnesty International LUMS Chapter arranged a seminar on religious tolerance, on December 6. Representatives of Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Shia and Ahmadi communities were invited to it. Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad was invited to represent Ahmadi community, but the invitation was regrettably withdrawn, a few hours before the event.

Dr. Mirza Sultan Ahmad is a ‘child specialist’ by profession, however, he has written books on history and evaluation of Pakistan’s constitution and its subsequent amendments.

VOA made numerous attempts to contact Ms. Maheen Shafiq the president of Amnesty LUMS, on this issue but she was reluctant to express her views.

Dr. Ahmad told us that initially the date of this event was changed, thereafter his name was dropped from the list of speakers. When he asked the reason of this exclusion, the LUMS administration could not give a satisfactory response.

According to him, there are universities where one can freely express one’s views so that students can see the whole picture, but now it seems that such issues could not be amply discussed in universities like LUMS.

Commenting on the situation of minorities in Pakistan, he was of the view that hateful propaganda is undertaken against minorities in the whole country. It continues even now, he said.

While talking to VOA, Peter Jacob, the chief executive of Social Justice Pakistan, a Christian, said that the prevailing environment in the country results in such incidents. The topic of the seminar was ‘Tolerance’, well-known guest speakers were invited to it. No extremist views were to be expressed. Despite this the LUMS administration was pressurized to drop the Ahmadi representative. This is unpleasant, as it does not send a positive message, he said.

He further said that the issue was not that of LUMS or any other university but Pakistan as a country and nation needs fair reputation. There is no need to get upset if anyone talks about equality, tolerance and justice.

Ramesh Singh Arosa (Sikh MPA) said that international HR organizations, including Human Rights Watch continue to express their reservations on religious intolerance in Pakistan. Anti-Pakistan resolutions are passed on world forums; if such things happen in the country, a negative picture is bound to emerge.

Mind you, this is not the first time in LUMS. Even before, events have been cancelled or invited guests have been disinvited without giving any reason.

Dr. Mirza Sultan Ahmad stated that this does not happen only in universities, it is rare that major media outlets condemn propagation of religious hate.

It may be noted that the government of Pakistan continues to deny discriminations against minorities including Ahmadis. The government maintains that all minorities enjoy rights in Pakistan as per the Constitution.”

BBC Report

BBC published an article on this issue on December 8, 2022 on We produce below a few extracts of the same, translated in English from original Urdu.

“Tolerance, about which he intended to talk, is in a state that even institutions like LUMS, under pressure do not allow us to examine, so said Dr Mirza Sultan Ahmad, a member of the Ahmadi community…

BBC tried to seek reasons of this incident from the concerned people, however the LUMS university administration did not respond. They, however, did accept that unfortunately they were told to drop the Ahmadi representative invited last night.

Dr. Mirza Sultan Ahmad, with reference to the message issued by the administration, said that students who had invited him were very sorry but their hands were tied. “This is not the first occasion; this kind of treatment to Ahmadiyya Community is routine in Pakistan,” he said. I am author of five books and have written hundreds of articles on persecution of Ahmadis; who else could speak better than I on this subject, asked Dr. Ahmad.              

Mr. Taimur Rehman, the moderator of this seminar said that he was told by the LUMS president that the (University) administration had told him to drop Dr Sultan Mirza. “We received the call, and we are under pressure not to invite him,” they said, however, they did not disclose who called them and pressurized them. The purpose for which this event was organized was set aside. Scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamdi, a panelist, also condemned the incident. It is a fact that Ahmadi community is not safe in Pakistan. If as Pakistani, we do not accept them as a minority, then what is their status? He asked. He stated further, “To deny them education, threaten their lives, boycott them in deals, not accept them in government offices or high ranks (elsewhere), all this has gone on and goes on now — in fact, all this is on the increase with the passage of time. Now it is not acceptable to us that they speak about it on any forum. This sort of treatment of LUMS is indeed regrettable, as LUMS is considered to be an institution where one enjoys freedom of expression. If such platforms are denied to Ahmadis, where will they go? There is need to understand that before their denominational identity (mazhab) they are humans and Pakistanis. It is the responsibility of the state to protect their fundamental rights – this is not visible anywhere, he elaborated.”