Pakistan slammed for excluding minority group from rights panel

Human Rights Watch says it is "absurd" Pakistan didn't invite the oppressed Ahmadiyya community to a new body that aims to safeguard minority rights. Ahmadis face religious persecution and hate campaigns in the country.

Pakistan received condemnation Friday for exluding a persecuted group from a new official body set up to safeguard the rights of religious minorities.

The NGO Human Rights Watch became the latest international voice to condemn the exclusion of the Ahmadiyyah community. Ahmadis make up 4 million people in Pakistan.

Pakistan's Cabinet established the National Commission for Minorities on Tuesday, instructing the Ministry of Religious Affairs not to include representatives from the Ahmadi community.

"The Ahmadis are among the most persecuted communities in Pakistan and to exclude them from a minority rights commission is absurd," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

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