Pakistan: Information on whether an individual who had allegedly converted from Sunni Islam to the Ahmadi faith after arrival in Canada, and who had claimed status as a refugee sur place, would be mistreated or harassed upon return to Pakistan
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 November 1997|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PAK28224.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Pakistan: Information on whether an individual who had allegedly converted from Sunni Islam to the Ahmadi faith after arrival in Canada, and who had claimed status as a refugee sur place, would be mistreated or harassed upon return to Pakistan, 1 November 1997, PAK28224.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aafd90.html [accessed 9 December 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
There are two branches of the Ahmadi faith. The Ahmadiyya Movement in IslamCanada, whose headquarters is located in Toronto, is a Qadiani (Ahmadi) Muslim organization. The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore Inc. (USA) in Columbus, Ohio, is a Lahori (Ahmadi) Muslim organization, whose headquarters, the Central Anjuman, are located in Lahore, Pakistan.
The question of the treatment of returned Ahmadi-convert refugee claimants to Pakistan would appear to be hypothetical given the following information:
In a 23 May 1995 letter, the (Qadiani) MissionaryEastern Region of the Ahmadiyya Movement in IslamCanada in Cumberland, Ontario, stated that
09. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible for a non-Ahmadi to be issued with a letter of confirmation as an Ahmadi. We have a detailed and elaborate system of screening the real Ahmadis from those who only pose as Ahmadis for the sake of convenience at their Refugee hearing. We go at all lengths in our determination on his/her religion. When in doubt we ask for information from our offices in Rabwah, London or in any other country.
10. In the Eastern Region of Canada, excluding Toronto, I have been assigned the authority to issue such letters. Such authorities are given by the National President or "Ameer" of a country with the permission of the Head of the Community.
11. There have been many instances when "Non Ahmadi would be refugees" come into Canada and approach us for a letter of identification as Ahmadis. Upon our refusal, they scan other avenues on which they could justify their claim. One of those avenues is that they claim to be "Lahori Ahmadis."
12. We welcome genuine "Lahoris" to revert to the fold of the mainstream Ahmadis also known as "Qadianis." But we jealously guard our credibility and the trust reposed in our Community by the Canadian Immigration System. We would hate to see anyone use our Community to beat and out-smart the Canada Immigration Criteria. Therefore, while welcoming new converts including those from the "Lahoris" we take all possible precautions. One of those precautions is that if an applicant for refugee status has applied on the basis of being a "Lahori Ahmadi" we ask him/her to wait for the outcome of that hearing. After his/her hearing if that person decides to become a "Qadiani" Ahmadi we welcome him/her wholeheartedly because then we are sure that there is no element of greed or convenience in that conversion.
More recent information could not be obtained from the office of the Eastern Region of the Ahmadiyya Movement in IslamCanada.
The (Lahori) vice-president of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore Inc. (USA) stated in a 23 July 1996 telephone interview that approximately nine or ten Pakistanis who had asked to join the organization were refused membership because they were not citizens or landed immigrants of either Canada or the USA. She stated that the Ahmadiyya Anjuman in Columbus does not want to accept Pakistani citizens as members in case they use their Lahori membership as the basis of a refugee claim in Canada or the US. Once these individuals can produce a Canadian or American citizenship card or a landed immigrant form, however, they will be accepted as members of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman in Columbus, Ohio (23 July 1995). Additional information on this subject can be obtained in Response to Information Request PAK24741.E of 24 July 1996, which is available at Regional Documentation Centres.
Additional information on the Ahmadiyya Anjuman, its membership procedures and its relationship with the Central Anjuman, can be obtained in the attachment to Response to Information Request PAK24176.E of 17 May 1996, available at Regional Documentation Centres, which is a copy of the sanitized transcript of the testimony to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Noman Malik, Treasurer of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore Inc. USA.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore Inc. (USA), Columbus, Ohio. 23 July 1996. Telephone interview with the Vice-president.
Ahmadiyya Movement in IslamCanada, Cumberland, Ontario. 23 May 1995. Fax from the MissionaryEastern Region.