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Is a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow Muslim?

19 December, 2005

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"A young Pakistani student belonging to the Christian faith has posed an interesting question through a petition in the Lahore High Court. The question is: Am I, a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow citizen who is a Muslim ?For those of the readers who missed the news item reported by an English daily, this young student belongs to a low income group, is a practicing Christian and extremely bright. She has been competing to get into the King Edwards Medical College but was beaten on the list by 20 marks by a Muslim student who got the extra 20 marks for being Hafiz--e-Quran. So, now this young Christian girl has filed a plea in the Lahore Court declaring that she and the Muslim student had equal marks but the latter got the advantage of religion. The young Christian student claims that ``this is discrimination against religious minority students and a violation of fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of Pakistan." The petition admitted by the Lahore High Court demands that either the LHC should rule to abolish the policy or should declare that a parallel policy should be made to award twenty additional marks to religious minority students on the basis of their religious knowledge. Fifty eight years after the creation of the country to ask such a question through the courts is both tragic and hopeful".

Constitution of Pakistan, Part II, Chapter -1, Fundamental Rights, Article 22 says:-
(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.
(2) In respect of any religious institution, there shall be no discrimination against any community in the granting of exemption or concession in relation to taxation.
(3) Subject to law: (a) no religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination; and
(b) no citizen shall be denied admission to any educational institution receiving aid from public revenues on the ground only of race, religion, caste or place of birth.
(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.

What do you think of above?

Reader Comments:

" Am I, a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow citizen who is a Muslim?"

The simple answer to your question is big "NO". Pakistanis love to hate and discriminate. This is the truth which is very ugly. I feel sorry for this poor Christian student.

KGB, Pakistan - 16 January, 2006

keep pakistan poor

i am a muslim that lives in england and i would feel very angry if when applying for a college place i was not accepted becauce a christian who had good knowledge of the bible got more entry points.

sajid, Pakistan - 17 January, 2006

fair treatment

give the girl a place in the medical college and be justiced towards her and other christians , dont hate no one Islam teaches peace and fairness!!!!!!!!

nawaz khan, Pakistan - 18 January, 2006


The founder of pakistan qaid-e-azam m.a.jinnah was an extraordinarily brave committed invdividual who looked at the future of the muslims in india with total practicality.He was certain that the glorious culture traditions and deep faith followed by a powerful minority of india would be in jeopardy.He therefore insisted on parition to safeguard and keep whatever he could although he did realise tha the muslims left back in india would be in a mess.But he had no other choice.He however did it in a cultured and clever way so that international opinion did not quite disagree with him.Today although Muslims in India are living 'well'it must be understood that it is only in certain specific regions of the country like the south for example.But the hatred fro muslims by the hindus is there in general .Muslims are not actually accepted except in very high circles like film industry businesses etc.The example of the previous govt and the bloodbath and murders n gujarat is just one tiny example. there have been systmatic massacres of muslims in the north of india every year since partition and muslims in this part of india are but living monuments of history. Those who survived are living in abject poverty and insignificance while a very few whoi belong to the family of landlords or businessmen manage to hang on but with out any real say in the govt.But coming t the main issue pakistan to has not been very honest and efficient in holding the values of human rights and islamic principles.tragically jinnah saheb passed within 3mts of the creation of pakistan and this created a nightmare for pakistan's future. till today we've had no proper leader.We've had either relgious fanatics,military dictatorr or narrow minded racist ideologists.The holy prophet(mpuh)said very clearly that no muslim is superior to another but politics in pakistan had always been based on physical features or ethnic origins.also greed and corruptive practices by so called responsible leaders have ruined the hopes of the poor people so that they have left the country by thousands to live abroad and make a should be a compulsory issue but only a priveleged few are given this luxury.Given the financial help pakistan has received and is living till today from countries both from the mid east and the west there should have been hundreds of schools and universities,technical colleges and training institutions.why should even one child be illiterate or uneducated in the villages when the city people have this luxury.Pakistan was created not for just one community of muslims but for all the muslims of pre-partition india.Before relgion is used and exploited as an issue the human mind should be clear first and test its honesty free from exploitation and lies for personal profit.How much land does a man need?I remember it as six feet!

Rezan, United Arab Emirates - 19 January, 2006

I dont know why people say you cant converse with Allah. You can if you set your mind to. I did speak to him once and I also spoke to Jesus, Rama and even Buddha. But I digress.

If your constitution says you cannot discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion then you should not discriminate and allow a muslim girl to score over a christian girl. Either you respect your constitution or you dont. If you do for heaven sake admit the poor girl into the college and get done with it.

Oh, how come the college is still named King Edwards Medical College? Isnt King Edwards a christian? Why not make it Mohd Ali Jinnah Medical College or something?

allaisa xuver, United Kingdom - 20 January, 2006

Both should get privileges

Islam teaches us to be fair and just to every human being whether muslim or non-muslim. The LHC should declare equal priveliges to every religious student who had a knowledge of their religion usually uncommon in their society. A person becomes hafiz after having a hard time. We have to work hard to remember the notes but a person remembering his/her whole Holy book have to face more hard time if we want to understand while being neutral. If she could do some extra ordinary work in her religion then she should be equally respected and equally benefited. Here in America Christians who have a nice voice to sing in the Churches they get more privileges in colleges and universities but hafiz here get no benefits. Those who have an islamic classes as IN Pakistan, when their marks are transfered to America the Islamic studies are not countes where as those who had a christian or jew education, there religious education marks are transfered. Mine were not transfered but it doesn't mean that i should plea the Hihg court. However, Pakistan should step first by declaring the equal prioviliges of religious education.

Umer Ansari, United Kingdom - 30 January, 2006

Hafiz i Quran

Medical profession deals with humans. it is a profession where one has to take into account that the one being 'served' to feel comfortable and relaxed. The ability of a person to convey such feelings of trust is exaulted if they can convey to their patient that they are a good muslim and a Hafiz.

In my opinion a Hafiz of Al Quran diserves to get admission to the best medical colleges all over the world since they has so much more to offer than just a good student who is aspiring to be a good doctor.

Nathan Sambul, United Kingdom - 26 February, 2006

Stick to the POINT

So many religious zealots - the fact is that the Constitution of Pakistan expressly forbids the action taken in favour of the Islamic student. As there is NOT a current policy at the school for other religions, the action must be deemed unconstitutional, and action taken against the institution.

baddbradd, Aruba - 27 March, 2006

Girl should get admission

She should definitely get admission - her religion is not Islam so she can't be a Hafiz - if she was a Muslim and not a Hafiz then we should have compared. However, because she is a Christian, she deserves admission because she shared the top position excluding points you get for being a Hafiz.

Hassan, Pakistan - 28 March, 2006

so whats the prob

pakistan means la illaha illal lah...
the non muslims must live as 2nd or 3rd grade citizens... or JUST GET LOSSTTTT!!!!

nnnnn, Pakistan - 29 March, 2006

Think! Islam is not forced on minorities

Islam is fair religion .. then we don't need this discussion.
But if we are discussing then we are hurting Islam with our emotional views ..
We talk being good ..but the fact is that minorities are well discrimnated and decimated
for practicing other religion. We muslims are already in large number, why are
we so nervous of our religion or somebody choosing other religion? Isn't somebody
chose islam from other we are the newer religion
else we convince world that we forced all of our minorities and islam is not religion of choice.

Zia, Pakistan - 29 April, 2006

No Religiuos Edge!!

how many of us muslims are having a common sense can think about it...if 1 or 2 out of 100 memorizes the glorious Quran, he must be given previlige...we cant' consider those "only two students" when filing that plea ignoring the majority...this is not the matter of religious discrimination AT ALL!!...but it is a part of the struggle against the ISLAM!!...phoonkon se yeh charagh bujhaya na jaye ga..

Asfaar Baig, Pakistan - 17 June, 2006

online friendship is best

i wnat start friend ship with a life partener. this is why i have been search in paktribune.

attaurrehman ghaznwi, Pakistan - 27 July, 2006

Conversion from Islam to chrsitianity!

expressing my complements, i would like to ask, what is the law of the Pakistan's Government for a muslim converted from Islam to christianity ? what will be the charges agaist him/her ?

Alexandros, Gibraltar - 28 October, 2006

Pakistan is an Islamic country

But we dont discreminate on basis of clour and cast and religion etc as happens in the west.What we pakistanis go through in western countries,every one knows best.Here christians have been chief justice and have enjoyed high careers in army which for Muslims in west in unimaginable.So we are nice people and i am very sure this story by a christian girl is a mere fabrication as i myself a doctor knows very well our christian brothers and sisters dont want to study at all.

ali haider, Pakistan - 17 April, 2007

give her the addmisson

its simple logic, the muslim girl should be judged against a muslim student, and if she is to be given extra marks for being Hafiz-e-Quran then she should be preferred against a non hafiz-e- Quran muslim student who has equal marks to hers. give the addmisson to the christan girl because thats fair. amd may i remind every one that the most secular religon in the world is islam . its only the bigots who have a narrow view.

pucca lahori, Pakistan - 03 May, 2007

Affirmative Action

In the United States and India they have reservations in jobs colleges for minority people including Muslims called affirmative action.It is only in Pakistan that I see reservation for the Majority!Can Muslims not study as well as the Minorities that they have to be given extra marks?

Gabe, Iran, Islamic Republic Of - 29 June, 2007



shahid, Pakistan - 09 August, 2007

I Can't Believe I am reading all this

Some person actually wrote that monorities should be 2nd or 3rd grade citizens in Pakistan. One Doctor wrote that Christians and other minorities don't want to read or write. What has become of Pakistan citizens---It is no wonder that other countries are telling us what to do.
In our stonehead mentality of religious supremacy we are running around like rabid dogs. Bit off topic here but then we encourage dictatorships here ; remember how we welcomed General Musharraf when he came to power. Like some philosopher has rightly said " WE GET THE GOVERNMENT WE DESERVE "

Arshad Ali, Pakistan - 25 October, 2007


to become hafiz, means one memorizes and can recite the entire qu'ran.
this is no small academic accomplishment, and from my understanding, reqires years of disciplining the memory and training it. such an academic exercise is certain to benefit a medical student, who must memorize copious material.

possibly a memory comprehension and retension test would be a more just way to settle this, as its not likely shes going to memorize the entire bible in time to get to college.
in this case-
but for future doctors in pakistan, christian ones who know they wil be competing for university at some point, and knowing muslims do the discipline of hafiz- an alternative but equivalent feat of schoalrship could be studied by christians if they choose.

but the whole question itself, is designed to make it a christian versus muslim equality question when it is not.

the question is designed to inflame emotions, not seek justice.

please forgive my ignorance, but WHY would a non-muslim even GO to an islamic university?
maybe its the best educatio and all thats available- but scholarly standards are just that. scholarly standards.
people often have different standards when they get to the masters level.
(besides the last 30 suras arent that long anyway)

id say the young lady is very bright indeed to get a lawyer, and sue the college-
and bring it to the attention of the international community.

VICTORIA, United Kingdom - 05 November, 2007

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