Atrocities on Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya minority continues, report says

Pakistani flag

The Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan regularly fell prey to atrocities and faced some severe violent attacks, social exclusion, and harassment, Maryland-based news website Baltimore Post-Examiner reported.

The hatred for the Ahmadiyya in Pakistan is at such a level that they don’t celebrate the achievements of their only Nobel prize winner in the Science category, Abdus Salam.

Unfortunately, Pakistan doesn’t celebrate the achievements of Salam because he was an Ahmadi, which is considered a heretic and non-Muslim in Pakistan.

Salam received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the Higgs boson, famously known as the God Particle.

According to the Baltimore Post-Examiner, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Bhutto played a pivotal role in having the parliament declare Ahmadis non-Muslims.

His successor, General Zia-ul-Haque took one step further and introduced a penal code to incarcerate Ahmadis for claiming Islam. This institutionalized persecution and pogrom of Ahmadis continue to date. Today, hundreds of Ahmadis are serving life or on death row for blasphemy without recourse to evidence gathering, appeal, and trial.

Meanwhile, Brad Adams, the Asia Director of Human Rights Watch said that the election can never be termed as “free” and “fair” as the entire community is effectively excluded from the electoral process.

In an article titled, “The Town That Doesn’t Vote”, Saad Sayeed writes that all Ahmadis show immense pride in their Pakistani citizenship but remain disenfranchised in a country that their ancestors helped create with great valor and sacrifices.

In the city of Chenab Nagar, 97 per cent of the population is contributed by the Ahmadiyya but still, the Punjab government changed the name since it is blasphemous for Ahmadis to use a Quranic word to name their city and they also have no rights to manage the region.

The city doesn’t receive funds from the provincial or federal government, which forces its residents to use private funds for development. The residents are governed by outsiders with laws of discrimination that remind them of white-ruled South Africa. Despite their sheer size, they feel helpless in the fight against apartheid and many call their city the largest Ahmadi jail in the world.

Pakistani law prohibits Ahmadis from calling their places of worship mosques or distributing religious literature, reciting the Quran, or using traditional Islamic greetings.

These measures criminalize their daily lives and enable regular attacks on both individuals and organizations. Four days after the Ahmadis celebrated the birthday of Abdus Salam; some Sufi zealots attacked an Ahmadi mosque on Martin Road in Karachi and damaged its minarets. London-based International Human Rights Commission has reported nine such incidents from Karachi-Saddar, Umerkot (Amarkot), and Mirpur Khas where Muslims tried to set Ahmadi mosque on fire and shot fires at the congregants, according to Baltimore Post-Examiner.

In the last quarter of 2022, police in Gojra, Gujranwala, and Wazirabad districts destroyed Ahmadi mosques by razing domes and minarets and removing Quranic verses from the walls. These districts are a stronghold of Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, the ex-Chief Minister of Punjab, who is an outspoken opponent of Ahmadis and proposes stricter laws to curb their religious activities.

Today, each Ahmadi household manifests a tale of discrimination, persecution, and death which reminds them of the grave mistake their leaders made in 1947 by helping the British Monarch create Pakistan as a safe haven for the Indian Muslims. The constitutional apartheid against the Ahmadis is a clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all related international treaties that Pakistan has signed. The US government should recognize the Ahmadi genocide and hold the Pakistani government accountable to ensure basic rights and protection for Ahmadis, as per the report in Baltimore Post-Examiner.

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