Ahmadi place of worship vandalised in Pakistan’s Karachi

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In yet another case of persecution of minorities in Pakistan, an Ahmadi place of worship was vandalised in Karachi and hateful graffiti was put up, Dawn reported on Tuesday citing local police and a spokesperson for the community. 

The incident happened in Karachi’s Drigh Road area within the limits of Shah Faisal Colony. 

The spokesperson of the community said around a dozen people had entered the place of worship at around 3:45 pm on Monday and destroyed the minarets with hammers and put “hateful graffiti on the walls”, Dawn reported. 

Korangi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Tariq Nawaz said that around four persons damaged the minarets on Monday. 

He said that the police had taken cognisance of the matter and asked a member of the community to lodge a first information report (FIR).

Amir Mehmood, a spokesperson for the Ahmadi community, also said that an application for registering an FIR had been submitted to the police, Dawn reported. 

The spokesperson for the Ahmadi community further recalled that a few months ago, two places of worship in Saddar and Martin Quarters were also vandalised. He added although FIRs were registered in both cases, the police has not informed the complainants of any progress in the matter. 

He said that the place of worship on Drigh Road had existed since Pakistan was created. 

“The government has utterly failed to provide security to Ahmadi places of worship,” Dawn quoted Mehmood as saying. 

Notably, the anti-Ahmadi drive has become a common thing in Pakistan, especially in the Punjab province. It has not just brought global condemnation for Islamabad but also invited the ire of United Nations bodies. 

After a campaign last month to stop Ahmadis from offering sacrifice on Eid-ul Azha, the latest drive launched against the community involves the demolition of the minarets of their places of worship. The drive is being spearheaded by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Dawn reported. 

A poster floated by the social media wing of the TLP in Sarai Alamgir, a town near Jhelum, stated: “From Shaandar Chowk to the Qadiani Centre, all minarets will be demolished.” The drive, the poster said, would commence at 10 am on the 10th of Muharram (July 29) from the TLP’s office in Sarai Alamgir. 

Earlier on July 14, the TLP pressured police into demolishing minarets of an Ahmadi place of worship in Jhelum. The party’s local chapter later announced that it would demolish minarets of all Ahmadi places of worship in the entire Jhelum district, Dawn reported. 

Notably, some of these sites are more than a hundred years old. 

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also expressed concern over the treatment of Ahmadis in Pakistan and asked the government to respond to allegations of violations of international law. 

The OHCHR said in its letter: “We would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency’s Government the information we have received concerning growing discrimination and rising incidents of hate speech and incitement to violence against the Ahmadi religious minority in Pakistan, including attacks against places of worship and other acts of intimidation.” 

The letter was submitted to Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We are deeply concerned about this series of violent attacks against the Ahmadi minority, which we have previously addressed in several communications that despite our requests for remedial actions from authorities, the safety of the Ahmadiyya minority continues to deteriorate.” Dawn quoted the OHCHR letter as stating.

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