Minarets of Ahmadi minority community’s worship place in Pakistan’s Punjab province demolished

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The minarets of a worship place of the minority Ahmadi community were demolished by radical Islamists in Punjab province of Pakistan, police said on Tuesday.

The minarets of the Ahmadi worship place in Chak 168 Murad of Bahawalnagar district, some 400 kilometres from here, were demolished by unknown suspects on Monday, the police said.

Activists of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were suspected to be involved in the incident, police said.

Ahmadis are usually referred to as Qadianis in Pakistan, which is considered a derogatory term for them.

Pakistan’s Parliament in 1974 declared the Ahmadi community as non-Muslims. A decade later, they were banned from calling themselves Muslims. They are banned from preaching and from travelling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.

The TLP has been active in demolishing minarets of Ahmadi worship places across Punjab province.

Last month, the TLP men demolished the minarets of the Ahmadi worship place in the Jhelum district of Punjab.

The TLP first gives a warning to the police to either demolish the minarets of the worship places of Ahmadis or they would do it by themselves.

“The situation is becoming worse day by day for the already marginalised Ahmadis in Pakistan. Despite requesting police to protect our worship place in Bahawalnagar they did not act,” Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan Punjab official Amir Mahmood told PTI on Tuesday.

He said the minority community continued to face persecution at the hands of the evil elements.

“The acts of desecrating the minarets of the places of worship in various areas of Pakistan especially Punjab continue unabated. It is a new norm and the authorities are doing nothing,” he said, adding the government and the law enforcement agencies were partisan against the Ahmadis and instead of safeguarding their worship places they allowed its desecration.

Although the number of Ahmadis in Pakistan is around a million, unofficial figures put their population much higher.

In Pakistan, around 10 million out of the 220 million population are non-Muslims. The minorities in conservative Muslim-majority Pakistan often complain of harassment by the extremists. 

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