Islamabad [Pakistan], December 8 (ANI): With mob attacks and killings becoming a regular affair against the Ahmadiyya community, Pakistan has become a country where the people of this community are subjected to extensive persecution including hate speech and violence with at least 13 killed and 40 wounded from the community since 2017, according to a media report.
The Geneva Daily, an online publication that provides in-depth coverage of issues relating to human rights violations and child abuse, reported that the approximately 4 million-strong Pakistani community is subjected to extensive torture, religious persecution by self-declared Islamic leaders, and discrimination by institutions and the general public.
The community has been forcibly forbidden to call itself Muslim since the year 1974 in Pakistan and it is the only country to label them as non-muslims. Moreover, they are also not even allowed to call their houses of prayer "mosques".
The most recent infraction was reported on November 22 from an Ahmadi cemetery in the Punjab province.
The offenders vandalised four tomb markers and wrote anti-Ahmadi epithets on them. This was the third occurrence of this kind in 2022; there were also comparable instances in February and August, Geneva Daily reported citing a Pakistani daily, Friday Times.
According to a report published in September 2022, the Belgium-based International Crisis Group (ICG) forecasted that sectarian violence could intensify with political instability and economic downturn creating a divide in Pakistan, which is seen already as the Ahmediyya community continues to remain miserable in the South Asian country.
Pakistan's Ahmadi community is routinely subjected to discrimination which often enjoys legal and state sanctions resulting in the rise of extremism against them in the country.
Citing media reports, Asian Lite International said that unidentified suspects have desecrated Ahmadi graves in Pakistan Punjab.
The suspects desecrated four grave headstones and inscribed anti-Ahmadi slurs on them, Friday Times reported. The incident occurred in Premkot, Hafizabad, on November 22, but came to light after, according to the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya.
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya spokesperson Aamir Mehmood said the incident took place at the same graveyard where Punjab Police had reportedly desecrated 45 graves of community members earlier in February.
Mehmood said the "heart-wrenching" incident was representative of rising intolerance in Pakistan. "Forget living Ahmadis, even our dead are not spared," he said, Friday Times reported.
Pakistan's Ahmadi Muslim community has faced consistent systematic discrimination, harassment and attacks since 1974, when then-Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto introduced a Constitutional Amendment which specifically targeted the community by declaring them non-Muslims. In 1984, General Zia-ul-Haq introduced Ordinance , which further stripped the community of the right to identify themselves as Muslims and the freedom to practice their religion freely. (ANI)