Lahore [Pakistan], February 9 (ANI): The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed outrage against people who desecrated graves of members of the Ahmadiyya community in the country's Punjab province.
"HRCP is appalled to learn that some 45 Ahmadiyya graves were desecrated allegedly by the Hafizabad police in Premkot on 4 and 5 February, following complaints from a resident who objected to the community's use of holy verses on its tombstones," the HRCP said in a statement.
"Worryingly, such acts are becoming almost routine, leaving members of the Ahmadiyya community as beleaguered in death as they are in life," the statement added.
The rights group said the desecration of graves is an affront to human dignity and must not be permitted. "If the government is sincere in its bid to make Pakistan a more inclusive society, it must counter and punish all such acts."
Taking to Twitter on Monday, Pakistani journalist Azaz Syed had raised concern about the issue of desecration in Hafizabad district and asked the government to take action against the perpetrators.
In Pakistan today, anti-Ahmadi Muslim sentiment is very strong. It is amongst one of the most persecuted minority communities in the country.
"Reportedly PunjabPolice/@DHafizabad has desecrated 45 graves of the Ahmadiyya community in Premkot, district Hafizabad. Persecution against any community violates basic human rights and Islamic values. Govt must take action," Azaz Syed tweeted.
Back in 2020, a detailed report by the UK-based All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) had revealed details about the discrimination the Ahmadi community has been facing in Pakistan.
The APPG Inquiry heard disturbing evidence that anti-Ahmadi hatred is taught to children in schools, including in their textbooks.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group had called for the repeal of anti-Ahmadi laws in Pakistan and some of its key recommendations to the Government of Pakistan include removing the publications ban on Ahmadi Muslim literature and ensuring full freedom of religion for all religious communities in Pakistan. (ANI)