“Rise in Ahmadiyya persecution in Pakistan alarming”: Canadian human rights organisation

The international community has also condemned the violence, calling on the Pakistani government to drop “baseless criminal charges” and act against anti-Ahmadi hate.

Islamabad: At the heels of a political party meeting in Pakistan where members called for the government to remove all Qadinias (Ahmadiyyas) from key posts, the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) has expressed alarm and reported recent instances of anti-Ahmadi hate in Pakistan perpetrated by extremists and state institutions. (ANI)

The conference, Khatm-e-Nabuwat, was held on September 12 under the aegis of the party Jamiat-e-Ulema, presided over by the JUP (Punjab) Deputy President Maulana Hafiz Muhammad Saleem and the Ulema – who said that Qadinias deny the end of the Prophethood and are traitors of Islam, according to IFFRAS, a Canadian human rights organisation. On June 6, Muslim clerics had opposed burying Ahmadiyya women in a local graveyard in Safdarabad, Sheikhupura, leading to violent clashes.

Pakistani Muslims protest the appointment of a minority Ahmadi Muslim as an adviser to the government, in Lahore (2018). (Credit: AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

According to IFFRAS, Pakistani media has reported on various Islamic clerics calling on Western countries to stop considering Ahmadiyyas as part of the Muslim community. An Ahmadiyya mosque was demolished in July by extremists in connivance with local police in Faisalabad district.

Ahmadiyya Muslims’ persecution in Pakistan has also been highlighted by the international community.

Siobhain McDonagh, a Member of Parliament and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, UK expressed concern in a letter to the Pakistan High Commissioner in the UK in December last year, mentioning the murder of an Ahmadi doctor in Punjab and killing of two Ahmadis in Peshawar.

US Senators Richard Blumenthal and John Cornyn in February objected to the “escalating persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan,” including exploitation of cyber and blasphemy laws to target “an already persecuted religious minority.”

They underlined that six Ahmadiyya Muslims, including one US citizen, had been killed in Pakistan in the last six months, while another Ahmadi had died in prison facing charges for blasphemy, reported IFFRAS. The senators pointed out that Pakistani lawmakers, far from condemning these atrocities, instead praised the killers. They called on the Pakistan government to drop the charges pending against senior Ahmadi Muslim leaders and end discrimination towards the community, reported IFFRAS.

David Hartman, Director General of South Asia of Global Affairs Canada in February had also taken up the issue of criminal cases registered against Ahmadiyya Muslims with Pakistan High Commissioner in Canada, reported IFFRAS.