The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has denounced in an official statement the increase in extremist attacks on Ahmadis in Pakistan.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has pointed out that these radicals are encouraged by the Pakistani state authorities.
The official statement from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is reproduced below:
EXTREMISTS, ENCOURAGED BY STATE AUTHORITIES, ARE INCREASING THEIR ATTACKS AGAINST THE AHMADIS IN PAKISTAN
We have reported on several occasions that, since the beginning of 2023, the wave of intolerance against Ahmadi Muslims has intensified. In a worrying twist to the growing crisis in Pakistan, dozens of Ahmadi mosques have been desecrated.
On 13, 14 and 15 September 2023, the minarets of the Ahmadi Muslim mosques of Chak 183 Murad, Bahawalpur, Narang Mandi, Sheikhupura, and 168 Murad, Bahawalnagar, were desecrated by assailants of the extremist Tehreek e Labbaik group. Similarly, the minarets of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque in Kirto, Sheikhupura, were targeted by the fanatics.
The police, as in previous cases, did nothing to prevent these attacks. In fact, the police have been at the forefront of committing these acts. Images and videos of these events spread quickly on social media and can be seen in these online videos.
Minarets in these places of worship existed long before Ordinance XX of 1984. The recent decision of the Lahore High Court clearly mentions the fact that the minarets of the Ahmadi places of worship built before 1984 are not to be altered or demolished.
Recently, the Prime Minister of Pakistan declared that the state would protect the places of worship of all citizens. However, as has been seen in the past, the higher authorities have failed to intervene when the police - instead of providing protection - have acted as accomplices to the acts of these extremist elements.
Ahmadi Muslims find it impossible to practise their faith while being mercilessly persecuted by fundamentalist gangs. The latest act of desecration of mosques by the local population and the police is strong evidence that there is no sign of improvement in the law and order situation for the Ahmadis in Pakistan.
The judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (PLD 2014 SC 699), authored by the then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, guarantees the protection of all places of worship and directs the Police to protect such places of worship. The destruction of minarets is also a violation of Article 20, and the Supreme Court's own 2014 judgment (PLD 2014 SC 699).
In the said Supreme Court judgment of 2014 (PLD 2014 SC 699) it asked the Government of Pakistan to form a special task force for the protection of places of worship of minorities. However, on the contrary, it is proceeding to execute the state-sponsored extremist agenda against the Ahmadiyya Community through authorities encouraging such violent behaviour, which defies the 2014 Supreme Court judgment (PLD 2014 SC 699) and all norms of religious sanctity.
Various human rights groups have repeatedly expressed their deep concern over the lack of attention to the grave human rights violations perpetrated against the Ahmadi community around the world, and have called on the International Community to redouble its efforts to end the persecution of the Ahmadis. Similarly, on 13 July 2021, UN human rights experts expressed their concern about the lack of attention to human rights violations committed against the Ahmadi community and called on the International Community to step up its efforts to end such persecution.
We therefore urge, once again, the International Community to put pressure on the Government of Pakistan to live up to its responsibility to provide due protection to all its citizens, to guarantee freedom of religious practice to the Ahmadis and to bring the perpetrators of these violent attacks to justice. The Government of Pakistan must also bring its laws and practices in line with international standards, as mandated by articles 2 and 18 and articles 25 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.