Two Muslim Ahmadis shot dead in Pakistan

280 Ahmadis killed for their faith since 1984; three so far this year 
Ghulam Sarwar y Rahat Ahmad Bajwa
Ghulam Sarwar and Rahat Ahmad Bajwa

Two Muslim Ahmadis have been shot dead in broad daylight in Saad Ullah Pur, Mandi Bahauddin district. Ghulam Sarwar, son of Bashir Ahmed, 62, and Rahat Ahmad Bajwa, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bajwa, 30, were shot dead at noon in two separate attacks, the Ahmadiyya Community said in an official statement.  

According to information received, Ghulam Sarwar was returning home after offering midday prayer at an Ahmadi place of worship, when the suspected assassin opened fire on him near his house, killing him on the spot. Within a gap of 20 minutes, when Rahat Ahmad Bajwa was returning home from his catering centre, (Pakwan Centre), located at the local bus stand, a student of the local madrassa also shot and killed him. 

The alleged killer arrested by the authorities is Syed Ali Raza, aged between 16 to 17 years. He is a student of a local madrassa in Ahle Sunnat. The head of the madrassa is Sajid Latif, who is active in anti-Ahmadiyya activities. 

The killer allegedly confessed to the police that the motivation behind these murders was faith-based. 

Ghulam Sarwar was 62 years old. He was a farmer. He has left behind a widow and 6 children. Rahat Ahmad Bajwa owned a restaurant. He has left a widow and 2 minor daughters. Both deceased will be buried in Rabwah. 

Spokesman of the Ahmadiyya Community of Pakistan, Mr. Amir Mahmood, while condemning these heinous murders, has reiterated about the urgency of bringing the ideologues to justice for inculcating hatred among the youth against the Ahmadis. The perpetrators of this hate campaign are out in the open, why is the government not taking any action against them?  

Moreover, he found that anti-Ahmadiyya activities in Mandi Bahauddin have been on the rise lately and the population is being incited against the Ahmadis. To the extent that even pregnant Ahmadi women (1) have received direct threats and the perpetrators have not been held accountable, they continue to spread hatred and violence against Ahmadis. They recently carried out a hate campaign against the appointment of an Ahmadi police officer (2) in Mandi Bahauddin, threatening him with death. 

Also recently, two videos (3) have been released from Jhelum in which a person associated with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Labaaik is heard inciting violence against Ahmadis, claiming that he would hang Qadianis, while in the other video the speaker is heard threatening that if any Ahmadi performs the religious rite of Qurbani (sacrifice of an animal), he will kill those Ahmadis. 

The spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Community has demanded that the government stop the hate campaign against Ahmadis in Pakistan and bring the perpetrator of the death of Ghulam Sarwar and Rahat Ahmad Bajwa to justice. 

Fatal trajectory 

The Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan continues to suffer severe persecution, and the International Community must pay attention to it. Recently, the National Human Rights Commission of Pakistan published a report (5) indicating that the Ahmadiyya Community faces the highest levels of violence and discrimination in Pakistan. Among the recommendations of this report, four emphasised the need to act strictly against hate speech and to promote a culture of tolerance and respect for religious diversity. 

We urgently call on you to raise your voice against these cruelties. The international community must urge the Pakistani government to safeguard the rights of the Ahmadis and ensure justice for the victims. The Pakistani authorities must also recognise the need to curb the culture of hate speech and promote a culture of harmony. The time has come to act; silence and inaction will only perpetuate the cycle of violence and hatred.