New Delhi: For Pakistan, a country that has falsely and baselessly propagated the charges of human rights violation on its neighbour, it is high time to watch in its own backyard. The human rights watch has taken serious notice of the ongoing government-sponsored and Jihadi clerics backed persecution of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan.
Well-drafted attacks have dotted the history of Pakistan aiming at the complete wipeout of the Ahmadiyya community. The Lahore Riots of 1953, anti-Ahmadiyya Riots in 1974, and in 2010 all the Ahmadi mosques in Lahore were targeted and desecrated by the Sunni hardliner riot mob in Lahore.
Besides facing discrimination in all walks of life and employment, the laws in Pakistan have made it very easy for the hardliners to find fault in the religious practices of Ahmadiyyas and target them. The Pakistani laws don’t acknowledge the place of worship by this community as mosques and hence the Ahmadiyas cannot pose as Muslims anywhere.
The strong nexus between the Pakistani “mob manager” clerics and the government further resulted in increased persecution of Ahmadiyyas. Building on the constitutional safeguard to them, these clerics declared the discreet ways of worship, non-usage of scripture in the mosques by the Ahmadiyya community as anti-Islamic. This further facilitated the ruthless persecution of the community in a country that has fanaticized everyone from common people to the top brass ruling the country.
The Ahmadiyya community has been pivotal in the creation of Pakistan, but over time, the Pakistani government has made it impossible for them to even reside peacefully in the nation.
Post the second warning by the human rights watch issued on November 26, 2020, it has become absolutely necessary for the world to put pressure on Pakistan to stop this genocide. The report mentioned the attitude of the police which does not register cases in the first instance. Even if it registers, it deliberately does not make an arrest or investigates the matter in the cases of violence against the Ahmadiyyas.
The state-sponsored hatred against the Ahmadiyyas has seeped down so much in Pakistan that the teenagers with little or no knowledge of religion or scriptures are killing Ahmadiyyas on the grounds of “religious differences”. The recent attack on November 20 at an Ahmadiyya family in Nankana in Pakistan is a testimony to this. The Ahmadiyya family was observing afternoon prayers when they were attacked by a teenage assailant.
The human rights watch mentions a trend of attacks on influential individuals from the Ahmadiyya community. In the past four months, the casualties in these attacks were primarily doctors, professors, and in one instance, a US citizen Tahir Naseem who was booked under the obsolete Blasphemy law in Pakistan in 2018. Naseem was killed in broad daylight in a high-security courtroom in Pakistan.
A news report mentions that in this wave of state-sponsored terrorism against Ahmadiyyas a number of assassinations, political killings, and extrajudicial killings accounted for the horrors this community is facing today. Those who went to knock on the doors of justice at court met the same end. The person filing the case along with their family members, lawyers, and judges who acquitted those who were falsely framed under the blasphemy law were assassinated.
The lead organisation which keeps the track of all the incidents of persecution of Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan and voices its concern to make the Government stop its ill motives is persecutionofahmadis.org. The reports published by the organization presents a true and horrific picture of how the killing of Ahmadiyyas is being made an issue of normalcy in Pakistan. The organization’s report for the year 2019 mentioned a number of instances where the leading newspaper of Pakistan ‘The News’ is cashing out the violence against Ahmadiyyas by providing its advertisement portals to the staunch hardliner organisations like Alami Majlis Tahffuz Khatme Nabuwwat (AMKTN). This is an organization headquartered in Multan with a branch in Lahore whose sole aim is the complete wipeout of the
Ahmadiyya community since the Ahmadiyyas don’t acknowledge the idea of ‘twisted’ Jihad which aims at creating universal Muslimhood or “milat”.
The organization routinely puts ads in the newspaper “The News” asking straightforward for donations for the Ahmadiyya genocide and choke the religious practices of the community.
The report further mentions the popular opinion of the trader’s body and Pakistani bureaucrats both these lobbies are of the view that the Ahmadiyyas should be persecuted according to the Sharia law for not being Muslims.
The national television of Pakistan PTV is also shamelessly involved in the creation of a false narrative around the Ahmadiyyas and declaring them as not indigenous to Pakistan.
The report also exposes the double standards of Pakistan when it was opening the Kartarpur Sahib corridor, on one hand, to attract the world’s attention on its pseudo-religious tolerance, while on the other hand, its own Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati was engaged in a discussion to condemn and abuse the Ahmadiyya sect on the state television channel.
All the anti-Ahmadiyya sentiments in Pakistan have been primarily directed towards the town of Rabwah, which happens to be the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan and according to a few media reports, the only place where the Ahmadiyyas enjoy considerable freedom and liberty. It is because of them constituting ninety per cent of the population out of sixty thousand residents of the town.
The AMKTN is bent upon building the mainstream mosques in the Chenab Nagar in Rabwah. It has constantly asked for donations for the same in the name of containing Ahmadiyyas religious practices by declaring them a threat to Islam.
The report by persecutionofahmedis.org mentions that the Pakistani fanatic clerics have been doing anti-Ahmadiyya rallies in Rabwah. These rallies have become a common occurrence in the past two years which clearly state the growing clout of anti-Ahmadiyya sentiments and government sponsorship combined with police free hand to the hate-mongering by the maulanas against the peace-loving communities of the Ahmadiyyas in their own hometown.
The Ahmadiyyas have already been ostracized from the mainstream citizenry of Pakistan. Further, the organizers of the rallies in Rabwah have formed pressure groups to force the government to inculcate certain legal loopholes in the constitution which will make the life of the people of this community completely harsh and desolate.
The conglomeration of fanatic maulanas has been forcing the government lately to include the column of religion as a compulsory entry for the National ID card system since the much-celebrated 2nd amendment of Pakistan amongst the Maulanas enforced under Zia-ul-Haq regime banished the Ahmadiyyas from being considered Muslims. This will further aggravate the tensions and threat of violence towards the already perishing community.
The scavenger hunt by these maulanas doesn’t stop here, they are further forcing Imran Khan’s regime who himself happens to be an anti-Ahmadiyya according to his minister Azam Swati, to add the chapters from Khatme-Nabuwwat in the school curriculum thus to poison the young minds from a very tender age. The Khatme Nubuwat Academy in London is another anti-Ahmadiyya organization that is continuously laundering support for its unjust and inhumane causes right under the British government’s nose.
Pakistan’s government is significantly liberal in providing a platform to the fanatic organisations on its vernacular press. The report by an Ahmadiyya rights organisation mentions that the hatred against the Ahmadiyyas is sponsored right from the government in the form of Urdu stories being published in the state of Punjab where Rabwah is located. The dailies and periodicals which were published in support of Ahmadiyya causes for justice were banned by the Punjab Government for populist favours in response to a recommendation by the Mutahiddah Ulama Board. The same government-endorsed over 2389 hateful news pieces aimed at the Ahmadiyya community.
It is high time when the world leaders should converge together and make Pakistan’s behaviour justiciable not just for the Ahmadiyya community but all of its minority communities put together. The systemic repression of Ahmadiyyas is slowly pushing them towards the margin of society. With the targeted killing of intellectuals, artists, and professionals from the Ahmadiyya community, it has become an absolute necessity for the world order to immediately look at this matter and make Pakistan do the needful before the entire community is wiped out by a zealot wave of politicians, bureaucrats, and religious clerics.
At numerous times, Human Rights Watch issues an alarm about Pakistan’s treatment of its minorities, it buries its head in the sand like an ostrich and believes no one is watching its heinous acts of terror. Mounting international pressure on Pakistan is the call of the hour which will not only help in securing the Ahmadiyya cause for justice but also a lesson for Pakistan to treat its minorities with respect and maintain equity of justice.