No room for Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan: Arrests and a tale of  brutal treatment as rights groups raise concern

Several Ahmadiyya Muslim community members were arrested in their own country Pakistan for performing their religious duty of sacrificing goats on Eid Ul Azha, an act highlighting the nefarious motives of the government which is even ready to punish its own citizens without a valid reason. The crackdowns occurred amid a recent Amnesty International report on the mistreatment of the Ahmadiyyas. 

At a time when Pakistan is struggling financially and more effort should have been shown by the government to resurrect its falling economy, the country’s administration arrested these men by claiming they were violating the Constitution.

  The FIR registered against the community members was under Section 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The Section seems to be draconian and authoritative since it elaborates on the penalty for a person of the Ahmadiyya group calling themselves a Muslim or preaching or propagating their faith.

In 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that obstructing non-Muslims from practising their religion within the confines of their place of worship was against the Constitution of the country.

As per a report published in Pakistan’s Dawn News, Amir Mehmood, a spokesperson for the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in Pakistan, said at least nine FIRs were registered across Punjab against members of the community.

A top Pakistani official said in his bizarre claim that the FIRs were lodged against them after the detainees did not follow the instructions of not following similar customs practised by the Muslims. 

Mehmood, the spokesperson for the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in Pakistan, highlighted the way police tortured the community members and said a doctor and his family members were mistreated for raising a three-month pet goat.

He claimed the doctor was arrested and his whereabouts are still not known.

Similar incidents were seen in several parts of the nation.

This is not the only community which is facing hard times in the Islamic nation.

Minorities, ranging from Hindus to Christians, have suffered for decades in the country ever since it was separated from India since its inception in 1947.

However, the case of Ahmadiyya community members is special since they are a Muslim community whom the South Asian nations perceive legally as non-Muslims.

Recently, Amnesty International even raised alarm over their dire situation and requested the Pakistani authorities to ensure their safety and prevent rising mistreatment towards them.

“These incidents of human rights violations by district administrations across Pakistan have demonstrated a pattern that Ahmadis remain one of the most systematically discriminated communities in Pakistan. Authorities must end the growing attacks on Ahmadis. They must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the human rights of the members of the community,” said Livia Saccardi, Deputy Regional Director for South Asia at Amnesty International.

Not only arrests, but the mosques and even graveyards of this community have been regularly targeted over the years, leaving them feeling insecure in their own nation.

“Religious groups have been issuing open threats for weeks leading up to Eid and despite a notification from the Ministry of Interior to provincial Inspector Generals and Chief Secretaries instructing an increase in security for Ahmadiyya places of worship, we have seen that the police and provincial governments have acted in extrajudicial ways across the country. It is clear that there is a lack of ownership of Ahmadis as citizens of Pakistan,” Mahmood Iftikhar, a Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist, was quoted as saying by Amnesty International.

Human rights organisation Minority Rights Group published an article on its website in 2022 that summed up the state of the community in the country by saying: “For the Ahmadi population, practising their religion at all, or referring to their places of worship as ‘mosques,’ has been criminalized. Similarly, because Ahmadis are required to declare themselves non-Muslims in order to obtain a passport, they are not able to perform Hajj. Attempts to build places of worship have also run into obstructions, with district-level authorities frequently refusing to grant permission for their construction.”


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