While Pakistan PM Imran Khan sermonises India on the treatment of its minorities, his own’s government’s treatment of minorities is in the dock as a place of worship belonging to the Ahmadiya community has been razed down in Pakistan. Recently, Pakistani authorities demolished parts of a 70-year old mosque belonging to beleaguered Ahmadis minority sect.
The Ahmadis are a persecuted community in the state of Pakistan who were declared as non-Muslims in 1974. After a few years, they were even banned by the Pakistani state from calling themselves Muslims. In addition to this, they are banned from teaching their religious ideals and even from travelling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.
According to Ahmadi community spokesperson Saleemduddin, the now destroyed mosque was located in Bahawalpur district’s Hasilpur village. “The assistant commissioner of Hasilpur teamed up with Baldia workers mounted an attack on the 70-year-old Ahmadi place of worship in Murad district and destroyed parts of the building without tendering notice. The mosque was built on the place owned by the community. It has remained the same over past many decades,” Saleemduddin said.
Authorities in the Punjab province have, however, stated that the Mosque was razed because it was built on encroached land.
The Pakistani Ahmadiya community has accused that far from taking action against the perpetrators, a fellow Ahmadiya was being implicated in false charges by the Pakistani government. “Instead of taking action against those involved in its destruction, police have apprehended an Ahmadi who filmed this attack under baseless charges,” Saleemduddin said.
Many Ahmadi and human rights activists in Pakistan have slammed the razing down of the Mosque.
Minaret & others parts of Ahmadi mosque in 161 Murad Bahawalpur demolished in operation led by Hasilpur assistant commissioner. Ahmadiyya community spokesperson says no notice served & property belongs to community for decades. Those who filmed the incident arrested & charged pic.twitter.com/rk9hdW3tTg
— Bilal Farooqi (@bilalfqi) October 26, 2019
Minorities have always been vulnerable in Pakistan. There have been numerous cases of Hindu girls being kidnapped, forcefully converted and married off to older Muslim men under orders of radical leaders who enjoy political patronage.
Earlier last month, following an allegation of blasphemy against a Hindu school principal, Hindu temples, shops and homes of minority Hindus were ransacked by Muslim rioters. However, later it was revealed that the attack on Hindus was a pre-planned event to cover-up a child abduction incident. The school principal had thwarted efforts by giving refuge to one of the Hindu girls, who was abducted by associates of child kidnapper radical Islamist Mian Mithoo.