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Pakistan police arrest 36 Ahmadis who were organising Qurbani at their homes on Bakrid, last year animals worth Rs 531 billion were sacrificed in Pak

Over six million animals valued at approximately Rs 531 billion were sacrificed during the three-day Eid festival in 2023 and this year it has been reported that the numbers would touch 6.8 million.

The persecution of the people belonging to the Ahmadi community in Pakistan seems to be at rock bottom as the police arrested as many as 36 members of the community for celebrating Eid-Al-Adha or Bakrid or Bakri Eid. The Ahmadis were arrested for organising Qurbani (sacrifice) on the occasion of Eid. 

Last year’s statistics provided by the tanners associations in Pakistan show that over six million animals valued at approximately Rs 531 billion ($1.9 billion) were sacrificed during the three-day Eid festival in 2023 and this year it has been reported that the numbers would touch 6.8 million. While animal sacrifice is a routine practice in Pakistan during Eid, the Ahmadis are restrained from practising their Islamic rites since they are recognised as non-Muslims in Pakistan.

“At least 36 members of the minority Ahmadi community have been arrested for offering sacrificial animals for slaughter on Eid-ul Adha in the country mostly in Punjab province,” Amir Mahmood, an official of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan, which represents the minority community in the country, told news agency PTI.

Accusing authorities of preventing Ahmadis from offering their religious rites within the confinement of their homes during Eid and detaining people with their sacrificial animals, the official added, “Preventing Ahmadis from offering their religious rites within the confinement of four walls is a grave violation of their human rights as well as a clear violation of the judgements by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”

Mahmood alleged that Tehreek-e-Labbiak Pakistan (TLP) has been inciting hostility towards Ahmadis and putting pressure on the police to prevent members of the minority group from carrying out their religious rites. The group was being persecuted, he asserted, especially in the Punjab area, by both law enforcement officers and radicals.

He said that Ahmadis were prevented from conducting Eid prayers on Monday. The police have also threatened Ahmadiyya leadership with “immediate danger” from the TLP if they are discovered conducting the ‘Qurbani’ or offering Eid prayers.

“It has come to be known that the intelligence agencies have also issued a threat alert on the occasion of Eid against Ahmadis,” Mahmood said. The Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan has demanded the immediate release of the Ahmadis detained on Eid and urged authorities to take steps to ensure their religious freedom.

Meanwhile, videos have emerged on social media showing Pakistan police raiding the houses of members of the persecuted Ahmadi community and arresting people for offering Qurbani at their homes.

Notably, last year too, the Punjab police in the Islamic state of Pakistan issued a directive to stop minority Ahmadi Muslims from organising Qurbani (sacrifice) and offering Namaz, even from within their houses, during the Islamic festival of Bakrid.

Local media reports suggested that the notice had been sent to all local police stations asking police personnel to stop Ahmadis from performing Qurbani, as it is “offensive to other Muslims”.

The police as per the reports, have warned that if any Ahmadiyya persons violate these directives, they could face jail or financial penalty under 298-B and 298-C (Ahmadi blasphemy laws) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

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