November 21st, 2020 

Bureau Report


LAHORE

The spate of Ahmadi killings continues unabated in the country. On Saturday an Ahmadi doctor was shot dead while his father was left critically wounded after a teenager opened fire at their house in Nankana district, which is incidentally also the hometown of Ijaz Shah, the Federal Interior Minister.

According to a statement from the Jamaat Ahmadiyya, the assailant opened fire as members of the Ahmadi family were coming out of their house after Friday’s worship in Murh Balochan area of Nankana’s Sangla Hill tehsil. The firing fatally wounded Tahir Ahmed, a 31-year-old doctor and critically wounded his father Tariq Mehmood and injured two other family members. Tariq Mehmood, who received a bullet in the head, and the two family members are under treatment at a local hospital.

According to police, the attacker, who is a 15-year-old boy, has been arrested and the first information report has been registered in the attack. Police sources told Voicepk.net that the accused was a neighbor of the victims. In his initial statement to police, the accused claimed that he was incensed by the weekly Ahmadi worship in the house on Friday. “Every Friday, Ahmadis used to gather in the house for worship and because of this my religious sentiments were hurt,” he told police, adding that “he had shot them in a fit of rage.”

Jamaat Ahmadiyya spokesperson Saleemuddin strongly condemned the attack saying it was part of a long-running hate campaign against the minority Ahmadi community in the country. He said five members of the community, including two in Punjab, have been killed in the country this year.

Amir Mahmood, in-charge of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya’s media cell, told Voicepk.net that the attacks on the Ahmadi community members and their properties had spiked after the killing of Tahir Naseem, an alleged blasphemy accused, inside a Peshawar court in July.

Meraj Ahmed, an Ahmadi businessman, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in August, while an Ahmadi professor at a local college in Peshawar was shot dead by a colleague in October after an altercation. On November 8, 82-year-old Ahmadi man Mehboob Ahmed was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Peshawar.

Amir Mahmood said that the police have failed to arrest most of the accused involved in the Ahmadi killings. He said if the government was serious in protecting the lives and property of the minority community it should first act against those publicly spewing hatred against the Ahmadi community.

In a tweet on Saturday, Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Special Representative to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony, condemned the attack in Nankana saying any individual, group or organization in the country cannot be allowed to commit extrajudicial killings in the country. He said the Prime Minister has instructed investigations into the killings of Ahmadi community members in Peshawar and Nankana.

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