June 7th, 2021
On June 6, a funeral procession of a woman belonging to the minority Ahmadi community in the Safdarabad locality of Sheikhupura, was attacked by a mob on its way to the cemetery.
The mob comprised villagers from the same locality who had opposed the idea of having someone from the Ahmadiya sect buried near a Muslim graveyard. Even though the Ahmadi community was able to bury the dead women after a scuffle, peace in the area remained volatile following the incident.
“The area is formally called Chak 79, Nawakot and is home to some 30 Ahmadiya households,” explains Amir Mehmood, the press secretary of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya Pakistan. “The issue with the graveyard has persisted for quite some time now. The Safdarabad locality has only one graveyard. A line has been etched to demarcate the two. But this is not the first time such an incident has occurred. Some time ago the Muslim locals of the area with the backing of the district administration desecrated Ahmadi graves by taking down gravestones of several graves.”
“This was not a spontaneous event. It felt planned because proper announcements were made from nearby mosques asking Muslims to gather in the area and stop the funeral procession,” continues Amir.
Meanwhile Azhar Mashwani, the digital media focal person to the Chief Minister of Punjab, acknowledged the incident in a tweet and declared that the “district administration had reached the scene of the incident almost instantly and that the long-standing issue of the graveyard dispute between the two communities had been resolved.”
However Amir Mehmood the spokesperson of the Ahmadiya Jamaat does not agree with this assertion.
“Attacks against the Ahmadiyya Jamaat have become a routine occurrence. The other citizens of the country must realize that this will not stop with the Ahmadiya community. In time this extremism will become an immediate issue for all Pakistanis.