16 February 2023

By Hamza Saeed



A report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has raised questions about the role of the local administration and the police in recent incidents of mob violence against religious minorities in Gujranwala. The report details an increase in persecution of Ahmadiya community members in the area, including the desecration of graves and sites of worship, and filing of First Information Reports against community members for sacrificing animals on Eid.


‘Local Administration Directly Involved in Some Cases’


HRCP reports that in December 2022, the civil administration officials in Gujranwala and Wazirabad were involved in destroying the minarets of Ahmadi sites of worship as well as in January 2023, after  objections raised by members of a local political-religious group namely the TLP (Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan). The administration claims to have done so to circumvent the threat of mob violence, but according to the report this has only increased hostility towards the Ahmadiya community and made them even more vulnerable.


The report also highlights the district administration’s perception that some legal and constitutional provisions provide room for persecution of this kind, although under Article 20(b) of the Constitution, this is not the case. The report criticizes the local bureaucracy, police, and judiciary for their inability to manage law and order while respecting the fundamental rights of the Ahmadiya community, and recommends that the judgments of Supreme Court Justices Tasadduq Hussain Jilani and Syed Mansoor Ali Shah from 2014 and 2022 be implemented, including the establishment of a special police force to guard religious minorities’ places of worship.




The HRCP mission has recommended measures for the improvement of the safety and security of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya community, including enhanced police capacity, training for civil administration, and implementation of the 2014 Supreme Court judgment. Local law enforcement is instructed to take legal action against harassers, while NADRA should simplify CNIC applications. Members of the Ahmaddiya community must be included in the District Aman Committee and represented on the National Commission for Minorities (NCM).

The HRCP report highlights the urgent need for action to protect religious minorities in Gujranwala and calls on the authorities to take immediate steps to prevent further incidents of violence and persecution.






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