September 1, 2023

Staff Report


The Lahore High Court, in an Order issued on Thursday, August 31, barred the authorities from changing the structure of the Ahmadiyya places of worship.

Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh in his Judgement in the case titled Imran Hameed etc Vs The State etc vide Order dated 10.04.2023 has clearly laid down in Paragraph 16 of the Judgement that Section 298-B and 298-C of the PPC do not mandate the structures of the Ahmadiyya places of worship built before the Ordinance 20 of 1984 to be razed or altered.

In response, the Ahmadi community spokesperson Salimudddin lauded the step saying that it was a positive development in light of what has been happening recently.

“The implementation of the judgment remains to be seen and we are hopeful that the authorities would follow through with this decision,” he said.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also welcomed the decision.

“Caretakers of Ahmadiyya sites of worship cannot be held liable for the construction of minarets at sites that pre-date Sections 298-B and 298-C of the PPC,” said the body. “Given the alarming frequency with which individuals—often at the behest of far-right religious groups—file cases against members of the Ahmadiyya community on charges of outraging ‘the religious feelings of Muslims’, this judgment goes some way in protecting the community’s right to practice their faith safely. The judgment should also serve to prevent the police from razing minarets at Ahmadiyya sites of worship—a constant pattern in the last eight months.”
The Judgment
In November 2022, complainant Irfan Ilyas filed a complaint with SHO Wazirabad stating that ‘Qadianis’ (derogatory word for Ahmadis) had built a worship place with a minaret which was a religious symbol for Muslims. According to him, it was ‘an insult to the religious feelings of the Muslims of the locality, and a perpetual feeling of pain and anguish to them.’
Since the petitioners were managing the worship place, they were liable under the law. Based on this complaint the SHO registered an FIR under Sections 298 B and C, while the petitioners applied for pre-arrest bail.
Meanwhile, the counsel of the petitioners submitted that the worship site Bait-ul-Zikar was constructed in 1922.
Rise in Hate Crimes 

Amir Mehmood said that the Ahmadi persecution had reached unprecedented heights especially over the past few months.

On August 29, 2023 police along with the authorities defaced sacred wordings from an Ahmadi worship place in Shadiwal and Chooknawali, District Gujrat.

On August 30, 2023 the minarets of another worship place in Sheikhupura were desecrated by the police after pressure by extremists.

The police defaced the sacred writings from the place of worship in Gujrat on 29th Aug by applying black paint, after which they demolished the sacred wordings with a hammer and took the debris away with them.

“It’s a common practice now that the police instead of protecting the Ahmadis, are putting pressure on Ahmadis and are desecrating their worship places themselves. They often even ask the Ahamdis to desecrate their worship places themselves.”

Mehmood said, the caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwaar Ul Haq Kakar had mentioned the Ahmadis during his speech in Jaranwala after the incident there, and had promised that the State would protect the rights of the vulnerable. However since 21st Aug, 2023 three Ahmadi Worship Places have been desecrated by officials.


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