LAHORE: The government has failed to provide adequate protection to Ahmadis, members of the Ahmadiyya community said while expressing concern over the killing of a man in Mardan on December 23.
The man, who was expecting the birth of his first child soon, was the fourth in his family to be killed in this manner this year.
Talking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, members of the community criticised the government and said that they were targets of a deliberate ‘divinely-sanctioned’ reprisal campaign.
Sheikh Omar Javed was killed on December 23 in Mardan. According to a statement issued by the community, Javed was returning home from work with his father and cousin when assailants on a motorbike ambushed them.
Javed, sitting in the back of their family car, died after sustaining bullets in his head and chest. His father and a cousin were also injured.
The handout said that the assailants, having fired about 17 or 18 bullets, fled the crime scene. The condition of Javed’s father and cousin is said to be stable.
Javed’s widow is expecting their first child, the press release said.
The statement recalled that one of Javed’s cousins, Sheikh Amir Raza, was killed in a suicide bombing on an Ahmadiyya place of worship in Mardan on September 3 this year. His father-in-law, Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad and one of his uncles were killed on November 8, the press release said.
The handout recalled that another member of his family was also killed in 1974, the year in which Ahmadis were declared non-Muslim in Pakistan.
Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the head of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, said that despite numerous killings that have befallen this family, they continue to bear difficulties with bravery and patience.
Jamaat spokesperson Saleemuddin said that Ahmadis were being threatened all over the country. He said that it appeared that the government was not serious in protecting the life and property of Ahmadis.
Appealing to the government to provide proper protection to the members of his community, he said that despite official inaction and silence over innumerable excesses, they continue to bear losses of lives all over the country with patience.
Munawar Ali Shahid, a member of the community, said that it was impossible for them to even mention that they were Ahmadis in public. According to him, just introducing oneself as an Ahmadi was enough to attract criticism and public isolation.
He said that because of a deliberate hate campaign initiated by some radical clerics, Ahmadis were considered not even worthy of staying alive.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2010.