Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ahmedis remained target of religious hatred in Pak: Report

MSN News, Indonesia
Ahmedis remained target of religious hatred in Pak: Report
Lahore, Mar 17 (PTI) Some 100 members of the Ahmedi community were killed across Pakistan last year while 67 cases were registered against them on religious grounds, an organisation representing the minority sect said today.

A report issued by the Jamaat Ahmadiya said: “In 2010, Ahmedis continued to be the target of religious hatred and violence.”

Jamaat spokesman Saleemuddin said there was “great concern” over the cases registered against members of the sect on religious grounds.

Saleemuddin said a total of 202 Ahmedis were killed “on account of their faith” since 1984, when Ahmedi-specific laws were added to the Pakistan Penal Code by late military ruler Gen Zia-ul-Haq.

During the period since 1984, a total of 234 Ahmedis suffered violent attacks, 22 places of worship of the sect were destroyed and 28 sealed by authorities, Saleemuddin said.

Another 15 places of worship were unlawfully seized by opponents of Ahmedis.

Saleemuddin said: “A total of 67 Ahmedis were charged for various offences last year. Since the induction of Ahmedi-specific laws, the members of the community have endured years of persecution and harassment at the social, civil and political levels. This is a clear infringement of their right to live as free and equal citizens in Pakistan.

“Ahmedis were prevented from building any new place of worship in 2010, he said. They were also stopped by police from repairing old ones though all Pakistani citizens are “at liberty to do so in accordance with their faith”, he added.

Saleemudin alleged that hate literature was being distributed against Ahmedis with impunity.

Ahmedis consider themselves Muslim but were declared non-Muslims through a constitutional amendment in 1974. A decade later, they were legally barred from proselytising or identifying themselves as Muslims in Pakistan. Some 1.5 million Ahmedis live across the country.

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