Sunday, December 18, 2016

Perspective: Ahmadi persecution | Editorial - Daily Times


This attitude of blame games and living in denial regarding the affairs in Pakistan has resulted in an increase in hate crimes against the minorities in Pakistan.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Daily Times
By Daily Times | December 14, 2016

On the auspicious day of Eid Milad-un-Nabi, a charged mob besieged an Ahmadi place of worship in Chakwal and put the properties on fire. Police were able to disperse the crowd but not before the property of the place was burnt down. The place of worship located within the limits of the Chowas Saidan Shah police station area in Chakwal’s Dhalmial district was attacked by nearly 1,000 people, according to the Jamaat-i-Ahmaddiya Pakistan Spokesperson. An armed mob with batons and weapons started throwing stones and firing in the premises of the place. Reports suggest that the mob was attempting to seize Ahmadiyya property.

The development comes only a few days after the recognition of Pakistan’s first Nobel Laureate, Dr Abdus Salam. The decision by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to rename the Physics department at Quaid-i-Azam University was widely appreciated throughout the world. But the recognition did not contribute anything to relieve the community of their miseries. Since then, a few incidents have been reported in only past few days. Moreover, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) had also criticised the decision of the government to honour Dr Abdus Salam. The US State Department had also shown its reservations over the situation of minorities in Pakistan.

Recently, following a verbal tirade by Indian Home Minister, Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan had criticised the state of minorities living in India. This attitude of blame games and living in denial regarding the affairs in Pakistan has resulted in an increase in hate crimes against the minorities in Pakistan. This is the same attitude which has led to the trivilisation of such hate crimes among the eyes of the general public.

Moreover, the reports suggest that local Ahmadiyya community had written a letter on December 5 to the district coordination officer to request the provision of security at Dhalmial place of worship. The letter had stated that the life and property of Ahmadis might be endangered and the procession planned might “try to occupy Ahmadi’s worship place forcibly.”

Such incidents have been reported in the past as well. Although the security arrangements on the occasions of religious events are generally good, the government has been unable to protect the minorities in the country. There has been no check and balance on the hate-speech by the clerics of different sects. The country has been divided on the sectarian basis, and the situation will further worsen if the situation is not brought under control.

A crackdown against the hate-speech and hate-mongering against the other sects was made an essential part of the National Action Plan announced following the APS attacks of 2014. But the incidents of hate-speech have continued, rendering the law e-enforcement authorities useless. The Punjab Government had said that the no one would be allowed to take law in their hands. It remains to be seen whether the perpetrators behind this incidents are brought to justice. There is an urgent need to set a precedent by punishing those responsible for such incidents. Only then the government can claim to be implementing the law without any discrimination of cast, creed, colour, or religion.*


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