Vandals have desecrated the grave of an Ahmadi youth in Peshawar who died in Ukraine 26 years ago, his community said on Friday.
The mortal remains of Ishfaq Ahmad were dug from his grave and thrown out in the night between May 19 and 20 in village Sangu, near Achini Payan, Peshawar.
According to Saleem Ud Din, the spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya community, so far there is no information about those behind this attack.
“This is not the first incident of its kind with Ahmadis. It has become a daily routine to raid cemeteries, break tombstones, disrupt funerals and desecrate corpses. The dead have been made a training ground after dissatisfaction with abusing the living and bloodshed. Really regretful!” he stated in a tweet.
احمدیوں کے ساتھ اس قسم کا یہ پہلا واقعہ نہیں ہے ، آئے روز قبرستانوں پر چڑھائی ، کتبوں کو توڑنا ، تدفین میں رکاوٹ اور لعشوں کی بے حرمتی معمول بن چکا ہے ۔زندہ لوگوں کے ساتھ بد سلوکی اور قتل وغارت سے جی نہیں بھرا تو مُردوں کو تختہ مشق بنا لیا ہے ۔ افسوس صد افسوس
— Saleem ud Din (@SaleemudDinAA) May 26, 2022
“It is important to note that there has been an increase in physical attacks on Ahmadis recently. This incident took place just a few days after a young Ahmadi was stabbed to death in front of his children in Okara,” he tweeted referring to Abdus Salam who was murdered by a madrassa student on May 17.
International and local human rights organisations are alarmed over the ongoing persecution of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan condemned the killing.
“The brutal murder of an Ahmadi man in Okara, who was reportedly stabbed to death by a seminary student, serves to remind us just how precarious the lives of religious minorities have become,” the commission stated in a tweet last week.
The brutal murder of an Ahmadi man in Okara, who was reportedly stabbed to death by a seminary student, serves to remind us just how precarious the lives of religious minorities have become. 1/2
— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) May 18, 2022
“Until the rising tide of religiosity is stemmed and better protection mechanisms put in place, they will remain lesser citizens. This is unacceptable and the perpetrators must be brought to book. “
In its Annual Report on the State of Human Rights in 2021, the commission shared data from the Ahmadiyya community which indicated that over 100 cases were registered against members on religious grounds, including ‘posing’ as Muslims, preaching their faith, and allegations of blasphemy. At least three members of the Ahmadiyya community were killed in separate targeted attacks, allegedly on the basis of their faith.
Incidentally, dedicated Ahamdiyya graveyards in Pakistan are even kept locked most of the time for fear of the graves being destroyed by extremists. As per HRCP, 70 Ahmadi graves were desecrated and damaged last year.
This February, some 45 Ahmadi graves were desecrated allegedly by the Hafizabad police in Premkot, Punjab province following “complaints from a local resident who objected to the community’s use of holy verses on its tombstones”.
Amir Mehmood, who handles communications for the Ahmadi sect, condemned Punjab police for engaging in a “pattern or practice” of prejudice against Ahmadis.
“There has been no arrest in the recent desecration of the grave in Peshawar where five Ahmadis were killed in the last three years. Let our dead rest in peace. This is against humanity and religion,” he told Kross Konnection.
Several Islamic clerics castigate the Ahmadiyyas for distorting ‘the Islam faith’ and have called on Western countries to stop considering them as part of the Muslim community.
The killing was a recent case of violence exercised by Ahmadis, who have long held a grievance against Pakistan’s majority Sunnis, who consider them heretics.
Pakistan amended its constitution in 1974 to specifically declare that Ahmadis are not Muslims and may not be called or call themselves that. It also barred them from preaching.