Two more incidents of the ongoing persecution of the minority Ahmadiyya community were reported in the Gujranwala district of Punjab on Sunday.
According to details, unidentified persons desecrated five Ahmadi graves in the combined graveyard in Talwandi area of Khajoorwali in district Gujranwala on the night of Feb 10.
Also in the middle of the night between 9th and 10th February, in the same area of Talwandi in district Gujranwala, unknown miscreants defaced the sacred Islamic names and other Islamic wordings written outside the shop of an Ahmadi shopkeeper.
The Ahmadi community has been a target of religious extremism and violent attacks since it is labeled a ‘heretic sect’ by the majority population of Pakistan. The country’s strict Islamic laws also prohibit Ahmadis from presenting themselves as Muslims and from using Islamic iconography or scriptures.
Attacks on Ahmadi places of worship have picked up pace in 2023, with mobs of miscreants and religious zealots attacking places used by Ahmadis for their worship rituals in Karachi and Mirpur Khas.
In late January, Ahmadi graves were desecrated in Faisalabad while deceased persons belonging to the community were denied burial in Sialkot. Also in late January, police in Toba Tek Singh forced the Ahmadi community to remove minarets from their place of worship.
The country’s blasphemy laws are also widely misused to target all religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis, and even Muslims who are accused under the laws.