Attack on place of worship in PoK, 40th case in 10 months, victims make serious allegations against police

Pankaj Prasad
TLP attacked Doliyan Jatan in PoK
TLP attacked Doliyan Jatan in PoK

A case of attack on the place of worship of Ahmadi community has come to light in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).

More than three dozen people attacked the place of worship of the Ahmadi community in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). The attackers also demolished the minarets of the building that looked like a mosque. The attackers, who are said to be activists of the radical Islamic party, also terrorized the people of the Ahmadi community. According to Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya Pakistan on Saturday, the attacks took place on at least 40 separate occasions between January and October this year. The PoK attack is the latest. This prayer place was constructed in 1954.

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya Pakistan official Amir Mehmood said on Saturday that more than three dozen miscreants, believed to be members of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), carried out the attack on Friday. An Ahmadi prayer place in Dolian Jatan in Kotli district was targeted. During the attack by the miscreants, the Ahmadi people present at the spot ran away to save their lives. The attackers also damaged the minarets.

According to the report of news agency PTI in the case of attack on Ahmadi prayer place, Amir Mahmood said that the miscreants had come on motorcycles. The attackers, after destroying the minarets and niches of the prayer place, raised religious slogans and fled. The incident took place in Narr police station area of Kotli, but no FIR has been registered against the suspects yet.

Mahmood alleges that at least 40 places of worship of the Ahmadi minority community have been targeted in different parts of Pakistan during the first 10 months of this year. Radical Islamic people have carried out attacks. He alleged and said, the police has also been involved in the demolition of minarets and arches of prayer places. In 11 cases, the attacks took place in Sindh province and the rest in Punjab province.

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya Pakistan claimed that most of the Ahmadi prayer places were attacked by TLP activists. In other incidents the police, under pressure from religious extremists, demolished minarets and arches and also erased sacred texts written on the premises. It is noteworthy that TLP has claimed that Ahmadi places of worship look like Muslim mosques because they have minarets.

It is also interesting that Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims, but in 1974 the Parliament of Pakistan declared this community as non-Muslims. A decade later he was banned from representing himself as a Muslim. People of the Ahmadi community were also barred from practicing different aspects of Islam. Prohibited items include the creation or display of any symbol that is also used by Muslims. For example, mosques were prohibited from building minarets or domes, or writing verses from the Quran in public.

However, according to a decision of the Lahore High Court, places of worship built before a special ordinance was issued in 1984 are considered valid. According to the court, they should not be changed. There has also been a ban on their demolition.

Regarding the attack in PoK, Mahmood said, not a single case has been registered so far against the religious extremists who attacked and damaged Ahmadi places of worship. Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya Pakistan alleges that the situation for the already marginalized Ahmadis in the country is getting worse day by day.

According to the statement of Jamaat, Ahmadis are facing continuous harassment. Places of worship are being desecrated every day in different areas of Pakistan. The officials are continuously ignoring these incidents. Action is not being taken against the culprits.