An article by Nasim Malik published by the Asian Human Rights Commission
PAKISTAN: A year on from the Lahore attacks but Ahmedis still suffering
A day of ghastly sight of gristly, gruesome bloodshed of Ahmadis in Lahore Pakistan
A year after the terrifying horrendous massacre of 86 Ahmadis of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Lahore, Pakistan the world remains deeply in shock, appalled by that act of religious terrorism, cold bloodedly covered up by the government of Pakistan.
The 86 murdered were part of a Friday worship service in Darul Zikr mosque in Lahore and Baitul Noor mosque in Model, Town, Lahore. During the course of this carnage nearly 150 people were seriously injured.
The very next day the security forces arrested 6 terrorists who confessed that they had carried out the attack on the Darul Zikr mosque but no action to this day has been taken against anyone. Both the mosques are in close proximity of police stations who could clearly hear the gun shots and blasts but they did not show up on site until the terrorists had exhausted all their ammunition stock. Even on arrival the police did not allow the emergency services to enter the mosque which could have saved many innocent lives of worshippers.
The families of the victims of this carnage received no support or assistance from the government whatsoever and the widows and the orphans are left to suffer and fend for themselves.
The government of Pakistan usurped the fundamental basic human rights, rights of religious freedom of Ahmadis in Pakistan by declaring them non-Muslims in 1974. This was perpetuated by the infamous Ordinance XX promulgated by General Zia ul Haq under which Ahmadi Muslims can be sentenced to death or imprisoned for practising the Islamic faith or using the Islamic scriptures or epithets.
Over 200 Ahmadi Muslims have been murdered in Pakistan for following their faith since 1974 and several hundred prosecuted and imprisoned under the infamous Blasphemy laws.
Pakistan today is infected with Islamists persisting in their hard-line interpretation of Islam based on force and violence to promote their objectives and promote terrorist activities resulting in frightful loss of innocent lives on a daily basis.
The federal government has taken no effective bold step to curb and eliminate the activities of extremists who are continuing to erode the very values on which Pakistan was established.
The political parties in Pakistan too have shown no indication to confront the religious bigotry, extremism and violence which has shattered the social and economic fabric of the society.
Pakistan is a signatory to the UN Human Rights Charter and its ancillary declarations but is attitude and treatment of minorities particularly Ahmadis is deplorable.
Ahmadis now well established in 198 countries of the world have earned a worldwide reputation of being a very tolerant law abiding and peace loving community. They have been treated horribly, unjustly and discriminately to the extent they cannot even vote but they have never protested or acted against the state of Pakistan.
Ahmadi generals shed their blood in the Pakistan wars to protect its integrity and today the government of Pakistan is not showing the slightest regard for the rights, safety and security of Ahmadis in Pakistan.
The 28 May 2010 massacre gives an undeniable slur of cruelty and atrocity upon Pakistan and its continued injustice and violation of the fundamental rights of Ahmadis will not go in vain. It is time that the government of Pakistan sanely attends to its obligations towards all its subjects without discrimination to save itself from a path of destruction on which it is treading. It is now high time for the government of Pakistan to act.
The views shared in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the AHRC, and the AHRC takes no responsibility for them.
About the Author:
Mr. Nasim Malik was a Swedish Socialdemocrat politician and was elected as a reserve member of the Swedish Parliament and President of the International Wing of the Socialdemocrats Kalmar. He can be reached at email@example.com