Ahmadis Still Suffering a Year after Lahore Attacks
The 86 dead Ahmadis are still
awaiting justice a year after they were
massacred during Friday prayers in Lahore.
A year after the terrifying and horrendous massacre of 86 members of
the Ahmadiyyah Muslim community on May 28, 2010, in Lahore the world
remains deeply in shock, appalled by this 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 in another part of
the city. During the course of this carnage, nearly 150 others were
The next day the security forces arrested six 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 to police stations that could clearly hear the
gunshots and explosions, but they did not arrive at the mosques until
the terrorists had exhausted all their ammunition. Even when they
appeared, the police did not allow the emergency services to enter the
mosques, which could have saved many innocent lives of the worshippers.
Meanwhile, the families of the victims of this carnage have received no
support or assistance from the government, and the widows and orphans
have been left to suffer and care for themselves.
The government of Pakistan has usurped the fundamental human rights of
the Ahmadis in Pakistan—the right of religious freedom—by declaring them
non-Muslims in 1984. This was perpetuated by the infamous Ordinance XX
promulgated by Gen. Zia ul Haq under which Ahmadi Muslims can be
sentenced to death or imprisoned for practicing the Islamic faith or
using Islamic scriptures or epithets.
More than 200 Ahmadi Muslims have been murdered in Pakistan for
following their faith since 1984, and several hundred have been
prosecuted and imprisoned under the infamous blasphemy laws.
Pakistan today is infected with Islamists persisting in their hardline
interpretation of Islam based on force and violence to promote their
objectives and promote terrorist activities that result in a frightful
loss of innocent lives on a daily basis.
The federal government has taken no bold nor effective steps 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 inclination to
confront the religious bigotry, extremism and violence that has
shattered the social and economic fabric of society.
Pakistan is a signatory to the U.N. Human Rights Charter and its
ancillary declarations, but its attitude and treatment of minorities,
particularly Ahmadis, is deplorable.
Ahmadis, who are now well established in 198 countries around the world,
have earned an international reputation as being a very tolerant,
law-abiding and peace-loving community. In Pakistan, however, 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 and soldiers have shed their blood in the country’s wars
to protect the nation’s integrity, but today the government of Pakistan
does not show the slightest regard for their rights, safety and
The May 28 massacre last year bestows an undeniable slur of cruelty and
atrocity upon Pakistan, and its continued injustice and violation of the
fundamental rights of Ahmadis will not vanish in vain. It is thus time
that the government of Pakistan sanely attends to its obligations
towards all its citizens without discrimination to save itself from the
path of destruction upon which it is treading. It is now time for the
government of Pakistan to act.
* Nasim Malik was a member of
Sweden’s Parliament and can be contacted by e-mail at <Nasim.Malik@kalmar.se>.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is a regional non-governmental
organization monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The
Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984. More information is available
on AHRC’s web site at <http://www.ahrchk.net/index.php>.
The views shared in this article do not necessarily reflect those of
AHRC, and AHRC takes no responsibility for them.