Vandalism at Ahmadi worship place unacceptable

Vandalism at Ahmadi worship place unacceptable

Lahore, 25 May 2018. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has noted with
grave concern the recent demolition of an Ahmadiyya place of worship in Sialkot as well as
a house of historical significance to the community.

According to a press release issued by the Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya spokesperson, up to 35
Municipal Committee personnel arrived at the house of the late Hakim Hassamuddin on
Wednesday night and began to demolish the building. They were joined by a mob of about
600 people who reportedly vandalized an Ahmadiyya place of worship nearby. The press
release alleges that the Ahmadiyya community was ‘in the middle of a legal process to
acquire access to the building’ when the local administration began the demolition ‘without
having acquired permission from the court.’ The mayor of Sialkot, Chaudhary Tauheed
Akhtar, claims the building that was demolished was ‘an illegal construction’ and scheduled
for demolition.

In a statement issued today, HRCP has called on the government to investigate the incident
through an independent, high-level probe and to take appropriate action swiftly: ‘It is
critical that the facts of the case be established transparently. The beleaguered Ahmadiyya
community is already vulnerable to harassment and violence: the state must take special
care to ensure that the community’s places of worship and sites of religious significance are
protected as far as possible. All religious minorities are entitled to this protection under the
Constitution and the reported mob vandalism in this case is insupportable.’

Dr Mehdi Hasan

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