Ahmadiyya mosque partially demolished by administration
Chak 161 Murad, District Bahawalpur; October 25, 2019: At about 3:30 pm an Ahmadi mosque was partially destroyed here under the supervision of police and officials.
According to details the Assistant Commissioner accompanied by policemen, workers of the city administration Hasilpur and machinery, arrived at the scene and took the keys of the mosque from a local Ahmadi. On entry they disconnected the electric supply and confiscated the recording system of the CCTV at the mosque. Then using the machinery, they destroyed the niche of the mosque into rubble. They did this while they had no official warrant or an Order of the Court to carry out such activity.
The incident was captured by Mr. Vishal Ahmad (an Ahmadi), on his mobile phone. The police arrested Mr. Ahmad and seized his phone. Another Ahmadi, Mr. Muhammad Mustafa, an official of the Ahmadiyya Community was also arrested. These two have been charged under PPC 186/506. Surely, photography in the open is not an offence. Next day they were released on bail.
The mosque was built by Ahmadis on Ahmadiyya land in 1949. Seventeen Ahmadi families, totaling about 150 persons live in the vicinity of the mosque.
It is noteworthy that the defiling of the mosque was not undertaken by mullas, but by officials. State is supposed to protect not attack places of worship.
According to the daily Dawn report, “Assistant Commissioner Tayyab termed the action anti-encroachment operation launched on order of the district peace committee, led by Deputy Commissioner Shazeb Saeed. … He added the Ahmadis were asked to demolish ‘Mehrab’ of their worship place and construct a wall around it so that it might not look a ‘Mehrab’.” One may ask these gentlemen to show any ‘Mehrab’ in the whole Islamic world where a wall has been constructed around it. Even the idea of such construction is comical and absurd.
The same paper carried AC’s statement: “The committee directed him (the DC) to take action against the encroachers in larger interest of peace in the village so that Ahmadis could continue having religious freedom within the walled premises of their worship place; Ahmadis are being given ‘freedom of religion.’”
It seems the district authorities do not even read their daily newspapers. Only a few days earlier on October 4, 2019 the Supreme Court directed to constitute a special bench for protection of minority rights and places of worship as ordered by the SC in its verdict of June 2014. It is hoped that the SC will take notice of this incident and hold the concerned officials accountable.
Mr. Usman Buzdar (of PTI) is the chief minister of Punjab while Mr. Imran Khan is the prime minister of Pakistan.