August 22, 2012
RAWALPINDI: According to Saleemuddin, spokesperson of Ahmadiyya community, Ahmadis were restricted from offering Eid prayers at Ewan-e-Tauheed located at E-Block, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi reported DawnNews.
Saleemuddin said, “Ewan-e-Tauheed is where most of us offered Eid and Friday prayers, however, the situation changed nine months ago when a hate campaign against our community enticed residents of the area to restrict our activities. Prior to the Eid prayers, we sought approval from the local law enforcement agencies to let us pray on Eid or suggest an alternative site where we could congregate.”
According to Saleemuddin, police approved of the idea, however, at the last minute informed Ahmadis that it is best if they offer Eid prayers at Bait-ul-Hamd, Murree Road, which only has a capacity to accommodate 100 worshippers.
He went on to say that early in the morning, police officials surrounded Ewan-e-Tauheed to deter Ahmadis from gathering and praying.
“An estimated number of 2,000 Ahmadis were expected to congregate and offer Eid prayers, however, were unable to do so because of the sudden change of events triggered by influence of local powerful businessmen,” added Saleemuddin.
However, Azhar Hamid Khokhar, CPO Rawalpindi, denied the allegations and said, “We had made it clear to the Ahmadis that they will not be able to pray at Ewan-e-Tauheed on Eid and advised them to congregate at Bait-ul-Hamd. This was our understanding from day one”