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PAKISTAN: Federal government must stop killings of Ahmadis

September 5, 2011

PAKISTAN: The federal government must intervene to stop the killings of Ahmadis

Another Ahmadi killed in hate crime against religious minorities

The religious minority group of Ahmadis is under constant threat of religious hate crimes and no serious efforts have been initiated by the government to provide protection the community.

In the latest incident a member of the Ahmadiyya community was murdered after receiving death threats from an extremist group who is allegedly patronized by the Punjab provincial government. Mr. Naseem Ahmad Butt, 55, was shot dead by four men as he lay sleeping inside his house in Muzaffar Colony, Faisalabad, Punjab province. According to his brother Khalid Pervez Butt, at about 1am, the attackers entered by climbing over the walls. "The boys were between 20 and 25 years old. Three of them kept a watch on the door as one kicked my brother. When he was awake, the killer said "You are Ahmadi and liable to be killed", Khalid told daily The Express Tribune.

The attacker then shot Naseem in the chest while another bullet ruptured his kidney. A car and a bicycle were used in the attack, Khalid said. Naseem, was a worker at a power loom factory and leaves behind his widow, four daughters and a son. His first cousin, Naseer Butt, was also killed last year when he was passing through a crowded market place in the same Faisalabad city. Police have made no effort to trace his killers and the case has been declared as a blind murder.

In a hate campaign a band religious group is openly issuing pamphlets calling on citizens to kill people from the Ahmadiyya community. This should be done in the open and crowded market places as a Jihad (holy war). Killing, beating and punishing them would be rewarded by God.

The Asian Human Rights Commission has informed the authorities about the plan to target Ahmadis but no action whatsoever has been taken and this religious minority group has been left to the mercy of militant religious groups. Please see: PAKISTAN: Extremists openly plan to kill hundreds of Ahmadis--government turns a blind eye. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-077-2011?searchterm=Ahmadis In this instance the pamphlets were published by the All Pakistan Student Khatm-e-Nabowat Federation and were issued by the information department of Aalmi Majlis-e-Khatm-eNabowat Shafaat-e- Muhammadi with their phone numbers and email address.

In the hate crimes against the Ahmadiyya community more than 111 Ahmadis have been killed in target killings since 1984 when an ordinance against Ahmadis were issued by a military dictator. In May last year, more than 88 people were killed in the provincial capital Lahore when gunmen opened fire at two separate places of worship and, one year on, no progress has been made by investigators.

The government of President Asif Zadari must take immediate action to protect the Ahmadiyya community and bring to a halt the hate crimes being committed openly against them. There is no question as to the identities of the religious extremists who are calling for a Jihad against the Ahmadiyya community as they openly express their hate speeches from the public address systems of their mosques. The provincial government of the Punjab has been implicit in assisting the Jihad and makes no effort to conceal the fact that they openly support the extremist. Once again the government of President Zadari knowing that one of their provincial governments is openly supporting the Jihad against the Ahmadiyya community has done nothing.

The federal government must intervene with all haste to rein in the extremists and seriously question a provincial government that encourages violence against the people of Pakistan regardless of their religious faith or ethnicity.

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Visit our new website with more features at www.humanrights.asia

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