Spokesman for Muslim minority calls on government to take action against 'hate campaign'
Mahboob Khan, 82, was shot dead at a bus stop in Peshawar on Nov. 8. (Photo supplied)
An elderly Ahmadi man has been murdered in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar because of his faith, a community spokesman said.
Mahboob Khan, 82, was on his way back home from visiting his daughter on Nov. 8 when unknown assailants shot at him while he was waiting for a bus. The father of four was a retired official from a government public health service.
“He was shot at a very close range close to his head and that killed him instantly. He has left behind a 70-year-old widow. It is the fourth incident of such nature in Peshawar against members of the Ahmadiyya community in the past four months.” said Saleem ud Din, a spokesman for Pakistan’s minority Ahmadi community.
Last month an Ahmadi professor at the Government Superior Science College in Peshawar was on his way home from college when an unknown assailant on a motorcycle opened fire at him on Oct. 5. The 56-year-old was struck by five bullets and died instantly.
Saleem ud Din strongly condemned the recent incidents.
“The government must take decisive action against such heinous acts of violence that are a direct result of ongoing religious hatred,” he said.
“In Pakistan members of the Ahmadiyya community have been targeted due to their faith for years. The sense of insecurity and fear is at an alarming level. Such incidents are clearly evidence that the government and law enforcement agencies are least bothered about the lives and properties of Ahmadis.
“There has been a significant increase in the hate campaign against Ahmadis in recent months. The government of Pakistan has turned a blind eye towards the plight of members of the Ahmadiyya community and has failed to act against those behind this hate campaign.”
He called on the government to ensure that such hate campaigns against Ahmadis will be dealt with and the perpetrators will be punished.
“We hope that the government will not abandon the peace-loving, patriotic, innocent and law-abiding Ahmadis at the mercy of these terrorists and hate mongers,” Saleem ud Din said.
Pakistan's 5 million Ahmadis face many challenges and persecution at the hands of majority Sunni Muslims and a legal system that protects Sunni interests, they claim.
Activists say they are punished for their belief system, which posits sect founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet and Masih Maud as the promised messiah or a metaphorical second coming of Jesus. This is considered heresy in mainstream society.
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