Express Tribune: by Amna Agha: The persecution of the Ahmadiyya community has reached new heights following the destruction of six minarets at an Ahmadi place of worship in Kharian on July 10. Deeply appalling is the fact that the initiative was taken by the very people who are responsible for upholding and protecting every individual’s rights and freedom — the police. And, more ludicrous is the fact that an SHO claimed that the process of knocking down the minarets was “amicable and peaceful”.
Destruction of one’s home of worship is a propagation of hatred and intolerance. Of course, such abominable actions are nothing new in the history of Pakistan. Agitation against the Ahmadiyya community began in 1948 when the religio-political group, the Majlis-e-Ahrarul Islam, demanded that Ahmadi government officials be removed from their posts. Pakistan’s foreign minister at the time, Zafarullah Khan, was also an Ahmadi. In 1953, mass rioting and hate campaigns launched against Ahmadis led to Zafarullah Khan’s resignation in 1954. Surprising on the state’s part, an inquiry was launched into the rioting in order to understand the reason for the agitation and to potentially seek protection for the victims of intolerance. The analysis was titled ‘The Punjab Disturbances of 1953’, also known as the Munir Commission Report. Written by Justice Mohammad Munir, the report found the Ahrar guilty of injustice and concluded, “… it is our deep conviction that if the Ahrar had been treated as a pure question of law and order, without any political considerations, one district magistrate and one superintendent of police could have dealt with them”.