Dailytimes.com: It seems that state officials are taking advantage of the discriminatory status of Ahmedis to freely brutalise members of the community. Police officials continuously persecute these people because of their status as a declared non-Muslim community on one pretext or another. The brutal murder of Abdul Qudoos Ahmed, 43, an Ahmedi schoolteacher and president of the Nusratabad chapter of the Ahmadiyya sect at the hands of policemen at the Chenab Nagar police station through unremitting torture has increased the toll of atrocities being committed against Ahmedis with impunity. The fact that they have been declared non-Muslims does not deprive them of their rights as citizens. They are citizens of Pakistan and protection of their rights is the responsibility of the government. However, the government’s role has been regretfully indifferent, as it does not do anything to stop the inhuman treatment, socio-economic segregation and persecution of the members belonging to this minority group. Some office bearers of the government in fact appear supportive of all such discriminatory practices.
The police had picked up Qudoos Ahmed on February 10 without any warrant to interrogate him in a murder case. They kept him in illegal custody for 35 days and released him on March 26 only after his condition had become too critical to sustain their torture any further. His family was pressurised not to take up the matter. However, a case was later registered against two sub-inspectors of the said police station, clearly saving the skins of the SHO and the DSP who ‘surprisingly enough’ remained unaware of Ahmed’s custody during all this period.
The police’s absolute brutality has sent shivers down everyone’s spine that believes in humanity. The Asian Human Rights Commission has expressed its concern over the murder and plight of the non-Muslims in Pakistan who face unrelenting discrimination at every step of their lives. Reports keep surfacing in this regard, highlighting the rising religious fanaticism and intolerance in our society, indeed a dangerous place for the religious minorities. It is time to check this fast growing lethal trend by taking necessary measures to assure all the non-Muslims of their social, economic, legal and political rights in Pakistan. The government has to condemn extremism and rampant brutal activities against minorities. In Ahmed’s murder case, a judicial inquiry should be held to bring the real culprits to book and send a strong message to all the saboteurs of harmony. *