LAHORE: An Ahmadi man was shot dead on Wednesday night in the Saddar area of Rahim Yar Khan district.
Basharat Ahmad, 61, was on his way to his house in Green Town from his own petrol pump on Zahir Pir Road when unidentified assailant(s) intercepted and gunned down him. He was taken to a local hospital where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival. The victim suffered two bullet wounds.
The reason behind the murder is yet to be ascertained. However, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya spokesperson Saleemuddin claimed Bashir was targeted because of his religious beliefs. “He had no enmities,” the spokesperson said.
An FIR was been registered under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of Ataul Quddoos, the son in law of the deceased. According to the FIR, Quddoos said his father-in-law left the petrol pump on Thursday night at around 8:30pm on his motorbike to go home. The son-in-law added that he himself left a few minutes later.
As Quddoos neared Khakwani Estate, he was a mob and thought there was a road accident as it appeared that a man had fallen of his bike. He ultimately discovered it was his father-in-law, who he rushed to the hospital in a Rescue 1122 ambulance. Thinking the cause of death was an accident, Quddoos took the victim home where he discovered that Bashir has been shot twice in the head at point blank range.
The body was consequently taken to the tehsil headquarters hospital for an autopsy which confirmed that the victim suffered two bullet wounds. The son-in-law added some unknown assailant(s) attacked him and killed him. He requested the police to register FIR and arrest the accused.
This is the fourth member of the Ahmadi community to have been killed in Punjab over the last five weeks. On April 18, Professor Tahira Malik was killed at her residence in Punjab University. On April 7, Dr Ashfaq Ahmad, 68, a vet and PhD in food and nutrition, was on his way to an Ahmadi place of worship when he was targeted in the Sabzazar area of Lahore..
On March 30, Advocate Malik Saleem Latif – a cousin of Nobel laureate Dr Abdus Salam – was gunned down in Nankana Sahib while he was headed to court with his son Malik Awais.
Six Ahmadis were killed in 2016, says a report.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2017.