Man belonging to minority Ahmadi community shot dead in Pakistan

Lahore: In an alleged “faith driven attack”, a young man belonging to the minority Ahmadi community has been shot dead in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

“Lucman Ahad- who was in his 20s- left his house for his agriculture farm on Gujranwala-Hafizabad road yesterday morning, when two unidentified motorcyclists intercepted him and opened fire at him, killing him on the spot,” Saleemuddin, spokesperson for Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan, said on Sunday.

A case of murder was registered against unidentified men at Kot Ladha police station on the complaint of family members of the victim.

“We cannot confirm whether Ahad was killed for his faith. We have launched investigation into the case and it will be premature to comment on it at this stage,” Muhammad Hanif, a police official, said.

Salimmuddin said Ahad had no enmity with any one in the locality.

“It is a faith driven murder. A few days ago a conference was organized in Gujranwala and its speakers incited people for violence against Ahmadis,” he alleged.

He said Shahzad is the 11th member of the community killed in Pakistan this year.

Saleemuddin further said that instigating hatred and violence against Ahmadis is normal and acceptable in Pakistan where pamphlets, street banners openly instigate hatred and violence against the community.

“A host of a morning show on Geo TV on December 22 had called Ahmadis enemies of Pakistan,” he said.

In 2008, he added the same channel with same host in a programme called for death to Ahmadis and subsequently two prominent Ahmadis were shot dead on the very next day.

“It is high time that Pakistani government and law enforcement institutions take notice of this open hatred and instigation to violence and brought the culprits to book,” Saleemuddin said in a statement.

Ahmedis follow Ghulam Ahmed, an Indian religious leader who died in 1908. Though their beliefs overlap with Islam in various ways, they are considered heretics by many conservative Muslims. A 1974 Pakistani law officially declared them non-Muslim.

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