Days before Eid-ul-Azha, policemen in Gujranwala have reportedly desecrated 53 Ahmadi graves in two local graveyards, making this the fourth such incident against the community in the city this year.
According to the press section for the community, on the night between July 6 and 7, Gujranwala police as well as some local citizens raided two graveyards in the Talwandi Khajurwali district of Gujranwala and desecrated as many as 53 graves.
Photos from the scene show headstones shattered and broken. The community has appealed to the government to take action against the culprits, and to protect the rights of the Ahmadiyya community.
The community press section said that the recent list of desecrations by the Punjab Police all over the province has steadily been on the rise.
On the night between July 6 & 7 two different graveyards in Talwandi Khajurwali, District Gujranwala were raided by the police accompanied with non-officials where they desecrated Ahmadiyya graves. We request the govt to take action against culprits and protect Ahmadis rights. pic.twitter.com/ZbHd0Rn6hR
— PressSectionSAA (@PressSectionSAA) July 7, 2022
Previously in February of this year, the Punjab Police desecrated almost 50 Ahmadi graves in Hafizabad, by removing plaques and destroying tombstones.
Separately, a 36-year-old Ahmadi man was stabbed to death by a Madrassa student in Okara in May. According to reports, the murderer was a member of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Meanwhile in Peshawar, the grave of an Ahmadi man was dug out and his remains were thrown out.
The Ahmadi community faces persecution in Pakistan, with frequent hate crimes and incidents of mob violence targeting them. Hate speech by extremist quarters against them leads to further violence, yet the authorities do not seem to have the will to protect the community from this persecution.
Even mainstream political leaders cannot seem to refrain from dragging minorities in their speeches at rally, which ends up being linked to even more cases of hate crimes.
Ahmadis also face mistreatment from the justice system, as many lose their lives while being tried for blasphemy.
Earlier this year, a 70-year-old Ahmadi man who was on trial for blasphemy died in Bahawalpur Jail due to alleged mistreatment despite his ill health. He was awaiting his bail hearing scheduled for later this year.