An Ahmadi man was booked on Monday by Karachi police under the nation’s Ahmadiyya-specific penal provisions for using ‘Syed’ as a prefix.
A copy of the FIR is available with The Friday Times — Naya Daur. The suspect, a lawyer, had been representing other Ahmadis before a court. The man had submitted some documents in connection with the case. The documents, it has been claimed, featured Islamic terms. His name featured alongside.
The complainants sought action against the Ahmadi lawyer over this and for employing ‘Syed’ as a prefix. The suspect was booked under Section 298-B and C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) after at Karachi City Court police station.
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya press in-charge Amir Mehmood said the development constituted the first time an Ahmadi had been booked (in part) over their name under the nation’s Ahmadiyya-specific penal provisions. He said the registration of the FIR was representative of rising religious extremism in Pakistan. Now, Mehmood said, tolerance was at such a level that Ahmadis’ names were being used to persecute them.
Life for Ahmadis, he said, was deliberately being made difficult. The community, he said, had been deprived of basic, fundamental rights. Mehmood said it now appeared that Ahmadis would not be permitted to keep names of their choice.
Pakistan’s tiny Ahmadi community is routinely subjected to discrimination which often enjoys legal and state sanction.
A school in Punjab’s Attock district expelled four Ahmadi students over their confession earlier in September. Tahir Khan*, a relative of the students, said they had been expelled for simply being Ahmadi. He said a class fellow of one of the students had been harassing one of the students for some time. The students, Khan said, were expelled after some parents prevailed on school principal Kulsoom Awan.
*Name changed to protect identity.