Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Recommend UsEmail this PagePersecution News RSS Blog
Introduction & Updates
<< ... Worldwide ... >>
Monthly Newsreports
Annual Newsreports
Media Reports
Press Releases
Facts & Figures
Individual Case Reports
Pakistan and Ahmadis
Critical Analysis/Archives
Persecution - In Pictures
United Nations, HCHR
Amnesty International
US States Department
Urdu Section
Feedback/Site Tools
Related Links

Home Media Reports 2010 Carnage in Lahore
Carnage in Lahore
The News - Internet Edition
Saturday, May 29, 2010,
Jamadi-us-Sani 14 , 1431 A.H.
 Carnage in Lahore

Saturday, May 29, 2010

At least 80 people have been killed in what appears to be one of the bloodiest acts in several years of violence motivated by religious hatred. The attack on two places of worship in Garhi Shahu and Model Town in Lahore where Ahmedis were saying prayers is a testament to how fanaticism can rouse the savage within men and what inhumanity religious intolerance, if allowed to grow unchecked, can lead to. Hundreds were trapped as the police and the terrorists fought it out. The number of the dead will certainly rise. The manner in which the two buildings were targeted was, in some ways, similar to the simultaneous attacks in October last year on sites where the security apparatus was based. In other ways they resembled the ‘morality-squad violence’ seen over the past two years in Lahore. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Punjab has reportedly claimed responsibility for the Friday attack, but it is too soon to determine if this claim is credible. Be that as it may, the attacks are certainly tied to the past. Pakistan’s Ahmedi community has been under attack since the 1950s. With the decades that have passed since then, the severity of their persecution has increased, and has been enshrined in law. In the mid-1970s they were declared non-Muslim. A decade later a bar was placed on them preaching or professing their faith. Violence of all kinds against them – murder, kidnappings, forced conversions – has taken place. The latest attack is a continuation of this. It fits too with the more organised terrorism we have been seeing recently.

It was obvious during the whole incident that our police force – struggling to tackle the gunmen, crowds of onlookers and the tearful families of worshippers – found the situation a bit too much to handle. Crowd control at the site of both incidents was non-existent. The police caused a panic when they resorted to aerial firing after taking an occupied building. It is also important to note that they were poorly equipped in terms of both weaponry and body armour. If we expect the forces of law and order to fight the terrorists, they need to do so ‘at par’. And that includes training. One fact the Punjab government needs to face up to is that the problem of militancy and terrorism is rooted within the province. This has been denied in the past by the Punjab chief minister. But there is no getting away from the fact that the attacks in Lahore have been the work of groups based in Punjab, perhaps in the south. Just like the militants in the northwest they need to be tackled if the periodic violence we see in the city is to be stopped and further episodes of this kind averted.

Top of page