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By Rana Tanveer
Published: September 8, 2011
LAHORE: A man, who was later identified to be an Ahmadi, was critically injured after being shot three times in Ferozewala of Sheikhupura district on Wednesday just as religious parties observed the ‘Tahafuz Khatam-e-Nabuwat Day’.
Relatives of the victim, Chaudhry Basheer Ahmed, alleged that he was targeted because of his religious beliefs as a result of the intensification of a hate campaign against Ahmadis in the area.
Tahafuz Khatam-e-Nabuwat Day marks the anniversary of the day in 1974, when Pakistan’s parliament declared Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority.
Basheer Ahmed was shot once in his abdomen and twice in his neck with a 30-bore pistol at close range.
Naseer Ahmed, one of Basheer’s relatives who witnessed the attack, said that they were “sure the attacker was one of the local activists of Khatam-e-Nabuwat”, adding that the murder attempt was made near the local chapter of the Khatam-e-Nabuwat office. He said that the assailant was a bearded man between 18 to 20 years of age.
Two armed men had attacked and killed a 70-year-old man in his shop in the presence of his sons in the same area. According to the prosecution, he was killed for his beliefs.
Naseer Ahmed said Ahmadis in Ferozewala and elsewhere are under constant threat because of an ongoing hate campaign.
SHO Ferozewala police station Faisal Abbas Chadhar said that relatives of the victim had “neither given an application, nor did they want to take legal action”.
He said that the attackers and their motive were still unknown.
He said that further legal action would be taken once an application for an FIR was filed.
Spokesperson of the Jamat-e-Ahmadia, Pakistan, Saleemudin criticised the government for supporting such events, and said that the government should, instead, take steps to stop such hostile campaigns.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2011.