Pakistani news photographers take pictures of desecrated graves at the minority Ahmadi community graveyard in Lahore. -AFP Photo

LAHORE: Gunmen on Monday desecrated graves of Ahmadis in Lahore, members of the minority community said, in the latest act of intimidation and religious hatred against the beleaguered group.

More than a dozen masked men broke into an Ahmadi graveyard in the Model Town area of Lahore before dawn and after tying up the security guard and caretaker vandalised graves, community spokesman Salimud Din said.

The attackers shattered the tomb stones of about 120 graves and left, he said.

Din said police took no action after similar incidents a few months ago in the eastern city of Faisalabad and the central town of Lodhran.

“The government has failed to protect our human rights and Ahmadis' life and property is not safe in Pakistan,” Din said.

Shahid Ataullah, a local Ahmadi elder, said the attackers came around 2:00am (2100 GMT) and threatened the guard and caretaker with “dire consequences” and said that they were annoyed because Islamic verses were engraved on the tombstones.

Ataullah told AFP that the attackers told the guards they were from militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Taliban, though there was no claim of responsibility.

Members of the community were discussing whether or not to lodge a formal complaint with police, he said.

“We are under lots of pressure and the objective seems to be to harass us,”Ataullah said.

Police said that they were not aware of the incident.

“There is no such thing in our knowledge. We will take action when someone files a report about the incident,” local police station chief Idrees Qureshi told AFP.

In May 2010, nearly 100 people were killed in Lahore after militants stormed two Ahmadi places of worship launching gun and grenade attacks.

Gunmen later raided the hospital where victims were being treated, killing four people in a shoot out.

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Comments (87)

ghaleezguftar
December 4, 2012 8:08 pm
and has your highness's investigation team established the religion of the miscreants as a known fact?
Alley
December 4, 2012 8:53 pm
Manimals .....There is a theory in science that human race will further split into two types. One will have superior minds and sense and others will be inferior in all aspects.....may be these are the ancestors of inferiors........
Irfan Baloch
December 3, 2012 1:35 pm
why bother? when their heads are filled with hot air and hatred? what a disgrace what shame today no one and specially minorities are not safe from these terrorists worse part is, after such atrocities instead of any sympathy towards Ahmedis the debate moves on Ahmedis being non-Muslims instead of condemning the atrocity & perpetrators
Ali G
December 3, 2012 10:18 pm
please explain it to everyone here first. I dont think anyone understands as the verses can be interpreted in different ways and several verses contradict each other.
Vijay
December 5, 2012 8:38 am
There are no one in Pakistan stopping these bad guys doing bad things. :(
Naseer Rushdi
December 3, 2012 1:28 pm
Poor country. What has happened to our tolerance level? We even dont spare the deceased. Not sure should I be proud of this or really ashamed of myself. Long live humanity & Islam, the religion of tolerance.
muzammil ullah khan
December 3, 2012 1:28 pm
It is a free for all . Any one can do any thing in this Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Today . It is Ahmadi grave yard today . Tomorrow it will be Shia grave yard . Next the Deobandi and other grave yards . What have we come to . Have we nothing better to do then bother the people who are no longer alive. What a shameful lot we have become. I feel so sad about this whole affair. We definitely are getting sicker and sicker in the mind . God help us.
Vikram
December 3, 2012 1:30 pm
A Muslim can do anything and claim Islam allows it.
Neo
December 4, 2012 2:00 pm
the purity has ceased to exist in the land of 'pure'..
muzjee
December 3, 2012 7:15 pm
The only positive in this news is that no one was killed/hurt.
Touseef
December 3, 2012 7:10 pm
As a Pakistan & Muslim I apologise to the Ahmediya community and Thankyou Mr Hassan for encouraging people to the real teachings of Islam.
Muba Khan
December 3, 2012 3:28 pm
It says they broke the grave stones because it had Islamic writing on it. This is the same picture of islam at it’s beginning except now people who are destroying it are claiming to be the believers. A nation on its path for self destruction.
nadeem
December 5, 2012 3:06 pm
Allah Akbar, Now so called muslim of pakistan do not have eyes and brain that one day they are going in the same sport and they all anserable to God and what they going to say ,what is their responsibilty and what they did for that Did they get for for bad people who did that " Allah saw every thing Good and bad thing and He will gave the punish in the day of judgement man is not allowed to dicided what is good and bad but Allah the only one have the power and decided what is correct" Allah will asked you for your this unislamic act and will punish you in for your this act, we only can pray for you guys
Sabah u Din Irfan
December 3, 2012 4:59 pm
This is very un Islamic and shameful act done by Lashkar-e-Taiba. Grave Stones had quranic verses, does it not come under blasphemy by these so called Mulla's(Lashkar-e-Taiba) ? We all should condemn these kind of activities by any group. We all as a Pakistani nation, need to stand up and speak out, otherwise these so called Mulla's will ruin the spirit of Holy Religion Islam.
zkkhan
December 3, 2012 12:42 pm
Can some one dare to explain the real teachings of Islam to these people?
Jamal
December 3, 2012 4:46 pm
Your message is unclear. Is the questioned aimed at the Ahmadis or the gunmen?
Mr.T
December 3, 2012 4:40 pm
There's no limit of madness. When your dog get mad and bite his own master you shoot the dog, no mater how old and faithful he was...
Syed Nabeel Ahmad
December 3, 2012 3:41 pm
Reaping time
HUMAN
December 3, 2012 7:43 pm
And this is not BLASPHEMY...????????
Kasim
December 3, 2012 7:41 pm
Religions are all the same. They do more harm than good. Changing from Shia to Sunni to Ahmedi is like changing seats on a plane that is about to crash. Not going to do any good at all. They say that Allah is almighty, yet they behave as if he is weak. If Allah disapproved of Ahmedis he could open the ground under them and swallow them all off the face of the earth. But he doesn't. Which may just mean that he is quite happy with who they are. Therefore, they have to take it upon themselves to do what Allah has failed to do, kill the Ahmedis themselves. This is the height of blasphemy. "…Take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that ye may learn wisdom." (Al-An`am 6: 151)
32swlong
December 3, 2012 7:40 pm
Why do we leave everything to the government? In other words shift the blame to the government. Why can't the people of Pakistan socially bycott such people and let them know that such acts will not be tolerated by the people of Pakistan.
NONY
December 3, 2012 3:45 pm
none of the minorities (religious, ethnic, sect. etc) is safe in Pakistan, hindu girls are being kidnapped and forcefully converted, churches and temples being destroyed, ahmadi, shia and bohri being killed in cold blood, baloch being kidnapped and killed !!! there has been a sheer failure from both the govt. to provide a long term solution to this worsening situation and security agencies to provide safety and security to minorities.
Tahira, USA
December 3, 2012 9:44 pm
Who are these people who have nothing better to do? Do they feel they achieved entry to Jannat with this behaviour? Very soon, they will also be underground if some one cares to bury them and will probably have no katba. What did they gain from this, I am unable to comprehend. May Allah guide them in the path of true Islam. Ameen.
Nasir
December 3, 2012 9:45 pm
Police say they are not aware of any such activity. What a shame... Who will ever dare even to speak for Ahmadis in such a situation. It is like encouraging those hooligans by law enforcing authorities themselves. May Allah have mercy on us. Not even the dead are safe in this land of the pure.
raja hindustani
December 4, 2012 6:43 am
I have read in history book that Pakistan created for muslims but how come muslims killing muslims in Islamic country made for muslims only..?? Pakistan was separated from India citing the reason that muslims can't live with hindus but now muslims can't live with muslims..??? Very Ironical..!!!!!
truthstrikes
December 3, 2012 3:56 pm
I think they are already following real teachings of Islam, unlike some other people who just sit in their rooms and preach their own teachings.
skeptic
December 4, 2012 8:59 am
people who carried this out are not our brothers. they are a self inflicted curse to our nation.
Khan
December 3, 2012 2:25 pm
The gift of Zia ul Haq.....Most of the Madarsas were the training ground for activities if not all. This is not my Islam...... Now we need to find out, how to stop all such activities....otherwise it will make our country like Afghanistan.
Samad Chaudhry
December 3, 2012 6:58 pm
Very sad. I am nor Ahmedi but I condemn such act No wonder they are coming to UK in flocks and get easy Asylam
Latif Khan
December 3, 2012 1:23 pm
What a shameful act of vandals. Is it Islamic teachings to vandalised places of worship and graveyards? Why my Pakistan has become intolerent that they can;t tolerate a burried person who is harmless and helpless?. Where did we go wrong, Pakistan?
Hasan
December 3, 2012 12:32 pm
it sad - this intolerance is sad. This is so so so so wrong. I apologise to Ahmediya community. Shame on all of us.
Balwanjee
December 3, 2012 8:53 pm
Is there no law against the hate crimes, in Pakistan?
Nasr KiKi
December 3, 2012 5:49 pm
Sometimes after hearing all these kind of news I ponder are they really from Islam? Desecration of graveyard is yet another and a very harsh crime and should be met with harsh punishment.
Jadugar
December 3, 2012 4:03 pm
Such degrading acts by certain group of Muslims gives a poor reflection of their beliefs. Just which school of thought encourages such behaviour. It is terribly upsetting to know people who call themselves Muslims would act or accept or remain silent on such deeds.
Asim
December 4, 2012 12:34 am
Embarrassing. The law enforcement is asleep as they have yet to capture a single criminal and charge them in any case.
Asim
December 4, 2012 12:35 am
This is inhuman,
Asim
December 4, 2012 12:37 am
When the try, they get killed. But when was doing the right thing ever easy? Everyone has to rise up or be berried under ignorance.
Tamilselvan
December 4, 2012 12:43 am
Even the dead are not at peace in Pakistan. Is it due to religion or not knowing their own religion. From an outsider it looks that their leaders are preaching this hatred to fellow human beings.
Mohammad Farooq
December 4, 2012 1:15 am
As a Muslim, this really hurts to read about these kinds of shameful and shocking acts committed against minorities in our beloved country, Pakistan. In the name of Islam these misguided and ignorant people are committing crime with impunity. I request administration to swiftly bring these people and police personnel to justice. Ahmadis are our Pakistani brethren and above all they are human beings. I beg all who live in Pakistan to please show mercy, love and respect towards all minorities and their worship places as this is what Islam teaches. Also, I would to like express my deepest sorrow to the Ahmadia Community at large and especially those whose loved ones graves were desecrated. Being a follower of Islam, I want to tell Ahmadia community that I am extremely sorry that they have to go through this painful situation because of some bigots. May Allah forgive us and guide all of us to follow the path of true Islam, a religion of peace and harmony.
Syed Husain
December 4, 2012 1:35 am
I am truly ashamed to read that my Muslim brothers participated in the shameful act of desecrating an Ahmedyia cemetery. All I want to request is "My brothers, at least let the deceased lie in peace".
Latif Khan
December 4, 2012 9:43 am
In the land of pure only pure individual would not vandalised places of worships and grayards of any sect.. It appears to me a punch of few extremists who had nothing to do any thing in life but only to find soft target to get fame and honour from their masters, are involved in horrible act.. Who ever is behind this it is diplorable by any standard. They are taking Pakistan backward.
TK from USA
December 3, 2012 6:22 pm
jala hai jism jahan dil bhi jal gaya hoga Kuraidtay ho jo ab raakh justajoo kya hai
Anon
December 3, 2012 4:38 pm
"They were annoyed because Islamic verses were engraved on the tombstones". The way they shattered those tombstones does not show that they had any regard for the Islamic verses engraved on them. Savage hypocrisy!
NINO
December 3, 2012 11:13 pm
Our heads must hang in shame.These graves have buried in them the citizens of our country. We are not human . We are not even animals. It is no fault of the community; it is our fault and that our impotent rulers(must not call them lraders) who are perpetually bent upon only warming their pockets. Apologies are not going to be of any consequence. Somehow some one must find ways and means to get rid of the extrene bigotru in the country. Some hoe a group of so called Ulema proclaim as loudly as they can that this is not Islam.This is not what Allah and our Rasool wanted us to do. A FALSE HOPE; WE ARE NOT UP TO IT. We are not upto any thing like TOLERANCE.
Hassan
December 4, 2012 7:39 am
Just a question to all. How do u treat a person who loves someone u adore? Allow me to answer? We also love that person. we respect him or her just because of the fact that he has shown affection to our loved ones. Ok fine, ahmadi's are non-Muslims....but they recite the same verses of Holy Quran. write the same verses on their graves, recite the same Kalama, i.e..... profess their love for our beloved GOD, his holy book & prophet (pbuh), how can they or this act of ahmadi's be hated? Is Islam our personal property? Have we been given the right to own it. If yes then by whom? And how can one Muslim desecrate the verses of Holy Quran? How can we stoop so low? This is a bigger blasphemy compared to ones done by non-believers . A sad day … I hope we realize this otherwise there will be no turning back & no escaping the wrath of GOD.
skeptic
December 4, 2012 8:57 am
this is pathetic, our hatred and lack of respect for others will self consume us.
A True Muslim
December 4, 2012 5:15 am
Is this the Islam which Holy Prophet (saw) brought. He himself stood in respect of a dead Jew when his funeral was passing in front of our Prophet, but we who follow him give this respect to the deceased ones, and after such acts we shout that Muslims are peace loving. Just for one second ask yourself in heart, what would Holy Prophet and his companions do if they were in our place. May God have mercy on us all.
Islam
December 4, 2012 5:21 am
Bro.....in Pakistan police cant help the living ones how can we even expect from them to give security to the dead ones. And then proudly we say.. we are Muslims. Why do we shout against blasphemy when we ourselves are doing it? double standards? Those who did this wont get peace not in this world and neither in their graves.
Muhammad Salim
December 4, 2012 3:00 am
I doubt if Sharifs will do anything to catch these criminals who are thier natural allies and give them explanary punishement.
Usman
December 3, 2012 4:57 pm
This is terrible. I understand folks don't have much to do in bad economy but at least spend your time wisely instead of destroying grave yards. Even a childish mind would not conceive of such ideas, this can only be the work of someone with a lot of time and hate.
Human
December 4, 2012 8:20 am
Pakistan went terribly wrong by keeping religion over not just country but humanity. Religion was always open for interpretation :(
Jawad Hassan
December 3, 2012 2:16 pm
Successive Pakistani governments have not been able to protect the living--how will they protect the dead. And shame on all of us who openly or secretly accept such outrages. Religious bigotry, extremism, and arrogance of self-styled 'thakedars' of Islam are destroying Pakistan and creating a negative image of a great religion amongst humanity. What did the grave attackers achieve?
Circumbulator
December 3, 2012 12:52 pm
This is shameful and un Islamic. These people should be given exemplary punishment, but who will do so ? Not this weak and corrupt government.
Salamat Ali Sh.
December 4, 2012 7:20 pm
Thank you my Pakistani brother, thank you very much, for your kind and sympathetic words expressing the finest feelings of regard, respect and brotherhood under universal norms of humanism for my Ahmadiyya community, a hard hit, constantly persecuted community since 1953, passing through a long laborious process of victimization, which ultimately, in Nov. 1974, led to their declaration by the National Assembly as non-Muslim minority community. This not-sensible act of a political assembly, the like of which was never done by any other state or worldly body, in human history, but it made 'extremism' and 'intolerance' as the basis of law of the land under 1973 constitution as far as Ahmadi citizens are concerned. All this is a very painful story of the constitutionally created, permanently torched minority community of Ahmadis. I really feel sorry for making these painful references as I think I should have kept myself confined only to thank Mr. Farooq for his preciously kind words for the pained brothers-in-faith of my peaceful, peace-loving, Jama'at-e-Ahmadiyya of Pakistan.
Saleem
December 3, 2012 6:06 pm
As an Ahmadi from Lahore currently living in USA. I say Inna lillahe wa Inna ellahe Raajeoon.
Sabih
December 3, 2012 10:50 pm
Look at the irony of our people. The other so called big media groups of our country (Jang etc) have not even bothered to report that incident in their publications. Kudos to Dawn and BBC for being impartial at least in reporting it.
Yousaf
December 3, 2012 8:13 pm
Why don't you try and explain it to us. So many claims of peace yet never an example.
akhter husain
December 3, 2012 12:48 pm
Pathetic,where are we moving to.It is even needless to condemn such people and activities because acts originate from misguided people,but the government should protect these place with discrimination.
Najam
December 5, 2012 1:32 pm
Hatred in the name of religion,first Ahmadis were declared minority by ZAB, Zia went further declared them non Muslims, now even their final resting places are demolished, though every mullah will tell you it is against the teaching of Islam. Yet, we don't see any mullah speaking up loudly against it.
Yousaf
December 3, 2012 8:07 pm
What do you expect of a country where even the dead cannot sleep in peace.
AHA
December 4, 2012 11:20 pm
So true. Religion has been used to abuse humanity time and again. And it always works.
Ali
December 3, 2012 11:25 pm
Another feather in the cap of shameless Noora League govt in Punjab. Noora Sharif is busy advocating kalabagh dam just to get few more votes in Punjab while incidents like these show toal lawlessness in Lahore. Shame on Noora Sharif. May God save us from Noora and his shameless brother
imam
December 3, 2012 11:22 pm
Shame, un human act.
AHA
December 4, 2012 11:28 pm
There is no other outcome possible of the hate and intolerance that we have been preaching in the name of Islam for the last several decades.
AHA
December 4, 2012 11:32 pm
Actually, you are not so lonely in this Land of the Pure.
Krishna Bhagawan (@KrishnaBhagawan)
December 5, 2012 12:12 am
"and then thet came for me"
AHA
December 4, 2012 11:29 pm
It already is consuming us.
QR
December 5, 2012 6:49 am
Sir : i have an Ahmadi friend and i find him to be more patriotic and loving towards pakistan than myself despite repeated cases of abuses towards Ahmadis in Pakistan. I hang my head in shame !!!
Shama
December 5, 2012 1:15 am
On one hand they say ahmadis r non muslims and r not allowed to use the Quranic verses.on the other hand look what these so called true muslims have done. Just look at all the shattered tomb stones lying on the ground with the Quranic verses still written on them. Don't u think this is the BAYHURMATI(insult) of the verses and those who r responsible should be punished as well.
ghaleezguftar
December 4, 2012 8:10 pm
and you, my dear, have you always been an apologist?
Waqar
December 5, 2012 6:09 am
What bad is left to happen in Pakistan?I think everything bad has already happened in Pakistan.
PakiDada
December 5, 2012 1:57 pm
Shameful - as a Pakistani, and a Muslim, I condemn these blasphemous acts! The government and local administration is too afraid to do anything, yet they dont realize that their inaction will only result in more actions by the religious extremists, who will not stop at anything until you are towing their ideology. Thus, no Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Sufi, Ismaeli, Christian, Hindu or other religious ideology will be safe in Pakistan, as these barbarians do not differentiate. This must stop, and as a Pakistani I am ashamed and apologize to my fellow Pakistanis and brethren in the Ahmadi community and other communities who continue to be targeted and persecuted.
From lonely planet
December 3, 2012 10:31 pm
No one knows who does it but its easy to blame it on Taliban.
ghaleezguftar
December 4, 2012 8:12 pm
yes youre right! where do they live so i can socially boycott them. i cant just boycott the air or the news of this happening or a call or email from an anonymous location. this is the govt's responsibility!
Joe
December 4, 2012 4:05 pm
Read the article again. The perpetrators stated to the captured guard and caretaker who they were. .
Engineer
December 8, 2012 8:17 pm
shame and misery...i am just unable to figure out the shapes of minds of such people who do such acts..are they humans??i am sure they cannot be even humans...
Agha Asad Raza
December 3, 2012 2:54 pm
This is SO shameful!! The whole thing is to be condemned in the strongest terms!
Joe
December 4, 2012 4:13 pm
Three tragedies in one: vile desecration; police and government impotence; and judging by some of the votes shown here, there are people ready to shower rose petals on those responsible for it. .
pervaiz minhas
December 4, 2012 6:46 pm
pervaiz minhas
Rahman Saif
December 5, 2012 4:15 pm
It is hard for the government to control these kinds of atrocities because the hate mongers have been fed for too long and too much and they have become gods on the streets of Pakistan. There is hardly any who can call a spade a spade. To control these hate mongers you need a Mard-e-Momin. Not that I am pessimistic or hopeless from Allah, the Almighty but I don’t see anyone in the religious or secular leadership who can fix this issue. May Allah help the oppressed ones and punish the oppressors everywhere in the world.
Isadora
December 5, 2012 5:00 pm
I don't understand this situation at all. But these people are so brutal and they don't seem to understand their religion or anyone's for that matter. I suppose your government either doesn't care, or maybe they're just scared to do anything. If they police live nearby, they are probably afraid too - or maybe they don't care either. Fear, in the end, will give the evil ones control of your country, a lack of care will also destroy a country won't it? I mean the less you care, the more they will take. I'm sorry this happened. Here in America graves are sometimes kicked over, mostly due to angry teenagers, maybe gangs or just unruly kids. But I'm not aware of anyone thinking they are acting for a loving God and then doing such a thing.
Laeeq,NY
December 5, 2012 5:05 pm
There are laws against the hate crimes but are used mostly against the minorities not the majority.
Naseer
December 5, 2012 5:57 pm
As a Pakistani and Muslim, I apologize to our Ahmedi friends. It is a shame. This shows the Taliban ideology and influence. What Taliban do is only political. It has nothing to do with Islam. In fact it is against Islam and the teachings of the holy prophet SAWW. If Pakistani's want any good to come to their country, they should unite against Taliban. I request the honorable Chief Justice of supreme court to take suo moto notice of this and other terrorist activities of Taliban and direct the government to take whatever action is necessary to eliminate this greatest threat to our country and Islam.
feroz khan
December 8, 2012 8:29 am
it is very shameful act. how one can do it? we can only pray for those people who have done this shameful act that allah blessed them with wisdom
nadeem
December 5, 2012 9:33 pm
Allah Talah gave him right direct what they doing we all shoud pray for them make them Right muslim ( Ameen)
Nasir
December 7, 2012 9:38 pm
This is indeed a shameful act and under the nose of Khadim e aala.
ashraf Mirza
December 6, 2012 8:15 am
I am sorry to read this article, shame, shame, shame...I want to thank the editor to print this article, so we can read, while leaving in USA. Islam is a peaceful religion and what ever happen its against Islam. I am sunni-muslim , when I was a little kid, my mom always said if you cant help others than please don't hurt them. I still follow that, even in USA.... I request AHMADI COMMUNITY, Please accept my apology ...Thank you all. I hope Pakistani government take legal action against criminals, and punish them. Allah Hafiz Sincerely, Ashraf Mirza USA
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