EVEN in a country where unspeakable violence is inflicted on the living as a matter of course, the visceral hatred evident in Monday’s attack on an Ahmadi graveyard in Lahore is chilling. Shortly after midnight some 10 to 15 masked men scaled the walls of the burial ground. Armed with weapons and excavation tools, they either destroyed or pulled off the headstones of over 100 graves. Half an hour later, the last abode for those meant to rest in peace had been rendered a wreckage of broken stone and tile. The message sent out could not have been starker, signalling the extreme hatred shown by certain sections — perhaps not too many numerically but inclined always to employ violent means — towards a persecuted community. The latter’s scars from the May 2010 massacre of scores in twin attacks on Ahmadi places of worship in the same city have not yet healed. That Monday’s attack occurred in the Model Town locality and a stone’s throw from the family home of the Sharif brothers is a matter of deep shame.

In the context of Monday’s vandalism, the police have said that an FIR will be registered and an investigation launched. Tellingly, however, they say that it will not be possible to deploy policemen outside such graveyards. While the desecration must be condemned in no uncertain terms, criticism must also be reserved for this attitude — which is far from restricted to police ranks. The Ahmadi community has long faced serious levels of persecution from various quarters, not least the state. Hostile legislation has been passed, people have been targeted and there are other instances of burial grounds being desecrated. The state needs to step up to its commitment to protect all citizens. Resources have to be found to protect members of the Ahmadi community and their properties.

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Comments (8)

Anwar Ul-Haq
December 5, 2012 11:03 am
It is a crying shame that people of a different community are subjected to such pain that their loved ones can't rest in peace.
Rahman Saif
December 5, 2012 3:55 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.
baakhlaq
December 5, 2012 11:22 am
It is a savagely act, attack on the burial ground is unheard of and no religion allows desecration of the graves,it should be probed from all angles as real estate mafia might be involved somewhere.
Naseer
December 5, 2012 2:24 pm
No one heard of attacks on grave yards or burial processions / gatherings before. This shows the Taliban character and strength. For them nothing is sacred. They use the name of Islam for their political benefit, but what they do is completely against Islam and completely uncivilized. Taliban give a very bad name to Islam and the holy prophet S.A.W.W. They are actually sabotaging Islam.
ahmed41
December 5, 2012 8:55 am
"-----Resources have to be found to protect members of the Ahmadi community and their properties.--" What are such resources ? Stop the HATE campaign against * the OTHER* citizens. love thy neighbour as thine own self.
Laiq
December 6, 2012 6:23 am
Muslims are considered bad in the world just because of such acts of extremists and terrorists. Indeed its a prior duty of Government to provide fear free living to all its citizens.
zaryab
December 5, 2012 5:46 pm
Every citizen of a country can claim equal rights, according to the constitution of Pakistan. The series hatred campaigns against Ahmadiyyya community held publicly shows that high officials are not concerned to the safety and basic rights of their citizens.
Suraj
December 5, 2012 5:47 pm
Pakistani's are unbelievable . How can a civilized society and government can sit and do nothing? I think the only way to stop this kind of behavior is to to catch some of these so called " humans" and hang them in public.
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