End targeting of Ahmadis in Pakistan
Originally published in The Washington Times
A young man was fatally shot in front of his shop a few days ago in Nawabshah, Pakistan. Imtiaz Ahmad was an Ahmadi Muslim and the youth leader of his local chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He leaves behind his wife, three sons and father. It was only a month-and-a-half ago that another Ahmadi Muslim, Dr. Mehdi Ali, who was there from the United States to do humanitarian work, was also slain in Pakistan, in front of his family.
In 1974, the government of Pakistan declared Ahmadis non-Muslims. In 1984, practicing Islam became a criminal offense for us Ahmadis. Numerous Ahmadis have been killed or imprisoned over the years, and the state has done nothing. It allows fanatics to target Ahmadis, typically community leaders, and allows assailants to escape without investigation. This violence has also spread against other minorities in Pakistan, including Christians, Hindus and Shiites.
My deepest condolences go out to the family of Imtiaz Ahmad and others who have lost family because of the hate and violence of extremists. I condemn Pakistan for not curtailing extremists, but instead emboldening them. It must be condemned and stopped, or this hate and violence will be the end of Pakistan.