Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 22 (ANI): The Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) has threatened to raze the minarets of a historic worship place of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan's Punjab, reported Dawn.

The worship place is located in the old Daska city and was built before partition by the first foreign minister of Pakistan, Zafarullah Khan.

The place was next to Khan's residence and its minarets were hardly visible. According to the district police, there was no board or inscription of a mosque on the worship place, an act outlawed in the Pakistan Penal Code, Dawn reported.

Reportedly, TLP announced a rally to be held on Friday over the alleged desecration of the Ahmadi community members of Islam's Holy figures and the non-cooperation of authorities over the issue.

Moreover, banners were put up across the city along with the videos which were being shared on social media, urging people to join the rally.

However, TLP supporters on Thursday gathered and threatened to demolish the minarets of the worship place, claiming that the minarets were illegal and in violation of laws, according to Dawn.

Earlier, the party also registered a complaint with the Daska police and demanded action against the administration of the worship place.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the TLP party called upon its members at Daska to"decide the issue".

Some users on X, previously Twitter, claimed that the district police had decided to demolish the minarets. However, Sialkot District Police Officer (DPO) Hassan Iqbal denied the reports.

According to the DPO, the structure was intact and police had increased security in and around the worship place following the party's threats, reported Dawn.

"No one so far has demolished the minarets of the Ahmadi worship place at Daska", he said, adding negotiations were underway with both sides for a peaceful resolution of the issue.

However, regarding the claims by TTP about the illegal construction of minarets, he noted that according to initial inquiries, the worship place was old and did not violate any law.

Meanwhile, according to an order issued last month, the DPO said that the minarets in Ahmadiyya community's worship places raised before the 1984 law cannot be razed or altered.

Hence, minority community members have the right to practice their faith safely at the worship site, DP said while assuring security, reported Dawn.

Additionally, according to the caretakers and the area police, the Ahmadi worship place in the Martin Quarters area was vandalised on Thursday for the second time since January 18.

Jamshed Quarters SP Farhat Kamal said that around 20-25 people attacked the'Ahmadiyya Hall', demolished its two minarets and smashed many articles and glass panels of doors and windows.

Following the incident, the SP said that the police reached the place and gathered information about the attack from the watchman posted there.

According to the spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Amir Mehmood, the attackers not only caused damage to the articles present inside but also demolished two minarets.

Additionally, he noted that the other two minarets were damaged in the January 18 attack, Dawn reported.

According to the details, the attackers ransacked the wooden and glass doors, windows, cameras, and LED TV set, tables, and chairs.

Moreover, they also damaged the pictures of the Jamaat's founder and its incumbent head, Dawn reported.

"The area police were called in but the attackers had fled the place before their arrival," he said, adding that the attackers left behind the ladder they had used in demolishing the minarets."However, the spokesperson regretted that although the case was registered after the January 18 attack, but no legal action had been taken yet.

"No one has even been arrested till date according to our knowledge," he said.

"Had any of the attackers involved in the January 18 incident been taken to task, today's attack may not have taken place," he added.

Moreover, he highlighted that this incident marks the fifth attack on Ahmadi's properties in Karachi within a span of nine months, according to Dawn.

The actions attracted the ire of the UN, prompting its Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to express concern over the treatment of Ahmadis. (ANI)

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