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Pakistan: Ahmadi community finds no one to turn to for protection

“We know that one motorcycle was used for committing both the killings, which were just a street away from each other. We have also seized the weapon from the crime scene — a 9mm pistol — but so far we don’t have any concrete evidence against anyone.”

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The News | Pakistan
By Saher Baloch | October 25, 2012

Karachi: – With three people from the Ahmedi community being killed in the past one week, an old fear has engulfed the community as many believe that when it comes to their security, they have no one to turn to.

Though the police believed the incidents were motivated by “religious discrimination against the Ahmedis” or committed by “splinter extremist groups,” a community spokesperson said there was nothing new in the information that police provided.

Mohammad Tahir, a community member working for the welfare of Ahmedis, said that they had been targeted and secluded for a long time. “Only the intensity has increased. The police know who they are. But I can assure you nothing would be done,” Tahir added emotionally.

Just a day before, Nasir Ahmed lost his father after two armed men on a motorcycle shot him at night in Saeedabad.

Ahmed was right beside his father, Bashir, at their small shop in Sector 8 of Saeedabad, when the armed men targeted him. Though he could not see properly who they were, shrugging his shoulders he said that he did not even want to speculate.

“What will it yield?” he asked straight away. “Even if I name them, is there anyone to protect me later on?” Angry at the law-enforcement agencies, including police, he said that every time anyone from the Ahmedi community was targeted policemen harassed them with a number of questions. “But within a few days, it is quite clear to us that we have to take care of ourselves,” he added.

Dr Raja Abdul Hameed met the same fate just a few streets away from Ahmed’s father’s shop on the same night. Hameed’s family had taken his body to their ancestral village in Punjab for burial. They refused to comment on the rising threat to their community. The only message that the community elders want to give is that they won’t leave Pakistan.

“It is as much our country as anyone else’s,” argues Masood Khan, an Ahmedi spokesman. He said that many families refused to leave their homes just because of the threat. Khan added: “Almost everyone is against us. But looking at the lax law-enforcement system, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone arrested for the killings is let go after a while. That’s how the system works.”

Last Friday, four members of an Ahmedi family were attacked in Baldia on their way back from their place of worship. Four men on two motorcycles opened fire on Farooq and his sons. Though Farooq survived the assault even after suffering five bullet wounds, he could not save his son, Saad, 25, who was driving a motorcycle alongside the car.

As the families are still reeling from the shock of these incidents, SP Baldia Division Shahjahan Khan is thinking about where to deploy his police force for the community’s protection. He said: “They are too scattered to be provided proper security.”

Speaking about the recent violence, Khan said the killers were from outside Baldia, and only got together for such crimes and later went their separate ways.

Explaining the Saeedabad incident, he said that since last night they had arrested 40 people on suspicion. “We know that one motorcycle was used for committing both the killings, which were just a street away from each other. We have also seized the weapon from the crime scene — a 9mm pistol — but so far we don’t have any concrete evidence against anyone.”

As is the standard operating procedure, the police increased patrolling around Saeedabad and Baldia after the two incidents. But families like Nasir’s do not rely on police for security any more.

Read original post here: Ahmedi community finds no one to turn to for protection

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