Elderly Ahmadi lawyer beaten up in Karachi and arrested over ‘Syed’ prefix in his name

Karachi; April 27, 2023: In a shocking turn of events, Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq, Ahmadi, a 77-year-old senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, was attacked and beaten up along his office assistant by a bunch of bigots, while present in Karachi City Court on April 27, 2023. The attackers were mostly lawyers; they took him forcibly to the police station. Instead of providing him with necessary aid and protection, the police registered a case against him under anti-Ahmadi law PPC 298-B and arrested him. The opponents claimed that Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq’s name contained “Syed”, which is a Muslim name, and they believe Ahmadis are not allowed by law to use Islamic names. However, there is no law that forbids Ahmadis from using ‘Islamic names’. They accused the victim of calling himself a Syed and a Muslim. In fact, there is no such thing as ‘Islamic names’; almost all these, (including Syed) existed in Arabia prior to the appearance of Islam.

This is not the first time Mr. Tariq has been targeted for being an Ahmadi. Last year, on November 21, 2022, the police registered a similar case against him under Section 298 B & C of PPC and 34 for having “Syed” in his name. It is noteworthy that both cases were registered against him for the same reason, in the same police station.

Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq has been representing Ahmadis in fabricated anti-Ahmadi cases and has served as their counsel for the past 39 years, since the promulgation of Ordinance XX.

The spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya Community Pakistan condemned his arrest and stated that he was taken into custody on absurd charges in an attempt to impede his work in support of the Ahmadi victims. The spokesperson also expressed concern that such actions could damage the country’s reputation in the international community. Additionally, the spokesperson criticized the apparent mockery of the law in registering two cases against Syed Ali Ahmed Tariq under the same provisions and for the same type of charge at the same police station. He further said that such events were damaging the reputation of our beloved Country and creating a perception that Pakistan is increasingly being influenced by religious extremists. The spokesperson called for  immediate dismissal of the baseless case against Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq, his release from custody, and the accountability of those responsible for attacking and hurting him and his assistant (a non-Ahmadi).

The attitude of the police seniors is noteworthy that when Ahmadiyya officials contacted them to stop this brutal, illegal and inhuman treatment of an elderly Ahmadi, they expressed their helplessness (in the face of unruly lawyers’ gang).

Mr. Tariq was sent to jail on judicial remand. He contacted a lawyer friend from Hindu community for legal assistance. At first, he agreed but after completing initial formalities, he refused to follow-up and returned the fee. No other lawyer is taking up his defence — at present. Ahmadis are looking for a lawyer.

Yasser Latif Hamdani, a renowned barrister, tweeted the following on this issue: