Gujranwala; December 7, 2022:  The daily Dawn, Lahore of December 12, 2022 published the following news report:

Minaret of Ahmadi place of worship removed in Gujranwala

GUJRAT:  The authorities ordered the removal of the minaret of an Ahmadi place of worship in Gujranwala’s Baghbanpura area last week.

According to the representative of the Ahmadi community, police cordoned off the street and switched off the lights before going ahead with the removal of the minaret on December 7,

Some religious outfits had been pressing the administration for the last one year to get the minaret removed from the front side of the building since the law bars the Ahmadis from making their places of worship resemble a mosque.

The building’s management had placed steel sheets around the minaret to hide it from public view after the administration advised them to do so in order to avoid a law and order situation.

Official sources said the administration sprang into action after some religious groups asked it to get the minaret removed. The administration called a meeting of the district intelligence committee as soon as an organization lodged a complaint with the police.

The administration also held a meeting with the representatives of the Ahmadi community to sort out the matter. The authorities told them that there was no alternative but to remove the minaret as passions were running high in the city and things might get out of control.

            The administration decided to carry out the operation after obtaining the Ahmadis’ consent, according to sources.

Our remarks

  1. No law bars Ahmadis from making their places of worship resemble a mosque.
  2. The administration had ‘advised’ the Ahmadis to place steel sheets around the minaret to hide it from public view. Imagine the absurdity of the advice.
  3. The District Intelligence Committee is a tool of the district administration.
  4. It is wrong that the authorities had no alternative but to remove the minaret. The administration is expected by the Constitution and law to uphold HR and FoRB of all citizens and not yield the writ of the state to bigots and extremists.
  5. It is incorrect that Ahmadis’ consent was obtained to carry out the operation. Ahmadis agreed only to not fight the operation if undertaken by authorities and not private parties.
  6. Our report on this event is entered in a preceding story.
  7. The Punjab is ruled these days by Mr. Parvez Elahi (PML-Q) in league with PTI that is verbally committed to Riasat Madinah.