Kirto, District Sheikhupura; September, 2023: Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) demanded the police to demolish the minarets and niche of the Ahmadiyya mosque here. Around 50 of local villagers belonging to Ahle Sunnat and Shia community, testified on stamp-paper that people of all religious identities including Ahmadis live peacefully in the village in religious harmony. They added that the Ahmadiyya mosque was built in 1963, long before the anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance of 1984 and they had no objection to the architectural features of the building. The authorities should refrain from demolishing the minarets and niche of the Ahmadiyya mosque and thereby not harm their sentiments, they requested in their application. 

On September 20, nine local senior representatives met the RPO and submitted the above-mentioned stamp paper as request. He phoned DPO Sheikhupura and told him that these people would visit him and he should listen carefully to their issues. The above-mentioned representatives then had a meeting with the DPO and informed him of the whole situation. Upon this, the DPO replied that if the locals had no objection, there was no need for any action.

On September 21, around 50-60 miscreants of TLP went to the local elderly and asked him to stop helping Ahmadis. They suggested that it seemed he himself had become an Ahmadi. The old man did not entertain them and replied that they had no religious pact with Ahmadis, except a treaty of peace. This did not satisfy the hate-mongers and they left chanting anti-Ahmadiyya slogans as they passed by the Ahmadiyya mosque. Some decent non-Ahmadis were there to provide security to the mosque. The mob did not stop at this but went to the farmhouse of former Chairman. They tried to convince him to stop supporting Ahmadis. He scolded them and said that he could not do so as these people want to disrupt the peace of the village. He told them to not show up again in the village. The mob left dejected.

On September 23, the DPO called for the Ahmadiyya delegation and told them that this issue had been highlighted on social media. He further told them that according to the situation, the Ahmadis’ non-compliance would start riots all over the country. He said that it was up to Ahmadis whether they wanted to get their whole mosque demolished or just destroy its minarets. He said that one of the above actions has become inevitable. The Ahmadi delegation, shocked on this unjust proposal, clarified that they are peaceful citizens and the miscreants who were committing such activities to disrupt peace are the ones who had to be stopped. The DPO said that the police was required to act. So, after the evening prayer, a police contingent arrived from Narang Mandi who initially stated that they were only there to provide security. Later around 9:30, some policemen along with the SHO came and destroyed the upper portions of the minarets with sledgehammers and told the Ahmadis to cover the rest.

The TLP left no stone unturned in hatred towards Ahmadis. The police, despite of a written statement from the locals, seemed helpless facing the TLP activists and committed this enormity on their behest. This is another incident where the police yielded in front of the unlawful request of religious bigots and failed to provide security to the religious property of its citizens—which is a fundamental right. It has become a routine that the extremists use mobs to threaten the authorities to get their unlawful demands implemented. They aslmost everytime receive compliance. This SOP got going in Imran regime, was followed during the Parvez Elahi time in the Punjab, and is kept in vogue by the ‘caretakers’.