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Ahmadiyya Mosque, Kotli, AJK

Kotli, Azad Jammu & Kashmir June 17, 2024: In the early hours of Eid on June 17, at approximately 02:45 am, a mob of around 150 people violently attacked the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Kotli, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). The assailants opened fire and subsequently destroyed the minarets and arch of the said place of worhsip. This attack came at a time when most individuals were preparing to celebrate Eid, however unfortunately the mob’s priority was to disrupt and damage the Ahmadiyya Community’s worship practices.

During the period leading up to this incident, the police forces were preoccupied with monitoring Ahmadi households for sacrificial animals, neglecting their fundamental duty to protect citizens, particularly in light of these imminent threats. These actions highlight the prejudice of  the law & enforcement agencies in protecting the lives and properties of the Ahmadiyya Community.

This violence occurred despite a recent directive from the Ministry of Interior to all respective Inspector Generals of Police and Provincial Chief Secretaries, including AJK, to bolster security for Ahmadiyya buildings due to threats from the notorious Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). The Ministry’s orders, issued two days prior to the attack, seem to have been disregarded thus allowing this tragic event to take place.

Ahmadiyya Mosque, Kotli, AJK

Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani’s 2014 judgment[i] mandated the government to protect all the places of worship, a landmark decision that has yet to be fully implemented. The Ahmadiyya community’s spokesperson, Amir Mahmood, condemned the attack, stating, “The continuous failure to protect our places of worship, despite clear judicial directives, is a gross violation of our rights and a disgrace to the principles of justice and equality.”

We urgently appeal to the international community, human rights organizations, and national institutions to address these severe violations of religious freedom. Immediate action is needed to ensure the safety and security of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan. The international community must not stand idle as such atrocities continue to occur. This Eid, a time meant for peace and celebration, has turned into a day of grief for the Ahmadiyya community. The world must respond to prevent further injustice.