Mirpur Khas, Sindh, Pakistan – Today on May 4, 2023, a group of assailants attacked the Ahmadiyya Mosque in district Mirpur Khas, causing extensive damage to the structure. This desecration of the mosque marks the ninth such incident in the first five months of this year alone and the sixth in the province of Sindh. This is an alarmingly high number with an average of almost two mosques being desecrated every month.

According to reports, a mob of approximately 150 people arrived at the mosque at around 9 AM and forcibly entered the premises by placing a ladder against the building. The assailants then proceeded to bring down the mosque’s four minarets and attempted to damage the Mehrab. The mosque is located in the center of Mirpur Khas City and has shops in its basement.

Despite their efforts, the assailants were unable to break down the mosque’s main gate. However, they set fire to the belongings of the Ahmadis present, including their clothes and other possessions.

This Ahmadiyya Mosque was constructed in the 1980s and is situated near Fazl e Umar Hospital, which was founded by Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqui, a renowned Ahmadi doctor who was martyred in 2008 after a hateful TV program against Ahmadis.[1] Following his death, many Ahmadi families residing in the neighborhood of the mosque were forced to relocate to various other areas of the city.

Although Ahmadis were few in number in this area, the offering of prayers had recently resumed after being suspended for more than a year. After the mob had destroyed the minarets of the mosque, the police arrived and dispersed them. Although attempts are being made to file a case, the police seem hesitant to do so.

In response to this, the spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan tweeted[2];

“Continuous attacks on Ahmadiyya worship places are a gross violation of human rights. Today’s attack on the Ahmadiyya place of worship in Dholan Abad, Mirpur Khas by a mob of 150 plus extremists is unacceptable.”

He further stated, “The attack on the Ahmadiyya place of worship is an appalling act of religious intolerance. The illegal entry, destruction of property, and setting fire to belongings is unacceptable.”

The spokesperson also expressed disappointment over the police’s lack of action and said, “The police are not registering a case for the incident, and it is unfortunate that state institutions are targeting the oppressed class and delaying action instead of taking immediate steps against extremist elements.”

This heinous act of violence against the Ahmadiyya community is a gross violation of their basic human rights and religious freedom. We strongly condemn this attack and call on the authorities to take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.

We urge the international community to raise their voice against the restrictions imposed on religious freedom and to exert pressure on the Pakistani government to promptly take necessary measures to safeguard the protection and security of Ahmadis. Moreover, granting basic rights to all citizens, including Ahmadis, will contribute to the establishment of an inclusive society and prove beneficial for Pakistan in the long run.

[1] Asian Human Rights Commission: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-203-2008/ also reported by Dawn at: https://www.dawn.com/news/842686/not-in-the-name-of-faith 

[2] https://twitter.com/PressSectionSAA/status/1654104664131125249?s=20

[3] https://twitter.com/PressSectionSAA/status/1654104664131125249?s=20