LAHORE – A 68-year-old veterinary doctor, belonging to the Ahmadi community, was shot dead in provincial capital’s area of Moon Market on Friday.
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Dr Ashfaq Ahmed was gunned down by unknown criminal when he was on his way to an Ahmadi worship place to offer prayers, reported Express Tribune.
Saleemduin, the spokesperson for Jamat-e-Ahmadia, said, the attacker signaled Ahmed to stop his car and instantly shot him. “The criminals fled from the crime scene after committing the crime”, he added.
“He sustained a single bullet wound to his head,” he told the newspaper.
He added that Ahmed’s 11-year-old grandson was sitting on the rear seat while another man was sitting in the front passenger at the time of the attack. Ahmed died on the spot and his body was shifted to the morgue for autopsy.
The community’s spokesperson said the deceased had no personal enmity and the murder was only motivated by his faith.
Ahmadis have faced persecution at the hands of religious extremists and right wing forces. The state jumped into the fray in 1974, when the then Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto introduced a constitutional amendment declaring them non-Muslim to ward off pressure from right-wing forces.
Then, military dictator Ziaul Haq furthered the agenda by passing an ordinance making it unlawful for Ahmadis to identify themselves as Muslims. They were also barred from calling their worship places mosques.
In 2010, in Lahore, 86 Ahmadi worshippers were brutally murdered by the Punjabi Taliban. Over the years, speaking out on ‘sensitive’ issues such as religious discrimination has become increasingly dangerous – highlighted by the murder of the then Punjab Governor, Salmaan Taseer.