Islamabad, September 27, 2023, Members of Pakistan’s minority Ahmadi community say their places of worship and graveyards are being attacked as part of a systemic and coordinated hate campaign.
Community spokesman Amir Mahmood told Al Jazeera on Tuesday they are facing a significant increase in attacks, particularly in the eastern province of Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous.
Mahmood said at least 74 graves were vandalised in Punjab’s Daska city last week while minarets of two Ahmadi places of worship were demolished near the provincial capital, Lahore.
He accused police and administrative officials of demolishing their religious structures – one built before 1947, the year Pakistan was formed after independence from British rule – under pressure from a right-wing religious party.
“The religious party, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), also threatened the local administration of serious consequences if the minarets of our place of worship are not destroyed,” Mahmood said.
“They have now issued an ultimatum to the administration to act upon their demands by Friday, which coincides with Prophet Muhammad’s birthday celebrations,” he added.