Lahore, December 7: Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department arrested 4 Ahmadis on Monday during a raid over Ahmadiya Community headquarters, in Pakistan. According to the FIR, the CDT officials raided the headquarters to stop printing of ‘banned’ magazines. CTD is responsible for investigating terrorism and sectarian-related incidents.Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan’s spokesperson Saleemuddin said the officials, who arrived in three vans, made their forceful entry into the offices of the Jamaat at Rabwa in Chiniot district by beating a guard on duty. They took four of their members into custody who were affiliated with their magazines – Alfazal and Tehrik-e-Jadid – and also booked five others in the FIR registered under 298-B, 298-B (a), 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code and 9-II (w) of Anti-Terrorism Act against them.
Saleemuddin said that the magazine was banned on December 19, 2014 and the Lahore High Court (LHC) had granted a stay order on June 2, 2015. “The case of banning the magazines is pending before the LHC, which has issued a stay in this regard,” he added.
Three police vans with 28 heavily armed officers forced their way into the ‘Tehrik-e-Jadid’ building and ‘slammed’ the workers onto the ground according to witnesses. At the same time, another group of officers made their way up to the publishing office on the second floor of the building, where they arrested four office workers affiliated with the Ahmadiyya community’s magazine. Officers also sealed the community’s printing press which was used to publish the community’s daily newspaper ‘Al Fazl’ and the ‘Tehrik-e-Jadid’ magazine, both of which are ‘banned’ according to the Police.
According to the Rabwah Times report, Security forces raid offices of persecuted Ahmadiyya Community, Pakistan arresting and beating up Ahmadi workers.
Ahmadis identify themselves as Muslims are considered heretics by mainstream Muslims. Due to their beliefs, Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government in 1974. Since then they have been fiercely persecuted in Pakistan, both by the state and extremists. They have been arrested for reading the Holy Quran, holding religious celebrations and having Quranic verses on rings or wedding cards. Four years ago, 86 Ahmadis were killed in two simultaneous attacks in Lahore.
Pakistani rights activists criticized the increasing hostility of the Government towards Ahmadis and took to social media to raise their concerns.