Saturday, November 28, 2020

Pakistan: Ahmadi professor shot dead by a colleague after an ‘argument over religion’ in Peshawar

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Ahmadi professor killed IN Pakistan's Peshawar

— Consider reading the article Pakistan: Ahmadi professor shot dead by a colleague after an ‘argument over religion’ in Peshawar on OpIndia website —

A Pakistani Ahmadi professor was shot dead by another Muslim professor in the northwest city of Peshawar on Monday. It is alleged that they got into a heated argument over a religious matter. The professor who lost his life has been identified as Dr Naeemuddin Khattak, aka Naeem Khattak. He was attacked by Professor Farooq Maad and another gunman when he was driving to his college.

Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya Pakistan spokesperson Saleemuddin said in a statement that Professor Khattak was killed due to his Ahmadi faith. He alleged that Naeem had faced threats and boycott in the past. “Over the past few months, there has been an increase in faith-based attacks on Ahmadis. In Peshawar, an organised hate campaign has been launched against Ahmadis which has resulted in the killing of Ahmadis,” he further added.

The incident

According to the reports, when Dr Naeem was driving his car through Wazir Bagh at 1:30 PM, two men riding motorcycle blocked his path and opened fire. He received five bullet wounds and died on the spot. Bhana Mari police said that they have identified the culprit and trying to arrest him.

Naeem was a faculty member at Government Superior Science College Peshawar. He has left behind a widow, two sons, and three daughters. The murderer has been identified as Professor Farooq Maad, a faculty member in the agriculture department of the same college. Khattak held a PhD in Zoology.

Ahmadis are not considered as Muslims in Pakistan and there have been a long histories of discrimination, hate campaigns and targeted murders against the community.

In 1974, the Parliament of Pakistan declared that Ahmadis are not Muslims. Since then, they have been repeatedly targeted by Muslim extremists. Homes and places of worship of Ahmadis have been attacked several times in the past.

Increase in attacks on Ahmadis

There has been a rise in attacks on Ahmadis in Peshawar, where the incident took place. Peshawar is known for housing a large number of extremists.

On 29th July, an elderly man of the Ahmadi community was shot dead inside Peshawar’s courtroom. Tahir Naseem was attending court for his trial on blasphemy charges. The deceased man, a US citizen, was accused of ‘blasphemy’ two years ago and had been lodged in prison. After the brutal killing in an open courtroom, the murderer was hailed as a ‘hero of Islam’ and was celebrated in Pakistani social media.

On 12th August, an Ahmadi was shot dead in Dabgari Garden in Peshawar.

On 9th September, a mob surrounded a house of Ahmadi family over suspicion that they were preaching their faith in the area. The police had to rescue the family.

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