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Pakistan, Lahore high court orders demolition of a minaret, dome of Ahmadi mosque in Lahore

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LAHORE: Two years after the tragic attack on worshippers at Darul Zikr, an additional session judge, when faced with a petition calling for action against an Ahmadi worship place in Garhi Shaho, ruled that the police should take action as per the Pakistan Penal Code. High court has ordered the demolition of a minaret and dome of an Ahmadi mosque. Additional Session Judge Naeem Ahmed further directed authorities to remove the 'Kalma' (Islamic profession of faith) from the mosque in Ghari Shahu area of Lahore. The judge issued the directives yesterday in response to a petition filed by Badr Alam, an assistant of lawyer Ismail Qureshi, who is known for his anti-Ahmadi views. the judge gave his verdict under provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. Munawar Ali Shahid, a spokesman for the minority Ahmadi sect, told PTI it was surprising that the judge issued the order without hearing arguments by the lawyer reprsenting the Ahmadis. We Will challenge the ruling in the higher courts, says Ahmadi spokesperson. Alam, in his petition, asked the judge to direct authorities to remove the Kalma from the front of the mosque, known as Darul Zikr, and demolition of the minaret and dome in line with the Prohibition and Punishment Ordinance of 1984. He contended that the minaret was similar to those found in regular mosques and could not be part of Darul Zikr as Ahmadis are not Muslims. While Ahmadis consider themselves Muslim, they were declared non-Muslim in Pakistan in 1974, and in 1984 they were legally barred from proselytising or identifying themselves as Muslims. Over 1.5 million Ahmadis live in Pakistan. However, in its order, the Judge ruled that the concerned SHO was in full knowledge of the building, and that he should take actions as per law in view of contents of application moved by the petitioner. SHO Garhi Shahu Safdar Sajjad, in the first week of May, preserved the drafting of Kalma by putting up walls of steel over it and refused to demolish minaret and dome. Following this, Alam moved the case to an additional session judge’s court in Lahore where the ruling was issued and the case was closed. Ahmadi spokesperson Saleemuddin said that they would challenge the ruling in the higher courts, adding that the minaret was built before the introduction of legislations against the community and said that the court’s order was not according to the law. Darul Zikr, a historical worship place of the community, is located in the Garhi Shahu area of Lahore. According to members of the community, Darul Zikr was built in 1952. Earlier, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a fresh reminder to Pakistan’s government to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice . Two years ago, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) forces entered the worship place but failed to demolish or damage the building despite massive human causalities. On Friday, May 28, 2010, over 95 people were killed in twin gun-and-bomb attacks at Ahmadi places of worship in the Garhi Shahu and Model Town areas in Lahore. Unfortunately Pakistani government, judges and Police are involved to deprive Ahmadiyya Community from their basic human rights of religious freedom and practice. If you think this act is insane plaese support us . and sign this petition to stop extremism in any form. As Every Human has right to live peacefully.

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