04/08/2010, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Punjab Muslim fundamentalists against the Ahmadis, three traders killed

by Fareed Khan
Muslim leaders denounce sect a "targeted execution", in the silence of government officials and police. Recently, the three men had been seized "because of their faith" and released after paying a large sum of money. 108 ahmadi faithful killed since 1984.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - The persecution of the Ahmadi Muslims continues in Pakistan, considered heretical because they do not recognize Muhammad as the last prophet. On April last three traders were killed in Faisalabad - the third largest city of Punjab. The murder was reported by the leaders of the Ahmadiyya community, who speak of a "targeted execution" by an armed commando who immediately fled the scene.

Ashraf Pervez, 60, Masood Javed, 57, and Asif Masood, 24, were returning home after the closure of the shops. Suddenly, attackers riddled them with bullets. The three died on their way to hospital. Pervez and Javed were brothers, while Masood was the son of the latter. Two weeks before their death, reports the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, the victims had complained of threats to police. The officers had recommended them to "restrict their movement and recruit bodyguards" to protect their safety.  

According to leaders of the Ahmadiyya community, most recently the men had been kidnapped and released after paying a high ransom. Criminals have reported that their faith was the cause of the abduction. "It is reasonable to assume that the criminals – reads a statement - or at least their accomplices are known to the authorities, because the groups against the Ahmadis do not bother to hide their hatred."

Faisalabad has long been the scene of targeted attacks against the Ahmadiyya community. In recent years, nine people were killed without the police or government authorities - who know the perpetrators - intervening. The group’s leaders points the finger at the movement of Khatme Nabuwwat, Islamic followers according to whom the prophecy reaches its full completion with Mohammed, in charge of persecution against Muslims considered "heretics".  

Punjab Law experts can foment violence against the Ahmadis with impunity, claiming that they "be killed" (Wajib ul Qatl). The leaders of the movement denounce the immobility of the authorities, in addition to not punishing the perpetrators of the killings, not even taking a stand against verbal violence.

Since the enactment of the Anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance in 1984 which allows for persecution of the alleged "heretics" 108 people were killed because of their faith. In a few cases the killers were arrested and the few times have appeared before the judges, they were acquitted or freed after a short prison sentence. So far this year, five Ahmadis have been killed.  

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