HRW calls on Pak govt to prosecute Ahmadi massacre suspects

Last Updated: Monday, May 28, 2012 - 16:47

New York: The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said Pakistan`s federal and provincial governments should bring to justice those responsible for the May 2010 attacks on Ahmadiyya mosques.

On May 28, 2010, Islamist militants attacked two Ahmadiyya mosques in the city of Lahore with guns, grenades, and suicide bombs, killing 94 people and wounding well over 100.

The Punjabi Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack. Two men were captured during the attack, but the government has failed to make progress on their trial.

"It`s obscene that two years after the worst massacre in Lahore since the partition of India, the government has still not brought the suspects apprehended at the scene to trial," said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW.

"By pandering to extremists who foment violence against the Ahmadis, the government emboldens militants who target the beleaguered community, and reinforces fear and insecurity for all religious minorities," he added.

Since the May 2010 attacks, there has been an intensification of the hate campaign against Ahmadis, HRW said.

"The Punjab provincial government should be providing extra security to Ahmadiyya mosques instead of siding with those terrorizing worshipers and attacking their places of worship. Pakistan``s anti-Ahmadi laws need to be repealed, not enforced," Adams said.

HRW has urged the government of Pakistan`s Punjab province, to investigate and prosecute those responsible for intimidation, threats, and violence against the Ahmadiyya community.

Ahmadi community leaders have told HRW that they had repeatedly brought threats against them to the notice of the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, the provincial government, and the police controlled by the provincial authorities. However, the provincial government has failed to act on the evidence.

HRW has called on Pakistan`s government to introduce legislation in parliament without delay to repeal laws that discriminate against Ahmadis and other religious minorities.

First Published: Monday, May 28, 2012 - 16:45

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