A Muslim teenager opened fire on and killed a member of Pakistan’s minority Ahmadi community on Friday in Multan, Punjab.
The local sources have said that the incident occurred when a group of Ahmadis were gathered for worship in their home district of Sanghala Hill. The victim, Muhammad Tahir, a homeopathic doctor, died at the scene, whereas several others, including the victim’s father, were wounded and are in critical condition.
According to the police, the teen said that he opened fire on the Ahmadis because they were “insulting Islam.”
Saleem Udeen, the spokesperson for Pakistan’s Ahmadi community, condemned the attack and said that the members of their community are frequently targeted because of their faith. He said that Ahmadis have failed to get adequate protection from the incumbent PTI government, and the number of attacks has only surged in recent years.
Ahmadi faith – or Qadiyaniat – was found in the subcontinent in 19th century by the religious leader Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, whose followers believe him to be a prophet.
The Pakistani parliament, after a series of horrific clashes, declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974. Ahmadis have suffered numerous deadly attacks from the hardline, mainstream Islamists not only in Pakistan but also in other Muslim majority countries. Only recently an Ahmadi man was shot dead in a court in Peshawar by a teenager just ahead of his trial for blasphemy.