Local Ahmadiyya Community Leader Gunned Down In Bahawalpur

A local leader of the Ahmadiyya Community was shot and killed in Bahawalpur on Monday in a chilling escalation of an ongoing campaign targetting the community.

Witnesses said the victim, 54-year-old Tahir Iqbal Cheema, was a resident of Chak 84, Hasilpur, in Bahawalpur. On Monday morning, he was out on a walk as per routine when unidentified armed assailants approached him and shot him. He was twice struck by bullets and crumpled in a heap, dying on the spot.

The assailants fled the crime scene unchallenged.

Cheema was the local president of the Ahmadiyya Community. He leaves behind a wife and three children. His eldest son is married and lives in Europe. His younger son has a heart ailment and lives with his parents. Cheema’s daughter is married and lives in the UK with her family.

Locals and family said that Cheema did not have any enmity with anyone, nor was he embroiled in any dispute with anyone.

A spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Community told The Friday Times that Cheema was a polite and upstanding person with an unbesmirched character who was primarily a small landlord.

He added that in the absence of any enmity with anyone, Monday’s targetted killing appears to have been motivated by his religious affiliation and part of an ongoing campaign against their community.

“In the recent wave of hatred against the Ahamdiyya Community in Pakistan, there are demands made that Ahamdis are liable to be killed,” the spokesperson said, adding, “The Ahamdiyya Community continues to request the concerned authorities to take appropriate action; otherwise, this hatred could result in damage beyond repair.”

The spokesperson urged the authorities to take swift action in this regard and demanded that the culprits involved in this heinous act be punished according to the law while adopting a course of action to bring such atrocities to a halt.

The incident comes days after over a dozen masked men disarmed and detained two police guards posted outside an Ahmadiyya worship place in Karachi as they proceeded to demolish its minarets and arch.

Source: The Friday Times

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