Three Ahmedi men have been booked for sacrificing a cow on Eid ul Azha this month in Pakistan’s Punjab province in violation of a ban on the minority community to sacrifice animals in accordance with Islamic practices. Police on Sunday registered an FIR against the three men from the Ahmadi community under the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of an official of a religious seminary in Pirmahal, Sialkot district, some 130 kilometers from Lahore.
Cleric Mufti Abid Fareed, the administrator of the Jamia Umer Farooq seminary Pirmahal, said in the complaint that a local jeweler and his two sons had sacrificed a cow on Eid ul Azha (August 1) and distributed its meat among Sunni Muslims. “The Ahmadis who are not Muslims also donated the cow’s hide to a religious seminary. The suspects have hurt the beliefs of the Muslims,” he said.
Police raided the house of the three persons, who escaped fearing for their lives. Last month, Islamic symbols from the graves of minority Ahmadi community members were removed following a protest by religious extremists in Gujranwala, some 80 kilometers from Lahore.
The Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan said while the government is trying to give the impression that Pakistan supports religious harmony and tolerance, it is following the desires of the extremists to carry out activities against a marginalized community. “The Ahmadis residing in Pakistan are not at peace even after their demise,” it said.
There have been a number of incidents across Pakistan in which the graves of the Ahmadi community members were desecrated by religious zealots. Pakistan’s Parliament in 1974 declared the Ahmadi community as non-Muslims. A decade later, they were banned from calling themselves Muslims. They are banned from preaching and from traveling to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.
In Pakistan, around 10 million out of the 220 million population are non-Muslims. According to the 2017 census, Hindus constitute the largest religious minority in Pakistan. Christians make up the second largest religious minority. The Ahmadis, Sikhs, and Parsis are also among the notable religious minorities in Pakistan.