Police and locals, allegedly under pressure from religious extremists, have desecrated worship places of the Ahmadiyya community in Gujrat and Sheikhupura, destroying religious symbolism visible from the outside and inside the compounds.
A statement from the community read that on August 29, police and local authorities defaced religious writings plastered inside Ahmadiyya Places of Worship in Shadiwal and Chooknawali in the Gujrat District of Punjab.
The following day, they returned to the worship place in Chooknawali, where they demolished the sacred wordings with a hammer, which had already been defaced with black ink. The officials also took the debris away with them.
The same day, police in Sheikhupura destroyed minarets erected atop an Ahmadiyya worship place.
The community stated that the authorities have failed to protect the worship places of Ahmadis.
"It is a common practice now that the Police, instead of protecting the worship places of the Ahmadis, are putting pressure on Ahmadis to desecrate their worship places themselves, and upon hearing the firm stance of the Ahmadis, they carry out the act of desecration on their own," the statement said.
This extremism has to be looked into otherwise, the image of our beloved Pakistan will be damaged, and that might not be repairable, they said, while urging Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar Ul Haq Kakar to take notice. They reminded the caretaker prime minister had mentioned the Ahmadi community in his speech in Jaranwala after the unfortunate Jaranwala incident, that the state would protect the rights of the vulnerable.