Up-date on the massacre of Ahmadi worshippers in Lahore
Posted on May 30th, 2010
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamath, Sri Lanka.
Lahore, Rabwah; May 30, 2010: The death toll from the terror attacks on the two mosques of Ahmadiyya community in Lahore is 94, and not 79 as given by the police to the press. The number of injured, however, is much higher than was assessed initially; their number exceeds125. Among the casualties, 27 dead and 34 injured were in the Model Town mosque, while the rest resulted in the carnage at the mosque in Garhi Shahu.
The dead include Judge ® Munir Ahmad Sheikh, the Amir of the Lahore Ahmadiyya community, Major General ® Nasir Ahmad, president of the Model Town chapter, Mr Mahmud Shad, a missionary, Mr Ejaz Nasrulla, a nephew of Late Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, former President of the International Court of Justice at Den Haag, Mr Muhammad Aslam Bharwana, a senior railway official and a number of community officials.
Most of the dead, when alive, had opted to be buried in Rabwah, therefore soon after the attack, over 90 graves were dug up in the town’s graveyard. The dead were buried after their funeral prayers in groups. Fifty burials have taken place. The program of a joint big burial ceremony was abandoned for security concerns.
Rabwah wears a sad look. Markets, trade centers and shops remained closed, as the dead bodies kept arriving from Lahore. Funeral ceremonies still continue.
The community, however, did not take to the street, take out processions or stage a protest in Rabwah. It is not the practice with Ahmadis. Instead, they have turned to God and continue to pray for themselves and the countrymen in general. They were guided by a statement from their supreme leader, the Khalifa tul Masih V: “The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat is a peace loving true Muslim Jamat. Thus there will be no improper reaction from any Ahmadi. Our salvation lies in our supplication to God Almighty and we believe that He has, and always will, help us”. The head of the Pakistani community, Mirza Khurshid Ahmad echoed the same sentiment in a press conference on May 29.
As for the terrorists, Tehrik Taliban Punjab has claimed the responsibility. It is confirmed by those who survived the massacre in Garhi Shahu that the terrorists faced no resistance from the police during their attack, and had sufficient time to even examine the dead bodies in the main hall and kill those who were still alive. They shouted slogan of Khatme Nabuwat Zinda bad, (Long live End of Prophethood). According to eye witnesses, four of them managed to escape after the carnage.
The attack commenced at 13:40, and the police eventually entered the mosque at 16:10. As such, the terrorist had two and half hours to finish the job they came for.
The federal government and human rights concerns have confirmed that the provincial government had been informed of terrorist threat to the Ahmadiyya community. The Ahmadiyya headquarters had kept the provincial and federal governments regularly informed of the activities and open threats of the anti-Ahmadiyya clerics, and warned against the sort of tragedy that eventually materialized in Lahore.
The incident has evoked unequivocal condemnation from all sections of the society in Pakistan, including Mr Nawaz Sharif, Mr Shahbaz Sharif and leaders of politico-religious parties.