Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim country. People in Pakistan follow different versions of Islam. The majority of the people follow the Brelvi, Deoband, or Shiite versions of Islam. There are big differences among the ideologies of these sects.
The three major sects have turned against a fourth, the Ahmedi sect. They think that Amedis are deviants. They say they do not accept Mohammad as the last prophet. For many decades Ahmedis have been persecuted for their belief. A large number of Ahmedis have been killed by extremists. Their properties have been destroyed. Others have faced job discrimination.
Whenever someone comes forward to stop the persecution of Ahmedis in Pakistan or gives a statement in their support, extremists and ordinary Pakistanis become angry.
Recently, the chief of the Mutahida Qaumi gave an interview in which he gave a statement in support of the Ahmedi. All the religious organizations started censuring Mr. Altaf Hussain for his views on the Ahmedi.
The way people have started twisting the interview given by Altaf Hussain is unpleasant. He simply expressed sympathy with the Ahmedi and deplored their organized persecution by religious fanatics. Our political leaders have declared them an official minority group. They should be allowed to live according to their rights given by our constitution.
I talked to different people on this issue. They responded that Pakistanis Muslims should interact with Ahemdis. They justified their executions and organized persecution. One of them even told me that Allah has ordered them to execute these kinds of deviant people.
I was shocked to hear their views.
I think Ahmedis are a peaceful group. A large number of Ahmedis live in North Karachi. I have been observing them for the past two decades, and I never saw them preaching their religion or distributing any pamphlets. Meanwhile, the Mullahs of two Mosques at Nagan Chowrangi, North Karachi hurl accusations at each other, and often fire on each other with automatic weapons. One of the Mosques belongs to a Sunni Militant group, the other to Shiites.
It is distasteful to have to note that successive governments have not made efforts to stop the persecution of the Ahmedis. Members of this religious sect have even made great sacrifices during the Pakistani national movement and in the war against India.