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2010 Massacre Of Ahmadis In Lahore: When I Lost Faith In Pakistan

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On May 28, 2010, two Ahmadi worship places were attacked by suicide jacket-wearing terrorists who came with guns and grenades and the worshipers were sprayed with bullets. More than 90 people were killed. Both worship places were targeted just minutes apart. I was heading home with an Ahmadi friend when she received a call from her mother that her chacha (uncle) was severely injured in the attack. He was present at the Model Town worship place and received bullet injuries. She naturally became distressed upon hearing the news and wanted to visit his uncle in the hospital. I told her that I will accompany her and tried to reassure her that it will be fine.

But none of what I said could compensate for the horror that was inflicted upon her community that day.
What made it worse was that most politicians preferred not to name the victims i.e. Ahmadis. I opened the livestream of a news channel on my phone to get a sense of the situation. The condemnations were halfhearted. Most TV channels did not mention that it was an Ahmadi worship place. One channel that did mention the identity of the community under attack, but referred to them as ‘Qadiyani’ — which is generally used as a derogatory term against the persecuted community.

We had almost reached the hospital when my friend got another call from her mother. She told her not to visit the hospital as the authorities were not allowing visitors because they feared another attack targeting the hospitals where the wounded were taken. It took a few minutes to process it all. First they target a worship place, then they plan to attack a hospital to ensure that those who managed to survive the carnage are targeted once again.
I was horrified, but certainly not more than my friend who was just barred from visiting her injured uncle in the hospital because some people wanted her and each member of her community dead. The fear and helplessness that I saw in her eyes made me hang my head in shame. As she called her other relatives to check on them, I remembered how our local cleric in the mosque was spewing venom against Ahmadis in a sermon. Just a week before the incident, my brother had told me that the mosque Imam incites violence against the Ahmadi community. Hate speech against this ill-fated community is the norm in Pakistan. How can a local Imam be told to avoid such venom when politicians of our country practice the same? It was one of those days when I lost all hope in the future of Pakistan.

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As I saw my Ahmadi friend off, I could not help but feel ashamed of how much impunity these blood thirsty monsters were given by our government. In those days our politicians would openly advocate for ‘talks’ with the Taliban, ignoring all their crimes. But in case of Ahmadis, it was not just a handful of terrorists, but a majority of the population thinks that they deserve this persecution.
The nightmare was not over. Just a few weeks after the massacre, ICU of Jinnah Hospital, Lahore was attacked. The victims of the attack were recovering there. 12 more people fell victim of the attack and lost their lives, while the terrorists managed to escape.

I called the same Ahmadi friend of mine to check on her, as her uncle was under treatment at the same hospital. Luckily he had survived. But her voice shook as she spoke to me. There was a sense of fear in her voice, as if she trusted no one — not even me.

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6 Comments

  1. Umer Daraz May 29, 2020

    you ma’am are incredible

    Reply
  2. Ahmed May 30, 2020

    Their leader was from Qadian. I don’t understand whats the issue with that. Calling them Ahmadi is offensive to an entire other community i.e. Muslims. Now which one should we offend?

    Secondly, why didn’t you also lose faith for Hazara killings? They happened in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010. These are just uptil 2010.

    This was a sad incident. But don’t make it project your own agenda.

    Typical liberal. Mediocre at best.

    Reply
  3. Babar June 2, 2020

    Your leader was from Makkah? Should you be called Makkahni? It is not for you to decide how others should be called. You do not have monopoly on anything Islamic. This is Allahs religon and each person has the right to call themselves whatever they wish! Pakistani Muslims are the greatest hypocrites I have ever come across. They are all involved from corruption to child abuse. As a non Pakistani Muslim, I feel they do not practise Islam but are completely lost! They have no I dersranding about the guidance Islam has provided. 2nd class Muslims only live in Pakistan .

    Reply
  4. Shakil Chaudhary June 3, 2020

    Ahmed Sahib: I did not see a single word of sympathy in your comment. Has human sympathy ceased to exist in the land of the pure? Your tone is purely polemical.

    Ayesha Inayat has written a personal story because she was in Lahore at the time. She did not live in Quetta and she did not have a Hazara friend. Why don’t you write about what happened to the Hazaras? Did anyone prevent you from writing about them?

    Let me take the liberty of seeking your honest opinions about a few matters. What is your definition of religious bigotry and what do you think of it? Do you think the Ahmadis are apostates? If so, should they be put to the sword? Is Jinnah worthy of condemnation for having appointed Sir Zafrullah Khan, a devout Ahmadi, as foreign minister of Pakistan in 1947? Should the All India Muslim league also be condemned because it elected Zafrullah Khan as its president in 1931?

    There was another massacre about which Pakistanis are kept deliberately ignorant. All history books have been purged of this tragedy. It happened in 1950. Ten thousand Hindus were done to death in East Pakistan. Feeling utterly helpless Jogendra Nath Mandal, the first law minister of Pakistan, left not only his job but also the country. In his letter of resignation, he wrote:

    “After (an) anxious and prolonged struggle, I have come to the conclusion that Pakistan is no place for Hindus to live in and that their future is darkened by the ominous shadow of conversion or liquidation.”

    Here is the link to Jogendra Nath Mandal’s letter of resignation.

    https://wikilivres.org/wiki/Resignation_letter_of_Jogendra_Nath_Mandal

    Reply
  5. Ahmed June 4, 2020

    @Babar,

    There is a woman from Yemen. She is an exMuslim. She says” There is no god but I’m a Muslim.”

    Now according to your definition I’m sure shes a Muslim as well. As she has chosen to call herself Muslim.

    Reply
  6. Ahmed June 4, 2020

    @Shakil

    “This was a sad incident.”. This is a sentence that is more than a word of sympathy. My comment is addressing something else. Don’t make strawman arguments in reply to mine.

    Qadianis can freely practice their religion. They should not be put to the sword. They are definitely non-Muslims. Now as you said this is my opinion. So I have every right to my opinion.

    Nothing wrong with what Jinnah said. He didn’t praise their religion. Nothing wrong with having Atif Mian in the economic council.

    If the incident you mentioned about the Hindus did happen. Then it is utterly shameful. Disgusting and outright inhumane.

    I have always spoken against massacre of anyone. I’ve spoken against 9/11 being right. Writing blogs which you can read isn’t the only way to condemn anything. There are other venues and methods of opposing.

    Next time please just address what I’ve written. Spoiling the well and strawman arguments won;t make a mediocre article written by a wana liberal any good.

    Reply

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