In Jhelum district, Punjab, the police have destroyed the minarets of an Ahmadi worship place, claiming it was illegal. This action was taken after the local leadership of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) issued threats. The TLP leader had warned the District Police Officer that if the minarets were not demolished by a certain date, they would do it themselves with the help of their followers. On July 14, the police summoned representatives of the Ahmadi community and instructed them to demolish the minarets. However, the Ahmadis argued that the construction was legal. On the night of July 14, the police arrived at the worship place, confiscated mobile phones, damaged CCTV cameras, and demolished the minarets. The incident has been condemned as a violation of the rights of the Ahmadiyya community.
According to a ruling from 2014, it is required to protect worship places, including the establishment of a special police force for this purpose. In response, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony, stated that no individual has the right to harm any religious worship place. He emphasized the need to follow legal channels if there are complaints. Ashrafi also mentioned that non-Muslims are not allowed to construct domes or minarets in their worship places or adopt Islamic rituals, according to the country’s Constitution and laws.
It is worth noting that the Ahmadi community has worship places in various cities, including Lahore, with ancient minarets.
The TLP has clarified that they conveyed their sentiments to the police within the framework of the Constitution and law, and it was the police who took action. They claimed that no individual took the law into their own hands.