Gunmen shot and killed an 82-year-old Ahmadi man on the outskirts of Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said on Monday, the fourth-such alleged targeted killing of a member of the minority group in recent months.
The attackers shot Mahmoob Khan on Sunday as he stood at a bus terminal, said Saleem ud Din, a spokesman for Pakistan’s minority Ahmadi community.
Ud Din said he believed the gunmen had attacked Khan because of his faith. He demanded that the government must take “decisive action” against perpetrators.
“One after another, Ahmadis are being targeted in Peshawar while the government has repeatedly failed to protect and stop the violence against the members of the Ahmadiyya Community,” the spokesman said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera.
Police confirmed the shooting took place but declined to offer any motive.
Last month, a professor from the Ahmadiyya sect was killed by his colleague following arguments on religion.
The Ahmadi faith was established on the Indian subcontinent in the 19th century by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whose followers believe he was a prophet. Many Muslims claim Ahmadiyya beliefs are heretical to Islam because they believe Muhammad was the last prophet.
Pakistan’s parliament classified Ahmadis as non-Muslims in 1974. Ahmadis have repeatedly been attacked by armed groups since the law was passed, drawing condemnation from human right groups.
Scientist Abdus Salam who was also from the community, who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics, has largely been ignored in Pakistan due to his religious identity.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) in May called the Pakistani government’s exclusion of members of the Ahmadiyya religious movement from a commission on safeguarding the rights of minorities “absurd”.
“The Ahmadis are among the most persecuted communities in Pakistan and to exclude them from a minority rights commission is absurd,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW, a US-based rights group.