There's an uptick in the crimes against the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam in Pakistan as several attacks have threatened their safety in the Muslim-dominated country. In the latest attack on a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, a 31-year-old doctor was shot dead on Friday in a religiously-motivated attack.
The incident took place in Nankana Sahib, where Dr Tahir Ahmed and his relatives had gathered for Friday prayers at the residence. An unidentified young man opened fire on the family, killing Dr Tahir and critically injuring his father. In the shootout, two other family members were injured, local media reported.
The killing of Dr Tahir wasn't an isolated incident. On November 9, gunmen shot and killed an 82-year-old Ahmadi man in the city of Peshawar. The victim, identified as Mahmood Khan, was at a bus terminal, when the gunmen opened fire, killing him on the spot, Saleem ud Din, a spokesman for Pakistan's minority Ahmadi community had said. Khan was allegedly targeted because of his faith, Ud Din believed.
"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.
Although the police confirmed the shooting, they failed to comment on any motive.
These incidents are part of a series of targeted killing of a member of the minority group in recent months. According to reports, there have been five targeted attacks on the members of Ahmadiyya community in the span of just four months in Pakistan.
Last month, a professor from the Ahmadiyya sect was killed by his colleague over arguments on religion.
What are Ahmedis' beliefs?
The Ahmedis beliefs are slightly different from Sunni Muslims. Ahmadis believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is another prophet, which majority of Muslims contradict as the prophecy ended with Mohammed.
The reason behind such attacks is due to the belief that Ahmadis are not considered Muslims.
"According to the constitution, Ahmadis are not Muslims, not by our own belief," said Qamar Suleman, the director of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan. "We believe in the Quran and the Holy Prophet. No matter the difficulty, we are told that whenever the messiah comes you must accept him, even if you must crawl over snow."
Ahmadis are also prohibited from calling their place of worship mosques and must refrain from greeting others with "Assalam o Alaikum". The Ahmadis are allegedly refrained from holding any governmental positions without publicly denouncing their founder. Since 1984, over 260 Ahmadis have been killed.