U.S. Lawmakers concerned over increase in violence against Ahmadis in Pakistan

U.S. lawmakers have expressed concern over the increase in violence against Ahmadis in Pakistan.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the lawmakers criticized Pakistan’s colonial-era blasphemy laws and urged the State Department to ensure that justice is served in the killing of Tahir Naseem, an Ahmadi Muslim who was shot dead in July.

The letter stated:

“We are concerned by a recent increase in violence against members of the Ahmadi community in Pakistan, and the silence on these killings by Pakistani leaders. According to press reports from November, there were at least five killings of Ahmadis since July. In addition, we remain concerned about the abuse of Pakistan’s colonial-era blasphemy laws to persecute and intimidate religious minorities and others, as well as to settle personal feuds.”

“We strongly urge the Department to continue to press Pakistani authorities for an expeditious and transparent trial so that justice can be served in the killing of Mr. Naseem. We also hope the Department will continue to encourage Pakistan to reform or repeal its blasphemy laws.”

The letter was signed by Congressman Sean Casten, Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth.