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Unknown Gunmen Assassinate Prominent Minority Activist of Ahmadi community in Pakistan

Malik Saleem Latif, a lawyer by profession, was on his way to a court with his son when attackers ambushed them and fired at them from behind

Lighted candles are seen outside a mosque of the Ahmadi sect, in Lahore, Pakistan, May 30, 2010. Unknown gunmen in central Pakistan on Thursday killed Malik Saleem Latif, a local leader of the Ahmadi community, considered the country’s most persecuted religious sect, VOA

Islamabad, March 30, 2017: Unknown gunmen in central Pakistan have killed a prominent local leader of the minority Ahmadi community, a day after a new report spoke of increasing violence against what is referred to as the country’s most persecuted religious sect.

Police and community spokespeople said Malik Saleem Latif, a lawyer by profession, was on his way to a court with his son on their motorbike Thursday in the town of Nankana Sahib when attackers ambushed them and fired at them from behind.

The slain lawyer was the area head of the Ahmadi community and a relative of Pakistan’s first Nobel laureate, Professor Abdus Salam, who fled the country in 1974 and lived in Britain to protest enactment of a new constitutional amendment declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims.

The violence came as the Ahmadi sect, in its annual report released Wednesday, documented an unprecedented increase in deadly attacks against its members and worship places across Pakistan in 2016.

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“The year ended under great stress and strain for the beleaguered community. Most of the vicious acts took place in the Punjab [province],” the report said.

Thursday’s attack also occurred in the province, the country’s most populous and the political power base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N.

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Codified discrimination

Despite calls for canceling the discriminatory laws against the community, legislation was introduced in 1984 that banned Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims and building their mosques in the country.

The minority group in predominantly Sunni Muslim Pakistan, believes a prophet (Ghulam Ahmad) followed the Prophet Mohammed, who founded Islam. But that view runs counter to the Muslim religion’s central belief of Mohammad being the last of God’s messengers.

Last December, thousands of Islamists stormed the only Ahmadi mosque in a village in Punjab and desecrated the sanctity of the worship place. The attack prompted authorities to call in troops and paramilitary soldiers to disperse the protesters.

Pakistani authorities later locked the worship place to deter more attacks and have since ignored calls from the Ahmadi community to reopen the mosque to allow its members to resume religious activities.

Pakistan’s other religious minorities, particularly Christians, also frequently complain of being targeted by radical Muslims and falsely accused of blasphemy, charges that carry the death penalty.

In the latest such incident reported in local media Thursday, a prosecutor allegedly told a group of under trial Christian suspects that he “can guarantee their acquittal” if they renounce their faith and embrace Islam.

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Rights activist Joseph Franci, who is providing the accused legal assistance in the case, told reporters that during a recent hearing the prosecutor gathered the suspects outside the court and made the offer. (VOA)

An anti-terrorism court is trying the group of at least 40 Christians for allegedly participating in an angry mob lynching of two Muslim men shortly after a deadly twin suicide bombing of two churches two years ago in Lahore.

Prosecutor Syed Anees Shah is reported to have conceded that he made the offer. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)