AHMADIYYA Muslim Jama`at Canada is mourning the tragic death of Canadian and American physician and humanitarian, Dr. Mehdi Ali Qamar. The 50-year-old father of three was on day 2 of a three-week volunteer medical mission to Tahir Heart Institute in Rabwah, Pakistan. Patients often travelled to the heart institute from remote rural areas unable to afford medical care elsewhere.
For many months an orchestrated hate campaign has been in progress against the institute without any action from authorities. On May 26, militant extremists gunned him down in front of his wife and two-year-old son.
In 1974, Pakistan passed a constitutional amendment declaring Ahmadi Muslims to be “non-Muslim.” In 1984, Pakistan passed anti-blasphemy and anti-Ahmadi laws criminalizing religious practices of Ahmadi Muslims, which are punishable by fine, imprisonment or capital punishment. To date, militant extremists have murdered hundreds of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan with impunity.
The National President for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada, Lal Khan Malik, said:
“The brutal and senseless murder of Dr. Mehdi Ali Qamar, a Canadian-American physician on a humanitarian mission is not only a huge loss to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at in Canada and USA, but also to the people of Pakistan. Innocent, law-abiding Ahmadis in Pakistan continue to be murdered, imprisoned and denied the right to worship. They are regularly killed in attacks provoked because of their faith. We hope and pray that a full investigation is carried out and that those involved in this murder are brought swiftly to justice in accordance with the law.”
Due to a large number of relatives living in Canada, the body of Dr. Qamar is being flown back for burial in Canada.
MEANWHILE, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), issued the following statement:
“Canada is deeply saddened by the death of a Canadian doctor, Mehdi Ali Qamar, who was murdered in Pakistan on May 26. His murder is believed to be due to his Ahmadi faith. Sadly, he is among dozens of Ahmadis killed for their faith in recent years.
“Canada condemns the pattern of violence against religious communities in Pakistan and the unacceptable disregard of the universal right to practise one’s religion in peace and security.
“Such violence is a clear violation of the right to religious freedom and must not be tolerated. Canada calls on the Pakistani government to stop the persecution of Ahmadis and to ensure that all Pakistanis can practise their faith without fear.
“On behalf of all Canadians, we extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Dr. Qamar.
“Canadian consular officials are in contact with local authorities and are providing assistance to the family during this difficult time.”