A senior lawyer from the Ahmadiyya community in Karachi, Pakistan has been arrested on charges of misusing the title “Syed” in his name. This is the second time in two years that Advocate Ali Ahmed Tariq has been booked on such charges. The complainant, Advocate Mohammed Azhar Khan, filed a first information report (FIR) at the City Court Police Station invoking Section 298-B of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with the misuse of titles reserved for certain holy personages or places. Khan alleged that Tariq, an Ahmadi, had deliberately affixed “Syed” to his name while pleading a case before a district judge.
The City Courts Station House Officer (SHO), Adil Khan, stated that members of the Ahmadiyya community were not allowed to call themselves Muslims or present themselves as ‘Ahle Bait’ under relevant laws. He added that Tariq had misrepresented himself as a “Syed” while submitting his affidavit in court, and was therefore booked for the offense.
The Ahmadiyya Jamaat, through its spokesperson Amir, expressed concerns over the lodging of two identical FIRs against the senior lawyer at the same police station. This incident has once again brought to the fore the plight of the Ahmadiyya community, which has faced persecution and discrimination in Pakistan for decades.
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Advocate Tariq was previously booked over similar allegations in November last year. The police have taken action and arrested Tariq, who is expected to be presented before the court on Friday. This case highlights the need for greater tolerance and respect for religious diversity in Pakistan, as discrimination against minority groups continues to be a major issue in the country.