Ahmadi professor murdered in Pakistan, third killing since last month
A professor from the persecuted Ahmadi community was found stabbed to death in her house in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, the third member of the religious minority to be killed in the past three weeks.
The body of Tahira Abdullah was found lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds in the residential colony of the University of Punjab on Tuesday. It is feared this was a targeted killing based on the victim’s faith.
Abdullah, 61, had been working on a contract after retiring from the varsity’s molecular genetics department. She was teaching cell biology, DNA replication and repair, biochemistry and plant biotechnology at the postgraduate level.
She had been living alone in the house granted to her by the university and her husband had died a few years ago.
Abdullah was “found murdered” when police and a university official reached her home, University of Punjab spokesperson Khurram Shahzad told PTI. “Her daughter informed the varsity administration that her mother was not picking up her phone since the previous night,” he added.
Saleemuddin, the spokesperson for the Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan, said Abdullah was an Ahmadi and it was very likely she was killed because of her faith.
On March 30, well-known advocate Malik Saleem Latif, the cousin of Nobel laureate Abdus Salam and president of Jamaat Ahmadiyya in Nankana Sahib district, was shot dead by unidentified attackers.
A veterinary doctor from the community was killed in Lahore on April 7. The banned militant group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the earlier killings.
A constitutional amendment in 1974 declared Ahmadis “non-Muslims”. Several militant groups consider them heretics and members of the community have often been targeted by terrorists.