Lahore: A professor belonging to the persecuted Ahmadi community was found murdered at her residence in Lahore, in the third such attack on the religious minority in the last three weeks.
Punjab University’s Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics professor Tahira Parveen Malik, 61, lived alone at her official residence in the varsity campus.
“Prof Malik was found murdered in her house yesterday morning when police and a varsity official reached there. Her daughter informed the varsity administration that her mother was not picking up her phone since the previous night,” Punjab University spokesperson Khurram Shahzad said.
When police broke into the house, they found her lying in pool of blood with multiple stab wounds, the spokesperson added.
Khurram said Malik’s daughter resided in Karachi. “The university officials have not found evidence of robbery,” he said.
The spokesperson for the Jamaat Ahmadia Pakistan, Saleemuddin, said it appeared Malik was killed because of her faith as she had no enmity with anyone. “Some extremist groups are active in targeting Ahmadis,” he said.
Senior police officer Haider Ashraf said, “We are investigating this case from all aspects including faith-driven.” Tahira Malik had joined the PU Centre for Applied Molecular Biology in 1984 as research scholar. She did her MS (equivalent to M Phil) from California University Riverside, USA in 1990. She later joined Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2004 and retired on August 15, 2016 and later rejoined it on contract.
Early this month, Ahmadi doctor Ashfaq Ahmed, 68, was killed by unidentified men in the city. Late last month, well-known advocate Malik Saleem Latif, the cousin of Nobel laureate scientist Dr Abdus Salam and president of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya Nankana Sahib district, was shot dead by unidentified attackers.
IS-linked militant organisation Lashkar-e-Jhanghvi had claimed the killing, saying it has sent another “infidel” to hell. Saleemuddin said the government has failed to rein in elements spreading hate openly against the Ahmadi community.