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Shopkeeper arrested for banning ‘Ahmadi’

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LAHORE, Pakistan, Dec 14, (AFP): Pakistani police charged a shopkeeper with blasphemy Monday after he banned members of the Ahmadi minority from entering his shop, a rare bid by authorities to protect an ethnic group that usually suffers state-sanctioned persecution.

The shopkeeper in the eastern city of Lahore was charged with spreading religious hatred, officials said, citing the National Action Plan, a grand scheme to combat extremism put in place in the wake of a Taleban massacre at a school last year that left more than 150 people dead. The move comes just two days before the first anniversary of the assault on the army-run school in Peshawar, which shocked and outraged Pakistanis already scarred by nearly a decade of attacks.

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