Police in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Monday arrested a cleric, who claimed himself to be the 11th Imam of Islam, and booked him under blasphemy laws.
Police booked Farhan Ahmed, who is in his late 40s, on the charges of blasphemy after a video in which he claimed himself to be the 11th Imam of Islam went viral on social media.
Ahmed is a resident of Sahiwal, some 200-km from Lahore, the provincial capital.
According to police, an FIR has been registered against Ahmed under section 295-A of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order.
Police said Ahmed told his followers that Sufi saints had already foretold about his “appearance”.
“The prime minister and the army chief should swear their allegiance to me,” said Ahmed, who was flanked by his disciples in the video.
He also claimed that he was the guardian of the appearance of Imam Mahdi. He invited the youth of Pakistan to join him, urging them to take oath of allegiance to him.
In the video, Ahmed is seen addressing a press conference on Friday from an unknown place. He claimed that Prophet Muhammad had predicted about him and also quoted a Hadith in this regard
He said that he was also the guardian of the appearance of 12th Shia Imam The Mahdi. He also invited the youth of Pakistan to join him for the uprising of Islam, urging them to take ‘bayt’ (oath of allegiance) to him otherwise they would be effused of Islam.
Police are also investigating whether he made this claim because of any mental impairment. Police also recorded the statements of some of his followers.
An imam is the head or leader of an imamate. Imam Mahdi, according to the Shia Islamic belief, will appear on Earth before the Day of Judgment.
(WITH PTI INPUTS)