AMRITSAR: It was an eye-opening moment for nearly 5,000 Pakistani Ahmadiyya Muslims who offered prayers in mosques and in open in Qadian, Gurdaspur district, during the inaugural session of three-day 124th International Jalsa Salana, which began on Friday.

Many of the Pakistani Ahmadiyya Muslims have never visited mosques in Pakistan since they are not allowed to call them Masjid but ibadatgah and in several instances they were subjected to persecution and discrimination and were even implicated in police cases on false charges of violating Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws.

Pakistani Ahmadiyya Muslims have arrived at Qadian, headquarter of Ahmadiyya community in India, from Rabwa, Lahore, Rawalpindi and various other cities via Attari land border in Amritsar district.

Fearing backlash, Pakistani Ahmadiyya Muslims remain tight-lipped and maintain a distance with media, but a few dared to explain their jeremiads.

"We were hopeful of getting religious freedom in Imran Khan's government, but it has not happened. Neither the attitude of Pakistan government nor its religious leadership has changed," said a Pakistani national who didn't want to reveal his identity.

Notably, former military ruler of Pakistan General Zia Ul Haq had issued an ordinance in 1984 forbidding Ahmadiyya Muslims to call themselves Muslims and they were barred from worshipping in non Ahmadiyya mosques or even using traditional Islamic greeting in public.

Another Pakistani Ahmadiyya Muslim claimed that in past, Pakistan government as well as fundamentalists had razed down the domes of their mosques.