Special report: Police demolish Ahmadi mosque minarets in Kharian

Police demolish Ahmadi mosque minarets in Kharian

Kharian, District Gujrat, Punjab: The Punjab Police undertook demolition of
minarets of the Ahmadiyya mosque in Kharian and removal of the Kalima there at
about 9:30 p.m. on July 10, 2012.

Prior to this, anti-Ahmadiyya incidents happened in the district and the
authorities took no action to stop malicious acts of extremist elements. An End of
Prophethood rally was permitted in Kharian on June 15, 2012 in which the mullas
used extremely foul language against Ahmadis and demanded demolition of the
minarets of this mosque.

Two mullas, Ghazi Jalali and another applied to the police on June 26, in the
name of an obscure organization, „Tahaffuz Islam Pakistan., to register a criminal
case against Ahmadis, and demolish the minarets. If not, the applicants threatened
to do the demolition themselves.

The police obligingly moved into action, and sent for Ahmadis to explain.
Ahmadis told them that the mosque was built in 1980, four years before the anti-
Ahmadi law; the law did not bar Ahmadis from construction of minarets; and there
is no mention of a standard design for a mosque in Shariah; as such Ahmadis had
violated no law.

The police, however, told Ahmadis to demolish the minarets as demanded
and threatened by the mullas. Ahmadis took the position that they could not
undertake this sacrilege, nor would they allow the mullas to do that; however, if
the police decided to do that Ahmadis would not resist, as it was not Ahmadis.
practice to fight the authorities.

An armed contingent of police accompanied by the staff of the municipal
administration arrived at the site after dark and undertook the shameful operation.
They had no court order in support of their act outside law.

The police visited the mosque again later, and demolished the remaining
small minarets. The DPO, however, approved building a wall around the two big
minarets. How will that be done remains an open question. Also, the police effaced
the Kalima and other sacred writings from the mosque.

The police appear to be more adept in the art of deceptive language than
maintenance of law and order and upholding fundamental rights of citizens. The
SHO told the press that the action was taken “after a mutual consensus of the
parties involved and the Qadiani Community who were very cooperative.”

According to a press report, Mr. Husain Naqi, a senior member of the
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said, “The police and state are not timid in
such incidents, they are not even appeasing to the extremist elements but conniving
with them.” The PPP Human Rights Cell reportedly “requested Chief Justice
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday to take suo motu notice of the demolition
of minarets.”

This is the third major attack on Ahmadis. places of worship this year in the
Punjab. The first major incursion was in Rawalpindi, followed by violations in the
provincial capital, Lahore, and the latest blow now in Kharian.

In all the above incidents, the authorities were involved in curbing the
freedom of religion of Ahmadis. They violated Article 20 of the Constitution of
Pakistan and also committed serious violation of Art 18 of Universal Declaration
of Human Rights and also the ICCPR to which Pakistan is signatory.

It is relevant that sometimes back when the Swiss government intended
some action against minarets of mosques, the Pakistani society and state were
among the most vocal against such a violation of religious tradition.

Images of Kharian Masjid when Minarets were being demolished by local police