Severe harassment of Ahmadiyya Community at Chak 93/TDA, District Leyya
It was in April 2001 that religious fanatics, supported by the administration, proceeded against Ahmadi community of Chak 93/TDA, District Leyya and got registered criminal cases of religious nature against them under PPC 295A, 295B and 298B. Ahmadis were accused of having a minaret and a niche in their mosque; they were also accused of having a copy of the Holy Quran in their mosque. The incident seriously disturbed the peace of the village, and Ahmadis felt having been driven to the wall.
Subsequent to the above criminal case registered under religious laws against four Ahmadis of Chak 93 TDA, the opponents proceeded to implicate still more Ahmadis in other cases. On May 26, 2001, the police registered a false case of ‘attempt to murder’ against four Ahmadis, namely Muhammad Rafiq, Tanwir Ahmad, Abdul Ghafoor and Zahur Ahmad of the same village, under sections PPC 324/34 in FIR 117 at police station Karor, district Leyya.
The authorities, rather than promoting peace and providing a semblance of support to the beleaguered Ahmadis, built up further on their shameful record, and the police arrested 11 Ahmadis under PPC 107/151. It is learnt that 11 non-Ahmadis were also detained, but this is a strange type of justice where the aggressor and the victim is given equal treatment. No wonder, the mulla pays no heed to government’s warnings and treats them with contempt.
Three trapped in the Anti-Ahmadiyya net
Three and half years ago, a case under PPC 298C, the Anti-Ahmadiyya clause, was registered against Ms Mubarka Begum at Mansehra. She had presented a certificate to her bank, the Habib Bank of Mansehra, that she was an Ahmadi Muslim and was thus exempt from compulsory deduction of Zakat. She was charged for ‘posing as a Muslim’. Afraid of a prison sentence, she fled and went abroad.
Almost two and half years later, the authorities proceeded to take action against Mr Fazl-ur-Rahman, her father, Mr Matee-ur-Rahman and Mr Zahid Aziz on the grounds that they had endorsed Ms Mubarka’s certificate. A charge of abetment under PPC 109 was levied against them. Mr Fazl-ur-Rahman was arrested. Subsequently, a bail was arranged for the three accused. They now face the trial in a court. They face imprisonment sentence of up to three years for endorsing that Ms Mubarka was an Ahmadi Muslim.
A fabricated case
District Sialkot has been a hot-bed of anti-Ahmadiyya activities. Numerous Ahmadis were implicated there by religious activists, under Ahmadi-specific and other laws, on religious grounds. At Khiva Bajwa, Afzal wrote an application to the police against 5 Ahmadis, namely Mr Ataulla, Mr Sanaulla, Mr Allah Ditta, Mr Mansur Ahmad and Mr Salahuddin accusing them falsely of threatening them. The police dropped Mansur Ahmad and Sabahuddin from the proceedings, but booked the other three under sections of PPC 506, 337/L2, 337/F1, 148 and 149.
Ahmadi booked on allegation of heresy and disbelief!
Mr Basharat Ahmad Ijaz of Karachi was accused of heresy and disbelief by some people he knew. He offered them to hold a discussion on the subject; instead, they got registered a criminal case (No. 117/2001) against him with the police at Manzoor Colony, Karachi. This happened in April 2001.
Death of an Ahmadi in prison
Multan; May 15, 2001: Mr Muhammad Rafiq, an Ahmadi prisoner, died while in captivity in Multan prison. He was 56 years old and apparently in good health. Mr Rafiq had been detained subsequent to the murder of an anti-Ahmadi miscreant who was a vigorous full time activist committed to the persecution of Ahmadis in the area.
The dead body of the deceased was brought over to Khanewal from where it was to be carried to his residential village, but in view of the religious tension prevalent there, it was decided to bury him in the graveyard at Khanewal.
The mindless administration
Syedwala, District Sheikhupura; August 29, 2001: Mullas and their disciples destroyed the Ahmadiyya mosque at Syedwala while the police was present but remained inactive. The next day, when Ahmadis tried to clear up the debris, the police became active against the victims and forbade Ahmadis to attend to their place of worship. A self-explanatory letter is reproduced below that was written from the Community Headquarters to the Governor of the Punjab and high Federal officials at Islamabad:
Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan, Rabwah
Subject:- Denial of fundamental rights of worship
This is with reference to and in continuation of my earlier letter No. R:4665/30.8.01.
As I have already informed you in my letter mentioned above that Ahmadiyya Baituzikar (mosque) was destroyed and demolished in the presence of police and miscreants looted and carried away ceiling fans, girders, T irons and any other fixtures they could lay their hands on. All Ahmadis were in the police custody at that time. Ahmadis were released from police custody at about 1.A.M on 29.8.01.
After their release Ahmadis went to their Baituzikar (mosque) in order to clean the debris and the mess the vandals had left behind. They were stopped from doing this by the police. The police ordered them not to go near their demolished Baituzikar (mosque). The police also told them that they were not allowed to offer their prayers in their place of worship.
This is a complete and flagrant denial of the basic human right of worship of Allah according to one’s faith and to maintain and manage one’s place of worship. I may submit here that this right is also guaranteed to every citizen of Pakistan, irrespective of his faith or sect, by the constitution of Pakistan. This right enshrined in the constitution is being withheld from the Ahmadis of Sayyad Wala absolutely illegally and unlawfully.
It is urgently requested that the police should be immediately directed to stop this high handedness.
(Mirza Khurshid Ahmad)
Vigorous action against fake terrorism
Hyderabad: It would be recalled that Dr Waheed, Ahmadi, was awarded 10 years’ imprisonment by an Anti-Terrorist Special Court for allegedly filling Census Data Form incorrectly. He is in prison for the last three years. For sometime, he is suffering from cardiac problem. During May his situation worsened. The way, authorities handled the very sick man is noteworthy.
One of his heart valves was discovered damaged. His condition became grave; he could go to the toilette only if supported by two persons. In view of his rapidly deteriorating health, his attorney requested in March for the needed medical attention. For one month, they could not form a Medical Board to make a report, although by the last week of April, Dr Waheed’s condition further deteriorated visibly. He lost his breath, suffered increased heart-beating, had pain in his knees and could digest nothing. His attorney then asked the Court’s permission to seek private medical treatment. The court agreed but ordered that a guard of 10 armed men will keep watch over the accused. He was admitted in a CCU. Doctors advised his admission in NICVD Karachi for change of the heart valve. The attorney requested the court to permit the patient’s shifting to Karachi. As the court’s time was over, the request was not presented to the judge. The staff refused to take the application to the judge’s residence that is located within the courts’ premises, on the grounds that the judge does not like to see petitions at residence.
The attorney again had to go to Hyderabad to make the request. Subject to the approval of the court, the prison administration, the police clearance, Home Secretary’s approval, provision of the ambulance, the Ahmadi ‘terrorist’ who filled in the Census Form incorrectly was taken to Karachi under the watchful eye of 10 armed escorts for treatment.
Police act as the front for mulla
Daajal, District Rajanpur; April 6, 2001: President of the Ahmadiyya Community Daajal, on his return from Rajanpur, was detained by the local police at the bus stand. He was taken to the police station. The inspector told him that mullas had taken out a procession in Daajal that day and they had also come to the police accusing Ahmadis of forbidden religious activities. The inspector was very rude to the president and warned him of dire consequences. He threatened him with arrest for which, he was told, there would be no bail for two years till the Supreme Court level.
The inspector sent for the president the next day as well and repeated his warning. He also warned him of a threat to his life.
Police apathy towards families of murdered Ahmadis
District Faisalabad: Mohammad Yasin of Chak 107, and a youthful son of Dr. Mohammad Siddique of Kharianwala, both Ahmadis of District Faisalabad were murdered during the month of May. Although, the first indications are that the primary reason for the murders was property disputes, the fact remains that aggressor parties always find it easy to win police sympathy against their victims if they happen to be Ahmadis. For instance, Mr. Yasin was shot to death, and 14 bullets wounds were located on his body. His enemies put his and his relatives’ homes on fire that resulted in not only damage to properties but also in burns and wounds to the womenfolk therein. Despite all this, the police attitude towards the victims was maliciously severe and highly improper. The police flayed the Ahmadi complainant, who approached them to register the case, with abuse and insults. They did this while the dead body was still awaiting burial.
Hounds in hot chase
Nankana: Mr Daud Ahmad Shakir, the president of Ahmadiyya Community of Nankana was sent for by the Assistant Commissioner. At his office, the AC invited a magistrate, the DSP and a Tehsildar to assist him with the proceedings. The Assistant Commissioner told Mr Shakir that there were complaints against him that he coerced people to watch MTA TV programs at his house, and injured their feelings. Mr Shakir was also told that he was on the hit list of the Khatme Nabuwwat organization. Mr Shakir told the officials that no one was ever forced to watch a TV program at his residence nor were any assemblies held there.
The AC told Mr Shakir that the administration was not in a position to provide him any protection; he should remain alert and take suitable measures to ensure his own safety. The DSP advised Mr Shakir to dismantle the Dish antenna to placate mullas.
The officials obtained a written statement from the Ahmadi and let him go.
Continued harassment of Ahmadi victims
Takhat Hazara, District Sargodha; June 12, 2001: Takht Hazara was the village where Ahmadis were massacred some months ago by a rioting mob led by a mulla. In the follow-up action, the authorities, perhaps to look non-partisan, demanded of 35 Ahmadis to submit affidavits and guarantees of good behavior under sections 107/150. This was done by all Ahmadis who were present in the court, although this procedure can expose them to further harassment and victimization.
Assistant commissioner’s help against an Ahmadiyya mosque
Kali Bher, Nankana Sahib: Ahmadis intended to construct a mosque in this village. They proceeded to build it after completion of all the formalities. However, mullas could not tolerate the construction of an Ahmadiyya mosque, so they decided to obstruct the construction in different ways through agitational techniques. In April, they approached the Assistant Commissioner (AC) to do the needful for them. He obliged them by going half the way. The AC ordered the police to deface the Kalima (Islamic creed) from an Ahmadi house, although it had been written there for the last seventeen years. He also told Ahmadis not to build the mosque in the Islamic style (whatever that meant, as the law does not say so). But then he told the delegation of visiting mullas; ‘The Ordinance is there, that does not mean that we dump Ahmadis in the sea’. Mullas do not accept even that kind of rejoinder. The next day, they had a news item published in the Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, with a headline- “Authorities should take note of the provocative activities of Ahmadis.”
Harassment of Ahmadi doctors
Kotli, Azad Kashmir; October 2001: Anti-Ahmadiyya posture of the government is sufficient encouragement for any takers to take a bash against Ahmadi civil servants. All that is needed is a piece of paper to make a complaint, and obscurantism of the society and the establishment would often do the rest.
Recently, three Ahmadi doctors in the service of Azad Kashmir government faced charges of preaching their religious views. An inquiry was ordered and the doctors were subjected to disciplinary action. The Under Secretary, Public Health issued Chief Secretary’s orders against Dr Shah Muhammad Javed, Surgeon, Dr Munawwar Ahmad and Dr Jamil-ud-Din Aali, Ahmadis, as per following notifications:
1. No: SS8160-69/Ist/2001 dated October 27, 2001
2. No: SS8188-8207/Ist/2001 dated October 27, 2001
The action is undeserved harassments of these competent professionals.
Harassment in Chiniot
Chiniot, District Jhang: Chiniot is the hometown of mulla Manzur Chinioti, an ex-MPA; it is a hot-bed of anti-Ahmadiyya activities.
Mr Munir Ahmad, Ahmadi, lives in Chiniot with his family. He was noted by the opposition activists there, and they made life difficult for him. They accused him of services to the community and reported the matter to Mulla Ilyas who is reportedly a son of Mulla Manzoor Chinioti. Mulla Ilyas got in touch with the local administration, and an inquiry started. The local police and the men of the Special Branch Police visited the Ahmadi twice and subjected him to investigation.
A harassed Munir got worried and seriously considered packing up and leaving the town.
Police action in support of mulla
Faisalabad; December 8, 2001: The police in Faisalabad has still not got the message to shun obscurantist mullas. At the report of one such religious bigot, the police became active, and harassed an Ahmadi.
Mr Muhammad Yusuf, an Ahmadi, owns a photography shop at Sargodha Road in Faisalabad. A mobile police team visited him on December 8. The police pointed to a Ramadan calendar and a Kalima (Islamic creed) sticker in the shop and stated that they had received a report from someone about the sticker. The police told the Ahmadi to take them off. Mr Yusuf told the police that the Ramadan calendar was a routine matter, and he would not undertake the indecency of removing the Kalima sticker; if they desired they could take them off themselves. At this, the police proceeded to peel off the Kalima sticker. Before departure, the police warned the Ahmadi not to let that happen again.
It is relevant to mention that the law does not specifically forbid Ahmadis to own up Kalima that is a statement of their own creed. The police in Faisalabad acted as agents of religious extremists.
Incident at Kotli
Kotli, Azad Kashmir; November 23, 2001: Muhammad Siddiq, an Ahmadi shopkeeper was visited by a Mujahid at his shop. At the time, Secretary Finance of the local Ahmadiyya community also came along, took a chair and sat down. Shortly, two more Mujahideen came along and whispered something in the ear of the first one. Then, they told the Secretary to show them the Receipt Book, but he refused to comply. At this, one of the Mujahideen told Siddique to offer no contribution to the visiting Secretary. Siddique told them to mind their own business. At this they got annoyed, and started a brawl at the shop. The visitors forcibly snatched the register and the Receipt Book from the Secretary, and fled.
Ahmadis, of course, will not even consider reporting the matter to the police, as it will not only be futile, it may bring more trouble for them.