Extremism and sectarianism thrive on governmental support
Lahore; April 11, 2009: A Khatme Nabuwwat (End of Prophethood) conference was held at the central Badshahi Mosque on April 11, 2009 in Lahore. This mosque is managed by the government of the Punjab; its Khatib (the chief cleric) is appointed officially by the Auqaf Department. This historic mosque is maintained at a huge expense by the public exchequer. The central theme of the conference was Ahmadiyyat. Extremist demands like the imposition of Shariah, support of the Swat deal etc, were also made by the speakers. Maulana Hamid Saeed Kazmi, the Federal Minister of Religious Affairs addressed the conference, as did the provincial Minister of Auqaf. The main banner displayed unabashedly that the conference was the handiwork of Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat which is a sectarian anti-Ahmadiyya organization, led primarily by Deobandi and Wahabi ulama. A huge bill-board displayed that this conference was sponsored by the Government of the Punjab.
The daily Jang, Lahore, of April 12, 2009 reported the statements of the clerics in some detail. Excerpts:
- The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan should be restored along with the (Anti-Ahmadiyya) 1974 amendment regarding the End of Prophethood.
- The Shariah should be implemented in order to eradicate Qadianiat.
- We are ready for total destruction of Qadianis in the country.
- Every last drop of blood should be shed for the sake of ‘End of Prophethood’.
- Qadianism has neither come to an end nor has it been weakened. Qadianis want to destroy the Muslims of the world.
- At present Muslims are pitted against the Infidel; all Muslims should unite to fight the Kufr (The world of Disbelief).
- Israel, India and the U.S. are jointly committed to erase Pakistan from the world map.
- The government should happily implement the agreements made with the free tribes (of FATA) and should stop the massacre undertaken by American drones in these areas.
- A criminal case should be registered against all the perpetrators of the Red Mosque tragedy, including Pervez Musharraf, and they should be dispatched accordingly.
- Pakistan’s future lies in Nizam Adl (implemented in Swat for a few days). … The U.S. does not support a ‘solution’ to the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat. The Swat agreement should be implemented, and that system should be imposed all over the country.
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore of April 12, 2009 and other Urdu newspapers reported the various ‘resolutions’ passed at the conference and demands made by the gathering. Excerpts:
- The massacre resulting from the American drone attacks should be put to stop.
- The anti-Qadiani law and the Blasphemy law should be vigorously implemented.
- A criminal case should be registered against all involved in the Lal Masjid tragedy including Pervez Musharraf, and they should be dispatched accordingly.
- All the ulama should devote at least one Friday sermon every month to the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat.
- Vote of thanks to the Government of the Punjab and its Auqaf Department for their patronage and support.
The following statements were also made at the conference:
- So long as even one Mirzai is alive, this (battle) flag will remain flying. Mulla Ajmal Khan
- We shall break their (Ahmadis’) necks. We shall break their legs… . Qazi Arshad Al-Hussaini.
- Qadianis rebel against the Constitutions of Pakistan. They should be tried for treason. Maulvi Fazlur Rahman of JUI
- Five hundred Qadianis are receiving training in the Israeli Army. They are being trained to kill the fidels of Khatme Nabuwwat. It is for you to decide whether they kill us or we kill them. Mulla Abdul Haq, the Central Amir
- I have come here to represent the Federal Government. The Federal Minister of Religious Affairs
- The slogan ‘Countless curses on Mirzaiat’ was raised many times.
- As long as even one ‘Khadim’ is alive, the US will be put to an end. (Janaza nikal kar rahain gai). The US will get dismembered. The Black thought that the Maulvi will get scared; no, we are not afraid of this ghost. Qari Zawwar Bahadur of JUP
- Hundred and eighty million people of this country are subjected to tyranny, but the people of Swat have suffered double the tyranny; they are being denied the Shariah. Maulvi Zahid ur Rashidi
- If Article 63 of the Constitution was sincerely implemented, the Parliament would comprise entirely of the Ulama. Maulvi Abdul Ghafoor Haidari of JUI
The following information is also material and relevant to the conference:
- Propaganda hoardings for the conference were set up by the Auqaf Department. One of these carried the exhortation: “Friendship with Mirzais is tantamount to rebellion against Huzur SAW (The Holy Prophet Muhammad).” The ruling Peoples Party also put up a huge bill-board with its tricolor and a statement of Ms Benazir Bhutto affirming religious discrimination against Ahmadis.
- An effigy of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community was burnt at the opening of the conference.
- A large number of madrassah students were transported to the conference site.
- The mullas urged a boycott of Ahmadi-owned businesses and companies, like Shezan drinks etc. However the clerics were treated with Shezan fruit juices by the management, and they consumed them with relish.
- A mulla proposed that the minarets of all Ahmadiyya mosques should be demolished, and a ban be imposed on all ‘Qadiani’ activities in Rabwah.
- A number of invited speakers were members of organizations banned for terrorism e.g. Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi, Alam Tariq, etc.
- There was a stall installed on the footpath outside the Atiq Stadium by workers of the notorious Sipah Sahabah (SSP), a banned organization.
- A cassettes and CD stall was set up in a Shehzor truck (Regd. No. LES 2407) in the name of Maulana Masud Azhar who had to be released by Indian authorities on demand of hijackers of an Indian passenger aircraft in Afghanistan. Books, stickers, badges, rings and Jihadi cassettes were available at this stall for sale/distribution.
- Red caps in memory of Maulvi Abdur Rashid Ghazi (of Lal Masjid, Islamabad) were also on sale.
- Approximately 200 policemen were employed to provide security at the conference.
- A mulla demanded that Ahmadis should be removed from all key posts; also, they should be eliminated from armed forces.
- 150 stalls were set up. Provocative stickers were pasted on them.
- A derogatory sketch of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community was displayed in the background of the central stage.
- The Badshahi Mosque was profusely illuminated for the occasion at public expense.
- A great deal of publicity was given to the conference in other cities and people were urged to travel to Lahore and participate in it.
- Special articles against Ahmadiyyat were written and published in the Urdu press for the occasion, e.g. in the dailies Jang, Khabrain, Pakistan, Jinnah, Ausaf, etc.
- One of the banners carried portraits of Mulla Ataulla Shah Bokhari (Ahrari), Mufti Mahmud (JUI) and Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto (PPP).
PML (Nawaz) is at the helm in the Punjab.
It is interesting to note that, though the conference was held in the name of religion, almost all the speakers at the occasion were clerics who are deeply involved in politics and grubby affairs. The following addressed the crowd: Allah Wasaya, Zawwar Bahadur (JUP), Ilyas Chinioti (PML-N), Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi (SSP), Alam Tariq (SSP), Abdul Karim Nadeem, Riaz Swati, Zulfiquar Khosa (PML-N), Fazlur Rahman (JUI), Munawwar Hasan (JI), Sajid Mir (Jamiat Ahle Hadith), Hamid Saeed Kazmi, Ehsanuddin Qureshi, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad (JUI), Samiul Haq (JUI-S), Ajmal Qadri, Zahid ur Rashdi, Sarfraz Naeemi, Ahmad Ali Siraj, Zubair Ahmad Zaheer, Saifullah Khalid (Ahrar), Abdur Razzaq Sikandar, Rafi Usmani, Taqi Usmani, Israr Ahmad (Tanzeem Islami), Khalil ullah Najmi, Aziz ur Rahman Jalandhry (Ahrar), Hanif Jalandhry (Wafaq-ul-Madaris), Abdur Rahman Ashrafi, Fazlur Rahim, Saleemullah Awaisi, Rauf Farooqui, Aziz Ahmad, Amjad Khan, Bilal Mir, Saifuddin Saif, Aziz ur Rahman Hazarvi, Arif Sialwi, Maqbul Ansari, Rashid Mian, Mahmud Mian, Muhammad Hasan, Mian Afzal, Naeem ur Rahman Tahir, Abdul Haq Bashir, Hafiz Abu Bakr, Salimullah Khan (Tanzeemat Madaris) etc.
It was announced that the next such conference would be held in Islamabad.
In short, the speakers at this officially sponsored conference, held in the name of a religious belief, urged the violation of human rights,spoke against freedom of religion, promoted sectarian strife, indulged in controversial national and international politics and propagated hatred and violence.
Is it not incredible that the government which is facing severe problems of internal security from extremist and sectarian clerics should itself sponsor, arrange and fund a conference where speakers promote the extremists’ agenda to tens of thousand of participants? And this happened at Lahore. The New York Times reported on the fragile situation in Punjab:
“I do not think a lot of people understand the gravity of the issue”, said a senior police official in Punjab. “If you want to destabilize Pakistan, you have to destabilize Punjab”.
NYT report from the daily Dawn of April 15, 2009
The Government of the Punjab appears to be making the same mistake that it made in 1953, and came to great harm at the hand of the mulla.
Note: Pictures showing 1) the sponsorship of the conference by the Auqaf Department, and 2) The involvement of the ruling Peoples Party (Hate promoting slogans were inscribed on the bill-boards.) are here.
A heartrending story – innocent Ahmadi tortured by state agencies
This story is a personal account of an innocent man who suffered torture at the hand of state agents. The inflicted torture was the cutting edge of a joint effort by corrupt clerics, inefficient police, mindless administration, sadistic agencies and heartless politicians. It is a tale of suffering of Mr. Rashid Iqbal, an Ahmadi resident of Kunri, District Mirpur Khas, Sindh. There is some background to this incident, which deserves a brief mention at the beginning.
Kunri has been a hotbed of anti-Ahmadiyya agitation for some time. Ahmadis kept the administration and the police informed of the situation. However, the political leadership in Pakistan handles the mulla with great tenderness, regardless of consequences. The district authorities therefore echo that sentiment and approach, and generally support the clergy, or neglect and disregard their criminal activities. This attitude prevails at Kunri.
Here the mullas have a dispute with local Ahmadis over a plot of land and construction of a mosque over it. Ahmadis had approached the authorities for justice; this was not acceptable to the mullas. They conspired to implicate Ahmadis in a fabricated case of blasphemy. In September last year, they accused Rana Khalil Ahmad of writing an objectionable letter to a mulla, and accused Mr. Rashid Iqbal of writing something blasphemous on a road track. The police blithely booked the two under the dreaded blasphemy law PPC 295-C, the anti-terrorism law PPC 295-A and ATA-9. The cases received no serious investigation by any senior police officer as required by the rules. The two men who were bread-winners of their families were arrested and were exposed to awful consequences of these false accusations.
This story is of Mr. Rashid Iqbal who is 34 years old, married and has two children, 5 and 3 years old. He also supports his father who is over 85.
In order to cut it short, we mention below only essential details as narrated by Mr. Iqbal – in his words translated in English.
“On December 4, 2008 I was waiting at the railway station Hyderabad to board a train for Faisalabad. At about 13:30 three men in plain clothes approached me and my nephew who was with me, told me that they belonged to agencies and took us both to a four-wheel drive vehicle outside the station. They pushed us inside the vehicle, blindfolded us and handcuffed us behind the back. They took my mobile phone, three SIM cards, Rs. 950 in cash, a bottle of perfume, and a tin of talcum powder. After about 20 minutes’ drive they arrived at a location unknown to me. There, they noted down my particulars and put me in shackles. … After some time I requested for some relief, told them that I was innocent, and pleaded that they take off the band over my eyes and place the handcuffs in front rather than my back which was very hurtful, they did that. … I offered them to let me free on promise to make myself available in the court, and offered them Rs. 20,000 for this favour. They, however, responded that this money was too little. “Raise it to five lacs (500,000) and we will drop you wherever you like,” they said. However, no money was given or taken. … I noticed a plaque in the room on which MI 4 was written. They asked me about the exact nature of our religious beliefs, to which I replied that there was hardly any difference; “you people are awaiting the advent of a Mahdi, while we believe that the advent has already taken place.” … After the meal, they blindfolded me again. At about 8 p.m. they uncovered my eyes, opened the handcuffs and the shackles. I told them again that I was entirely innocent and knew nothing of the alleged blasphemy. …However they sent for the electric-shock machine and subjected me to shocks. Then they turned me naked and beat me up with a leather whip. They insisted that I admit to acting jointly with two others in committing the blasphemy. I kept on reciting the Kalima (the Islamic creed) till I went unconscious under torture. When I recovered they got themselves a belt used in thresher machines and hit me with it repeatedly. “This ugly looking man (manhus shakal wala) is a member of a fighter organization; he is not going to admit without (this treatment),” one of them said. I told them that I am only an ordinary citizen who makes a living by grinding spices and supplying to the retailers in the town. However, they inflicted upon me still more electric shocks, and slapped me repeatedly. They did the same to my nephew (who was not even an accused in the fabricated FIR). He told them that the issue was nothing except the community plot over which Ayub and his colleagues (the accusers) had got Ahmadis implicated in this false case. Thereafter they blindfolded me again. I was then driven elsewhere and delivered to some other group after two or three hours’ drive.
“I was now finding it very difficult to walk, after the torture. They took me to a room where they opened the handcuffs and took off the band over my eyes. They turned me naked and made me lie down on the floor. One of those tormentors sat astride me and clasped my head in between his knees, while two others took positions on my left and right. They hit me repeatedly on my back and calves of my legs. I went unconscious with pain, and they brought me back to consciousness by a drink and some pills; and then hit me again and again. They said, ‘We are ISI men; we have come all the way from Islamabad; admit your crime.” They were accusing me and some other Ahmadis to having turned to blasphemy in order to precipitate a Hindu-Muslim riot. It was all Greek to me; so I denied that. Then they turned vicious. They introduced chilies in my anus. They opened my two legs and one of them sat on my neck and threatened me with loss of manhood (na mard). I told them again of my innocence, and finally asked them in desperation to shoot me dead. They took me out of the room and fired a shot close to my ear. In fact at that stage I could no longer bear the hurt of the torture of ‘opening the legs’, so I agreed to own up all the false accusations. I was made to sign a number of blank sheets, put my thumb and finger prints on them, admitted to planning a ‘Hindu-Muslim riot’, paying Rs. 5000/- to Sultan Chandio for drawing the ‘sketches’ in the presence of Khalid at his shop, threatened Sultan with death for non-compliance, writing blasphemy on the road track etc – all rubbish, of course. They urged me to implicate Ahmadiyya leadership in providing the Rs. 5000, and mention Nasir Wahla and Majeed Zahid (local Community leaders), but I refused to do that. They wanted me to state that Tariq Mota and Nasir Wahla (Ahmadis) had telephoned me to write that writing, and the taxi on which we went to Umar Kot to post the letter (allegedly written by Rana Khalil) belonged to Zahid son of Habib.
“Then they presented me blindfolded to their officer. He interrogated me further. He asked me, “How much are you paid monthly by your community?” “It is we who subscribe regularly to the community; we do not receive money from our Jamaat”, I told him. He had my eye-band removed, and then made a video. They took some still shots, too. Then I was blindfolded again, was handcuffed in front and driven to a lock-up somewhere. There, I enquired about the time. It was 11 p.m. on 5 December 2008. It was a police station. An A.S.I. provided me with some food and pain-relieving pills. The next day this inspector said to me, “Look here, I have not slapped you even once. All I want from you is to tell the judge that you were arrested at 5 p.m. on 5 December in Kunri. If you tell the judge that you were picked up in Hyderabad and were tortured, I will have you on 15 days’ remand and deliver you back to the ISI”. Then I was taken to an Anti-terrorism court. … (Days later) when I could see the Judge I told him that I was tortured and showed him torture marks on my body. The judge sent me for the medical check up and I requested the doctor to be truthful in his medical report. … Those who took my cash and belongings at the time of my arrest have not delivered those back to me.
“I am now happy to be eventually on bail and with my family once again. I am however afraid whenever I go out in the open. If I die, please do look after my wife and children, and please take care of my elderly father.”
This is how the state wastes its time, resources and energy on worthless tasks assigned by the mulla. It is no surprise that it ends up with problems like those in Swat, Waziristan and Gojra.
A mulla and the Prime Minister
The daily Ausaf, Lahore of July 29, 2009 printed a story whose translation is rendered below. Ausaf’s reporter has quoted mulla Allah Yar Arshad in his report; however, as both this mulla and this newspaper are not known for high morals, the level of authenticity of the published report remains at best uncertain. The press report:
Qadiani place of worship: The Prime Minister orders a report on the sealed mosque belonging to Muslims.
The Prime Minister appreciated Maulana Arshad’s act of bringing the issue to his notice and said that this proved the Maulana’s loyalty to Islam.
Chiniot (Tehsil correspondent): Mr. Yusuf Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has taken notice of the issue of the construction of a Qadiani place of worship in Nazabad, Chiniot, and the sealing of a Muslim mosque in Nurpur Colony, Ahmad Nagar, and has asked for a report. He mentioned this in an official meeting with Maulana Allah Yar Arshad, leader of the Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat. The Prime Minister appreciated Maulana Arshad for pointing out this issue and stated that by this timely action of informing him about this case the Maulana has proved his loyalty to Islam and Pakistan. The Prime Minister will have a joint meeting with Maulana Arshad in Islamabad at his first convenience (sic).
Perhaps the PM is unaware that this mulla is registered in the IVth Schedule and is a ‘history sheeter’ in police record for his criminal conduct over a long period.
Prolonged prosecution comes to end
A fifteen years old case under PPC 295-A has come to an end – at last.
Nine Ahmadis of Pattoki were charged for putting up a banner in their street regarding the fulfillment of a prophecy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) regarding solar and lunar eclipses on the given dates in support of the Mahdias. The case was registered by the police, on February 23, 1994. Two of the accused died during the course of the prosecution, while six fled and sought shelter in foreign countries. Only one accused, Mr. Abdul Mujeeb continued to face a trial. At last, on 15 December, 2009 the Judicial Magistrate acquitted him.
It is worth noting that the administration and the police in the country charged nine persons for putting up a banner that a prophecy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was fulfilled a hundred years ago. The state prosecuted all the nine accused, pursued the case for 15 years only to find that the judge was neither convinced nor impressed by the charges. What a criminal waste of public resources!
Azad Kashmir government persists in maintaining sectarian drive in league with extremists
Muzaffarabad: The Central Police Office of the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir issued an ‘office circular’ to all its officials to ensure that the law regarding the ‘End of Prophethood’ be vigorously implemented. This circular was issued in response to a recent order from the AJ&K government that refers to an Act passed in 1985 (during the era of General Zia). It is rather odd that the Azad Kashmir government of Prime Minister Sardar Yaqub found time to pursue a Resolution of dubious worth, passed a quarter of a century ago. It was only a few weeks earlier that his predecessor lost his job on charges that included having friendly relations with extremist mullas like Pir Atiq-ur-Rahman. A sectarian and extremist agenda should not have been a priority for his government. Does the Azad Kashmir government really wish to be seen promoting sectarianism when Indian Kashmir is ruled on secular lines?
English translation of the Central Police Office is placed below, while copy of the original Urdu is here:
From: Central Police Office
Azad Government of Jammu and Kashmir State, Muzaffarabad
1-3: Deputy Inspectors General, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Poonch (Rawalakot) Regions
4,5: SSPs Districts Muzaffarabad and Mirpur
6-11: SPs District Nilam, Bagh, Rawlakot, Sadhnoti, Kotli, Bhimbar
No: 11-6100/CPO/Reader/2009 Dated: March 5, 2009
Subject: Action on the Resolution Act passed concerning the Dogma of End of Prophethood and Suppression of Qadianiat
The case referred to in the subject above is forwarded to you with reference to Letter No. MQ/Qanun Sazi/93-174/2009 dated 28 February 2009 of the Department of Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights along with the received Amendment Act VIII of 1985 (copies enclosed). You are to ensure implementation of the current law in its true spirit.
Enclosures: 4 Pages
Assistant Inspector General of Police (Legal)
Central Police Office, Muzaffarabad
One may recall that in June 2008 the police and District Government of Kotli grossly violated Ahmadis’ human rights and freedom of religion. This was the leading story in the News Report for June 2008, under the following headlines:
Enormity committed by the authorities in Azad Kashmir
Ahmadiyya place of worship blasted to rubble
Criminal cases under Ahmadi-specific laws registered
Ahmadis disallowed to bid for an official contract, on account of their faith
Unabashed tyranny sweeps District Kotli
Interestingly, this police order followed the directive of the Department of Justice and Human Rights. Is this kind of justice and human rights that the governments of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan offer to the rest of Kashmiris in their struggle to create a new polity in Jammu and Kashmir?
Mullas convene in a grand meeting presided over by the Chief Minister, and formally and jointly stress sectarian hatred and prejudice while condemning extremism conditionally
Lahore; July 1, 2009: According to a huge advertisement, covering more than one third of a page of some national vernacular dailies, the Government of the Punjab conveyed to the public that a special meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, the Khadim Punjab, on July 1, 2009, in which illustrious Ulama Karam (the respected ulama) of various denominations participated, and issued a Joint Declaration.
The declaration mentioned that suicide attacks are un-Islamic and are in the forbidden (haram) category. They declared that those who shed the blood of innocent Muslims should be held accountable (as if the Islam of these mullas permits shedding blood of innocent Non-Muslims. Ed.)
The Joint Declaration is long and reflects mostly the government policy. The participant mullas however found the government a willing partner in incorporating deplorable exceptions in the Declaration (like the ‘innocent Muslims’, mentioned above). Also, in the concluding sentence at the end it mentions: “The Ulama Karam jointly held that suicide attacks and all acts of terrorism inside Pakistan are anti-Islam, Pakistan and humanity.” (Emphasis added). Obviously, the ‘Ulama Karam’ are not sure that acts of terrorism outside Pakistan are un-Islamic. However, the most significant and deplorable part of the Declaration is its Clause 2 which met official approval in this meeting that was ostensibly held to promote peace in Pakistan. It states:
“Faith in the Prophethood of Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen Muhammad (PBUH) and love, obedience and association with him is the basis of our religious identity, collective life and national solidarity. Unfailing certainty in his end of prophethood (Khatme Nabuwwat) is an integral part of our faith. It is our religious duty to safeguard the honour of the Prophethood (PBUH). Anyone who is guilty, directly or indirectly, openly or by implication, of even minor insolence to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is an infidel (Kafir), apostate (Murtad) and must be put to death (Wajib-ul-Qatl).”
The meticulous detail and wording of this clause has now provided the ulama with ample license to demand and promote bloodshed and violence – and the government of the Punjab had conceded that. They paid from public funds not only for the meeting but also spent a huge amount on its advertisement in press. If the government had held the meeting initially to promote peace, the mulla succeeded in co-opting it for greater violence and blood in future.
The meeting demanded action against murderers of Maulana Sarfraz Naeemi, and inter alia against those who indoctrinated the killer. From a reading of the Clause 2 of the Declaration mentioned above, it is obvious that participants of this meeting were of the category who undertake such indoctrination.
The ‘excellent names’ (Asma-e-grami) of the participating ‘respected ulama’ (Ulama Karam) as advertised were the following:
1. Maulana Hanif Jalandhri 2. Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahim
3. Maulana Amjad Khan 4. Maulana Zahid-ur-Rashdi
5. Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri 6. Syed Mahfuz Mashhadi
7. Syed Mahfuz Safdar Shah 8. Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Sialvi
9. Mr. Mahmud H Sheikh Hashmi 10. Maulana Muhammad Sharif Rizvi
11. Maulana Rashid Mian 12. Maulana Abdur Rauf Rabbani
The Internet shows that this official meeting and its Declaration attracted a great deal of unfavorable comment from international human rights activists – individuals and organizations. A section of this huge ad in the press is here.
Attack on Ahmadiyya graveyard. Arson and violence undertaken by miscreants
Pir Mahal, District Toba Tek Singh: The following incident occurred on June 7, 2009.
Tehsil Municipal Administration Kamaliya had allocated a plot of land in 1988 as an Ahmadiyya graveyard. Ahmadis have buried their dead there ever since.
In order to ensure the security of the graveyard the local Ahmadiyya community decided to build a boundry wall around it. For selfish reasons, a neighbor Iftikhar Ali, proprietor of Madni Estate Agency did not like it. He is head of a Qabza group; 11 criminal cases of different nature are on record against him at the Police Station Sadar Pir Mahal.
On June 7, 2009, Iftikhar Ali, leading a gang of approximately 6o armed men attacked the graveyard and demolished the newly-built periphery wall. They set fire to a tractor-trolley and a generator at the site. They fired in the air and threw stones at Ahmadis present there. The demolished wall was approximately 400 feet in length. The damage done was approximately worth a million rupees. Iftikahr Ali wanted a 15-feet wide passage through the graveyard for personal reasons. As Ahmadis were not in a position to give up this land, Ali gave the situation a religious twist to take what was not his. He approached clerics and the local press for support. They made statements prejudicial to the Ahmadiyya community. False accusations were hurled against Ahmadis.
It is worth noting that a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference was subsequently held at the residence of this charlatan, Iftikhar Ali on June 28. It was attended by mulla Ilyas Chinioti, a PML(N) MPA from distant Chiniot. According to a three-column report in the daily Ausaf on June 30, it was stated in the conference, inter alia:
- 1. Lovers of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) are ready to die for his honour.
- 2. Qadianis will have to recant and start living according to Islam.
- 3. Qadianis’ sole object is to accomplish the aims of the British through inculcating the love of the Mammon, extricating the love of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and emptying hearts of the faith.
- 4. We will put a stop to the wretched Qadiani activities all over the world.
The Khatme Nabuwwat Movement, the PML(N)’s MPA, the daily Ausaf, Iftikhar Ali of the Pir Mahal Qabza group and the riot at the Ahmadiyya graveyard were inextricably linked. They intended to precipitate a dangerous communal situation.
Higher authorities were informed by Ahmadis of the explosive situation.
Believe it or not, the Tehsil Municipal Administration Kamaliya cancelled its notification for the Ahmadiyya graveyard on June 9, 2009, citing the threat to law and order as a reason. (The monthly, Jehdi-Haq for July 2009)
Governance had rarely reached that low in Pakistan.
Questionable conduct of the Punjab government
Lahore: During the year 2009, numerous incidents occurred in the Punjab that had a direct or indirect bearing on the Ahmadiyya issue. Here we mention only three of those where the provincial government was directly involved, and offer a comment in the interest of all concerned. These incidents are,1)Holding of a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference in the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore by the Auqaf Department, 2) Banning the Ulama’s entry in various districts of the Punjab, and 3) An announcement of the Mutahiddah Ulama Board through the Auqaf Department of the Government of the Punjab.
In the recent month of Muharram, the government took note of the serious threat to communal harmony and thereby to law and order in the province, and issued orders to ban a large number of ‘Ulama Karam’ to enter the province or to move from one district to another. Most of these ulama who were directed to stay put in their own residential districts were forbidden to address public gatherings (zuban bandi). All this was done to maintain peace and order, and was accepted by all concerned as an essential administrative measure. A few headlines from the press regarding this order are recorded below.
Punjab bans entry of 190 clerics from other provinces.
The Daily Times, Lahore; December 26, 2009
Yom Ashur: 20 ulama recommended for detention.
105 ulama made to sign bond of good conduct in sectarian issues.
The daily Waqt, Lahore; December 24, 2009
151 Ulama’s entry banned in Faisalabad
The daily News; Lahore, December 12, 2009
46 Ulama banned to enter (District) Chiniot
The daily Jang; Lahore, December 16, 2009
30 Ulama Karam and Zakir’s entry forbidden in District Toba. Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Sajid Naqvi and Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi also banned. Restrictions imposed for 3 months.
The daily Pakistan; Lahore, December 9, 2009
In the last week of December, the Department of Auqaf arranged a Joint Announcement (Mushtarka Elamia) by the Mutahiddah Ulama Board and had it published in the press as a paid public ad. It was entitled, Do not give up your own beliefs (and) Do not infringe upon the beliefs of others (Apne maslak ko na choro Kisi aur ke maslak ko na chero). This announcement was drafted in a meeting chaired by ‘Khadim Pubjab’ Mian Shahbaz Sharif on December 13, 2009. The announcement expressed heartfelt pain and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in suicide bombings in Moon Market Lahore, Multan Cantt, Parade Line Rawalpindi and Khosa Market DG Khan etc. The announcement formulated a Code of Conduct (Zabita Akhlaq) and had it published. One of the items of the code read (translation): Islam also teaches regard for the People of the Book (Ahle kitab) and Non-Muslims. Therefore the Ulama should lay special stress on tolerance (rawadari) and unity, and should abstain fully from mutual incriminating edicts (fatwa bazi) etc.
However, earlier this year the same Auqaf Department sponsored, held and funded a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference at Lahore on April 11, 2009. It invited a large number of ulama including many of those who are now banned to enter other districts or are forbidden to speak at public meetings. The venue was decorated with banners that supported the Swat Deal (with Mulla Fazlullah), the imposition of Shariah etc. The speakers upheld the so-called Nizam-e-Adal. One of them said: “We are ready for total destruction of Qadianis in the country.” Another said: “Every last drop of blood should be shed for the sake of End of Prophethood”. One of the resolutions passed at the conference was: All the ulama should devote at least one Friday sermon every month to the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat. An effigy of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community was burnt at the opening of the conference.
With these kinds of gatherings taking place with official support, the government of the Punjab should not be surprised with incidents like the bombings in Moon Market, Multan Cantt, Parade Line and Khosa Market. The pious announcement of the Mutahiddah Ulama Board could not dissuade the bomber and his backers from the attack on a Muharram procession in Karachi that resulted in 45 deaths, burning of 2500 shops, attacks on vehicle, police stations and banks etc, loss of Rs. 30 billion and 10,000 jobs.
The Quran, in its great wisdom, sets forth parables:
“Dost thou not see how God sets forth a parable of a good word? It is like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches reach into heavens. It brings forth its fruit at all times by the command of its Lord. And God sets forth parables for men that they may be reminded.
And the case of an evil word is like that of an evil tree, which is uprooted from above the earth and has no stability.” Al-Qur’an, Surah Ibrahim
The ruling elite of Azad Kashmir indulge in unbecoming sectarianism
There is a lesson not only for all Pakistanis but also for the whole world in the recent traumatic events of Swat and South Waziristan, that religious extremism and sectarianism are fatal for peace and harmony in society. However, the rulers of Azad Kashmir have come to the opposite conclusion; they appear to think that these evils are highly desirable for their people and polity. In April this year the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Assembly of Azad Kashmir attended a conference in Bagh, and spoke against Ahmadiyyat. Perhaps they were forwarding someone else’s agenda.
According to the press reports, these leaders along with their fellows attended a conference at Bagh on April 29, 2009. The conference was apparently held in memory of Sardar Muhammad Ayub, a former speaker of Azad Kashmir Assembly, who sponsored a resolution in the Assembly that declared Ahmadis to be Non-Muslims. However this event was simultaneously termed a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference as conveyed by the daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Islamabad of April 30, 2009 in its banner headline: Qadiani centres of apostasy should be destroyed forthwith. Resolution of the Yaume Khatme Nabuwwat Conference (End of Prophethood Day Conference)
The same newspaper reported in its story that Sardar Yaqub Khan, the PM said: “The object of celebrating the anniversary of Sardar Mohammad Ayub Khan’s death is to convey to the Muslims of the whole world that the first voice that was raised to counter the mischief of Qadianis was from Bagh in Azad Kashmir; this eventually culminated in the form of a law.” Raja Zulqarnain the president of the territory, said: “The services of Major Ayub (Rtd) in eradication of Qadianiat will be remembered for ever. … It will be an honour for me to attend his anniversary here every year.” He further stated that (in those days) “Mirzais were a major power in Pakistan and they held the entire establishment in their grip….” The president however came to the conclusion that, “We are under attack now from all over; we are passing through the most difficult time in our history. We shall have to fight through the situation by setting aside our subsidiary differences.” Shah Ghulam Qadir the speaker of the Assembly stated that, “His (Sardar Ayub’s) crowning achievement was to have Mirzais declared a Non-Muslim minority; this will be remembered forever in history.” (The daily Ausaf, April 30, 2009)
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt placed on record the following demands made in the Conference:
- Khatme Nabuwwat Day should be celebrated officially every year on April 29 in memory of Major Muhammad Ayub. The day should officially be declared a national holiday.
- The government should allot a piece of land to the Tehrik Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, where a Khatme Nabuwwat Islamic University should be built with donations.
- The anti-Qadiani law of 1984 and the Resolution of 1973 should be implemented.
- Qadianis of Azad Kashmir should be registered as Non-Muslims and identified as such (in I.D. cards).
- Khatme Nabuwwat should be made a part of the national curriculum.
- Qadiani centres of apostasy that look like mosques should be destroyed forthwith.
- The daily Alfazl, the (Ahmadiyya) TV channel and all the Qadiani literature should be banned in Azad Kashmir.
- Qadianis in government service should be listed and the list should be made public.
(Note: All these indecent and questionable demands were made in the presence of state dignitaries – of course, with their nod.)
In his speech, the Prime Minister accused his predecessors of:
- Wasting 6 billion rupees of the Asian Development Bank through graft and ‘commissions’.
- Consuming 220 million rupees in the Kohala Dhir Kot Raod project however they did not spend even 22 rupees on the work.
- Consuming 60 million rupees in the Bagh scrap (Malbah) scandal etc.
The confident Prime Minister made a hopeful prediction, “Those who seek to oust me will be disappointed. Allah who installed me as the prime minister might appoint me life-time prime minister in response.”
(Report complied from the dailies Nawa-i-Waqt, Ausaf, Khabrain, Jammu wa Kashmir of April 30 and May 1, 2009)
Allah did not make Sardar Yaqub a lifetime prime minister; instead removed him only a few months later – in October 2009.
The police join extremists to impose mass persecution on Ahmadis in District Faisalabad
Lathianwala, Chak 194, District Faisalabad: The police registered a fabricated case against 32 Ahmadis under the dreaded blasphemy law PPC 295-C, anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C, anti-terrorism clause PPC 295-A and other laws PPC 506 and 109, on July 25, 2009 with FIR 486/09 in Police Station Khurarianwala. If declared guilty, the accused could be hanged.
According to the FIR the accusing party blamed Ahmadis inter alia of posing as Muslims, using Islamic epithets, praising God, thanking Him, displaying the Kalima (Islamic creed), writing Mashallah (by the will and grace of God) on their residences etc. This hurt the feelings of Muslims, according to the report; these writings defile the beliefs of Ahle Sunnat (Brelvis) and they feel threatened, etc.
Obviously, the FIR and the agitation is fabricated and artificially created and nourished in bad faith. The police most wrongfully registered the case. This exposes all the named 32 Ahmadis to arrest and prosecution. The case and the treatment of the Ahmadi school children of Layyah is an indicator of what the state and society can do to its citizens who face spurious charge of blasphemy.
Having registered this case against 32 Ahmadis in the most unjust manner, the police took further despicable action.
A police contingent comprising over two hundred men arrived Lathianwala on the morning of August 10, 2009. They stormed the Ahmadiyya mosque and homes of Ahmadi villagers and removed holy inscriptions. The frightful operation went on for almost eight hours. The sacrilege was led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police. While the Ahmadiyya delegation waited upon senior police officials in Faisalabad for a meeting, they had already given orders to undertake this despicable operation. It is reasonable to assume that the District and Range officers had been given the green light from Lahore, the provincial capital. The police used chisels, cement, paint etc to commit act of shameful sacrilege, and they removed every Arabic inscription they could find on the Ahmadiyya mosque and houses. Representatives of the media took photographs of the police action. A video was later made available on the internet and was uploaded on Youtube under the title of, “Acts of Blasphemy by Pakistani Authorities.” The 8-minute video is worth watching, although greatly distasteful and disturbing for anyone who is sensitive about freedom of religion. An Ahmadi in New Zealand who saw the video, commented in his e-mail to all concerned:
“After watching this heart-rending incident which was executed by the Pakistan authorities namely the police, last Monday the 10th of August 2009, which I have just received, my heart melts in agony.
…Our attitude will be simply – peace and prayer. It is ‘Love for all and Hatred for none’ that we will practice, no matter how strong your passions may be (sic).”
It is relevant to mention that only 10 days earlier another religious community had been severely traumatized in nearby Gojra where seven Christians were killed and their houses burnt after false accusation of blasphemy. The politicians and police seem not to have learnt any lesson from events in Gojra, and persist in appeasing the religious extremists and bigots.
The mulla, however, persisted in mischief. A number of clerics railed against the Ahmadis of Lathianwala in their Friday sermons. The religious leadership was busy in instituting further agitation. The Sunni Tehrik, a politico-religious sectarian party sent a group of armed mischief-mongers to Lathianwala on 24th September. They parked their vehicle in front of the entrance of an Ahmadi’s home. Ahmadi children came out and touched the vehicle. At this the visitors started making noise as to why the children even touched their vehicle. They shouted threats, moved over to the bazaar, collected some local colleagues who brought along fire-arms. These gangsters started firing at Ahmadis. Ahmadi youth also fired in self-defence. At this the attackers retreated. In this exchange, three Ahmadi young men received minor injuries.
The police came to know of the developments and arrived at the scene. At this the attackers fled. The police and senior officials stayed on late into the night. The police SHO refused to register a case based upon the injuries to the Ahmadi youth. The next day, at the orders of the Superintendent of Police Jaranwala, the SHO registered a case against 24 men of each party under an anti-terrorism clause. This is a bizarre way to be non-partisan and just.
Unlawful detention and torture of innocent Ahmadi by Rawalpindi police
Rawalpindi: Rawalpindi is often referred to as the twin city of Islamabad. The police here share the Federal Government’s lack of concern for the human rights of Ahmadis, or may be, they take their cue from the capital of the Punjab, from where they receive their orders.
Malik Ghulam Mustafa, an Ahmadi, lives in the neighborhood of Muslim Town. He faced harassment from local extremist elements. He used to drive a taxi, but had to stop doing so in the face of this opposition. He decided to start a general store business along with his two sons Irfan Ahmad and Adnan Ahmad. In August, someone abducted the maid of a non-Ahmadi family residing in the same plaza. They wrongfully accused Irfan and Adnan of involvement in the crime. The police arrested Irfan Ahmad and kept him in detention for eight days. When presented in the court, the parents of the girl told the court that they did not suspect Irfan’s hand in the case; so he was released.
After some days the police took away Irfan Ahmad once again. On this occasion he was beaten up also. He had fever in the preceding days. His parents and relatives were greatly upset. They wrote to the Supreme Head of the Community for prayers.
The police violate constitutional provisions on religious freedom
Kot Muhammad Yar, Chiniot: In serious violation of his charter of duties the SHO Police Station Chiniot City, Sheikh Tahir, ordered Ahmadis of Kot Muhammad Yar to stop their Friday worship. In fact his duty is to facilitate worship, not to obstruct it in league with mullas.
The SHO sent for the Ahmadi seniors of the village and told them to give a written undertaking on a Stamp Paper that they would not offer their Friday congregational prayers. He threatened them with a fine of Rs. 500,000 and registration of criminal cases. Ahmadis told him that they will not forego their right to worship and will convey him their intentions after consultation.
Ahmadi leaders advised the local community to ask the SHO to give his orders in writing.
This village is also inhabited by a Pakhtun community who has a Taliban mentality. Their children have been throwing stones at Ahmadis’ homes. Perhaps the conspiracy is to create a law and order situation, and register unwarranted criminal cases against Ahmadis in collusion with the police.
It is relevant to mention that Chiniot is now a district headquarters town. It is located only 5 miles east of Rabwah.
Another outrage by the police
Tatle Aali, district Gujranwala: Tatle Aali is inhabited by a small Ahmadiyya community of a dozen households. In October this year the Khatme Nabuwwat organization’s agitators raised the level of communal agitation in the village, and co-opted the police to make life difficult for the Ahmadis.
The police SHO sent for the two parties, and readily accepted the untenable logic of non-Ahmadis that as Ahmadis offer their prayers the same way as they, they should be barred from offering congregational prayers. The SHO told the Ahmadi delegation that if they did not agree with that, they should get a verdict from the court; till then no congregational prayers would be allowed to Ahmadis. While Pakistan is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it allows its police to act in clear violation of its provisions.
As a result, there was police presence in the village the next Friday, and they ensured that Ahmadis did not congregate for their Friday prayers.
The question is: is the District Police Officer not aware what his SHOs are doing? Should they not receive some training in upholding human rights and freedom of religion and belief, to which Pakistan is committed through international covenants?
Stupefying fallout of favorable mention of Ahmadiyya leader on radio
Faisalabad: The following report published in the daily Ausaf on June 9, 2009 is an interesting piece that is reflective of the society and governance in Pakistan. It is reproduced below:
The compere of the Faisalabad Radio Station is fired for preaching Mirzaiat
Aqsa Iqbal was dismissed after finding her guilty subsequent to inquiry
Those who claim Prophecy after the Holy Prophet are Kafir and Dajjal – Director Rana Akram
Chenab Nagar (Special correspondent): Subsequent to the publication of a story in the daily Ausaf, the respected Ulama (Ulama Karam) protested, and the uncouth compere Aqsa Iqbal was dismissed from Radio Corporation. Maulana Allah Yar Arshad, a leader of Khatme Nabuwwat movement met Rana Muhammad Akram, the Director, Noorullah Qadri and Shabbir Hussain of the Radio Station. There the Director informed him that senior officials had taken the most serious notice of Aqsa Iqbal’s action and having established her error, have fired her from her job. He said: “No Qadiani is employed at the Faisalabad Radio Station. Our entire staff comprises true Muslims. One cannot imagine any kind of Prophethood after Hadrat Muhammad’s ‘end of prophethood’. Anyone who claims to be Prophet after him is Kafir (infidel), Dajjal (anti-Christ), and all his followers are outside the pale of Islam.” At this Maulana Allah Yar Arshad told him that he admired his commitment to faith and expected him to hold such black sheep accountable.
A letter from Ahmadiyya head office on holding a Khatme Nabuwwat conference at Rabwah
Director Public Affairs, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Rabwah addressed the following letter to various authorities of the Punjab and the Federation (translation):
Assalamo Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarkatoh
I draw your kind attention to an important and sensitive issue.
According to the press reports, opponents of the Ahmadiyya community have scheduled a Khatme Nabuwwat conference at Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) on September 7, 2009. It is significant to note that the said conference is being held in the holy month of Ramadan.
Ninety-five percent of the population of Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) is Ahmadi, and they are not allowed to hold their annual conferences and educational functions and events in this town. However, their opponents are entirely free to transport outsiders to Rabwah and hold conferences, take out processions, abuse Ahmadi elders on loud-speakers, make provocative moves and create law and order problems through their rallies. Now, once again, a conference is scheduled on September 7. This is likely to pose a threat to the peace of the town. As in the past, this year again it is likely that the participants will be from organizations that are officially banned (for terrorism). These people come out in the town in groups, move about in residential areas, and make provocative gestures near Ahmadiyya places of worship. There is likelihood of an unpleasant incident in the town on account of the said conference.
In the above-mentioned circumstances it would be appropriate not to permit the holding of this conference or provide it official patronage. In case the permission is granted, the participants should be restricted to use only the main roads and routes. They should be told not to misbehave with women, not to indulge in provocative slogans or indiscriminate use of sound amplifiers. Speeches that incite hatred and communal discord, thereby posing a threat to law and order should be prohibited.
In case of an untoward incident the organizers and the authorities will be responsible.
Last year, an identical request was made to you but unfortunately it proved futile.
We hope that you will now take appropriate steps to maintain law and order in the town.
This is an issue of sensitive nature, and deserves immediate attention.
Saleem ud Din
Director Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar), District Chiniot
The conference was permitted nevertheless.
Communal tension in Azad Kashmir
A political mulla, Pir Atiq-ur-Rahman has apparently decided to use the ‘Qadiani card’ to promote his political career. He is fairly influential and claims close links with the top leadership of the territory.
The Pir’s campaign in the name of Khatme Nabuwwat is essentially political, sectarian, agitational and even violent. His tactics include intimidating the government through this religious issue. He agitates the common man in his hate speeches against Ahmadiyyat. He hopes to gain political mileage with crutches such as the ‘protection of the end of prophethood’- an oft-tried tool by numerous political tricksters.
The authorities in Azad Kashmir initially responded obligingly to his pressure tactics, and indulged in wanton violations of Ahmadis’ human rights (see News Report June 2008). This brought a bad name to the government of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan. It seems the government decided to recant, and took some damage control measures.
The Pir thereafter made another attempt at holding Khatme Nabuwwat conferences at various locations e.g. Kotli, Goi, Tatta Pani etc. The yellow vernacular press, as usual, offered plenty of space to the Pir and his acolytes. Newspapers like Nawa-i-Waqt, Ausaf, Khabrain etc spared two, even three-column space to publish disinformation as well information regarding these conferences, etc. Extracts:
We shall not accept any ban on Khatme Nabuwwat Conference.
Among all the anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan forces the most dangerous are Qadianis. In the garb of Islam they are busy in uprooting Islam and Pakistan.
The daily Khabrain, Islamabad; June 26, 2009
Disclosure of heavy amounts donated by the Jewish lobby to blasphemy undertaken by Christian and Qadiani
The Jewish Lobby provided 5 billion rupees to non-Muslims to precipitate sectarian riots in Pakistan. Qaisar Ayub and Shahzad Saleem launched blaspheming website with support of the Jewish lobby who assured them protection.
We shall not accept any ban on the Khatme Nabuwwat Conference -Yasin Gilani
The daily Ausaf, Islamabad; June 26, 2009
The English raised Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani in a major conspiracy. There can be no compromise on the issue of End of Prophethood. … We shall respond to the call of Pir Atiq ur Rahman and shall spare no sacrifice to that end. The Khatme Nabuwwat Conference shall be held.
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Islamabad; June 26, 2009
The administration and police officials of Kotli said, “ We have appealed to Pir Atiq ur Rahman that the circumstances are not favorable, the (proximity of ) Control Line is relevant, so please do not hold the Khatme Nabuwwat Conference at Goi.
The daily Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad; June 26, 2009
Auspiciously, the authorities did not allow the holding of the conference. It must have taken some effort. However, the monster has grown in size, only because the Pir was seen often in company of the local prime minister.
Recently, with the change of government, the Pir has been elevated to become a minister.
Lahore becomes a centre of anti-Ahmadiyya activism
Lahore: Encouraged by the tacit but explicit policy of the provincial government and the federal government, the mullas have become very active in their anti-Ahmadiyya activities. Incidents have occurred in various neighborhoods of Lahore since the new government took over after the February 2008 election. Here we report incidents that happened in Model Town and Green Town areas of the provincial capital.
Office-holders of the Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Model Town wrote an application to the Chief Secretary of Punjab in which they conveyed that at the Ahmadi place of worship Bait un Noor in Model Town Ahmadis preach, distribute literature, post armed guards at the time of Friday prayers and use loud speaker. Ahmadis also offer Eid Prayers in the adjacent ground “thereby violating PPC 298-B and C, so action should be taken against them”. This was the mullas’ demand.
At this the administration ordered an inquiry by a Deputy District Officer. He wrote in his report that Ahmadis have a mosque in Model Town where they offer their prayers in the traditional way of Fiqh Hanafia; they do not preach, nor do they distribute literature; they post armed guards on Fridays for self-defence, they use loudspeakers in low volume, and their neighbors have no objection to that.
Despite the above report the authorities prevented Ahmadis from holding the Eid prayers in the ground where they had been congregating annually for this purpose for years. They had no option but to pray inside the building. However mullas arrived in Model Town in numbers shouting slogans and abuse at Ahmadis and declared their own intentions to offer their prayers in the ground. The police prohibited them from doing so, and registered a case against them. Some of these miscreants had come all the way from Sargodha, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi like mullas Akram Toofani (cyclone), Afan Farooqui and Shiraz Bhatti. However, no arrests were made.
The clerics, in view of the police report favourable to Ahmadis, applied to the Sessions Judge, Lahore to order the police to register a case under Ahmadi-specific laws PPC 298-B and C against seven named Ahmadi notables. The judge was happy to oblige the mulla, and ordered the police to register a case.
The Daily Times of Lahore reported in its issue of September 29, 2009 that the Green Town (Lahore) Police was “set to launch an operation to remove verses of the Holy Quran from more than 20 shops of Ahmadiyya community on College Road, Township, on the complaint of local traders.”
The above-mentioned incidents show a clear trend of state-supported lack of tolerance, curbing of religious freedom, and tyranny against a peaceful community. The Taliban are not isolated in Fata; they have spread into the heart of the plains of the Punjab and enjoy support of plenipotentiaries.
Concerns about a provocative pamphlet
Rabwah: A highly provocative pamphlet, naming “Qadianion ka ta‘aruf” (Introduction of Qadianis) has been distributed widely in the district of Khanewal and its suburbs. The central office of Ahmadiyya community took notice and brought it to the notice of various authorities. Translation of this letter is given below:
Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Ph: 047-6212459 Fax 047-6215459 E-mail: email@example.com
We hope that you are well.
A highly provocative pamphlet “Qadianion ka ta‘aruf” (Introduction of Qadianis) is attached (not included here). It has been widely distributed in district Khanewal and its suburbs. It bears provocative writings against Ahmadis. It carries writings out-of-context which are presented in a harmful way to motivate general public to target Ahmadis.
It is worth noting that the allegations against Ahmadis are false. All Ahmadis, by the grace of God, revere all the prophets of God and have the highest respect and veneration for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and could never think of committing such blasphemy. All decent citizens condemn such offensive actions, but there are still fanatic groups who are using the sacred name of religion to promote sectarian hatred. They refer to such anti-Ahmadi actions as their ‘holy duty’. There is a high risk of an unpleasant occurrence as a result of this incitement.
109 Ahmadis have been killed since the promulgation of the Anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance in 1984. This year alone 14 Ahmadis have been killed for their faith, while several others escaped from murder attempts.
The present sensitive situation in the country requires that these elements be handled firmly. Unfortunately repeated reminders to the government have not triggered any effective action by authorities.
This is dispatched for appropriate action by the authorities without further delay.
Saleem ud Din
Director of Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Jhang
Sargodha – benevolent attitude of authorities towards extremism
Sargodha: District Sargodha received mention in monthly reports quite regularly. The police here not only tolerate, but often supports religious bigots in their anti-Ahmadiyya drive, not realizing that the mulla may one day be beyond even their control.
For instance, a mulla Allah Wasaya visited Chak 38 South to preside over a Khatme Nabuwwat open-air meeting. An anti-Ahmadiyya poem was read out initially. Thereafter three mullas, Abdur Rahim, Muhammad Rizwan and then the chairman Allah Wasaya addressed the crowd. They used highly provocative and injurious language against Ahmadis. The audience were made to shout hateful slogans. Although the administration refused the use of loudspeakers in the Jalsa, mullas shouted themselves hoarse in promoting extremism and sectarianism. Three bus-loads of people were brought over from elsewhere. A few motor-cycle riders carried the banners of Khatme Nabuwwat.
The authorities permit all this despite all the bad news from the FATA.
An imploring letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan – worthy of record
Faisalabad: The President of the Ahmadiyya community of Ganga Pur recently wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. In it he described the state of governance in the area and the plight of the Ahmadiyya community during the current democratic regime. It is worth placing on record. The original is in fluent Urdu; its English translation is attempted below:
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Plea for action according to law
With great respect I admit that the steps taken by the Government to eradicate terrorism, extremism and sectarianism are commendable. Not only the citizens are victims of these evils, these are also ugly spots on the bright face of our beloved homeland. This ignominy has eclipsed its beauty. One such situation is presented to you, as our capacity to bear with it has run out. We, the loyal and peaceful citizens of this country, are victims of religious extremism and sectarian terrorism, and are living in agony for the last 20 years. Local administration was contacted several times, but in vain. The situation is as follows:
- 1. There is a stop, called ‘Zafarwal’, at Chak 562/GB Tehsil Jaranwala, District Faisalabad, in between Nankana Sahib and Bachiana. There is a railway station here and a bus stop too. People travel from here to Nankana Sahib, Bachiana and Jaranwala by rail, bus, wagon, tonga and rikshaw.
- 2. There are several Ahmadiyya communities in the area of Chak No. 562/GB e.g. Chak No. 565/GB, 563/GB, 559/GB, 571/GB, 591/GB Ganga Pur, Kot Dial Das, Nankana City and Jaranwala city etc.
- 3. Ahmadi men, women and children are neither allowed to embark nor disembark from Zafarwal. They are not even allowed to wait there for the transport. The restriction applies equally to guest women, aged people, children, as well as male and female students. If Ahmadis wait there, embark or disembark from there mistakenly or under compulsion, they become targets of invective and even violence. They are forcibly taken off the vehicle. Some vigilantes sit there and check the buses for Ahmadi passengers. If one is found they take him off and terrorize him.
- 4. Ahmadis are not allowed to transport their vegetables to the market from there.
- 5. School-going Ahmadi children are also not safe in the nearby villages. They are beaten up if they have to pass from there, for example to appear in an examination. Contemptuous and discriminatory treatment is meted out to Ahmadi students in Boys High School Chak 562 and Boys Middle School Chak 563 Bage Mahal. They are daily hampered from going to school, beaten up and insulted. Some schools of Nankana are also following this example. A number of Ahmadi boys and girls, victims of such violence in the name of religion and fearful of their safety have discontinued education.
- 6. Passersby of Chak No. 562/GB and Zafarwal have been attacked and deprived of their valuables.
- 7. Residents of the above mentioned villages have to pass by Zafarwal and Chak No. 562/GB to go elsewhere. Ahmadi men and women suffer insult, and are exposed to risk at these locations. Consequently they are scared of passing through here. They go home remembering God, praying in silence.
- 8. Religious hatred is propagated regularly in the nearby villages, and people are instigated against Ahmadis. This practice has worsened recently.
- 9. Ahmadis are not allowed to sell their vegetables in the markets of Nankana and Bachiana. Some vigilantes sit on the way to harass, threaten and even loot Ahmadis. Their threats are forbidding.
- 10. Such incidents happen almost every day, and the administration has always been duly informed. However, no action is taken nor any legal steps are taken. Sometimes Ahmadis can not even reach the threshold of administration and justice because they are blocked in the way by the opponents.
Respected sir! We Ahmadis are a peace loving people. We believe in religious tolerance and avoid all sorts of mischief and disorder. In the above mentioned situation you are requested to kindly take appropriate legal and administrative action. We offer the following suggestions for your kind consideration:
- i. Security and peace should be appropriately provided to Ahmadis.
- ii. At least two responsible and efficient policemen should be posted in Chak 562, especially at Zafarwal, permanently. They should act against those who interfere with travelling public. They should be on duty from 8:00 A.M. to 10 P.M. They should tell the people the purpose of their posting.
- iii. It is proposed that two such constables should also be appointed from Nankana Sahib. This duty may be shared between the staff of Nankana Sahib and Jaranwala for 15 days each. In case of an incident, they should report it to their respective police stations for action so as to prevent mischief and breach of peace in the area.
We hope that legal and administrative action will be taken promptly and appropriately.
Rao Mubashir Ahmad Khan
Amir Halqa Jamaat Ahmadiyya
Chak No. 591/GB, Ganga Pur
Tehsil Jaranwala, District Faisalabad
It was decent on the part of the Public Grievances Wing of PM Secretariat (Public) to acknowledge the receipt of this application and to ask the concerned officials for a report by 15 May, 2009.
Appropriate action by a federal bureau
Islamabad: Jamaat Ahmadiyya’s director of public affairs, sent a News Report for the month of October 2009 to the federal Ministry of Interior. The ministry took note of its contents and sent a copy to the Home Secretaries of the Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and AJ&K with a covering letter no. F. No. 2/1/2009-Poll.I (2) dated November 25, 2009 – a very appropriate follow-up indeed.
The covering letter urged the provinces: “It is requested that the contents of the enclosed News Report for the Month of October 2009 may be looked into and necessary action taken against the miscreants who are involved in the act of persecution of Ahmadis in your territorial jurisdictions and justice ensured to the aggrieved party (Ahmadis) and report furnished to this Ministry on priority basis.” The letter is signed by Mr. Abdul Rahman, the Section Officer. Its title is: Atrocities Against Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. It was marked IMMEDIATE.
It will be fit and material to see the response from the provinces. Human Rights these days are an international obligation, and the trust and obligation to ensure their observation is primarily in the power of provincial authorities in Pakistan. Provinces in Pakistan never tire of asking for more autonomy from the federation; they should therefore do more to fulfill their human rights obligations. Jamaat Ahmadiyya will also report any visible improvement in the cases referred to in the federal letter. In the past, such letters have generally resulted in superficial action or none at all. How can Pakistan function satisfactorily if the provinces do not pay heed to federal co-ordination in matters of joint interest and responsibility?
The postal department and Ahmadiyyat
Lahore: Mr. Hamid Akhtar, a senior Urdu columnist wrote an interesting column in the Daily Express of Faisalabad on 27th August, 2009, based on his personal experience, and has drawn some conclusions. The column is titled, “Is knowledge really a legacy of the Mo’min (a true Muslim)?”
His opening remark is: “Knowledge is a legacy of a Mo’min: ‘If you have to go as far as China to acquire knowledge, do go.’ We have heard these proverbs and Ahadith (sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) throughout our lives, but in view of the restrictions on knowledge and anti-books attitude of this God-given state, it appears that within next few years we shall be completely devoid of knowledge.”
He describes his unpleasant experience in interesting detail. In brief, he received a letter on July 10, 2009 from the postal department informing him that a parcel addressed to him had been held back by the Customs Department who would send it to him subsequent to its clearance. Mr. Akhtar waited for the parcel for weeks but in vain. This got him worried about the parcel and its contents. On August 22 he approached the General Post Office, and thereafter the Customs section. He was told by the Superintendent of Customs that the parcel was nothing but a book written by the well-known Urdu writer, Pervez A. Parwzi in Canada; its title was Ahmadiyya Culture. He intimated that the book was in the literary style and would be released. He, however, regretted that it could not be handed over to Mr. Akhtar; it will be sent by post, as per rules. Mr. Akhtar waited for the book for the next four days, and having not received it proceeded to write this column.
Akhtar poses the following question to the authorities: “We have differences with Ahmadis, but are they not citizens of Pakistan? Firstly, it is ridiculous to mention citizenship when talking of books and knowledge. Even if a foreign book or one written by a non-Muslim is received in Pakistan and it differs with our beliefs and ideas, we should reply to it on the basis of our Ilm (knowledge). … It is unfortunate that we in the Muslim world are trying to safeguard Islam with the help of physical force and bomb blasts rather than with pen. … These people (clerics) are urging Muslims all over to lay down their lives in defense of Islam and confront the onslaught. This has only resulted in more deaths. It is about time that some of us should urge the people to live for Islam rather than die, even if that would not be fashionable.”