Administration and Police – 2012

Police torture to death Mr. Abdul Qadoos, an innocent prominent Ahmadi in Rabwah

No person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of extracting evidence.

Constitution of Pakistan

Article 14(1) and (2)

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 3

Mr. Abdul Qadoos was a teacher by profession and had been elected by his local Ahmadi community to be its president. He was a respected figure on all counts. His arrest by the police on baseless accusation and torture to death was a shock and a devastating blow to Ahmadis, not only in Rabwah, but also in the country – even in their worldwide community. The incident is described below in brief, as it is nearly impossible to do justice to the description of this grossly inhuman act. The policemen, who inflicted the torture, have not been arrested, while those high-ups who directed or encouraged the torture have not been named, as an appropriate high-level enquiry commission was not appointed. A magistrate-level judicial enquiry was held which did a good job of its assignment.

 

FOLLOWING PRESS RELEASE was issued by the Ahmadiyya central office in Rabwah on March 30, 2012:

Abdul Qadoos, school teacher dies of police torture. Strong legal action demanded against police officials responsible for this murder. Spokesman Jamaat Ahmadiyya

Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) PR:     School teacher Abdul Qadoos died of torture at the hands of savage police officials of Police Station, Chenab Nagar. As per reports, the police detained Master (teacher) Abdul Qadoos as suspect in the murder of Ahmad Yusuf, a stamp-papers vendor of Nusrat Abad, Rabwah. The police subjected him to intense inhuman torture to forcibly derive from him an admission of complicity in that murder. After he was fatally injured, the police released him after obtaining a written statement from his relatives under threats. He was losing blood fast as a result of the torture. The doctors in the local hospital made frantic efforts to save his life. The victim, however, succumbed to his injuries on Friday, March 30, 2012.

The spokesman of the Ahmadiyya community expressed deep grief and concern over the inconsolable death of Master Abdul Qadoos and termed the torture grossly inhuman. He stated that the murder of Mr. Yusuf must be investigated and the guilty must be punished, however ‘who has authorized the police to torture people to death in the course of investigation?’

According to him, the antagonists of the Ahmadiyya community wanted to implicate some leaders of the community in the murder of Ahmad Yousaf (emphasis added).  The arrest of Master Abdul Qadoos, president of the Ahmadiyya community of Nusrat Abad, Rabwah, and his torture to obtain a forced admission of involvement from him was an act to that end. “Officials who indulged in unlawful torture should be punished as per law,” the spokesman said. He demanded that a high level commission be set up and the so-called law-enforcement officials involved in the murder of an innocent man should be severely punished for violation of the law.

 

A Press Release from London.        The Press Secretary Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat International issued a press release two days later in London on this incident and added:

Whilst in custody, Mr. Master Abdul Qadoos Ahmad was hung upside down from his ankles for long periods. Furthermore, whilst laid supine, an extremely heavy wooden roller, similar to those used to flatten cricket pitches, was rolled all over his body, as attendants stood at each side of him making sure he could not move. Such inhumane and merciless treatment led to multiple organ failure and crushed his muscles. These are just a few examples of the torture inflicted.

 

The daily Express Tribune reported the incident on March 31, 2012, (excerpts):

“When his body could not take further torture, his relatives were blackmailed and he was released. He was admitted to a local hospital where doctors tried to save his life, but Qadoos died due to several injuries and excessive loss of blood,” Abdul Qadoos’s brother-in-law Imtiaz Ahmad said.

“He (the SHO), however, maintains that the accused was picked up on March 24 and was released two days later as the police was convinced of his innocence. Hussain (the SHO) says a fatal disease could be the possible cause of death.”

 

Vernacular print media:       The incident was so gruesome that even the vernacular newspapers that are normally unsympathetic to the Ahmadiyya issues took notice and gave multi-column coverage to the story. Headlines are translated below:

Chenab Nagar:             School teacher dies of police torture. Citizens’ strong protest.

                                                                        The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; April 1, 2012

Chenab Nagar: Death of Teacher Abdul Qadoos. The entire area in mourning.

                                                                        The daily Pakistan, Lahore; April 1, 2012

Chenab Nagar: Death of school teacher due police torture. Business centers close.

                                                                        The Daily Express, Faisalabad; April 1, 2012

Chiniot:                        School teacher’s death due alleged police torture. Teachers’ Union                                                    announces 3 days’ mourning.

                                                                                    The daily Awaz, Lahore; April 1, 2012

Chenab Nagar: School teacher, the sole supporter of his family, dies of police                                                                       torture.

                                                                        The daily Musawat, Lahore; April 1, 2012

 

It is apparent from official records that Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong took notice of this barbaric murder and approached the authorities in Pakistan. As a result, a judicial enqiry was conducted by Mr. Shahid Hameed Chaudhary, Magistrate Section-30, and he forwarded its proceedings and his findings to his superiors in judiciary. Its copies were sent to the higher administration. It appears that Magistrate Chaudhary boldly placed his findings regarding the police inspectors and officials on record, although he was restrained by his position to interrograte high police, administration and political personalities. Brief extracts from this judicial inquiry report are produced below. Important players mentioned in this grisly real-life drama were the following:

  • Shujat Malhi, Manazar Ali – Investigating Sub-Inspectors (SI)
  • Muzaffar Ali SI – Incharge Chowki (Police Post) Jhanger Galoteran
  • Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Naeem, Muhammad Aslam, and Amin Nazir – Constables
  • Khadim Hussain – SHO Chenab Nagar (Rabwah)
  • Raja Khalid Pervaiz – SP Investigation
  • Shehzad Akbar – DPO Chiniot
  • Ahmad Yousaf – A murder victim, case/FIR 392/2011
  • Ahmad Saifulla, advocate – Son of Ahmad Yousaf
  • Danyal Faisal, Sarfraz and others – Witnesses
  • Dr. Sultan Mubashir – The doctor who attend to Mr. Qadoos after his injuries

 

  • Chowki Jhanger Golateran: A police post located a few miles NE of Rabwah, within the jurisdiction of Police Station Chenab Nagar

 

The Magistrate wrote the following in his findings (extracts):

“I have gone through the entire statements of the witnesses appeared before the undersigned and the respondents themselves and their witnesses and statements of the witnesses summoned by the undersigned. Admittedly, deceased Abdul Qadoos remained in police custody for more than 1 ½ months of investigation of case FIR No. 75/2012 without any entry in the record and without adopting any legal procedure because same has been admitted by Muzaffar Ali SI and even the same has not been denied by the respondents themselves and during the said period he was subjected to inhumane torture by the accused persons/police officials of case FIR No. 75/12 police station Chenab Nagar. Exertion of torture is quite evident from the final report submitted by District Standing Medical Board through Dr. Mushtaq Bashir District Medical Legal Officer (Member District Standing Medical Board). Moreover, age as well as physical condition of the deceased was in no way likely to cause natural death of human being. Moreover, involvement of Muzaffar Ali SI also cannot be ruled out who was incharge “Chowki Jhanger Galoteran” because he too has been fully implicated by Daniyal and Sarfraz. Furthermore, even SHO police station Chenab Nagar was involved in the entire occurrence and same is evident from the record and from the statements of witnesses appeared before the undersigned. Moreover, it is unfortunate to mention over here that till today Khadim Hussain is SHO police station Chenab Nagar and he is in a pivotal position to interfere in the investigation of both the cases bearing number 392/2011 and 75/2012 of police station Chenab Nagar. It is pertinent to mention over here that even all the High Ups of the Department particularly DPO and DSP concerned circle were fully aware about the illegal custody of the deceased by the Police and exertion of torture by the police on the deceased. Furthermore, accused Shujat Malhi SI as incharge investigation, Manazar Ali SI as investigating officer of the case, Muzaffar Ali SI as incharge of the Chowki alongwith constables Muhammad Khan 16/C, Muhammad Naeem 1024/RC, Muhammad Aslam 545/C and Amir Nazir 493/C are found fully involved in a brutal murder of Abdul Qadoos deceased. Further Manazar Ali SI/I.O. of the case despite number of notices remained absconder and did not join inquiry proceedings which itself shows high handedness on his part.

“It is also worth mentioning over here that Shujat Malhi Incharge investigation police station Chenab Nagar did not even once deny that deceased Abdul Qadoos did not remain in their custody. It is also worth mentioning over here that respondents have not denied keeping the deceased in illegal custody for such a long period of time and handing over the deceased to his family members in a serious condition, which resulted in the death of deceased, he was not provided any proper medical aid. It has also appeared on the record that Muhammad Khan constable, Muhammad Naeem constable and Amir Nazir constable were involved in the torture on the deceased, whereas Asif Hayat head constable and Amir Nazir constable have also been found in transporting the deceased from the police station Chenab Nagar to Chowki Jhanger Galoteran where deceased was subjected to inhumane torture.

“Moreover, in my view SHO Chenab Nagar is also involved in the entire occurrence because Muzaffar Ali SI, Daniyal Faisal and Sarfraz fully implicated him in the entire occurrence.” (emphasis added)

As far the cause of death of Mr. Qadoos, the Medical Board of the District Hospital Chiniot concluded as follows:

“The death in the opinion of District Standing Medical Board is suggestive of due to anti-mortem trauma mentioned in the report, leading to renal failure and its allied complications.” Signed: Chairman and three members.

Imtiaz Ahmad one of the witnesses told the Magistrate that on March 17, 2012, “Abdul Qadoos deceased was in the clutches of police officials whereas Shujat Malhi and Manazar (sic) were severely torturing (the) deceased.” “Again on 22.03.2012 around 6:30 p.m. when they reached police station Chenab Nagar they heard Abdul Qadoos deceased was severely screaming.” On 26.03.2012 “…the condition of the deceased was quite severe and blood stains were present on all over his shirt and shalwar (trousers), and Manazar Ali SI told them (sic) to take away Abdul Qadoos deceased with them otherwise they will also involve them in the murder of deceased Ahmad Yousaf…”

Mubashir Ahmad another eye-witness told the Magistrate of being a witness to the severe torture of the deceased by the two police sub-inspectors. He also saw the deceased being tortured at Chowki Jhanger Galoteran. On March 26 he found that Mr. Qadoos “could barely walk and his entire clothes were stained with blood and even blood was coming in his vomits and motions.”

Muhammad Idrees, a witness, told Magistrate Chaudhary that on March 22, 2012 “when they reached near the outer gate of the police station, heard hue and cry of Master Abdul Qadoos deceased.”

Mrs. Robina Qadoos, the wife of the victim told the Magistrate that deceased told her that “police officials obtained his thumb impression and signatures on blank papers, too.”

The Magistrate quoted Mr Atiq-ur-Rehman a witness as, “He further deposed that deceased also told him that DSP Chenab Nagar Ch. Asghar and SHO Chenab Nagar were also involved in torture on him. He further stated that deceased told him that police officials forced him to nominate higher officials of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya.” (emphasis added)

Danial Faisal and Sarfraz who were also in the police lock-up in Chowki Galoteran stated as witnesses that all three of them “were brutally tortured by police… were not allowed to sit and were even not allowed to sleep during the entire night… Abdul Qadoos was also taken to the back side where he was subjected to severe torture… Abdul Qadoos was looking in extreme pain and even on that day all of them were not allowed to sit during the entire night. After two days when condition of Master Abdul Qadoos relatively improved, they were again severely tortured by Muzaffar Ali SI. In the evening Ch. Asghar DSP Chenab Nagar, Khadim Hussain SHO Chenab Nagar alongwith Manazar Ali SI came to Chowki and Abdul Qadoos was produced before them and Manazar Ali SI got recorded his statement. At that time condition of Abdul Qadoos was very bad.”

The Enquiry Report mentions further: “Dr. Sultan Ahmad Mubashar appeared before the court as IW 33, who stated that he checked Abdul Qadoos his clothes were stained with blood and his entire body was badly swollen and he was told that Abdul Qadoos was subjected to police torture and he is losing blood in vomits and urine, he immediately directed to infuse blood to the deceased because due to torture by police deceased suffered crush injuries and his creatinine level and potassium levels had increased alarmingly and deceased was losing protein and red cells in his urine.”

It is interesting to read in the report that Shujat Malhi SI, one of the two officials primarily involved in the torture of the deceased “denied his involvement in the said case” and stated that “he had no concern whatsoever with the entire episode.” The other official Manazar Ali SI absconded, and did not appear before the Magistrate.

Of equal relevance and concern is the role of the senior police officials as brought out in this Enquiry. Mr. Saleemuddin, as IW 25 stated that he met DPO Chiniot at least 03/04 occasions and on each occasion DPO assured him that “Abdul Qadoos was innocent and they had arrested him due to pressure of the complainant.       … Attique-ur-Rehman met DPO Chiniot who again assured them that they had “removed Master Abdul Qadoos (to Chowki Galoteran) only to avoid court bailiff.” Subsequently Mr. Saleemuddin alongwith Attiq-ur-Rehman met SP Investigation, who was incharge of investigation team and he too stated that deceased Abdul Qadoos was innocent and they would release him. Finger prints obtained from the residence of deceased Ahmad Yousaf were not compared with the finger prints of Abdul Qadoos, therefore, their suspicion was further fortified that Abdul Qadoos has been deliberately tortured by the police only because he was office-bearer of Jamaat Ahmadiyya.”

A very revealing and incriminating statement, in the above context is that of Incharge Police Chowki Jhanger Galoteran, Muzaffar Ahmad. According to him when his clerk, Zafar, refused to initially receive Abdul Qadoos at the Chowki, the “SHO Chenab Nagar Khadim Hussain literally abused him and told him that he has sent Abdul Qadoos to the Chowki on the direction of higher officials and DPO Chiniot… .  He further stated that Khadim Hussain SHO Chenab Nagar and Ch. Asghar DSP Chenab Nagar were involved in the said torture because they used to come to Chowki Jhanger Galoteran on routine basis. He further stated that complainant of case/FIR No. 392/11 Ahmad Saif ullah and Shujat Malhi in connivance with each other nominated different persons and received hefty amounts from them…. He further deposed that DPO was fully aware regarding the torture on the deceased. One day he appeared before Raja Khalid Pervaiz SP Investigation, Khadim Hussain SHO Chenab Nagar was also present there, and SP Investigation was ridiculing SHO for not making the deceased confess about the matter.”

It is noteworthy that apart from the DSP getting suspended and the two investigating SIs being named in the FIR none else has faced any further departmental action. This judicial inquiry report has reached very high levels in the Federation and the Punjab province as also in the Supreme Court, but no further action has been deemed necessary despite the fact that Pakistan is a signatory to the international convenant on Convention Against Torture and is accountable to the world community for what is undertaken by its police and security agencies.

 

Some important facts of this case:

  • Mr. Abdul Qadoos was approximately 43 years old. He was highly respected in his neighbourhood and was known as a good teacher.
  • He has left behind his wife and four children, the eldest is 14.
  • Shujat Malhi, a police inspector and former SHO in Rabwah, was transferred away from here sometimes ago for non-professional conduct. He was transferred back very recently to Rabwah as an investigating inspector. Immediately on arrival, he shifted Mr. Abdul Qadoos to the distant Chowki Galoteran where he and sub-inspector Manazar Ali subjected Mr. Qadoos to fatal torture.
  • Mr. Qadoos told his friends on release that the investigating team was initially overseen by some senior officials; they required him to implicate in writing the senior leadership of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan of involvement in the murder of Ahmad Yousaf. Mr. Qadoos refused to be a party to this fabrication. They proceeded then to torture him.
  • His funeral was attended by approximately 4000 men. Subsequently, thousands more including women visited his family and home to offer condolences.

The two police officials against whom an FIR was registered were not arrested by the authorities on the excuse that they had absconded. In fact they are seen moving about freely, and their colleagues do not arrest them.

This tragic incident highlights the following few facts about the present-day governance and society in Pakistan and more particularly in the province of the Punjab, that deserve serious consideration of the leadership of this land:

  • The state has conveyed to its functionaries that Ahmadis are a fair game and their persecution will be amply acceptable.
  • The federal government, despite its verbal support to minorities has virtually given a damning laissez faire license to the provincial government in the Punjab.
  • The Punjab Government run by the PML (N) led by Sharif Brothers follows an overt anti-Ahmadiyya policy to the extent that its intentions and stance are not lost on even the lower echelons of the administration and the police.
  • The Punjab Government’s policy of solidarity with religious extremists is manifested unabashedly in District Chiniot (of which Rabwah is part) by the fact that mulla Ilyas Chinioti, the local MPA was accepted with open arms in the PML (N) after the elections. This liaison is a constant source of hardship for the Ahmadiyya population here.
  • The Punjab Police illegally detains citizens for weeks although the law requires them to produce the detainee before a magistrate by the next day.
  • The police detain citizens without bringing their detention on record and move them to other locations without making appropriate entry in records.
  • They detain people without acquiring even minimal credible evidence.
  • They torture them to sign admission-of-guilt papers.
  • They torture them to death with techniques that leave no external signs but damage their internal vitals beyond recovery.
  • Rather than making professional investigation they opt to torture a detainee to obtain from him confessions about involvement of other fake or real accomplices.
  • They do not care to take their casualty to a hospital for treatment or even first-aid to protect his life or secure him against permanent injury.
  • They hand over their victims to relatives after forcing them to sign on blank papers or certificates designed by the police.
  • The higher police hierarchy directs or leaves it to the lower echelons to commit such horrors, or they choose to remain blissfully ignorant of what goes on in police stations.
  • Police officials, even if charged in an FIR, are provided protection by their superiors and are not arrested for their prima-facie crimes as per law applicable to all accused.
  • There is apparently little departmental accountability of police officials, who even if found guilty of misconduct or unprofessional behavior get only transferred; they are transferred back to the same location on some excuse.
  • In case the police officials, obviously guilty of torture and murder in this case, are not punished, that will substantiate the allegation that some seniors were involved in this conspiracy – be they political, religious, administrative or police high-ranking officials.
  • The unprofessional conduct and character of police officials calls for a major change in the administration policy of this department to protect citizens from its rapacious conduct and turn it into a force that serves the society as expected in civilized countries.

Those responsible for their heinous crime have not been punished. This incident has heightened the sense of insecurity and fear among the population of Rabwah. “If the president of a local Ahmadi community is so vulnerable, who else is safe in this town of Rabwah?” asks the common man.

The above narrative provides clear hints to pinpoint the main object and aim of the invisible high-ups who made the police inspectors commit the torturous crime against their victim. Mr. Abdul Qadoos was an Ahmadi community office-bearer. He was tortured to admit the murder and implicate senior officials of the community in the fabricated story. This was not the first time of such an attempt. In the middle of 1980’s, the mullas, the vernacular media and the hidden ghosts clamoured ‘murder’ over a missing mulla (Aslam Qureshi) and accused Khalifa-tul-Masih IV, Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad the then Supreme Head of the Ahmadi community of involvement. They demanded his arrest. After many years of hiding, the mulla decided to surface. He was in Iran all along, he told the press reporters. Thus the plan to implicate Ahmadiyya Khalifa-tul-Masih came to naught. Again in 1999, the mullas, with the help of the Punjab government, implicated Hadrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Nazar Aala (Chief Executive of Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Pakistan) in a blasphemy case and had him arrested over an incident in which some unknown person effaced a Quranic verse on a roadsign. The police applied clause 295-B of the penal code, for which the penalty is imprisonment for life. The international community took notice, and the fabricated case was dissolved within a fortnight. It appears that in the case of Mr. Abdul Qadoos the real target was the top leadership of the Pakistani Ahmadi community. Once again, the Punjab is ruled by Sharif Brothers, and in Chiniot, mulla Ilyas Chinioti (MPA) has succeeded his father, mulla Manzoor Chinioti (MPA).

 

Freedom of worship severely curtailed in Rawalpindi

Disturbing religious assembly: Whoever voluntarily causes disturbance to any assembly lawfully engaged in the performance of religious worship, or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

Pakistan Penal Code 296

Ahmadis have not been allowed to build an appropriate big mosque in Rawalpindi, so they assembled in their built-up property called Evan-i-Tauhid in Satellite Town for Friday and Eid worship. Aggressive bigots who are politically ambitious made a plan to deprive Ahmadis their right of worship and initiated a sustained campaign to that end. They held a conference in September 2011 and took out anti-Ahmadi rallies in October 2011. Their leadership was encouraged by the reluctance and timidity of authorities. So the bigots persisted and campaigned to eventually deprive Ahmadis of their fundamental human right – freedom of worship.

 

RAWALPINDI is located adjacent to Islamabad, the federal capital – as a sort of twin city. However it lies in the administrative jurisdiction of the province of the Punjab. A vibrant Ahmadiyya community has lived here for decades. They have a mosque on Murree Road but since long it has become inadequate and cannot accommodate even 20% of the worshippers for the weekly Friday prayers. Since the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadi Ordinance XX the authorities do not facilitate Ahmadis to build their places of worship, so Ahmadis acquired a property Evan-i-Tauhid in the Satellite Town neighbourhood of this city for community offices, meetings, assembly etc. This location has been used for 14 years for Friday and Eid prayers. The government does not tax it for being a place of worship.

Anti-Ahmadi extremist elements, pursuing their fresh policy initiative and plan devised in 2011, decided to mount a campaign to deprive Ahmadis of their right of worship at this Centre. Some immoderate traders in league with a few mullas approached the authorities in September 2011 with a complaint that Ahmadis’ worship at this centre hurts their feelings, so the place should be closed down. If the authorities took no action, they would themselves stop the worship, they threatened. Compliantly, the authorities started tailing the agitators’ demand. Ahmadis explained their position to them. The vigilantes maintained their pressure in the following weeks.

On January 3, 2012 the right-wing daily Nawa-i-Waqt published the news that a meeting of clerics had been called for January 10 to decide upon the next course of action on this issue.

In that meeting they decided to put up banners and take out a procession on January 18 and demand a closure of the Ahmadiyya center by January 22, failing that, January 29 would be the decisive date when this place of worship would be destroyed. “Deniers of the End of Prophethood, Blasphemers of the Prophet, Apostates, Qadianis’ center of apostasy at E-69: Protest Rally (by) Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat,” displayed the banners. The authorities did not remove these despite their hateful and provocative call.

Sharjeel Mir, a local businessman was in the forefront as the leader of the loathsome campaign. Reportedly he met Mian Nawaz Sharif in this context. The issue was craftily linked to Namus Risalat (the honour of the Prophet).

On January 29, the public was exhorted through loudspeakers fitted on roving vehicles to join the open-air gathering ‘against Qadianis’. Approximately four to five thousand men attended the gathering. The speakers outpoured a great deal of slander and filth against the Ahmadi community. They mentioned the murder of the slain Governor of Taseer and stated that Ahmadis will meet the same fate.

The leaders of the agitation announced that Ahmadis will not be allowed to offer their prayers at the Centre next Friday, the 4th February. “First we shall have this centre at Rawalpindi closed; this will be followed by such closures all over the country subsequently,” they said.

Ahmadi elders conveyed their concern and position to the authorities all along. Their opponents seemed to avail of the unstable political situation in the country to demand the closure of this Centre. In this they sought help from religious bodies, unscrupulous politicians, the right-wing vernacular press and politically ambitious businessmen.

The Express Tribune of January 30, 2012 reported that ‘many participants held portraits of Mumtaz Qadri, who assassinated the governor’. “Arranged by trading associations, the protest was attended by activists from Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Jamaat Islami, Sipah Sahaba and Ahle Sunnat Jamaat,” it added. On January 21, this newspaper had filed a report that Hafiz Saeed (leader of the JuD) appealed to all Muslim brothers to gather at the nearby Holy Family Hospital at noon on January 29 to force the Ahmadis to close all acts of worship in the locality. JuD and Sipah Sahaba are banned organizations for their terrorist activities.

The agitators maintained the heat at ‘High’ during the next month, and the Ahmadiyya community was forced into a corner by the mullas and their co-operating authorities. On February 7, 2012 the Ahmadiyya community’s central office decided to send an appeal to those in authority at the federal level and in the province about the threat posed by this group of extremist elements to Ahmadis’ freedom of religion and their right to worship in their center in Rawalpindi. Its translation in English is produced below:

Nazarat Umoor Aama

Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)

Ph: 047-6212459 – Fax: 047-6215459 E-mail: nuasaa@hotmail.com

 

Sir,

 

Subject:           Application for appropriate action

 

I put forward that anti-Ahmadiyya campaign has gained intensity all over the country and in Rawalpindi in particular. The antagonists seem determined to push a hostile provocative drive to attack and demolish the Ahmadiyya Center in E-69, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi, or to have the Center sealed at least. Some politicians are supporting the religious extremists in this campaign. In order to achieve their contemptible objects they have co-opted the vernacular press, indulged in rallies, open-air meetings, distribution of provocative literature from the Khatme Nabuwwat platform, and agitated for extreme action against Ahmadi individuals.

  • The traders held a conference in September 2011 and initiated stir and agitation.
  • Religious extremists held anti-Ahmadi rallies on 1, 9 and 11 October and mulled action against the Evan-i-Tauhid, the Ahmadiyya center, including its demolition.
  • Mullas held an anti-Ahmadiyya conference on January 10, in the mosque of the Holy Family Hospital.
  • 70 mullas and traders held a joint meeting on January 10.
  • They displayed anti-Ahmadi banners and put up posters at important locations in Rawalpindi on January 18.
  • Through these posters they warned that if this place of worship was not undone by 22 January, 29 January will be the day of action when people will destroy it entirely.

The ring leader of all this activity is Sharjeel Mir who is linked to Muslim League (Nawaz Group). He has repeatedly urged Jihad against the Ahmadiyya Community. He organizes the production of hostile banners. People are being motivated, in the name of honour of the Prophet, to sacrifice even their lives to achieve an end to this Center. Every trader has been asked to contribute Rs. 25,000 each and provide 200 protestors.

Apart from all this, a provocative pamphlet “Rebuttal of heretic beliefs of Qadianis and Long Live End of Prophethood” was distributed. Snoopers were noticed visiting the location of the Center and photographing the building.

It should be mentioned that people were invited through calls on mounted mobile loud-speakers to assemble at the given location ‘against Qadianis’. Slogans were raised through the amplifiers. Anti-Ahmadi banners were paraded through the city.

During the rally in the Satellite Town on January 29, the speakers mentioned the slain governor Salman Taseer as the blasphemer, and asserted, “Qadianis will also meet the same fate.”

This situation has been reported to senior officials all along and they have been requested to take appropriate action. There is great deal of political and religious tension in the country and the law and order situation is unsatisfactory; such anti-Ahmadiyya provocations can worsen the malaise.

Sir, Ahmadiyya community is a peaceful law-abiding group. We have always respected the law of the land and have never indulged in unlawful activities. While our opponents enjoy unbridled freedom of expression and are at liberty to undertake provocative, threatening and extreme actions, the Ahmadiyya community is threatened with loss of its right to worship.

You are requested in this context to take preventive and appropriate action to ensure security and put a stop to the said provocative hostile activities, as required under law.

We hope that you will take appropriate action.

Sincerely,

 

Saleemuddin

Director Public Affairs

Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Chiniot

In short, Ahmadis, who are not even allowed to call their places of worship Masjid, and are forbidden to build mosques, were exposed to extremist elements, including banned organizations, who demanded that Ahmadis should not only be disallowed to worship in their buildings but also such buildings should be demolished or at least sealed.

Anti-Ahmadiyya procession in Rawalpindi

In Rawalpindi the authorities permitted the extremists to openly propagate hate and violence against an entire community, they had done so by not dismantling their hateful banners that stayed on display for weeks and by allowing them to make hateful announcements in public places on loudspeakers.

The media decided to keep quiet on the whole issue and let it happen without comment. The vernacular press was shy to comment on the ignoble developments; however, there were some bold and unequivocal comments in the English press.

On Friday, February 24, 2012 Sharjeel Mir, the leader of the agitation arrived at the Ahmadiyya center at about 2 p.m. and arranged a crowd of approximately 250 including Madrassah students, and started shouting. Ahmadis informed the police. The police arrived, but rather than dispersing the mob undertook dismantling the CCTV cameras and barricades that had been installed for security reasons, in consultation with the agitators. (Reminds one of May 2010 when the authorities in Lahore prohibited Ahmadi worshippers carry any self-defence small arms in their mosques, which facilitated the terrorists mount major attacks on two Ahmadi mosques killing 86 worshipers.) It is certain that the police and the administration undertook this violation of property rights and removal of security hardware in collusion with the leaders of the protest.

Sharjeel Mir was greatly encouraged by the compliant attitude of authorities, and expressed his determination to proceed with the extermination of the Ahmadiyya presence in the locality.

Thereafter, The Express Tribune, Lahore posted the following report in its issue of March 2, 2012:

Police bar Ahmadis from entering worship centre

Protester says congregational prayer followed by demonstration was planned in case Ahmadis were allowed to enter.

Rawalpindi:       Complying with the demands of the locals, the police on Friday barred Ahmadis from entering their worship centre in Satellite Town, Rawalpindi.

Leading the locals, businessman Sharjeel Mir told The Express Tribune that three days back on a consensus, it was decided to prevent any sort of worship in the centre.

Mir said that a meeting called by the locals which was attended by DCO Saqib Zafar, Superintendent of Police Matloob Husain, ulema and other officials, it was decided that the worship centre will now be used only as a residence and if their demands are not met, then they will launch a protest.

Today, fearing a huge turnover at the expected protest, the police had barred Ahmadis from entering the premises. …

The police confined the Ahmadis present inside the worship place and barred the ones coming from outside. …

Last Friday, around 700 locals had gathered outside the same worship centre, demanded the removal of (security) barricade and CCTV cameras installed outside.

Backed by a Jihadi organization, the protesters had alleged that “unconstitutional” activities were being carried out in the centre.

However, the community had emphasized that they had committed no unlawful activities and had pleaded that the hate campaign be stopped so they could feel safe in the area.

To conclude, the administration’s message to the extremists was clear: “You persist in agitation and appear sufficiently menacing, and we will deliver – even in violation of sacred guarantees of the Constitution.”   

            It is ironic that only a few miles away from the President House, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari announced three days later: “We will ensure protection of human rights of minorities.” The daily Mashriq, March 7, 2012

The drive of brutish curbs on Ahmadis’ freedom of worship continued in Rawalpindi during the month of March. The agitation by extremist elements picked up ugly momentum for lack of any effective resistance from the authorities.

The police tightened the noose further on the Fridays following March 2. Their contingent would arrive as early as 9 a.m. (while the prayers started at 1 p.m.) and stopped Ahmadis coming to the Ahmadiyya complex where in addition to the space for worship various offices are also located. The missionary’s residence is also provided there. The police stopped even his school-going children from entering the building after the school hours. His son had to wait for hours after the time of Friday prayers before he could return home.

It was a shameful compliance to the will of the mulla, by the authorities who are duty bound to uphold human rights of citizens and their freedom of religion and worship.

Worship at Evan-i-Tauhid came to a virtual halt in August as the authorities yielded shamelessly to the unlawful demands of the Islamo-fascists.

At the end of Ramadan all Muslims celebrate the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. This festival this year was celebrated on August 20. An essential feature of this celebration is the Eid prayers wherein all men, women and children of the entire local community congregate to worship and listen to a Khutba (sermon). This year the authorities in Rawalpindi disallowed this right of worship to Ahmadis – another ‘first ever’ in a long list of different kinds of religious and social brutalities committed by the authorities since the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX of 1984 by General Zia. Ahmadiyya central office in Rabwah issued the following press release at this occasion:

Rabwah (PR):   This year on 20 August 2012 Ahmadis in Rawalpindi had nowhere to offer their Eid prayers as they were deprived from this right by the district authorities. There has been false propaganda and baseless accusations about the place of worship and its locality. As a result the Ahmadis were deprived from their fundamental right to worship at the premises.

 

The sad part of this whole episode is that the local administration seems to be only concerned about the demands of miscreants. The authorities always pressurize Ahmadis to compromise rather than allowing them to perform their religious duties that are guaranteed by the constitution and the international covenants that Pakistan has signed.

 

The spokesperson of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan Saleem-ud-Din said that the government and local administration has violated the Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan in stopping Ahmadis from congregating for Eid prayers. The Article 20 ensures every citizen of his right to freely perform his religious duties.

 

Mr. Saleem-ud-Din said that Ahmadis would never compromise or accept any pressure on their fundamental right to worship. This is not only a denial of religious freedom but also depriving the Ahmadis of an annual ritual where worship goes with social activity. Eid is a religious event but it also has a huge social impact that brings people closer together and the authorities have deprived them of their right to peacefully gather for this annual event.

 

For last many years Ahmadis have been gathering at Evan-e-Tawhid for worship on Juma and Eid plus regular prayers but now they have been forcibly stopped against their will. This year till the last minute the local authorities gave false hopes to Ahmadis that they could congregate and gather for Eid worship. This was not meant to materialize, as at the eleventh hour local Ahmadiyya administration was informed that they cannot gather for Eid. This left the local Ahmadis with no choice and no hope for a gathering fitting for an Eid and leaving them disheartened and marginalized.

 

The larger question arises from this whole scenario is that how far this government and its cronies at the district level are going to go in order to appease the miscreants who seem to have an endless list of demands?

End of Press Release

It is relevant to mention that the responsibility for this outrage primarily goes to the government of the Punjab, led by Mian Shahbaz Sharif of PML (N). The regional and district authorities share the blame. Although the province of the Punjab has led the rest of Pakistan in committing excesses and tyranny against the Ahmadis, the overall score against Ahmadiyya places of worship in Pakistan should put the entire country to shame. Since the promulgation of the Ordinance XX, following has happened till the end of 2012 in this field:

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques demolished                                     24

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques set on fire                                       13

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques forcibly occupied                           16

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques sealed by authorities                      28

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques construction of which

was barred by the authorities                                                              46

The authorities occasionally quote the lame and unarguable pretext of the extremist elements that Ahmadi places of worship lack proper authorization. The fact remains that for the last 28 years the authorities have not given express permission to Ahmadis to build even one place of worship. It is relevant to mention that while the authorities rely on their own strict interpretation of the rules while imposing them on the right of worship of Ahmadis, the same authorities allowed the clerics of the Lal Masjid of Islamabad to hoard piles of ammunition and fire-arms in their place of worship. This hypocrisy is perhaps the root cause of the rot in the state of Pakistan.

All the above was reported to the appropriate political and administrative authorities at the federal and provincial level. However, it became obvious that the federal government did little to persuade the Punjab government to ensure that Ahmadis’ fundamental human rights are not violated. Two months later, at the occasion of the festival of Eid-ul-Adha the outrage was repeated in Rawalpindi as reported in the daily Nation of October 30, 2012:

Ahmadis barred from offering Eid prayer

October 30, 2012

ISLAMABAD – The Ahmadiya community residing in Rawalpindi city continues to bear the brunt of dangerous religious frenzy.

Around 1500-1600 worshippers belonging to Ahmadi community – who were supposed to congregate at the worship place of the community located at E-Block of Satellite Town to observe Eidul Azha prayers  were barred by the authorities from doing so.

It came after a new wave of hate-campaign against the community hit the city.

The Action Committee Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (ACKN) – an opportunistic alliance between the banned religious outfits including Jamatud Dawa (Jud) and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (former Sipah-e-Sahaba) and some local traders – just a week before Eidul Azha had filled the city with anti-Ahmadi banners demanding of the city administration to seal the worship place permanently.

It was not the first time, as community members were also not allowed to offer Eidul Fitr prayers around two-and-a-half months ago.

“We, the office-bearers of Anjuman-e-Ahmadiya Rawalpindi (AAR), have formally requested the city administration to allow us to observe Eidul Azha prayers at Evan-e-Tauhid near the Holy Family Hospital. But the administration refused on the pretext of law and order situation,” said a member of the administration of Evan-e-Tauhid, wishing not to be named, while talking to The Nation.

He said that AAR had also requested the administration to suggest them some alternate place of worship, but it was not entertained too.

He said that the worship place located at Murree Road, Rawalpindi, Bait-ul-Hamd, could accommodate only 200 worshippers. “Some of the community members belonging to Rawalpindi moved to Islamabad to offer prayers,” he said.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/30-Oct-2012/ahmadis-barred-from-offering-eid-prayer

The intimidating bigot, Sharjeel Mir, the leader of the bazaar gang who succeeded in pushing the authorities to restrict Ahmadis’ Eid congregation prayer at the Evan-i-Tauhid in Rawalpindi now treats low ranking officials with some contempt. He is, of course, harsh with Ahmadis too.

On Friday, November 30, 2012, Sharjeel Mir, accompanied by 6 or 7 mullas came over to Evan-i-Tauhid and asked the police personnel on duty as to why they permitted so many people enter the building for prayers. At that time, an Ahmadi emerged from the building after prayers, and Mir spoke harshly with him.

At 3:45 p.m. Mir revisited the site accompanied by three mullas. The SHO, New Town also came there. Mir told him that he had informed the DCO and the DPO repeatedly that the number of worshipers was again on the rise. “Why do you not stop them” he wanted to know.

The SHO reassured him that no Ahmadi will be allowed to enter the building between 10:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. and none will be allowed to exit from there. True to his word he imposed that commitment the next Friday, December 7.

It seems as if this turf has been handed over by the Punjab government to bigots like Mir, whom otherwise the Chief Minister decries in his public utterances.

One is at a loss for making any comment. In April last year Mr. Khursheed Shah, Federal Minister of Religious Affairs said, “Foreign powers are not responsible for terrorism in the country, it is religious extremists.” (The daily Din; April 21, 2011). The daily Dawn attributed the following intention to Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister, on May 15, 2011: CM wants genie of extremism bottled. OK, but as rulers, what was the course they adopted? What is political cowardice and hypocrisy if not the official response narrated above to the demand of sectarian zealots of Rawalpindi? This story alone should suffice to explain the cause and course of the fall of the state of Pakistan to the abyss of decay and disintegration.

 

Banning of the Ahmadiyya monthly Misbah and the daily Al-Fazl

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 19

 

The DCO Chiniot issued an order in February 2012 to cancel the ‘Declaration’ of the Ahmadi women’s monthly Misbah, and initiated similar action against the Ahmadiyya daily Al-Fazl, on instructions from the provincial capital, Lahore. The ‘Order’ conveyed that it was triggered by a recommendation of the Ulema.

            Ahmadiyya press is one of the prime targets of the anti-Ahmadi legislation promulgated in 1984 by General Zia. As a result of this, prosecution of leading figures of the Ahmadiyya press reached figures that could be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records. For example, more than 400 Ahmadiyya periodicals have been proscribed by the authorities. Mr. Nasim Saifi, an editor of the daily Al-Fazl, faced charges in 40 different cases until his death. Qazi Munir Ahmad the printer faced charges in more than 90 cases, while Agha Saifulla the publisher faced charges in over 25 cases. Both of them had to flee abroad to rid themselves of endless court appearances. But there is an element of mockery to all this.

            The authorities while initiating a police case or a ban against the pressmen or a periodical often accused the target of containing objectionable material; but they never pointed to or specified that material. In fact, they knew that if they did, they risked being ridiculed in the country as well as abroad. It is for this reason that rarely a charge could be pressed in a court to ensure conviction.

            However, this way, harassment and persecution was amply inflicted by the rabid mullas and the unscrupulous authorities. They raided the press, offices and residences of the press staff to make arrests. The victims had to flee to avoid incarceration. They tried to seek bails from courts, which occasionally did not grant the bail or delayed their decision. Thus it was not rare that old, even octogenarian pressmen ended up in prison.

            This year the Punjab Government indulged in the same exercise against two publications, despite the fact that the country is otherwise praised for its freedom of press. The authorities took this action as dictated by the mullas. If this is not ‘theocracy’ what else is? The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) is not worthy inheritor of the name of the party whose founding father, Mr. Jinnah, gave a commitment that Pakistan would not be a theocratic state.

 

Colossal violation of Ahmadis’ fundamental rights by the Government of the Punjab

Ahmadiyya women’s monthly magazine Misbah’s publication is banned on demand of mullas

Ahmadiyya daily Alfazl similarly threatened

The District Coordination Officer (DCO) Chiniot issued an ORDER NO. 2182-86/DCO-C dated February 15, 2012 banning the Monthly Misbah, a women’s magazine published by the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan for decades. The DCO did not point out any objectionable material contained in any specific issue. Extracts from the said ORDER are reproduced below:

Subject: CANCELLATION OF DECLARATION OF MONTHLY MISBAH

ORDER

Briefly stating Mutehida Ulema Board Punjab in its meeting held on 27.06.2011 has recommended cancellation of declaration of Monthly Magazine Misbah for publishing objectionable material. This information was received through letter No. SO (IS.III) 6-15/201 dated 27.10.2011 of Home Department, Government of the Punjab. It has also been informed that propagation of Qadianiat is a crime Under Section 298-C of PPC. The monthly Misbah has been declared as propagating Qadianiat and as such recommended to be banned by Mutehida Ulema Board Punjab constituted by the Chief Minister Punjab. Therefore, declaration of Monthly Misbah may be cancelled.

Mr. Tahir Mehdi Imtiaz Ahmad Warraich appeared before the undersigned on 6.2.2012 and his statement was recorded accordingly. He has contended that no objectionable material is being published in Monthly Misbah. He has further prayed that the declaration of Monthly Misbah may not be canceled.

… It is observed that: …

4.        Mutehida Ulema Board Punjab constituted by the Chief Minister Punjab has recommended banning the Monthly Magazine Misbah.

In the light of the above mentioned observation, I am convinced that Monthly Magazine Misbah is being published in contravention of Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance 2002. Therefore I Dr Irshad Ahmad, District Coordination Officer Chiniot hereby cancel the declaration in respect of Monthly Magazine Misbah authenticated by the then District Magistrate Jhang with immediate effect. The printer of Monthly Misbah is directed to stop circulation of the Monthly Misbah forthwith under information to this office.

DISTRICT COORDINATION OFFICER

                                            CHINIOT

No. 2182-86/DCO-C, Dated: 15.02.12

A copy is forwarded for information to:

  1. The Secretary, Government of the Punjab, Home Department, Lahore
  2. The Commissioner, Faisalabad Division, Faisalabad

5.  Mr. Tahir Mahdi Imtiaz Ahmad Warraich, Printer of Monthly Magazine Misbah, Chenab Nagar, Tehsil Lalian, District Chiniot for information and compliance

A few days later another Notice from the DCO Office Chiniot dated February 27, 2012 was received by the publisher and printer of the Ahmadiyya community’s daily Al-fazl for the same purpose, quoting the same law. An extract from the said letter:

“You are informed again that you present yourself in (my ) office at 11:00 on 03.03.2012 along with the declaration of the daily/weekly Alfazl and state reasons as to why the said daily/weekly Alfazl’s Declaration should not be cancelled. In case of your absence, further action will be taken as per rules.”    District Coordination Officer Chiniot

This action by the Government of the Punjab against the fundamental rights of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan is perhaps the most offensive and unjustifiable overt act of any government since the dark days of General Zia. Following is clear in this case:

  1. The Chief Minister Punjab has constituted a Mutehida Ulema Board (a board comprising mullas).
  2. This Board initiated action against the Ahmadiyya women’s magazine. It is reasonable to assume that the imminent action against the Ahmadiyya daily is also on their demand.
  3. The high officials in the provincial government are complying with Ulema Board’s recommendations without due inquiry regarding the merit of its recommendations.
  4. The Ulema Board, the Home Secretary and the DCO all failed to pin-point the ‘objectionable material’. A general statement was the only excuse that the magazine ‘preached Qadianiat’.
  5. A magazine for Ahmadi women would of course guide the readers in Ahmadiyya teachings, not Deobandi or Salafi doctrines. The magazine carries a bold notation on its cover: “For the education of Ahmadi women”.
  6. The Ulema Board has been allowed to interfere viciously, unjustifiably and inappropriately in the affairs of a community whom they do not accept Muslims, thereby opening wide the door for the mullas to have a powerful voice in the affairs of Non-Muslim communities like Christians, Hindus etc.
  7. The government of Punjab has violated the laudable policy of freedom of press and expression without putting up a fight or even resistance to its self-created religious robots. The provincial authorities have indeed expressed their disrespect to the well-known international standards of human rights and freedoms.
  8. By not pointing out objectionable material, the authorities have boarded the bandwagon of religious bigots in pursuit of religious and sectarian prejudices.
  9. The mere fact that the authorities are unable to describe the Al-Fazl as a daily or weekly points to the absolute void in investigating the alleged complaint of mullas mustered on the official Board.
  1.             It makes no sense that while the dailies and periodicals published by the banned Jihadi       organizations are allowed to enjoy freedom of press in Pakistan, the Ahmadi          women’s magazine is banned for little reason.

It was decades ago that the infamous military regime of general Zia banned the publication of Ahmadi daily and periodicals; it is bizarre that the present day democratic government of the Punjab should undertake similar retrogressive action when the world, and indeed Pakistan itself, has moved on to greater freedom.

This action of the Sharif government has supported those who accuse PML (N) of being inheritors of General Zia’s regressive ideology and policy.

Two years ago Mr. Sharif requested the terrorists not to target the Punjab as Taliban’s stance on foreign dictation was the same as the PML (N)’s view. In this the prestigious daily Dawn noted a serious deviant tendency in governance and made the following comment on March 16, 2010 in its editorial, titled: Sharif and the Taliban:

Even by the wretched standards of the cesspit of lies and cravenness that can be the Pakistani political establishment; the comments made on Sunday by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are extraordinary and demand the most vigorous condemnation possible.

A few weeks later, on June 7, 2010 the same newspaper commented: Something is rotten in Punjab administration.

 

Update:       The management of the threatened periodicals lodged an appeal with Lahore High Court and engaged a renowned attorney to present their case. The good judge has held in abeyance the DCO’s order against the monthly Misbah and issued a stay order in favour of the two publications.

The ugly threat has been neutralized – at least, for the present. In view of the stay order the publication of the targeted periodicals goes on. However, the Post Office Department has decided to continue with their bit of the outrage – they now refuse to accept the daily Al-Fazl for postal delivery to the readers. This has caused great inconvenience to the daily’s management as also to its readers; this is what the mullas assembled on the Board constituted by the Chief Minister wanted, in the first instance.

 

Enormity of mullas’ mischief!

Three false criminal cases registered in quick succession with police against father and son

The Punjab Police at the service of sectarian bigots

Phalia, District Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab; February 2012:           Here is a story fit for archives as it describes in some essential detail the plight of Ahmadis in Pakistan in the year 2012. A future historian will find it useful to ascertain accurately the modus operandi of mullas in persecution of Ahmadis, the complicity of the police, the twilight role of the judiciary and the unsavory style of governance from the provincial capital. Those concerned with human rights in Pakistan these days will also find this report informative.

Briefly, three criminal cases under the anti-Ahmadi law and other laws were registered with FIR No. 45/12, 71/12 and 72/12 in Police Station Phalia against Ahmadis in the month of February 2012. If declared guilty, Ahmadi accused could be imprisoned for seven years. The two main accused were arrested; the others had to flee.

Phalia is a Tehsil town in District Mandi Bahauddin in the Punjab, located approximately 100 miles NW of Lahore.

Sectarian mullas in Phalia had been scheming and agitating for some time to move against Ahmadis. Eventually they decided to act in the first week of February. Mullas often choose the holy day of Muslims, Friday for demonstrations and agitation because on this day the faithful assemble in mosques for the weekly congregational prayers, and are available for the mulla’s oration. Accordingly on Friday, February 3 they lashed out severely against Ahmadis and agitated their flock against alleged threats posed by them.

The mullas simultaneously arranged one Bashir, and took him to the police station to lodge a complaint under Ahmadi-specific law PPC 298-C against Mr. Inayatullah Sabiri and his son Mr. Aamir Shahzad, for preaching. The police sent for the accused who presented themselves. The accuser stated there that the two Ahmadis had preached him Ahmadiyyat, told him that Ahmadis were better Muslims and offered him a residential plot and cash for conversion. The mullas demanded that the accused be arrested forthwith. The accused told the police that the complaint was fabricated, however if the mullas asserted their accusation on oath of the Holy Quran, they would give up their defense. The mullas refused to do that and insisted that the case should be registered simply on the basis of the statement of the complainant. The police official saw that the complaint was fabricated, so he told the parties to calm down, go home and maintain peace.

The mullas were not willing to give up so readily. They assembled again along with their team of miscreants and decided to push the charge. To do so they picked up a fresh complainant, Saleem Changhar. Saleem is not even a permanent resident of Phalia, he is illiterate and member of a sort of gypsy clan. Saleem was lured by the mullas to affix his thumb impression on a written complaint against the two Ahmadis. He accused them of preaching Ahmadiyyat, offering him a 3-marla residential plot and taking him to Rabwah. “However as I am a true Muslim, I refused to convert”, mentioned the written statement. The mullas made up all this fabrication in a mosque.

These clerics approached the police again, and warned them of consequences of refusal to register the case. They threatened to take out processions, block the roads and close down Phalia. Ahmadis remained aware of the situation in the town and the police station. They came to know that the police were wilting before the threats of religious bigots and were ready to register the case and make arrests. In the evening when they received a message from the police station to present themselves, they decided against offering themselves for arrests and fled from Phalia. The police registered the case against the two accused the same day, to the satisfaction of the mullas.

The day after the next was 12 Rabiul Awwal, the birthday of the Holy prophet p.b.u.h. when the faithful come forth for celebration, but are at the disposal of the mulla in rallies and processions. The mullas availed this occasion to preach hate against Ahmadis. They garlanded their false witness, Saleem, mounted him on a truck as the celebrity of the day and named him the Mujahid Khatme Nabuwwat. In speeches, he was called “the moth (parwana) of the lamp of the End of Prophethood, a true Muslim who refused the great temptation of joining Qadianis”. The mullas urged their audience to rise against ‘Qadianis’, accused Ahmadis of insulting the Holy Prophet (Tauhin Risalat) and threatened that every Muslim will prove himself to be a Mumtaz Qadri (the governor’s murderer).

Under these circumstances, the accused decided to avail temporary bail order from the High Court, to buy time. They were granted bail till February 17, which was to be reconfirmed in Phalia. February 17, being a Friday, was assessed big-risk in the town, so the accused approached the Session Court in Mandi Bahauddin for extension. The court granted one day’s extension. Accordingly the two accused had to present themselves in Phalia on February 18. As the mullas were closely following the developments and posed serious threat, the father and son decided to enter Phalia via different routes. Mr. Sabiri managed to reach the court and obtained bail till February 25. However the son came across a suspicious-looking group, so he fled back. Luckily Phalia courts were shifted well outside the town in the following days, so Mr. Shahzad also got his bail extended on February 20.

During those days of freedom since February 3, the two accused decided to approach the complainant and seek his indulgence in favour of their ‘guiltlessness’. Saleem’s response was favorable. He presented himself before a magistrate in Lahore and admitted in a statement under section 164 that the mullas had filed a false case against the two accused. Also, as his wife and daughter had been taken in ‘care’ by the mullas, he filed a writ petition in the High Court against their wrongful confinement and requested their release. The Court accordingly sent its bailiff to Phalia, but he returned from half-way, perhaps in view of the threat posed by mullas. So the high court judge ordered the SHO Phalia to report to the court on February 20 along with Saleem’s wife and daughter.

The mullas came to know of this, and were upset about having lost their false witness, and now his wife and daughter. So they conspired and prevailed upon the police to register a case on behalf of Saleem’s wife that her husband had been kidnapped by Ahmadis who had forced their entry into her house. The police obligingly registered this new fabrication, under PPC 365 with Saleem’s wife as complainant and, another case under PPC 365/511 on complaint of a ‘witness’. In both the FIRs, two other Ahmadis Mr. Tahir and Mr. Qaiser were also named as accused along with the two previous accused. These cases were registered only a few days before the SHO was required to proceed to Lahore with the two women.

At Lahore, the judge handed over the two women to the applicant Saleem.

The bails available to the two Ahmadi accused needed confirmation on February 25. Phalia had become too dangerous a place for the accused to appear in court, so they applied to be heard in Mandi Bahauddin. The bail was temporarily extended till February 28. On February 28, 2012 Addl. Session Judge Asghar Ali Shah heard the case of confirmation of the bails.

At the time of court hearing, a big crowd of mullas and madrassah students entered the court room. The crowd was intimidating and the situation was fraught with risk. Defence lawyers were made to feel exposed to violence. The lawyer representing Saleem left the courtroom. During the hearing, the lawyers for the mullas chose to provoke the judge on religious grounds asserting that Qadianis were non-Muslims and were rebels of the Constitution etc. They demanded “on behalf of all Muslims that the bail application of Qadianis be cancelled”.

The judge’s decision was cold and calculated. He confirmed the bail applications of the two accused in the first two cases i.e. those under PC 298-C and PPC 365, but did not confirm the bail for PPC 365/511 although this was only an auxiliary and additional case. It seems that this was done only to placate the mullas. This resulted in the immediate arrest of the Ahmadi father and son. They were driven to the prison.

The 17th century philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, once observed that “men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it for religious conviction.”

          They applied to the higher court for bail which was granted to them in March 2012. However they have to face prosecution in a trial court.

 

 

Criminal case registered against bridegroom and his family

Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore; September 2012:  Mr. Hassan Mamoon, an Ahmadi youth married Miss Aleena Butt who was from a non-Ahmadi family but had become an Ahmadi a few months before marriage, with the permission of her father.

The marriage took place in a situation that apparently posed no legal or religious problem. However, a week after the wedding Mr. Raheel Butt, an uncle of the bride wrote to the police that the Mamoon family had preached Ahmadiyyat to his niece; as such they had violated the anti-Ahmadi law PPC 298-C.

In the follow-up of the complaint the police booked Mr. Mamoon’s family and raided their residence for arrests on 7 September 2012. They managed to arrest Mr. Salman Mamoon, an elder brother of the bride-groom. They kept him in police lock-up for two days, and then approached a magistrate who allowed a judicial remand of ten more days. He was taken to the camp jail. This was the wedding gift to the family from the state!

Mrs. Mamoon, the mother of the bridge-groom was also booked by the police. She applied for bail prior to arrest, which was granted temporarily till September 20.

Mr. Salman Mamoon also applied for bail. The bride’s father told the judge that the bride’s decision to become an Ahmadi and marry Mr. Hassan Mamoon had his approval. Despite this, the judge rejected Mr. Salman Mamoon’s plea for bail.

Mr. Hassan Mamoon, the bride-groom fled abroad to avoid arrest. A few weeks later the Foreign Minister of Pakistan managed to convince the participants in a UN meeting that all was well and satisfactory in Pakistan in the field of human rights. The international community voted with a thumping majority in favour of Pakistan to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

 

Arrest in Bhakar under Ahmadi-specific law

Chak 70 ML, District Bhakar; June/July 2012: Chaudhry Mansur Ahmad president of the local Ahmadi community was booked under Ahmadi-specific law PPC 298-C on July 4, 2012 with FIR No 9/12 registered at Police Station Mankera, on fabricated charge of proselytizing. If declared guilty, he could be imprisoned for three years and fined any amount. He was arrested on June 30, 2012, four days before the registration of the case. Essential details of this case are noteworthy.

Mr. Ahmad went to the local Milk Collection Centre on June 27, 2012 to deliver milk as per his daily routine. At this Centre, their rep started talking religion and asked Mr. Ahmad as to the nature of divergence in Ahmadiyya beliefs vis-a-vis other Muslims. Mr. Ahmad told him that there was no great difference; the essential difference is the Ahmadiyya belief that Prophet Isa died like all other prophets and was not lifted physically to the skies.

While he said this, there were two young men sitting nearby. They did not say anything at that time, but the next day they intercepted him, were harsh with him, and accused him of misguiding the people. The by-standers intervened, rebuked the miscreants and restored calm. “Mr. Ahmad answered my question; you have no cause to raise an objection”, the rep defended Mr. Ahmad. The two accusers shut up but thereafter reported the incident to mullas who passed the info to the chief of the district organization of the Khatme Nabuwwat, Din Muhammad Faridi. He promptly wrote a letter to the Police Station Mankera to register a criminal case against the Ahmadi president for preaching. The police agreed to investigate.

The mullas demanded immediate compliance with their demand. They threatened to agitate over the issue. The police found it convenient to detain Mr. Mansur Ahmad. He was arrested on June 30, and sent to district Mianwali prison.

The clerics of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction availed of the incident to promote inter-communal hate and unrest. They hired a few teen-agers to scout the three Ahmadi families who reside in the village. These urchins posed a threat to the targeted families and restricted their freedom of movement. The mullas declared that they would take out protest rallies on July 6, 2012, a Friday. Ahmadis requested the DPO to take note and provide protection.

The DPO did take note, but ordered the SHO to register an FIR against the Ahmadi who was already under arrest.

Mr. Ahmad applied for bail, and the court decided to hear the plea on July 14. On that date the state prosecutor asked for more time to prepare the case, so the court gave July 16 as the next date.

On that hearing the court accepted the plea for bail and the gentleman was released on July 18, 2012 on completion of formalities. He still has to face the charge in the trial court.

While the mullas’ conduct should surprise no one, the role of authorities who insist that they respect the international norms of human rights and freedom of religion for all, surely deserves censure. The police took the most convenient actions: 1. arrested the accused immediately, 2. the DPO provided no protection to the vulnerable families, instead ordered the registration of the case as demanded by mullas, 3. moved the accused to a far away prison 4. the state prosecutors readily accepted to prosecute the accused without due inquiry, and even attempted to delay the hearing of the plea for bail. It is obvious from all this that the state is keen to do the mulla’s bid.

Mr. Hamdani, a column-writer for the daily Mashriq, Lahore happened to meet a cleric of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction, in the Lahore High Court, who stated with great pride, “The Mirzais (Ahmadis) have been reduced to the level of Untouchables (Chuhray); and soon, by the grace and blessing of Allah, they will stand eliminated.” God save Pakistan whose religious leaders strive hard to push a section of their own population to the depths of the social and cultural hell – and take pride in having achieved that.

 

Police atrocity in Sindh

Khoski; District Badin:           The police booked and arrested Mr. Noman Ahmad, Ahmadi, unjustly on demand of a mulla, in a fabricated case. They detained his father too but set him free subsequently.

An absentee house-owner had given the keys of his local house to Mr. Noman Ahmad and had told him to give it on rent to some suitable family. A non-Ahmadi family, without contacting Mr. Ahmad, entered the house after breaking the lock. Mr. Ahmad went to the location and protested to the occupants.

The occupant made a false report to the police that Mr. Ahmad had attempted to snatch the gold ornaments of his wife and had an altercation with them. The complainant added the name of Mr. Ahmad’s brother, Mr. Mudassar to the list of accused. The police accordingly arrived and detained Mr. Ahmad. The neighbours protested over the arrest and told the police that Mr. Ahmad had lived there for years, was a respected fellow and enjoyed good reputation.

The complainant contacted the local mulla, Abdullah Sindhi, and took him on board. The mulla organized a protest and procession after the sunset prayer and led the crowd to the police station. There, he demanded that until the arrest of Mudassar, his father Imtiaz Ahmad should be detained. The police obligingly did what the mulla told them. The mulla arranged anti-Ahmadi wall-chalking in the neighbourhood the same evening.

The police registered a case the next day against the two brothers. They let go their father. On August 7, Mr. Noman Ahmad applied for release on bail, however it could not be processed, and he was moved to the central prison in Badin. His brother, Mudassar Ahmad, who was out of town succeeded in arranging a bail before arrest for himself. The sectarian situation in the neighbourhood continues to be tense. The mulla is in the driving seat – thanks to the police.

The worsening situation in Lahore, capital of the Punjab

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

        Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    Article 22

 

Lahore is the provincial capital of the Punjab. It is home to one of the major Ahmadi communities in Pakistan. Perhaps that makes it a special target of Ahmadi-bashers. This city was the center of the 1953 anti-Ahmadi extensive riots in the Punjab that led to the first-ever imposition of martial law in Pakistan. More recently, terrorists chose this city in 2010 to indulge in a massacre of Ahmadi worshippers in two main mosques here. Events proved that their choice of the city was well-considered, because the law-enforcing agencies waited for hours before mounting any response, giving the attackers plenty of time to achieve their object.

            In recent months anti-Ahmadi mullas had a free hand to openly hold major rallies in Lahore. They planned diligently, and are in the process of implementing their condemnable agenda – with the help of authorities.

            The Punjab is ruled these days by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is the Chief Minister of this province. The PML (N)’s affinity for the politico-religious elements, who have a history of extremism, even terrorism, has been talk of the town and was mentioned in dispatches. The police do the bid of their political masters. Their conduct in the episode at the Model Town graveyard and their role in stopping Ahmadis in sacrificing animals on Eid festival throw a flood of light on the unholy alliance between the mullas and the PML (N).

(Extract from a leaflet)

Translation: The only punishment in Islamic Sharia for blasphemy against the Prophet (PBUH) is Death.

Fidayan Muhammad (Tanzeem Al-Qaeda, Tahrik Taliban Punjab

 

Assault on an Ahmadiyya cemetery

Model Town, Lahore; August 2012:                         Armed men in masks attacked the Ahmadiyya graveyard in this posh locality in the dark hours of the night of December 2, 2012, defiled 120 graves and wrecked their headstones. The police have a great deal to explain in their role in this hideous incident. Details are available under heading, ‘Burial Problems, and graveyards – ii. Reports.

 

Ahmadis denied the practice of their faith on Eid festival

Sacrificing an animal on Eid-ul-Adha is an important religious tradition with Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis alike. Ahmadis were deprived of their right to practice this ritual at places all over Pakistan. The authorities joined the mulla at these occasions to deprive Ahmadis the freedom to practice their faith. Lahore topped this list. A few incidents are narrated below:

Iqbal Town, Lahore; October 27, 2012:        Mr. Waseem Ahmad bought a calf to offer as sacrifice. When he took his animal to a butcher, a bearded man arrived at the scene along with some mullas and called the police. The butcher had already slaughtered Mr. Raheem Ahmad’s (another Ahmadi) goat by then. The mulla told the police that Ahmadis had defiled an Islamic practice (by practicing it) and should be arrested forthwith. The police took Ahmadis to the police station along with Mr. Ahmad’s calf. A non-Ahmadi friend of Ahmadis said, “What crime is committed if a non-Muslim slaughtered an animal?” To this the mullas retaliated angrily and insisted that a police case be registered. Ahmadis returned home in the evening. The issue was kept alive for some time.

Another incident.  Mr. Noor Ahmad Nasir, an Ahmadi in Sant Nagar, Lahore bought a calf for sacrifice on Eid. Two policemen came to his house at about 23:00 and told him, “Approximately 17 men of your locality have complained to the police that you are offering a sacrifice on Eid. This is violation of the Ordinance. We are warning you in advance to abstain from it. This is an order from our higher-ups.” They warned similarly other Ahmadis of the area.

And another inciden: The police came to the house of Mian Muhammad Zafarullah in Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore at about 2 a.m. They told him not to offer sacrifice on the Eid day, otherwise a police case would be registered against him.

Similar incidents happened in Nishtar Block, Lahore with Khawaja Saeed Akhtar, Mr. Muzaffar Ahmad, Ch. Fateh Muhammad and Col. (R) Mubashir Ahmad. The SHO accompanied by mullas came to Ahmadi houses and forbade them to offer sacrifices on Eid day. He threatened them with registration of police cases in case of non-compliance.

This unworthy campaign obviously was orchestrated by police high-ups, who are traditionally very sensitive to act in accord with the wishes of their political masters. Thus we know the source of this blatant violation of Ahmadis’ freedom to practice their religion.

The campaign to deny Ahmadis their right to sacrifice an animal on Eid was undertaken in other cities of the Punjab as well. A banner was put up in a market in Sargodha. Its photo is reproduced below.

It shows that Ahamdis are not allowed this right by law, Sharia, morality, (incorrect on all three counts – Ed.). People were told to report any attempted violation to a mulla Akram Toofani, on his phone # 0300-9606593. The mulla’s adopted name Toofani means ‘hurricane’.

It is noteworthy that the police and authorities decided to leave this inciteful banner on display. The resulting problems in such cases are thus the consequence of mullas/authorities cooperation. It is relevant to mention that while the Ordinance XX (PPC 298-B and C) mentions various restrictions on Ahmadis in detail, it makes no mention of sacrificial animals.

 

Police do the mulla’s bid

Township; January 2, 2012:  Rana Mumtaz Ahmad, Ahmadi received a phone call from the local SHO that mullas had put up an application against him and Rana Abdul Rasheed. Ten minutes later approximately 50 men gathered outside his house in the company of a policeman. Most of them looked like mullas. A boy climbed over the ladder to the roof and started breaking the tile of MashAllah (What God wills). Rana Mumtaz complained to the SHO on phone, at which he called back all of them. Other residents of the neighbourhood supported the Ahmadi against this outrage.

Later the SHO told Rana Mumtaz on phone that the mulla of the Aisha mosque Muslim Town and Township had complained against him that the tiles of Kalima, Bismillah (in the name of God) and MashAllah were fixed on their houses. The mullas had also submitted the photos along with a copy of the (anti-Ahmadiyya) ordinance. The SHO told him to remove these tiles before sunrise. It is relevant to mention that the law does not forbid Ahmadis the use of phrases Bismillah, MashAllah etc.

Thereafter the SHO came to the site. Rana Mumtaz told him that those tiles were mounted in 1983, prior to the promulgation of the Ordinance; he would not remove them nor would he allow any private person to do that.

The SHO contacted his superior, the DSP who came over to the location. At about 11:30 p.m. the SHO tasked a mason who hammered down the tiles of Islamic phrases in the presence of the police.

An outrage – by state officials!

 

Anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda in high gear in the provincial capital of the Punjab

Lahore; April 2012:    The anti-Ahmadiyya Khatme Nabuwwat faction became very active in Lahore in weeks prior to a major rally planned for April 21. A lot of activity was noticed in Tajpura, Shalamar, Gulshan Park, Miskeenpura; the most affected was Mughalpura.

In Mughalpura, half a dozen youth were seen at 2 a.m. pasting anti-Ahmadiyya posters on walls and throwing leaflets in homes. The students of Madrassah Jaffri in Zainul Abideen mosque were tasked to visit homes in daytime to tell the residents that Ahmadis are kafir and wajib-ul-qatl; boycott them, do no business with them; they should be finished off (khatam kar dein). The mosque organized a one-day course to that end. On April 9, they held an elaborate Khatme Nabuwwat conference in this mosque. Stalls were set up outside where anti-Ahmadi literature was available for sale and free distribution. Food was served, free of cost to the participants of the conference. The speakers used abusive language against Ahmadis. One of them minced no words: “Qadianis are Kafir, they are wajib-ul-qatl (must be killed); their killing is an act of great reward (sawab).” The youth attending the rally were made to declare on oath: We dedicate our lives to defend the Divine faith so as to uproot Qadianiat. The participants were told by a mulla that Ahmadis are enemies of both Islam and the country; they shall not be tolerated; Muslims, move into action and finish off Qadianis (Mussalmano, maidan-e-amal mein utar aao aur Qadianion ko khatm kar do); they are apostates and outside the pale of Islam. The audience were told of the major conference scheduled for April 21 in Shalamar Chowk and were urged to attend it.

Ghazi Abad in Tajpura, Lahore is a stronghold of the banned Sipah Sahaba. These people are rabidly anti-Ahmadiyya. The Sunni Tehrik and Ahle Hadith are also committed to anti-Ahmadi agenda. They held conferences in the Tajpura area on April 13 and 14.

In Shalamar area, they held a conference on March 21 to herald the big event on April 21. They held another rally on April 14 in which a few dozen youth on motor cycles paraded the banners for the big conference. They put up a major poster in front of the Ahmadiyya mosque in Shalamar Town.

The mullas were active in Gulshan Park too to publicize the rally of April 21. They undertook wall-chalking and pasted posters in the area. They held a meeting in the Fatehgarh sector to plan anti-Ahmadiyya activities.

In Miskeenpura mosque, the mulla gives anti-Ahmadiyya sermons (daras) every day after the early morning prayer (fajar). The 21 April conference was publicized in Baghbanpura too.

The Ahmadiyya Community Lahore informed the city administration of all the above, and urged them to take preventive action. However, the authorities have their own perspective on the matter. Ahmadis took some self-defence measures as permitted by law and propriety, and turned to God for protection through weekly fasts and extra daily prayers.

 

A rabid rally in Lahore

Shalamar Town, Lahore; April 21, 2012:  Opponents of Ahmadiyyat held a big conference here after a great deal of publicity over the preceding month through banners, advertisements and stickers.

It started after the sunset prayers. Approximately 7000 attended the rally. It lasted until 3.30 a.m. A large number of mullas addressed the audience one after the other and attempted to outdo others in slander and provocation. The rally was supported by Sheikh Raheel Asghar an MNA of the ruling PML(N) party. The JUI(F) also provided active assistance.

The mullas used very foul language against the founder of the Ahmadiyya community. They repeatedly termed Ahmadis wajib-ul-qatl (must be killed). Anti-Ahmadi slogans were raised and sectarian literature was distributed.

Almost the entire proceedings violated the law of the land. The police and officials of agencies were present. However, the higher policy was obvious: Ignore the law, if Ahmadis are targeted.

The mullas were unabashedly political as well in their speeches. In their press handout they mentioned the statements that: “None will be permitted to succeed in the conspiracy to restore NATO supply line. It is a duty of the government to shoot down drones. Parliamentary efforts will continue to impose Islam. Ghazi Mumtaz Qadri should be released forthwith.” The Nawa-i-Waqt; April 23, 2012

Following mullas addressed the conference: Abdul Majeed, Allah Wasaya, Zawwar Bahadur (JUP), Amjad Khan, Farid Piracha (JI), Zubair Zaheer, Fazlur Rahim, Hanif Jallandhri, Zahid ur Rashidi, Ajmal Qadri, Abdul Rauf Farooqi, Alam Tariq, Ziaullah Bokhari, Ismail Shujabadi, Abdul Shakoor Haqqani, Javaid ur Rahman Akhtar, Kafayatullah, Muhammad Hassan, Salman Gilani, Aziz ur Rehman Sani, Qasim Gujjar, Usman Qureshi, Ismail Muhammad, Ziaul Hassan Shah and Usman Rizwan.     The daily Jang, Lahore; April 24, 2012

 

Sectarian prejudice in educational institutions in Lahore

Green Town, Lahore; January, 2012:          Mr. Mubashir Ahmad Nasir and his family encountered troublesome religious discrimination at school. His wife was a teacher in Iqbal Memorial High School, while his children were students there. When the staff came to know of their Ahmadiyyat, an agitation started in the school. The propaganda and hate drive was a torture to them. The school administration fired his wife from her job and expelled his children from the school. He then had his children admitted in a government school but the situation there was not much better. He had to shift his children to another private school. All this was traumatic for the family.

Iqbal Town; March, 2012:    Mr. Ilyas Ahmad Umair of Iqbal Town was a student of ACCA in the Acute Business College. The college administration called him and inquired from him whether he was an Ahmadi. Upon confirmation they returned his dues to him and strictly prohibited him from entering the college. This disturbed him greatly, but he was counseled to bear up with the discrimination and persecution courageously as he was not the first who have suffered.

Gulshan Ravi; October, 2012:           Miss Afshan Malik, Ahmadi is a student of F.Sc. Part II in Government Degree College for Women, Gulshane Ravi, Lahore. She participated in the Natiya (poems in the honour of the Holy Prophet PBUH) competition in the Punjab Youth Festival. The Chief Minister of the Punjab was also present at the event. He liked her recital of a Naat so much that he asked for recital of one more Naat from her while the result was being compiled. She did that and was acclaimed by the audience. These two Naats were produced by Ahmadi elders. She was awarded the first prize and a trophy.

After a few days when her rivals came to know of her religious denomination, they turned to mischief against her. She was harassed in the college. They tried to get a police case registered against her. The situation became very serious.

In the face of all this she had to discontinue her studies and the entire family had to shift elsewhere.

 

Written threat from a mosque

Lahore; March  2012:            Hafiz Abdul Aziz, the leading mulla of Jamia Masjid Anwar Madina is rabidly anti-Ahmadiyya. He wrote a threatening letter on his letter-head pad from the mosque and sent it to two Ahmadis of Lahore. It is reproduced at Annex V to Annual Report 2012. The mulla also posted anti-Ahmadiyya literature and pamphlets to many Ahmadis including the president of the local Ahmadiyya community in Sabzazar and his Working Committee. The threat letter was sent to Mr. Mubarak Ahmad Tishna of Bhati Gate and Mr. Muhammad Rasheed Kahlu of Sabzazar. It carried the following message:

“Warning

You are warned to leave this area, indeed Lahore within one month otherwise you will be responsible for whatever happens to you. The rest of your fellows are advised to abandon all their activities.”

Authorities were informed of this and the local police were requested to register a case.

 

Hostile reconnaissance of Ahmadis and their mosques in Lahore

Iqbal Town, Lahore; October 2012:  Members of Hafiz Saeed group carry out frequent reconnaissance of two Ahmadiyya mosques, Baitud Tauhid in Iqbal Town and Daruz Zikr in Garhi Shahu and also of Ahmadis who come there for worship.

They post a man beside the road who notes down the registration numbers of the cars and vehicles of Ahmadis coming to the mosques. Others sometimes chase Ahmadis to their homes and mark their houses.

Mr. Qaiser Ahmad Gondal was returning home after offering his evening prayers on October 10, 2012. He sensed two men chasing him. He entered his house hurriedly. After a while those men gathered a few mullas outside his house and demanded the removal of the decorative plate of Ayatul Kursi (a Quranic verse) in the entrance. Mr. Gondal told them that he would not do it himself, but told them that they could undertake that sacrilege if they had the audacity. They removed the plate and declared him a Kafir (infidel) on leaving. They informed his neighbours that Mr. Gondal was a Qadiani and urged them to boycott him.

Mr. Gondal’s son took to heart their provocative remark and cried for long, protesting, “Why did they call us Kafir (infidel)?”

These opponents launched a hate campaign against Mr. Anwar Virk, a prominent Ahmadi. They published a leaflet to that effect. Mr. Virk was advised to take appropriate precautionary measures.

Model Town; October 16, 2012:        Mr. Naeem Ahmad resides in Q Block, Model Town. He has been running a general store close to his home for the last 17 years. Islamic inscriptions were written at the front of his shop. Approximately 30 men, most of them mullas, went to the Police Station Liaqat Abad to report against Mr. Ahmad. They talked to the SHO, went to his shop and started taking photos of the Islamic inscriptions. They demanded their removal. After their departure a policeman informed him that they had come to talk about the Ahmadiyya graveyard in Model Town, and they also demanded removal of the Islamic inscriptions from his shop and from other Ahmadi houses.

A procession came to Mr. Ahmad’s shop on October 16, 2012, shouted slogans and told Mr. Ahmad to remove the inscriptions. Timely arrival of the police at the site saved the situation. The police expressed their helplessness in the face of this extremism and urged Mr. Ahmad to remove the Quranic verse from his shop.

Mr. Ahmad removed the plate to avoid any more trouble.

 

Desecration of Ahmadiyya mosques in Lahore

Three main Ahmadiyya mosques were desecrated by the police under the pressure of mullas during the year 2012. They are briefly mentioned below while the details are mentioned in Chapter 7 of Annual Report 2012.

Sultanpura; May 2, 2012:                  The police, under orders from high officials, undertook gross violation of Ahmadi religious freedom by breaking up and removing sacred epithets and phrases from the Ahmadiyya mosque in Sultanpura, Lahore.

Garhi Shahu; May 17, 2012: Nine policemen came over to the Ahmadiyya mosque on May 17, 2012. They nailed a steel sheet over the Kalima and painted it black. Thus encouraged, the mullas are now putting pressure on the administration to demolish the minarets of this mosque.

Mughalpura; September 23, 2012:    The police came to the local Ahmadiyya mosque and covered the Islamic creed (Kalima) with black steel plates. Mullas were putting pressure on the police to remove the Kalima from the Ahmadiyya mosque.

 

A fabricated criminal case against college female lecturers

Lahore; May 31, 2012:           The police registered a case under anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C and the religious law PPC 295-A at P.S. Civil Lines, Lahore against two Ahmadi lecturers of the state-owned Post Graduate College of Nursing on May 31, 2012. If convicted under PPC 295-A, the two ladies could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

Extremist elements had this case registered with the help of student who was reprimanded by Ahmadi lecturer for missing classes and coming late. The IJT, some outsider mullas and a few bigots on the staff pushed the false accusation and a judge joined in with the final push in ordering the police to register the FIR.           Details are available in chapter 5 of Annual Report 2012.

 

A close escape

Lahore: Mr. Abid Nasim Chughtai works in the National Bank of Pakistan. A client noticed his ring with the Arabic inscription “Alaisallahu…” on it; this phrase is found in the Quran. This man reported this to the police, and succeeded in availing the services of police to interrogate Mr. Chughtai. He then approached a judge who found it facile to order the police to act as per law. Details are available in Chapter 5 of Annual Report 2012.

 

Livelihood of an Ahmadi at risk

Gulshan Park; October 22, 2012:     Mr. Mahmood Ahmad Tahir owns a business of stickers and printing. A few months ago some mullas came to his shop and tried to engage him in religious talk. Mr. Tahir avoided the talk and the mullas departed. Now it is learnt that an anti-Ahmadi lawyer applied to a court to order the police to register a case against Mr. Tahir. He stated, “I went to Ahmad Sticker House to buy some stickers. The owner of the shop started talking with me on religious issues and told me that all this mischief is because of mullas. They call us Kafir (infidels) … etc” It is learnt that this fabrication was pushed by M. Badar Alim, an advocate, who also offered testimony in this case too. Previously he was the instigator of erasing the Kalima from Daruz Zikr (Garhi Shahu) and demolition of its minaret.

 

An intensive hate campaign in a Lahore neighbourhood

Rahmanpura, Lahore; May 2012:    Opponents of the Ahmadiyya community distributed hateful posters and pamphlets in which they pointed out Ahmadi businessmen of Township and College Rd. with names and addresses, and urged the public to stop dealing with them. They attempted to leave no stone unturned in their provocative drive against Ahmadis.

In the pamphlet that listed Ahmadi businessmen, they asserted:

“Mirzais (Ahmadis) are distributing their literature of apostasy and infidelity through-out the world. Every Mirzai, individual or business, donates a specific amount for this drive of infidelity and apostasy. This year Mirzais allocated a vast sum of 2.06 billion rupees for this loathsome mission. So, every Muslim who trades with Mirzais or uses their products supports them financially in their worldwide anti-Islam and anti-Muhammad campaign. O’ Muslim, ponder: if a Muslim is delinked from the Green Dome through your financial indiscretion, would your link continue with the Prophet of Madina (P.B.U.H.)? So, for God’s sake stop this accursed practice, and stop the others too.”

They also attached the following fatwa with this offensive poster:

“All sections of the Muslim world (Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahle Hadith) have decreed that Qadianis are Zindique (heretics), infidels and apostates. So, having any social or economic relations with them like participating in their events of sorrow and happiness, exchange of greetings, friendship, cordial relationship, their company, trading with them, to be employed by them, and to buy their products are all haram (forbidden by the Sharia). The one who maintains a relationship with them is depraved, wrongdoer and liable to the punishment in hell. One who thinks Mirzais are Muslims, or calls them better than Muslims is himself the worst infidel. (This decree contains signatures of 1500 renowned ulama of the time).”

First such a list of Ahmadi businessmen was compiled and distributed in towns far from this capital. Having seen that the authorities do not react to this grossly unlawful and incriminating act, the mulla is emboldened to indulge in that forbidding act inside the provincial capital itself.

          Such is the protection to minorities offered by the government of the Punjab.

 

Life-threatening visits in the provincial capital

Gulshan Iqbal; December 20, 2011: Someone tried to open the main gate of Ch. Nasir Ahmad’s house at 11 p.m. When he asked the visitor his identity, he did not disclose it and drove back on his motorcycle. Again at about midnight someone knocked at the door vigorously with a stone. Ahmad did not attend to the caller.

A few days earlier, on December 17, 2011 someone fired four shots in the air in front of his house to harass him.

Mr. Nasir Ahmad was advised to take all possible security precautions.

 

Religion requisitioned in support of personal vendetta

October 2012:             A non-Ahmadi, Mr. Faisal Bashir attacked Mr. Asim Naseerud Din, an Ahmadi with an iron rod and injured him. The two had a financial dispute. Mr. Din approached the police station to have an FIR of the assault registered. Bashir contrived to give the dispute a religious tone. He gathered a few men of the area and led a procession against Mr. Din. The procession halted in front of Mr. Din’s house. The participants were holding up banners with inscriptions on them: “Asim Qadiani should be stopped from preaching” and “We will not allow Lahore Cantt to become another Qadian.” Thereafter the participants assembled in Bashir’s house. The police inspector came to the site to investigate. He called for Mr. Din out of his house. On his arrival the crowd uttered threats to him. At this the police inspector had to intervene firmly. The opponents then told him that they took out the procession in fact to put pressure on Mr. Din to withdraw the police case against Bashir. The inspector advised Din to oblige; the latter readily agreed, under the circumstances.

Mr. Din was asked to exercise caution.

 

Wicked propaganda against Ahmadis

Larex Colony; January 8, 2012:       Someone disfigured the Kalima written on the tombstone of a Pir (saintly man) in Ghaziabad cemetery and added some names to it. The Pir was sympathetic to Ahmadis and was on friendly terms with them.

Some miscreants attributed the defiling to Ahmadis and raised hue and cry. Approximately 300 men gathered at the bus stop and shouted slogans against Ahmadis. Naseem Ullah, the local president of Jamaat Islami, took the lead in this agitation, and instigated people against Ahmadis. He also used a TV channel, Power Plus for his profane drive.

 

Social boycott

January 2012:            Anti-Ahmadiyya activism is on the rise in Lahore since the attacks on the two Ahmadiyya mosques in 2010. Anti-Ahmadiyya posters and banners are put up here and there and pamphlets are thrown inside Ahmadi homes. People are instigated against Ahmadis through various means. Two incidents of social boycott are mentioned below:

  1. An Ahmadi woman was refused to buy an item at the Sunday market at Model Town, Link Road. The shopkeeper recognized her to be an Ahmadi from her Burqa (external clothing for Islamic women). “Go away; we do not sell our stuff to Qadianis,” said the vendor.
  2. The widow of Sardar Iftikharul Ghani, who was martyred in the twin attacks on Ahmadiyya mosques in 2010, entered the International Market, M Block Model Town for shopping. The shopkeeper saw her Burqa and told her that he would not sell to Qadianis.

 

Still more malevolence

The Punjab has been ruled by PML (N) for the last four years. Mr. Shahbaz Sharif was the Chief Minister. The PML (N) is known for its pro-mulla political posture. The senior leadership of this party has been seen acting chum with extremist mullas whose parties have been banned for terrorist activities.

The Muslim League in the Punjab has a history of close relationship with Islamist clerics. In 1953, while in power in the Punjab, its chief minister Mr. Daultana actively supported the clerics in their violent agitation against the Ahmadis; it resulted in grave deterioration of law and order to the extent that martial law (first ever in Pakistan) had to be declared. As a result the Muslim League ministry and Mr. Daultana were booted out.

The Muslim League in the Punjab has failed to learn from history. On assuming power again in 2008, its government sponsored, funded and organized an ‘End of the Prophethood’ conference in Lahore in 2009 in the grand royal mosque in Lahore. Participating mullas indulged in profuse sectarian rhetoric.

On account of not-so-discreet anti-Ahmadiyya policy of the provincial government, the administration and the police indulge in hostile conduct in situations and issues concerning Ahmadis. Terrorists chose Lahore for their major attack on Ahmadi worshipers in 2010 and succeeded in killing 86 of them while the security forces, although present at the scene of the crime, put up no resistance to the terrorists.

The attitude of the rulers and the officials has affected everyday life of the Ahmadis in the province in general, and Lahore in particular. Every month numerous incidents that happened in this capital are reported in monthly reports. A few for the month of November only are briefly related below.

A dishonest blame

Karim Park; November 1, 2012:       The principal of Farooqia Girls High School took disciplinary action against the school canteen contractor. He, in turn, approached the activists of Jamaat Islami and Sunni Tehrik for support, with the accusation that the principal Ms. Aasama Farooqi committed blasphemy in a pamphlet. The mullas took out a big procession and mounted an attack on the school. They claimed that the ‘blasphemer’ principal was a Qadiani (which she is surely not). An Ahmadi family however resides next to the school and the mullas assembled in front of their residence. This family spent a wakeful night in great fear.

Where even death becomes a problem

Baghbanpura; November 6, 2012:    Anti-Ahmadi activists have adopted the practice of taking photos or producing videos of places and events in which Ahmadis are involved and then presenting these to officials to book them in police cases, etc. For instance:

Mrs. Sindhi died in Baghbanpura. Her relatives planned to bury her in Ahmadiyya graveyard in Handu Gujjar at 10 p.m. They tried to keep this information confidential but the opponents came to know of it somehow. So, approximately 30 mullas assembled in the vicinity of their home at about 10 p.m. They were led by one Tuti, who is a brother of mulla Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi a well-known cleric intimate with high officials in Pakistan. Tuti was armed with a camera and seemed to be prepared to push for an FIR with the police.

The bereaved family came to know of this. They decided to postpone the burial. They took care not to offer the funeral prayers at home, instead took the dead body to the graveyard the next day before sunrise, offered the last rites there and performed the burial. This spared them the mischief of the religious thugs.

Serious threat to the freedom to practice the religion of one’s choice

Wahdat Colony:         Four bearded youth, 25 to 30 years old, who belonged to the banned Jamaat Dawa, but professed for convenience to be from the Khatme Nabuwwat Centre, visited the police station and demanded that an FIR be registered against Ahmadis who like Muslims, indulged in sacrificing animals on the festival of Eid-ul-Adha. They claimed that they had the required proofs in the form of photos, videos and written reports etc.

They claimed that their group comprised as many as 400 university students. They seemed to know the history of anti-Ahmadi agitations in 1953, 1974 and 1984. They made out that they were not violent but intended to pursue Qadianis through law. “We want to bar them from Friday congregational prayers by providing pictorial evidence of their worship. We shall pursue them from their place of worship to their home to confirm their identities and addresses”, they explained. “We shall thus force them to abandon Islamic worship,” they bragged.

The SHO refused to register a criminal case. One hopes he would not wilt if the attempts are repeated by the activists more vigorously. These bigots managed to deny a number of Ahmadis their right to sacrifice animals on Eid – and they did that with the help of the Punjab Police.

Freedom to worship at risk

Rahmanpura: In view of the difficulties in having a proper mosque/place of worship, local Ahmadis assemble here in an Ahmadi’s home for prayers. It is a three-storied building owned by him. Two Ahmadi families reside in two upper floors, while the owner lives on the ground floor. He has permitted local Ahmadis, who are only a few in numbers, to offer their prayers in one of his living rooms. There is no inconvenience involved to anyone else. However, anti-Ahmadi activists have reported to the police of this arrangement and asked for action.

Ahmadis met an appropriate high official and intimated to him that there was no problem, any complaint is malafide and fabricated. The incident caused concern and stress to the peaceful worshipers.

Brief but perturbing reports from various neighbourhoods

Civil Lines; January 7, 2012:            A Khatme Nabuwwat conference was held here on January 27, 2012. This conference was advertised through handbills. Ahmadis were advised by their community leaders to remain at home as a precaution.

Muslim Park, Singhpura; January 24, 2012:           A conference on “Namus Risalatsa (honour of the Prophetsa) and fitna Qadianiat (mischief of Qadianis)” was held in the local mosque. Only Deobandis participated in it. This conference was advertised through leaflets. Shop-keepers displayed these in their shops.

Shezan factory; February 3, 2012:                Two mullas came to the gate of the Shezan factory at the time of Friday prayers. They told the gate keeper that they wanted to say Friday prayer and meet the Ahmadiyya missionary there. The guard denied them the entry despite their insistence. The security supervisor sent a man to discreetly assess their motives. He heard them saying on their mobile phone, “This time he (the Ahmadi missionary) escaped; we’ll see to him next time.”

Batapur; February 5, 2012:   A conference was held in Taje Darul Anbiya mosque on the occasion of 12 Rabiul Awwal. A mulla of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction was invited to the occasion. He incited the public against the Ahmadiyya community and openly called for their murder. He said, “Can’t we kill Qadianis/Mirzais with a knife, a dagger, a bullet? Can’t we emulate Mumtaz Qadri? Can’t we embrace death for the sake of Muhammadsa? Can’t we embrace death after killing any of them?”

A number of armed men were on duty outside the mosque at this occasion.

Defence; February 5, 2012:               Two mullas on a motorcycle attempted entry in the Ahmadiyya mosque. The guard on duty stopped them. They pretended as if they had taken the turn mistakenly. They turned around and stopped on the roadside as if their vehicle had run short of gasoline. They dragged their motorcycle to a nearby gas station. Both of them wore a beard, and Khatme Nabuwwat sticker was pasted on their motor-bike.

Iqbal Town; February 9, 2012:         A group of a dozen mullas came to the residence of Mr. Arif Tanveer. They told him harshly to remove the tiles of Bismilla (In the name of Allah) and MashAllah (What God wills) from outside his house. They declared this display illegal and threatened him of action if he would not remove them within 24 hours. They said, “Our youth do not tolerate that Bismilla or MashAllah be written on your house.” They departed threatening a follow-up visit.

Mr. Tanveer removed those tiles himself to avoid the confrontation.

Jahman; February 10, 2012:            A mulla from the local mosque is regularly provoking the public against the Ahmadiyya community in Friday sermons for the past three weeks. He said, “Any business dealing with Qadianis/Mirzais is forbidden. One who will deal with them will himself become a kafir (infidel). One who will interact with them socially, his Nikah (marriage) would stand dissolved.”

Consequently, some people in the area developed social hostility to Ahmadis. 

March 2012:   Encouraged by their success in the twin attack of May 28, 2010, the extremists seem to plan other attacks on mosques. The evidence:

  1. A suspicious-looking car passed by the Ahmadiyya mosque in Islam Pura, Lahore on March 2, 2012 at the time of Friday prayers. A mulla was sitting on the front seat wearing a white turban; he was accompanied by two others.  The car entered a house a few yards away from the mosque and took one man on board from there. They passed by the mosque again, slowed down in front of the mosque, reccyed it, and then picked up speed to depart. The police on duty also noted the movements of this suspect vehicle; however they did not stop the car to question the occupants as to their business.
  2. Eight mullas came to the Ahmadiyya mosque in Sultan Pura, Lahore on March 10, 2012 at the time of evening prayers. They stayed in front of the mosque for some time and talked on a mobile phone about the mosque. An Ahmadi youth on duty stood near them and overheard their conversation.
  3. Two youth on a motorcycle arrived in front of the Ahmadiyya mosque in Kot Lakhpat after the evening prayers on March 8, 2012. They stayed there for some time, reccyed the mosque and remained busy in talking over a mobile phone. Thereafter they left the scene. They were in their twenties and looked suspicious.

The management of the mosque went into a higher state of defensive readiness.

Township; March 4, 2012: An offensive youth living on rent in front of the house of Mr. Karimur Rahman Sanori, Ahmadi tried to disturb the peace. He, along with his colleagues, sought a scuffle with Mr. Sanori for no reason, attempted entry into his house, and smashed the window pane of his house.

The other neighbourers helped Mr. Sanori and called the police, whereafter they took to heels.

It is worth noting that a Khatme Nabuwwat conference was held in this area a day earlier. Mullas had indulged in hate propaganda and provoked the public against the Ahmadiyya community. This incident was obviously a consequence of the conference.

Rachna Town; March 5, 2012:         Mr. Zahid Anwar, a non-Ahmadi nephew of Ch. Bashir Ahmad, Ahmadi was killed on March 5, 2012.

Mr. Bashir Ahmad, an official of a local Ahmadiyya community was attacked subsequently on September 7, 2011. He was hit by several shots but luckily survived after a major surgical operation.

Mr. Ahmad’s nephew Mr. Zahid Anwar who was a non-Ahmadi got an FIR registered at that occasion as complainant. Mr. Anwar was attacked on March 5, 2011. He was hit by four bullets and stabbed. He was taken to the hospital in emergency but he did not survive. Although a non-Ahmadi, he was kind and sympathetic to Ahmadis in trouble.

The sectarian bigots made him pay for his humane and caring ways.

Mustafa Town; March 5, 2012:         Approximately 20 mullas gathered in front of the house of Mr. Muhammad Ishaq at about 9 a.m. They banged at the door, pelted stones inside the house and tried to break down the main gate. Mr. Ishaq informed the police. They arrived in time and asked the intruders the purpose of their visit. They told the police that they had come to remove the decoration frame on which Ayatul Kursi (A verse of the Holy Quran) was displayed. The police rebuked the miscreants and told them to desist from such activity.

The local colony administration also paid a visit to Mr. Ishaq. The president of the administration supported Mr. Ishaq and advised him to hand over the frame of Ayatul Kursi to him to defuse the situation. Mr. Ishaq complied. The removal of the Quranic verse calmed down the mullas.

Gulshan Ravi; March 24, 2012:        Mr. Naeem Ahmad is the only Ahmadi living in this area with his family. Someone threw a threatening note on his roof; it conveyed:

Leave Qadianiat (Ahmadiyyat), otherwise you will be killed

Iqbal Town; March 26, 2012:            Mr. Nazimuddin, an Ahmadi lives in Iqbal Town, Lahore. His wife went to the bazaar to buy some garments. She went into a shop; its keeper looked like a mulla. She herself was wearing a veil. The shopkeeper assessed her denominational identity. He asked her about her sect and told her that the shop next door was that of a Mirzai (Ahmadi) and Mirzai women often go to that shop. He also used bad language against Ahmadis. She replied him appropriately and left the shop. The mulla vented his anger that was perhaps caused by business competition.

Larex Colony, Shahdara; March 30, 2012:  Mr. Atif Sharif S/O Mr. Sharif Ahmad Dogar was returning home on March 30, 2012 when four armed mullas stopped him and threatened to kill him. “Go away and don’t look back or you’ll be shot”, they told him.

Baghbanpura, Lahore; April 8, 2012:          An anti-Ahmadiyya conference was held in front of the Ahmadiyya mosque in Baghbanpura, Lahore. As usual, obnoxious language was used against the Ahmadiyya community; the audiences were urged to kill Ahmadis. The meeting was advertised through anti-Ahmadiyya posters. The participants numbered approximately 70.

Gulberg; April 19, 2012:        Two Ahmadi women went to Gulberg market for shopping. There, a shopkeeper in a mulla garb recognized them as Ahmadis by their Burqa (Islamic covering over the clothes). He said in a loud voice to irk them; “Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was a good man; he did a good deed by declaring Mirzais (Ahmadis) non-Muslim. We should pray for him.”

Allama Iqbal Town; April 26, 2012: Two men went to the bookshop of an Ahmadi in Allama Iqbal Town. They told him to stop selling Islamic books, the Holy Quran and stickers of Quranic verses. They threatened him with grave consequences in case of non-compliance. The Ahmadi shopkeeper had to remove the stickers and hid the Islamic books.

Ravi Park; April 28, 2012:     An anti-Ahmadiyya Khatme Nabuwwat conference was held in the Bhati Gate area. It began at 9 p.m. and lasted until 3 a.m. Maulvi Azizur Rahman Thani and Hamid Baloch spoke abuse against the Ahmadiyya community and agitated the audience. The participants numbered approximately 150 men, the majority of whom were madrassa students.

Baghbanpura; April 2012:                The Shezan company is owned by Ahmadis. Mullas are very active against it. This year the Lahore Bar Association imposed a ban on Shezan drinks in the premises of the courts. SMSs against Shezan were frequently circulated. One such SMS received by Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmad, an Ahmadi, was as follows:

“The proprietor of Shezan, Shah Nawaz, a dog, translated the Holy Quran in 40 languages and spread them all over the world. Therein he interpolated the name of Muhammadsa with the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (sic). He asserted that this money had come from the pockets of the Muslims. Just think, lest this flavor of a few moments might not deprive us from drinking at the Hoze Kausar (the holy fountain in paradise) from the hands of the Holy Prophetsa. Boycott Shezan products and prove your Islamic credentials.”

Sabzazar; April 2012: Mr. Waqas Ahmad, an Ahmadi worked in a multi-national company. Some mulla-type colleagues worked with him. When they learnt of Mr. Waqas’s faith, they started conveying serious threats to him. They also intercepted him on the way to his home, assaulted him and beat him up. Mr. Ahmad consequently had to migrate to another city. He lost his job for his faith. His children remained in Lahore. His brother lodged an FIR with the local police on his behalf.

Raiwind; April 2012:  Ahmadis are facing a social boycott in Raiwind, Lahore. Raiwind is the headquarters of the Tableeghi Jamaat, which poses to be a peaceful organization, but provides seed personnel to all, including banned organizations. Raiwind is also a home to scores of madrassahs.

A longtime friend of an Ahmadi family stopped meeting them after receiving grave threats from mullas. “Mullas have a list of all the Ahmadis living here and their addresses,” he intimated.

Defense; May 10, 2012:         Mr. Shahid Iqbal and Mr. Zahid Iqbal received threatening letters on their business addresses. Obnoxious language was used therein against the Ahmadiyya community. These were posted from the post office of Iqbal Town, Lahore. A similar letter was received by Sheikh Basharat Ahmad who has already left Pakistan and settled abroad. Other such threats were sent through phone and mobile text messages.

Wahdat Colony; May 13, 2012:         An Ahmadi was standing in front of his house when a man approached and asked him about the Ahmadiyya mosque. He mentioned that there was a playground beside it. The Ahmadi asked him the reason for his inquiry; he did not answer and departed.

The next day on May 14, 2012 a van was found parked in the southern street of the Ahmadiyya mosque. Five armed Pakhtuns were sitting in it. The windows of the van were black. One of them jumped down when an Ahmadi youth passed by. He asked him about the Ahmadiyya mosque. The youth avoided the question. The man then asked him about the playground (near the mosque), which was told to him. At this one of them proceeded to the ground, from there he went towards Iqbal Town.

The police were informed of this incident.

Rahmanpura, Lahore; May 27, 2012:          Mr. Ahmad Aziz, an Ahmadi youth was a member of the club, Dragon Charts learning martial arts there for the last two years. Five unknown men came to his club on May 27, 2012 and asked his instructor about him. They said, “A Qadiani youth comes here. His name is Ahmad. You are teaching him all this; tomorrow he will stand up against us.” On enquiry they told him that they had come from Johar Town. They also accused Mr. Ahmad of preaching Ahmadiyyat in the club, and threatened action.

Mr. Ahmad was on leave that day. The next day his instructor told him of the hostile visitors. Mr. Ahmad asked him to produce the boy to whom he had preached. The instructor said the visitors would return in a few days. At this Mr. Ahmad’s family stopped him from going to the club, to avoid any harm.

Wahdat Colony; May 27, 2012:         Mr. Abdul Waheed Sindhu, an opponent of the Ahmadiyya community, resides near the Ahmadiyya mosque here. He is the president of a trust committee of the locality. He was noticed making recce of the Ahmadiyya mosque. He held a meeting at his house and invited some goons of the locality. This meeting was attended by 60 men including 10 mullas. They discussed a complete boycott of Ahmadis. Later they also distributed anti-Ahmadiyya pamphlets. Mr. Sindhu belongs to the Ahle Sunnat group. He holds such meetings frequently to incite the public against Ahmadis.

Tajpura; May 28, 2012:         Mr. Munir Ahmad, an Ahmadi pensioner from the Army is living in Tajpura, Lahore. His two sons Mr. Munawwar Ahmad and Mr. Anees Ahmad were killed in the twin attacks on the Ahmadiyya mosques in Lahore on May 28, 2010.

Some unknown men dropped a threatening letter at his house on May 28, 2012, exactly two years after the martyrdom of his sons. It conveyed:

“Qadianis (Ahmadis) are infidels. One who maintains relations with them is also an infidel. Today on May 28, we are very happy that we killed your people in Garhi Shahu and Model Town. Now it is your turn, and wherever you go, we will locate you. It is difficult to escape us. We have an eye on all of you and your children.”

He received another threatening letter, which conveyed:

“Qadianis, Mirzais are the worst people. They should be taken to task. They should be isolated. Now all of you in the family should be taken to task.  Be ready in the next few days; anything can happen. You will not be spared.”

Dehli Gate, Lahore; May 29, 2012:   Opponents of the Ahmadiyya community took out a procession in the market of Qila Gujar Singh, Dehli Gate at about 6 p.m. They badmouthed against the Ahmadiyya community and called Ahmadis Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed) and urged the public to implement a complete social boycott against Ahmadis. They repeated this demand several times on sound amplifiers. They made two rounds of the market before dispersal. The situation there became worse for Ahmadis after the event.

Allama Iqbal Town; June 3, 2012:               There is a group of about 20 mullas who go to different areas and look for Ahmadis’ houses. When they find one they provoke the public against the occupants and declare them Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed). Sometimes they stop in front of an Ahmadi’s house and urge him to go to the mosque with them and say prayers with them or threaten him to leave the house.

This group came to the house of Mr. Nasimuddin. He was not at home at the time. They talked to his wife and asserted, “You are infidels and a minority. You should not keep Quranic verses in your homes,” referring to a framed Ayatul Kursi (a Quranic verse) hanging inside the gate. The mullas wanted to enter the house to dismantle it. Mrs. Nasimuddin did not permit them and handed over that frame to the mullas herself. She told the mullas, “God, the Knower of the unseen, knows how greatly we love the words of God. Our lives are ready for sacrifice in His way. You people do not know what is inside our hearts.”

The mullas unabashedly took away the frame.

Singhpura; June 6, 2012:      An anti-Ahmadiyya Khatme Nabuwwat conference was held here by Mufti Muhammad Hasan. It is noteworthy that this conference was held in a Government Girls High School. It was attended by approximately 200 men. The venue of the conference was decorated by anti-Ahmadiyya banners. Stalls were set up for the participants where anti-Ahmadiyya literature, pamphlets and CDs were displayed for distribution and sale. A number of mullas addressed the audience. Mufti Muhammad Hasan used offensive language against the Ahmadiyya community. He said, “Qadiani are our enemies and enemies of Islam, it is the worst cult, boycott them, … They are infidels, we will throw them out from here, we will kill all of them. Cooperate with us, … they are Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed)…”

This conference lasted until 2 a.m. The speakers tried hard to provoke the audience against the Ahmadiyya community.

Baghbanpura; June 26, 2012:          A youth named Chand tried to kill Mr. Rizwan Ahmad S/O Mr. Gulzar Ahmad on religious grounds. Mr. Rizwan luckily survived this attack.

An opponent of Ahmadiyyat, Pervez told Chand, a dull-witted fellow, that killing Rizwan, a Qadiani would bring him great reward in the hereafter. At this, Chand intercepted Rizwan on his way home, abused him and pulled out a knife to attack him. Rizwan was rescued by some neighbouring shopkeepers. Details are available in chapter 4 of Annual Report 2012.

Green Town; June 2012:       Green Town is one of the hot spots in Lahore for Ahmadis. Their opponents created hue and cry and succeeded in dismantling a decorative plate with MashAllah (What God wills) engraved on it from the house of an Ahmadi, Rana Iqbal, sometimes ago. Some Ahmadis went to the police station to make their statements, where a number of madrassa students and mullas gathered outside. The sub-inspector told Ahmadis later that mullas had accused the administration of the Ahmadiyya mosque in Township of writing blasphemous words in the washroom of the non-Ahmadiyya mosque in Block 4, Sector A-II. The sub-inspector refused to register the fabricated FIR. This saved Ahmadis from stressful and wasteful defense.

Civil Lines; July 20, 2012:     Sheikh Anwarul Haq, Ahmadi is a resident of the Civil Lines and runs two shops, Fakhar Electronics and National Electronics on Link McLeod Rd. Three boys entered his shop on July 20, 2012 at 8 p.m. pretending to buy some electronic item. One of them hurriedly pasted an anti-Ahmadiyya hateful sticker on an electric oven on display, and the three fled thereafter on a motorbike. The sticker was published by an organization, “Tanzeem Mirzai Mukao” (Organization to Exterminate Ahmadis). The sticker carried a very hateful message against the leaders of the Ahmadiyya community.

Shalimar Town; July 29, 2012:         Mr. Sardar Ali resides in Baghbanpura, Lahore and runs a medical store in Shalimar Town. A sub-inspector of police came to his shop on July 29, 2012 and searched his shop. He told Mr. Ali to report to the police station at 4 p.m. Mr. Ali went there with his son and younger brother. He was told that a mulla Hasan Muaawiya alias Tuti (brother of Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi) had lodged a complaint against him that there were stickers of Quranic verses pasted in his shop in violation of the law. Mr. Ali had already removed those stickers from his shop. This settled the issue.

At 11 p.m. a mulla Saadul Abideen came to his shop again to re-check if all was to his satisfaction.

It is learnt that mullas are conducting reconnaissance of the Ahmadiyya businesses.

Gulshan Ravi; July 31, 2012:            Mr. Maqsood Ahmad, Ahmadi lives here. Some opponents of the Ahmadiyya community came on motorbikes to the house of Mr. Ahmad. They pasted an offensive sticker on the gate of his house, fired four or five revolver-shots in the air and departed. Mr. Ahmad came out of his house after their departure and recovered four empty bullet-shells from there.

Sabza Zar; July 2012:            A few mullas came to the house of Mr. Rasheed Ahmad Javed and handed an invitation card to a women’s meeting of Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat. Mr. Javed’s father took the card without any comment. The mullas told the gentleman to ensure the ladies’ participation in the meeting and asserted, “We want to cleanse Pakistan of Mirzais; you should participate in this noble cause.”

Anti-Ahmadi gossip has become common here in the bazaar and markets. A group of men assemble in the main park of this area and speak venomously against the Ahmadiyya community.

Lahore; July 2012:     Opponents of the Ahmadiyya community published an 8-page pamphlet titled: “My acceptance of Islam – A lightening strike on Mirzaiat” by Irfan Mahmood Barq.

It carries a mostly fictitious story of Mr. Barq who professed to be a former Ahmadi who recanted after due research. He narrates a fabricated but highly emotional story of the recantation of his late mother. He claims that she recanted on her death bed and confided (only) to him that she had become a Muslim and told him exclusively that her funeral rights should be performed by Muslims.

The entire pamphlet has been obviously drafted by some professional agitator as it lists the oft-repeated allegations against Ahmadiyya theology. The pamphlet urges the readers (though indirectly) to put the Ahmadis to sword, ‘in the tradition of (Abu Bakr) Siddique.’

The address of publishers and their phone numbers are given in bold at the end of the pamphlet:

Anjuman Muhibban Khatme Nabuwwat, Kot Abdul Malik

0333-4664080, 0300-4856384, 0341-4040568

Wahdat Colony; July 2012:   The opponents of Ahmadiyya community formed an association in the area in league with PML (N). Mr. Abdul Waheed Sindhu, a staunch anti-Ahmadi, is its president. They demanded that except for Ahmadis of Wahdat Colony, none else from other nearby localities may offer Friday prayers in the local Ahmadiyya place of worship.

Baghbanpura, Shalimar Town and Township; August 2012:         Anti-Ahmadiyya activism increased visibly in these areas, this month. Anti-Ahmadi stickers were pasted at various locations. The people were provoked through speeches and sermons. The mosques in which these sermons were delivered are as follows:

1) Allama Ihsan Ilahi Zaheer Hospital mosque in Ghore Shah Darbar Road, 2) Masjid Ahle Hadith Chowk Shuwala, Ghore Shah, 3) Jamia Farooqia Rizvania “Barelvi Maslik” Ghore Shah, 4) Masjid Taqwa “Deobandi Firqa” Ghore Shah Road, 5) Jamia Naeemia Bhogiwal Branch Jamia Naeemia Garhi Shahu, 6) Jamia Ashrafia Bhogiwal, Ferozpur Road, 7) Jamia Masjid Muslim Park and Masjid Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat “Barelvi” Chowk Shuwala, Ghore Shah Road, and 8) Masjid Jhanda Chowk “Barelvi Maslik” Baghbanpura.

Baghbanpura; August 2012:             The opponents of the Ahmadiyya community here distributed a booklet, “Dawate Fikr aur Ansarullah” on September 3, 2012. Mulla Ibtisam Ilahi Zaheer a staunch anti-Ahmadi delivered the Friday sermon in the Ahle Hadith mosque adjacent to the hospital. The topic of his sermon was, “Why the Qadianis are not Muslim?” His scheduled Friday sermon was greatly publicized in the area through banners and posters. Mulla Zaheer used foul language against the Ahmadiyya community and provoked the worshippers against Ahmadis.

Lahore; August 2012:            Some men came looking for Mr. Basharat Ahmad, Ahmadi, whose son Mr. Muzaffar Ahmad had captured a terrorist during the attacks on Ahmadiyya mosques in Lahore in 2010. They were riding a black car. The police took no action to ensure safety of the prime witnesses of the massacre of Ahmadis, and of members of their families.

Johar Town; September 7, 2012:      A Khatme Nabuwwat conference was held in the mosque Kanzul Ummal of Sector B-1, Johar Town. Mullas from different locations participated in this conference.

A procession comprising approximately 60 motorcycles and a few cars was led by mulla Shabeer of the mosque Jamia Aloom Islamia Hanfia of Sector A-II, Township. This procession stopped in front of Ahmadis’ houses, used foul language and raised anti-Ahmadiyya slogans. It also stopped in front of the Ahmadiyya mosque in the Township, and raised slogans. Thereafter it went to the venue of the conference in Johar Town. The authorities made no effort to disperse this sectarian rally.

Allama Iqbal Town; September, 2012: An Ahmadi youth married a girl from a non-Ahmadi family with her father’s permission, after she had joined the Ahmadiyya community. Still a criminal case was registered against him and his mother, brother etc. under the anti-Ahmadi laws. His brother was arrested. The groom had to leave the country to avoid arrest. Details of this case are available in Chapter 5 of Annual Report 2012.

Rachna Town; December 7, 2012:   The police attempted to arrest four terrorists from a gas station in Rachna Town. Two of them succeeded in making good their escape, while two were captured. Subsequently it was learnt that fire arms and explosives were recovered from them. They had plans to target Ahmadiyya mosques, a source disclosed. These men are residents of this town. A few other residents have fled the neighbourhood, while the police have detained some suspects.

Ferozwala Annex Colony; December 8, 2012:  Anti-Ahmadi extremist elements held a rally in the local mosque after the night prayers (Isha). They used sound amplifiers and agitated the audience greatly. They indulged in very foul language against Ahmadis. One of these speakers posed to be a former Ahmadi, now turned a Mujahid of Khatme Nabuwwat.

Sabzazar; December 12, 2012:          A police van came over to the residence of Mr. Mansur Ahmad, an Ahmadi resident of Sabzazar, at about 11 p.m. The policemen told Mr. Ahmad to take off the tiled plate of Masha Allah (as willed by God) from the exterior of the house. Mr. Ahmad refused to do that. At this the police decided to undertake the sacrilege themselves. They broke up the tiled plate and took away the pieces with them. Obviously they did that in compliance with some mulla’s demand.

It is relevant that the law does not forbid Ahmadis the display of writings in Arabic script.

Iqbal Town; November/December 2012:      One Waqas Ahmad had filed an application with the police to register a criminal case against Mr. Wasim Ahmad, Ahmadi for undertaking sacrifice of an animal at the occasion of the festival of Eid ul Azha.

Now, a police official conveyed to Mr. Wasim Ahmad a message from this shady complainant: Waqas is now ready to withdraw his complaint if he is paid his expenses by the accused.

It seems that Waqas Ahmad ran from pillar to post in the judicial and police offices, spent time, money and effort in pursuit of his unworthy cause, but made little headway on account of it being unwarranted. He should have been ashamed of his scheme; instead he expects to be paid for his failure. NO WAY.

Sabzazar; December 2012:    Mr. Rashid Mahmud Kahlon, an Ahmadi elder of the local community received a threat letter from one A. Amjad advocate (Extract):

“Two maulvis approached me and conveyed about you that you call yourself a Musulman and your wife and daughter-in-law teach the recitation of the Quran to Muslim children. You and your son remain active. This caused great anger among those present in the mosque and they decided that your case would be forwarded to the Mansura Centre (of Jamaat Islami, in Lahore) so as to have a criminal case registered against you under religious laws, by Liaquat Baloch so as to deny you the possibility of release on bail. I obtained your address with great difficulty. I am one of the members of this committee and warn you sympathetically to take care.”

A few other Ahmadis of Sabzazar also received threat letters. This man, Amjad the advocate, had met Mr. Kahlon earlier; now he has written to him.

Garhi Shahu; December 18, 2012:  Mulla Imran wrote a complaint to Police Station Garhi Shahu that there is a marble plate affixed in the house of Mr. Abid Nasim Chughtai, a ‘Qadiani’, on which attributes of God are inscribed; this amounts to defiling them, the plate should be removed. He supported his application with a video and pictures taken with his cell-phone.

The SHO of P.S. Garhi Shahu visited the Ahmadiyya office the next day, met an official and told him to have the plate at Mr. Chughtai’s home covered up. “We Ahmadis have great respect for God’s attributes; we cannot even contemplate effacing or covering them up,” the official told the SHO.

It is surprising that an SHO in Lahore is so prompt to attend to an absurd demand of a mulla, while generally it is not easy to get an SHO moving even after a murder. It is obvious that the SHO is sure that he is responding to the policy emanating from the Chief Minister’s office.

This narrative has become rather long, although it is still not comprehensive; a great deal is left unreported. What went on in Lahore this year could find a place in some book of “world records” if it recorded violations of human rights and freedom of religion in cities.

 

Punjab Police demolish Ahmadi mosque minarets in Kharian

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

Prior to this, anti-Ahmadiyya activities occurred in the district and the authorities took no action to stop these malicious acts of extremist elements. An End of Prophethood rally was permitted in Kharian on June 15, 2012 in which mullas used foul language against Ahmadis and demanded the demolition of 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. Otherwise, the applicants threatened to do the demolition themselves.

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

The police, however, told the Ahmadis to demolish the minarets. Ahmadis took the position that they could not undertake this sacrilege, nor would they allow the mullas to do it; however, if the police decided to undertake the task, the 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 this shameless 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 that would be done, one wondered. Also, the police effaced the Kalima and other sacred writings from the mosque.

The police appear to be more adept in the art of deception than the maintenance of law and order and upholding the 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.” Rubbish – of course.

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 was the third major attack on an Ahmadi place of worship since January this year in the Punjab. The first major incursion was in Rawalpindi, followed by violations in the provincial capital, Lahore, and then this blow in Kharian.

In all the afore-mentioned 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 now signatory.

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

Subsequent to this demolition, a researcher assembled a few pictures of places of worship of different religions worldwide, displaying their minarets and domes, and mailed these to his contacts. These are reproduced at Annex VI to Annual Report 2012.

Last but not least, while these misguided and corrupt mullas and officials undertake such outrages apparently in the name of Islam, the Quran teaches them otherwise:

And who is more unjust than he who prohibits the name of God being glorified in God’s temples and strives to ruin them? It was not proper for such men to enter therein except in fear. For them is disgrace in this world; and theirs shall be a great punishment in the next. (2:115)

 

A Kalima incident in Lahore

May 17, 2012: The Islamic catechism is called Kalima. It is a small statement in Arabic and it means: “There is none worthy of worship except Allah; Muhammad is His messenger.” Ahmadis profess the same Kalima; extremist mullas insist that Ahmadis should not recite this Kalima; sometimes they misinform their followers by telling them that Ahmadis actually have a different Kalima, or when Ahmadis recite this Kalima they have a different prophet in mind than Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), etc.

During the days of General Zia, Ahmadis campaigned in public that Ahmadis have no other creed than the Kalima. The general reacted very harshly and ordered his police and security agencies to prevent Ahmadis from asserting their right to state their faith. As a result thousands were booked and hundreds suffered arrest and detention.

Pakistan’s constitution grants religious freedom to its citizens. The anti-Ahmadi laws imposed by General Zia can be interpreted by extremists to restrict this freedom to any extent. The mullas continue to harass Ahmadis accordingly; in this they enjoy the support of careerist officials who find it convenient to keep the mulla happy. Politicians tend to do the same.

Ahmadis had written the Kalima on the façade of their mosque, Dar-uz-Zikr in Garhi Shahu, Lahore. This is the same mosque that was targeted by terrorists in 2010. Many years ago the police, urged by mullas, had covered up with planks the Kalima here. With the passage of time, the nails had become rusted and the planks came off. The Kalima could again be read from the exterior. Mullas took note of this.

On April 9, 2012, the police SHO telephoned Ahmadiyya Dar-uz-Zikr and left a message for the ‘responsible’ to see him in the police station at 4 p.m. At the given time the SHO was not available on phone. The next day he sent a written message. At the appointed time, the SHO was not present in the police station, so the Ahmadi elder talked to him on phone.

The SHO told the Ahmadis to cover up the Kalima. He was told that Ahmadis are committed to the Kalima as this is their creed; they did not cover up the Kalima, the police had done it; if the police want to do it again, it is up to them. The police, thereafter, conveyed to Ahmadis that they would come after the sunset to complete the task. Apparently they were embarrassed to undertake this shameful task in daylight and be seen. They were told that only officials on duty (in uniform) would be allowed entry in Dar-uz-Zikr.

After dark had set in, the police arrived with tools. They were in uniform except one whom they claimed to be a corporal and indicated that he was the one who would cover up the Kalima. Ahmadis insisted that only a bona fide policeman in uniform would be allowed to go up the stairs. Accordingly, they went up and started bolting the planks. At that time, the sub-inspector in-charge of the detail received a phone call from some higher official who told him to take off the bolted plank and return to the police station. They did that.

A few days later, mullas speaking at the Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Shalamar, Lahore on 21 April threatened that they would take up the Kalima issue in a big way and have the display torn down. Such a challenge from the clerics to the authorities is not surprising in view of the fact that it was the government of the Punjab that sponsored, organized and funded a big Khatme Nabuwwat conference in the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore on April 11, 2009. It was also addressed by the Federal Minister of Religious Affairs.

A senior police official, later told Ahmadis that the Khatme Nabuwwat mullas had lodged an application to remove the Kalima, thus the police were under great pressure.

At last the police bowed to the will of the mullas, and nine policemen came over to the Ahmadiyya mosque on May 17, 2012. They nailed a steel sheet over the Kalima and painted it black.

Some people living in the front street of the mosque celebrated this event and distributed sweets. Some of them raised anti-Ahmadiyya slogans.

 

Ahmadiyya mosque and sacred phrases defiled by the Punjab Police

Sultanpura, Lahore; May 2, 2012:                The police, under orders from high officials, undertook gross violation of Ahmadi religious freedom by breaking up and removing sacred epithets and phrases from the Ahmadiyya mosque in Sultanpura, Lahore.

Two policemen visited an Ahmadi, Mr. Naeem Ahmad, on April 28, 2012 and told him that a complaint had been received about the Islamic activities of Ahmadis in their mosque, so the local Ahmadi notables should report to the police station at 7.30 p.m.

In the evening the SHO accompanied by a contingent of 10 constables came over himself to the Ahmadiyya mosque and pointed out to the Kalmia (Islamic creed) and the Divine attributes written on the wall, and told Ahmadis to remove them. Ahmadis told him that they would not undertake the defiling, however if the authorities were adamant, the police may do that themselves. The SHO said, “I am a Muslim, I shall never do that.” Thereafter he went back.

It was learnt that two complainants, Mulla Tufail Ahmad and Advocate Badr Alam Sheikh, who live approximately 15 kilometers away, had jointly applied to the police that the Ahmadiyya place of worship be made to not look like a mosque, and the Kalima, etc should be removed from it as these hurt the sentiments of Muslims. It is relevant to mention that this mosque is more than half a century old, and people residing in the neighbourhood had never raised any objection over its shape etc. It is also highly controversial as to what does a typical mosque look like. The Faisal Mosque in Islamabad  looks very different from the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore; while both of these have no semblance whatsoever to the first mosque built by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in Madina.

The police sent for the Ahmadiyya representatives to report to the police station a number of times over the next three days. The senior Ahmadi leadership contacted high police officials in Lahore to be mindful of Ahmadis’ fundamental rights and resist the pressure of a few religious bigots. However, the authorities chose the path of least resistance.

At the police station, the SHO, surely receiving orders from his superiors, was harsh with Ahmadis and threatened them with registration of a criminal case under PPC 295-B and the anti-Ahmadiyya PPC 298-C. Under the former clause Ahmadis would be liable to imprisonment for life. Ahmadis, however, refused to undertake the desecration.

On May 2, 2012, the SHO came to the mosque to convey that the police would undertake removal of the Kalmia etc and demolish the minarets. Ahmadis told him that he would need a magistrate’s order to demolish the minarets. The SHO did not like that.

A police contingent led by the SHO arrived at about 3 p.m. They used hammer and chisel and broke the tiles of the Kalima and Divine attributes. They also damaged the prayer text at the entrance that a worshipper is expected to recite on entering a mosque. The shameful operation continued for almost five hours.

The police were about to demolish the small minarets when the Ahmadis offered to cover them up, as otherwise the adjoining structure would have been damaged.

The mullas apparently are still not happy with what the authorities have done for them. (Their aim is to stoke the fires of hate and discord, and not to stabilize the situation). They now want the dome of the mosque to be demolished. Ahmadis received threat messages in this context also.

 

A big offensive move against the main place of worship in Lahore

Lahore; May 2012:    Encouraged by the pliant response of the police to the mullas’ campaign against the Ahmadiyya mosque in Sultanpura, Lahore, the extremist lobby decided to bully the intimidated state into defiling the Ahmadiyya main mosque, Dar uz Zikr in Garhi Shahu. This is the same location where two years ago terrorists carried out a massacre of worshippers while the police waited for hours doing nothing.

On May 12, Badr Alam Sheikh, an advocate of the High Court, Lahore, sent an application to the SHO Garhi Shahu against five Ahmadis namely Munawwar Ahmad Sheikh, Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, the Qadiani missionary {name unknown (sic)}, Dr Nazir Ahmad and Waqar Butt for writing the Kalima (Islamic creed) on Dar-uz-Zikr and the construction of dome and minarets. The applicant applied that these Ahmadis be booked in a criminal police case for violation of PPC 298-B and 298-C.

The applicant also wrote that he had been informed by his friend that Ahmadi women proselytize to Muslim families; the Kalima, the dome and the minarets openly violate (sic) the provisions of PPC 298-B and 298-C; as such the Kalima, epithets, the mosque-like minarets and dome should be ‘secured’ (mahfuz kia jaey). “This should be done to put a stop to extremism and uphold the law”, the applicant added.

On receiving no compliance report from the SHO, the applicant wrote to the Addl. District and Session Judge, Lahore against the SHO for not registering the case. At this, the court required the SHO to reply, who replied that it was not the job of the police to undo minarets and domes – it was the domain of the Building Department. The Kalima had already been covered by steel plates on May 17 by the police.

At this Mr. Naeem Ahmad, Addl. District and Session Judge passed an order on May 28, 2012 that the SHO should “proceed further as per law in view of contents of application moved by the petitioner.”

Approximately six weeks later, B.A. Sheikh, the advocate wrote another application to the Session Judge, involving 1. the SHO, 2. EDO Works, 3. Administrator Gulberg Town, 4. TMO Gulberg Town and 5. the DCO Lahore. He demanded:

  1. Registration of criminal case against the named Ahmadis under anti-Ahmadi laws PPC 298-B and 298-C
  2. Demolition of the dome and the minaret
  3. The officials at 2, 3 and 4 above to provide to the SHO the required machinery and tools for demolition
  4. Orders to the DCO to provide all legal support to demolish the minarets and dome “which have been constructed to deceive the Muslims.”

The SHO informed the Additional Session Judge on July 16, 2012 that the Ahmadiyya worship place is there since 1954, while the anti-Ahmadi ordinance was promulgated in 1984. He proposed to the judge to issue orders to other civil officials to provide relief to the applicant (dadrasi), while the police would extend all support to the works team and would carry out the orders of the court.

Encouraged by the shameless official/police action against the Ahmadiyya mosque in Kharian, where the police demolished the minarets, the mullas held a demonstration to press their demands, near City Law College, Lahore on July 19, 2012. The mullas thereafter went to the police station where they had a meeting with police officials. What transpired there is not known. The clerics attempted again to take out a procession on July 20, 2012 from Jamia Naeemia, after the Friday congregation. A Superintendent of Police met them, and the rally was called off – under what arrangement, is not known to Ahmadis.

Pakistan’s Constitution Art. 20 provides the right to all its citizens to ‘establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.’ The UDHR Art. 18 enshrines that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion…” Pakistan is now signatory to ICCPR which is even more explicit. The discriminatory anti-Ahmadi laws were promulgated in the dark days of General Zia and have not been repealed by successive regimes and governments, who all gave the mulla a long leash. Now the chickens have come home to roost. If the state wilts once again in the face of obscurantist and extremist elements and undertakes demolition of the minaret and dome in Lahore, the mulla will demand the same action against thousands of Ahmadiyya mosques from Karachi to Peshawar. Even thereafter, many domes and minarets/steeples of other religious groups will attract the mulla’s attention, as his appetite for mischief and unrest is unrestricted. He can always invent and rattle new issues.

 

The endless mischief and hurt – in the capital of the Punjab

The Mughalpura mosque:     The SHO Police Station Mughalpura sent for the secretary of the local Ahmadiyya community on June 1, 2012 and told him that the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (perhaps the banned SSP) sent him an application against the Kalima written on the Ahmadiyya mosque. He told the secretary to remove the Kalima, but the secretary told him that Ahmadis would do no such thing.

In the evening the SHO telephoned the president of the Ahmadi community and told him that the police would arrive at the mosque at 02:30 in the night, and he should have men available to efface the Kalima. (The time given is noteworthy.) The president conveyed his inability to comply with the SHO’s orders. The SHO threatened him with registration of a criminal case. “Do what you like,” the president replied.

The SHO came over at night, but went back without taking any action.

The issue remained dormant for next few weeks, but was reviewed in September. A group of approximately 30 mullas and miscreants came over to the mosque on September 19, 2012 at 9 p.m. on motorcycles. They brought with them a ladder and a hammer. They knocked at the door of the mosque but no one opened the gate for them. They placed the ladder against the main gate, climbed over it and started removing the Kalima and attributes of God written on the wall. They were told to stop. They replied that they were constables and the police had told them to do so. Ahmadi youths on duty firmly told them that they would not allow any civilian do it. At this the miscreants retreated.

Police in civvies is covering the Kalima from Ahmadiyya mosque in Mughalpura, Lahore

 

However, a few days later, the police told Ahmadis to remove the Kalima. They were told again that Ahmadis could never consider undertaking such desecration. Thereafter, on September 23, 2012 the police came to the mosque and covered the Islamic creed (Kalima) with black steel plates. The police action in the Mughalpura Ahmadiyya mosque is still another serious violation of Ahmadis’ freedom of religion.

 

Desecration of another Ahmadiyya mosque

Mitha Tiwana, District Khushab; September 13, 2012:       A police inspector came with his contingent to the local Ahmadiyya mosque on September 13, 2012 and told the Ahmadiyya administration that two mullas Athar Hussain Shah and Shamsul Aarfain Hamdani of Quaidabad had filed an application against Rana Nasir Ahmad, the president of local Ahmadiyya community and Rana Nasrullah that Ahmadis had built minaret and a niche in their mosque and written the Kalima in violation of Pakistani law. (In fact the law does not specify this as violation.)  He inspected the mosque and went back. He told Ahamdis to come to the police station on September 15, 2012. The Ahmadiyya delegation went there accompanied by a number of non-Ahmadi sympathizers who were willing to state that they had no objection to Islamic inscriptions and minarets in the Ahmadiyya mosque. The investigation officer was not present at the given time so the delegation had to return. On their way back they met the investigation officer who took the statements of five non-Ahmadi locals and asked them to come again the next day to have their statements recorded.

The Ahmadiyya community representatives met higher officials to explain this position. The SHO called Rana Nasrullah to the police station on September 16, 2012. He recorded Rana’s statement and gave the decision that in order to control the situation and to stop the mischief the police will remove the Kalima from the Ahmadiyya mosque.

The police arrived there at 8 p.m. and removed the Kalima from the Ahmadiyya mosque and took away the plate with them.

Encouraged by the pliant attitude of authorities the mullas have now started inciting the people and move the authorities to confiscate the Ahmadiyya mosque in village Chak 2/TDA.

The land for this mosque was granted by the government in 1950 when this barren area was being colonized. Ahmadis built their mosque on it and it has been in their use since then. The mulla now argues that the land was then given to Ahmadis to build a mosque, but now that Ahmadis have been declared non-Muslims, the land and the mosque belong to ‘Muslims’. He agitates the locals to take over the land. He received little support in his campaign.

Athar Hussain moved the session’s court with the plea to hand over the mosque and the land to the Muslims and register a case against four Ahmadis namely Rana Nasrulla, Rana Suhail Ahmad, Mr. Mubarak Ahmad and Rana Rafiq Ahmad of the said village.

This mulla was the instigator of a riot in Takht Hazara in November 2000 where five Ahmadis were killed. He has now been posted in District Khushab by his employers. He has already succeeded in compelling the police to remove the Kalima from this very mosque on September 16, 2012.

The two mullas who are behind this mischief are very active in this district against Ahmadis. They threatened an Ahmadi shopkeeper to remove the names of Allah and Muhammad (PBUH) from his shop. He did not comply, so they spray-painted these holy names during dark hours when the shop was closed.

The incident is indicative of the policy of higher political and administrative authorities in the Punjab to go to great lengths to comply with mullas’ wishes.

 

Ahmadi dead denied peace in death – in the capital of the Punjab

120 graves vandalized in posh Model Town, Lahore

Lahore; December, 2012:  Approximately 120 tombstones were vandalized by 10 to 15 armed men wearing masks at about 02:30 on December 2, 2012 at the Ahmadiyya graveyard located not far from the family home of the Sharif brothers.

The trouble started in August this year. Rana Tufail, resident of Ravi Road, is self-styled consultant to the Tahaffuz Namoos Rasool Lawyers Group and an anti-Ahmadi fanatic. He complained to the Police Station Liaqat Abad in writing that Islamic inscriptions were written on the gravestones of Ahmadis in their cemetery in Model Town. He supported it with photos of the gravestones, and asked that a case be registered against Mr. Tahir Ahmad Kashif (the Ahmadiyya missionary there), Mr. Muzaffar Ahmad Qureshi (supervisor of the cemetery) and two unknown Ahmadis.

Rana Tufail is the same person who previously applied to the authorities to remove Islamic inscriptions from an Ahmadiyya mosque in Sultan Pura, Lahore. He was greatly encouraged when the police not only removed Islamic inscriptions from the mosque but also demolished the minarets of that mosque in May 2012.

The police called the Ahmadiyya administration to explain. It is learnt that Rana Tufail approached a court which ordered the police to register a criminal case against Ahmadis. The judge sought a report from the police

Approximately 30 mullas accompanied by a few lawyers called on the SHO Liaqat Abad in October 2012 and demanded that an FIR be registered concerning the Ahmadiyya graveyard in Model Town. The mullas referred to the court order which was open to interpretation. The mullas had the audacity to remind the police of the ‘fate’ of Governor Salman Taseer.

The SHO sent for the president of the Model Town Ahmadiyya community and told him to either remove the tombstones or seek a stay order from the court. Later the DSP repeated the same demand. Both options were outside the law, in Ahmadis’ opinion. Ahmadis, of course, would not undertake defiling of the holy inscriptions, police were told that.

The mullas fomenting the trouble were led by imam (prayer leader) of Jamia Muhammadiya Rizwia in Khan Colony that is located in the back of the graveyard.

Eventually the mullas took the law in their own hand and indulged in attack, sacrilege and loot on December 2, 2012. The vandals tied up the grave-digger, his family and the lone security guard, roughed them up and moved fast to defile the headstones with the heavy tools they brought along.

The guard had succeeded in telephoning the police before his capture. The whole vandalism episode lasted for about 35 minutes. The vandals ran away on arrival of the police. They took away the security guard’s rifle with them, as also a cell-phone and some money of the duty personnel. No arrests were made.

The policemen casually took brief statements from the roughed up staff and went back to rest. The next day when contacted by a press reporter the SHO of Liaquatabad police station told him that he was not aware of any such incident.

Earlier, activists of Khatme Nabuwwat Lawyers Forum had approached Liaquatabad police station seeking removal of Islamic inscriptions from tombstones at this graveyard. The case was under police and judicial process.

Such cases had occurred in the recent past in the Punjab in District Lodhran, District Hafizabad, and also in Jaranwala, District Faisalabad where the police not only broke up the headstones but also took away the pieces – only to placate the mullas.

The Ahmadiyya Community spokesperson said, “The administration has entirely failed in protecting Ahmadis’ human rights granted in Article 20 of the Constitution. Ahmadis’ lives and property are not safe; this treatment of their dead is an insult to humanity.”

The HRCP Chairperson Zohra Yusuf stated, “This is an unmistakable act of intimidation and escalation in the campaign of hate and violence against the Ahmadi community. … The message the attackers wanted to convey was simple: that they could act with impunity and without fear of any repercussions if Ahmadis were at the receiving end. If the authorities want to send a different message, the time to act is now.”

“Even in a country where unspeakable violence is inflicted on the living as a matter of course, the visceral hatred evident in Monday’s attack on an Ahmadi graveyard in Lahore is chilling,” commented DAWN.COM.


Further post-event developments shed very unpleasant light on the role of the police in this deplorable incident. From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. that day no police official contacted the Ahmadiyya community officials. At 6 p.m. a community delegation visited the police station Liaquat Abad and requested the SHO to register an FIR with the Ahmadi security guard at the graveyard as the complainant. The SHO refused to do that and said that he was not aware of any such incident, nor had he received any call on 15. This, of course, was not true. He, however, told the delegation that he would first send the Addl SHO to visit the site.

Later, the delegation was told to come to the police station at 8 p.m. On arrival the delegation found the SHO acting more hostile and negative than even before. He declared that he would ‘interrogate’ the grave-digger and the guard further before making a decision about the FIR. He said, “You people have done little in the issue raised by the Khatme Nabuwwat faction. They have waited long enough.” He was told that the progress on the mullas’ complaint should not be linked to this incident. “Does the registration of an FIR against Ahmadis authorize the mullas to attack the Ahmadiyya graveyard?” asked the delegation.

After dark, the SHO, in company of three policemen, visited the graveyard and apparently started counting the graves. On arrival at a corner, he exclaimed, “What is lying here?”  Lo and behold, it was the same rifle that the attackers had taken away when they fled after the attack. It should be mentioned that all along the day Ahmadis had visited the vandalized site, and some additional duty personnel were also there, but this rifle was not found there. Only after dark, the SHO discovered it lying there.

The SHO said that he would register the FIR on condition that Ahmadis do not mention the loss of the cell-phone and money therein. He also, for no valid reason, noted down the names, parentages, addresses and phone numbers of the youth on guard duty in the graveyard during his visit. The FIR was eventually registered almost 24 hours after the incident occurred although prima facie the commission of the crime and first information was obvious and available. All this makes his and the police’s role very suspicious in the entire episode.

Lahore is the same city where two years ago, 86 Ahmadis were gunned down by terrorists in two mosques, while the police waited outside till the attackers ran out of ammunition or were captured by the worshippers.

The provincial government that looks the other way to huge banners on Chauburjee in central Lahore on which the banned Jamaat Dawa exhorts: JIHAD – AN OBLIGATION NOW OR NEVER (photo placed below)  sends a clear message to its law-enforcing agencies to care little  for a marginalized community if threatened by religious bigots and bullies.

Tailpiece – Those who took notice and those who decided to ignore: Some notables condemned this incident forthrightly. These included, for example, Mr. Altaf Hussain, Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Ambassador Sherry Rehman, Senator Pervez Rashid, Ms Sharmila Farooqi of Sindh, and Mr. Jehangir Tareen of TIP. From the media Ms. Nasim Zehra, Mr. Abbas Nasir, Mr. Raza Rumi, Ms. Huma Yusuf, Ms. Saba Eitzaz, Ms. Gulmina Bilal Ahmad and Mr. Mushtaq Minhas wrote articles, op-eds or expressed disgust over this outrage. The English press, for example, The Express Tribune, The News, The Dawn, The Daily News and Pakistan Today reported it as a news item, and denounced this barbarism. TV channels GEO, EXPRESS reported the incident. The BBC provided good coverage. A well-worded op-ed on this incident, written by Huma Yousaf was placed on the Internet in blogs.nytimes.com of New York Times on December 6, 2012. It sums up well its lead ‘ahmadis-a-special-target-of-discrimination-in-Pakistan/..”. Apart from these decent individuals and outlets, a large majority of the leaders of the society in the country decided to ignore this savagery and sought comfort in keeping quiet. The vernacular press, barring a few exceptions, took no notice and expressed no opinion. The daily Ummat (Urdu) of Karachi however took note and published an article with the title: Qadianis indulge in theatrics to escape legal action.

 

Police remove religious inscriptions from Ahmadis’ graves

Mangat Uncha, District Hafiz Abad; August 17, 2012:        A police inspector came to visit the Ahmadiyya graveyard and asked Ahmadis as to why they did not remove the Islamic inscriptions from the gravestones? Ahmadis told him that they would neither remove them nor would allow any non-official to do that, they would however not resist the police doing that sacrilege in uniform. The inspector came at 6 p.m. with some constables in trail and covered the inscriptions with black paint.

The daily The Express Tribune published this story on August 18, 2012, (some extracts):

“Faisalabad: A heavy contingent on Friday, on the demand of a banned organization, removed Quranic verses and religious texts written on tombstones of Ahamdi graves to save the area from clashes on religious grounds.

Calling it a positive achievement, the SHO claimed that no case had been filed against the act as it was meant to save the locality from clashes.

Secretary Amoor-e-Aama (Public Affairs), Jamaat Ahmadiyya Faisalabad, Syed Mahmood Ahmad Shah, however, criticized the action and said that the persecution of Ahmadis was wrong and may lead to increased hatred between the two communities.

There are about 150 Ahmadi graves located in the graveyard while about 35 graves of Muslims are also found there.”

The BBC Urdu spread the story on August 19, 2012. It included the version attributed to the police that Ahmadis had themselves painted the inscriptions white and had informed the police. This was a lie. Ahmadis would never defile pious inscriptions. The BBC report also mentions that earlier the town administration and the police jointly demolished the minarets of an Ahmadiyya mosque in Kharian, Punjab.

 

Ahmadiyya cemetery desecrated

Jaranwala, District Faisalabad; September 4, 2012:            Opposition to Ahmadis has been on the rise here for some time. They applied to the local police to remove Islamic inscriptions from the gravestones of Ahmadis in their cemetery. Ahmadis told the police that they would not do it themselves nor allow any civilian to do it, however if the police decide to do it, they will not resist. The police insisted but Ahmadis did not comply with these orders that were in grotesque violation of their freedom of religion.

 

Police desecrated Ahmadiyya cemetery in Jaranwala, District Faisalabad

 

The police came to the site on September 4, 2012 well after darkness had set in. They demolished the 23 gravestones and took away the pieces. Mr. Sajid Farooqi, Chairman of Jaranwala Peace Committee and Khadim Nadeem Qadri a Khatme Nabuwwat leader actively backed this profane undertaking.

 

Hostile move in District Faisalabad

Lathianwala, Faisalabad; March 10, 2012:   The local Ahmadiyya community took permission from the Deputy Superintendent of Police to wall the local Ahmadiyya cemetery. Ahmadis started constructing it on March 10, 2012 when Javed Jutt, the president of the local chapter of Sunni Tahrik arrived at the spot and called the police. The SHO came to the site with a heavy contingent and ordered the work to be stopped.

 

Police violate the law

Kot Abdul Malik, District Sheikhupura; December 9, 2012: The police along with a group of anti-Ahmadi agitators covered up Quranic verses with black paint at 4:45 p.m. from a shop owned by Mr. Abdul Ghaffar, an Ahmadi.

A procession of approximately 200 vigilantes accompanied by a few policemen proceeded to the shop of Mr. Abdul Ghaffar. There (as per plan) they demanded that Quranic verses written there should be erased. Accordingly the policemen sprayed black paint over the verses (translation): “Allah is the best of providers” and “O, the Living; O, All Sustaining.” The police committed the same sacrilege three months ago at the shop of Mr. Qamar-uz-Zia in this very neighbourhood.

Prima facie, this incident is a clear violation of PPC 295 and 153-A. Had non-Muslims committed an identical outrage, they would have been booked under not only these clauses but also PPC 295-C the blasphemy law, the penalty for whose violation is death.

 

Desecration of Islamic creed by the police

Chak no. 105, District Faisalabad; June 4, 2012:    Kalima (Islamic creed) was written in the house of an Ahmadi living in Chak no. 105 GB, Bangay, district Faisalabad. The mullas objected to it. They put pressure on the police to remove the Kalima from the Ahmadi’s house. The Superintendent of the Police came to Mr. Ahmad’s house and told him to remove the Kalima by the morning. Mr. Ahmad conveyed him his inability to defile the Kalima. The SP called the SHO of the police station, and broke the tiles on which the Kalima was written, with his own hands.

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