Baseless accusation against Ahmadis in Lahore
Shareef Pura; July 2013: Deputy Superintendent Police of Baghbanpura came over to the Ahmadiyya centre on August 27, 2013 and arrested three Ahmadis there, Mr. Allah Rakha, Mr. Muhammad Asif Munir and Mr. Mir Ahmad. He locked the Ahmadiyya mosque and took the key with him to the police station. When Ahmadi delegation reached the police station, they found a number of non-Ahmadis and political workers gathered there. They were insisting that Ahmadis may use that building for residence but not for congregational prayers. The DSP parroted the same demand and told Ahmadis to comply. He made the parties sign an agreement, and then released the three detained Ahmadis.
A parting present of year 2013 – three Ahmadis booked, one arrested
Rajanpur; December 31, 2013: Three brothers, all leading members of the district Ahmadiyya community, were booked in Police Station Rajanpur City under the anti-Ahmadi law PPC 298-C with FIR no. 653/13 on a fabricated complaint of the police itself. One of the accused, Mr. Sharif Ahmad, aged 70, was arrested.
It is learnt that three Ahmadis namely Mr. Nasir Ahmad Qamar the District Amir Jamaat, Mr. Laeeq Ahmad president of the city Jamaat, and Mr. Sharif Ahmad were accused by the police of distributing a pamphlet at Hamza Chowk (road crossing), Rajanpur. Surely, the three Ahmadi brothers these days would not venture to do that in a public square. The police booked the Ahmadi elders and nabbed one, Mr. Sharif Ahmad. They are searching for the other two.
The police normally insist that a private citizen initiate such a report. The fact that the police itself initiated this fabrication is notably freakish and bizzare.
Corrupt police officials co-ordinate action with religious bullies in Lahore
Sandah Road, Lahore; January 15, 2013: An unknown man came to an Ahmadi Mr. Ali Mahmood Shah’s medical store. He posed to be an Ahmadi and tried to get some information about the local Ahmadiyya mosque and asked Mr. Shah to introduce him to the president of the local Ahmadiyya community. When Mr. Shah asked him a few questions, he left the shop on excuse of visiting a loo. He would come back in a while, he said.
Ten minutes later the police arrived at the shop and accused Mr. Shah of selling poisonous medicines. Mr. Shah explained to them that he was a qualified license-holder pharmacist and offered them to inspect his stock. The policemen paid no attention to his plea and insisted that he accompany them to the police station. At this Mr. Shah telephoned for someone’s help in the police department to defuse the situation.
Eventually the policemen told him that they had received a phone call on 15 (emergency number) that poisonous medicines were being sold at his store. “We shall come back after the investigation,” they said on departure. They did not return.
Mr. Shah was greatly disturbed. He was advised to exercise caution.
Police on beck and call of petty mullas in Lahore
Garhi Shahu, Lahore; December 19, 2013: The police from P.S. Race Course came to Bilal Homeopathic Dispensary at about noon. Its owner and most of the workers are Ahmadis. The police told the staff that a mulla Hasan Muawiya (Tooti) had filed an application stating that this dispensary is owned by Ahmadis and they have written Quranic verses inside it and they also distributed pamphlets to the visiting public.
The police searched the clinic thoroughly but did not find anything objectionable. They, however, while leaving told the staff to remove the writing, ‘Huwa Shafi’ (Allah is the One who heals) from the main board outside the clinic.
Police commits religious bigotry in Lahore
Lahore; January 1, 2013: Mulla Imran lodged an application with the police against Mr. Abid Naseem Chughtai, Ahmadi, demanding removal of a marble plate from his residence, as on it attributive names of Allah were written. He made a video of the plate and presented it along with a few photographs as evidence to the police. The police directed that the plate should be removed. This was refused. So the SHO came to Mr. Chughtai’s house, removed the plate from there and took it away with him.
It should be mentioned that Mr. Chughtai faced religious discrimination at his work place in December 2012 too. He was also implicated in a fabricated police case.
A meeting with Home Secretary of the Government of the Punjab
Lahore; March 2013: A high level office-bearer of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan requested a meeting with the Home Secretary who was considerate enough to spare time. The meeting took place in Lahore and the former presented to the Secretary a brief on anti-Ahmadi events that occurred in Lahore during the last six months. The gist of most of what was said was put down briefly in writing. Its English translation is produced below:
Directorate of General Affairs
Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Pakistan, Rabwah
The Home Secretary Punjab, Lahore
Subject: Anti-Ahmadi activities in Lahore
Sir, during the last few months there has been a dangerous escalation in the activities of anti-Ahmadi elements in Lahore, the capital of the Punjab. Initially they effaced the Kalima from Ahmadi places of worship, they demolished the minarets, and now they are targeting Ahmadis’ homes and places of business from where they are effacing religious inscriptions. They even obstruct Ahmadis undertaking animal sacrifices. Likewise, they now interfere in last rites of Ahmadi dead. Ahmadis are implicated in fabricated police cases. All this is undertaken by a particular group who operate hand in glove with police who indulge in actions beyond the law.
Apart from the above, people are inflamed against Ahmadis in anti-Ahmadi rallies where provocative literature is also distributed that calls for extreme action against Ahmadis calling them Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed). All this is happening in the capital of the largest province of Pakistan. A report on some such incidents of the past six months is attached for perusal.
As Pakistani citizen, an Ahmadi’s life and property should be protected by the authorities like that of all other citizens. We have requested repeatedly in the past the competent authorities to take note of anti-Ahmadi activities, but unfortunately without any visible result. This has encouraged the above mentioned elements to further action. The administration and the police support them to the hilt.
The above is submitted for appropriate action.
With best wishes,
Director General Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar), District Chiniot
Punjab Police desecrates another Ahmadiyya mosque
Sheikhupura; June 26, 2013: Two policemen and one man in civvies came to the main Ahmadiyya mosque and told the management that Maulvi Manzoor Vattoo had filed an application against the Kalima (Islamic creed) written outside the Ahmadiyya mosque and demanded its removal.
The management told the visitors that it was not Ahmadiyya practice to remove the Kalima nor would they allow private parties do so.
Thereafter four officials of the CID department visited the site in the evening and repeated the mulla’s demand. They were given the same reply.
Then at about 10:30 p.m. the police arrived in two vans, led by a DSP. An inspector and four constables came to the mosque gate, climbed a ladder and effaced the Kalima, as demanded by the cleric.
Desecration of Ahmadiyya mosques by state authorities – a press report
… It is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order … wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality
Constitution of Pakistan, Preamble
The right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or faith includes the following:
- To worship or assemble in accordance with a religion and belief and to establish and maintain places for these purposes.
Article 6 of the United Nations Resolution 365/55 of 25 November, 1981
Sialkot: The police moved in shameless compliance mode to the demand of extremist mullas, against the peaceful Ahmadiyya community in this city. The daily The Express Tribune published the following detailed report on this subject in its issue of September 23, 2013:
Ahmadi Persecution: Police bow to clerics to tear down minarets
Group demands further demolitions at Ahmadi places of worship
By Rana Tanveer Published: September 23, 2013
Lahore: Police demolished minarets at an Ahmadi place of worship in Sialkot on Saturday, after a group of protesters threatened to do so themselves, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The police approached the community on Friday after a local cleric complained that three worship places for Ahmadis had features that resembled mosques, namely minarets and verses from the Quran written on the walls.
The minarets and verses were covered up, apparently to the police’s satisfaction, but a baying mob gathered at one worship place the next day and demanded that the minarets be torn down. The police did so. The group of protesters is now demanding that similar action be taken against two other worship places within a couple of days.
The cleric whose complaint led to the action told The Express Tribune that he had approached the police after he attended a Khatm-i-Nabuwwat Conference on September 7, marking the anniversary of the passage of anti-Ahmadi laws, where a speaker said that Ahmadis were not allowed to build minarets or use verses from the Quran at their places of worship.
Sections 298-B and 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code outlaw Ahmadis from calling their place of worship a masjid, claiming to be Muslims or preaching their faith to others.
Sialkot City Circle DSP Hamid Mukhtar, who led the police operation, said that the complaint had been filed by Abdul Hameed Chishti, a local cleric belonging to Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan, who had demanded the removal of the minarets, verses and Kalima at three worship places.
Advocate Parvaiz Cheema, spokesman for the Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya Sialkot, said that they met with several police officers and district government officials and discussed the matter. They then visited the three worship places on Friday evening.
At the Baitul Zikr Ahmadiyya in Sialkot Cantt, two two-foot high minarets at the entrance were hidden from view through the erection of a wall around them. At the main Ahmadi worship place in Sialkot, known as Kabutranwali Ibadatgah, the police were shown where Quranic verses and the name of the place – containing the term ‘masjid’ – had been painted over in the 1980s. The police, said Cheema, had objected that the paint was wearing off, so a fresh coat of white cement was applied. Two small minarets were also covered with cement.
At the Baitul Zikr Mubarik, they also covered the Kalima and Quranic verses with white cement. Cheema said that the police and district government officials had expressed satisfaction that the complaint had been addressed.
But on Saturday, a rally led by former Azad Jammu and Kashmir minister of religious affairs Sahibzada Hamid Raza stopped at Kabutranwali Ibadatgah and demanded that the minarets, covered by cement, be razed. They warned that they would do so themselves if they had to. The police complied with their demand.
DSP Mukhtar said that Hamid Raza and Chishti had led the rally at which hateful and provocative speeches against Ahmadis were delivered. He said that a report had been sent to high-ups and they would decide whether to take any action in this regard.
Cheema said that the protesters had been highly abusive of Ahmadis and their faith and this constituted hate speech. He said Sialkot was one of the biggest cities in the country for the Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya, which had 100 administrative units and a similar number of worship places in the district. He expressed concern that these other places of worship would also come under attack.
Fear and loathing
Chishti, the complainant in the case, told The Express Tribune that they had identified minarets at two other Ahmadi worship places in Sialkot that must be demolished. He said that they had set a deadline of Tuesday for the demolition, failing which they would take matters into their own hands. He said Ahmadis should be grateful that Muslims were allowing them to live in their country, so they should live their lives as Muslims wanted.
He said that local Muslims had known that the minarets and verses at Ahmadi worship places were many years old, but at a Khatm-i-Nabuwwat conference in Sialkot on September 7, they had learned that this was illegal. That was why they had acted, he said.
Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya Pakistan spokesman Saleemuddin said that the action in Sialkot was a direct result of the anti-Ahmadi conferences that were held in September. “The police have a responsibility to protect Ahmadis instead of subjecting them to discrimination to appease clerics and bow to their demands,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23, 2013
Minarets no longer there and the Kalima blackened out on Ahmadiyya central mosque
The police that is employed and paid to enforce the law, instead acted blatantly to violate the law; in this they, of course, enjoyed full support of their departmental and political superiors at the highest level who were also guilty under the provisions of the following clause of the Pakistan Penal Code:
PPC-295. Injuring or defiling places of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class. Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion or any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Still more Ahmadiyya mosques defiled and damaged by state officials
The activists of Jamaat Islami in collaboration with the Khatme Nabuwwat organization saw in this an opportunity for mischief. They filed an application in the local police station against the construction of the new Ahmadiyya mosque. The administration was prompt in its response to bigots. A team of security and intelligence personnel visited the site on September 6. Thereafter the police gave orders to stop the construction. The SHO came to the site the next day and expressed his resolve to support the mullas in demolishing the Ahmadiyya mosque. He came again and ordered accordingly. Ahmadis tried hard to save their mosque and contacted higher officials.Hameedabad, District Bahawalpur; September 2013: Ahmadiyya mosque here was in a dilapidated state and needed extensive repairs. The president of the Ahmadiyya community thought it appropriate to build a new mosque on his own land to avoid any trouble.
Ahmadis could not succeed in saving their mosque. The SHO, DSP and the local revenue official came to the site with their team on September 24 and demolished the niche and doors of the mosque under construction. This was entirely illegal as the law does not prohibit Ahmadis having minarets and niches in their places of worship.
The police visited again on November 10 and demolished the niche of the old Ahmadiyya mosque as well. As the inferno of bigots’ desires ever demands more, they demanded that a criminal case should also be registered against Ahmadi elders under Ahmadi-specific laws. Ahmadis approached local political leaders and succeeded in getting the mullas’ sham application thrown in dust bin.
Desecration of Islamic creed by the police
Jalya Wala, 367 JB, District Toba Tek Singh; March 9, 2013: Some men came to the local Ahmadiyya mosque and demanded removal of the Kalima written on the mosque. Ahmadis refused to comply. Later they arrived in company of a constable who directed Ahmadis to remove the Kalima. Afterwards the same constable telephoned and told Ahmadis to report to the police station on 25 February. There the Ahmadi delegation explained their position to the SHO and persuaded him not to remove the Kalima. A few days later the mullas used their old but effective tactic and took out a procession and put pressure on the police to remove the Kalima from the Ahmadiyya mosque. The police yielded to their pressure and covered the Kalima written in the courtyard and on the outer wall of the Ahmadiyya mosque with black paint.
Barred from congregational prayers
Pasroor, District Sialkot; May 31, 2013: Ahmadis offer their congregational Friday prayers at the residence of the local missionary as they do not have their own mosque. A police inspector arrived there when Ahmadis were offering their Friday prayers. He told Ahmadis not to offer their prayers there. Ahmadis explained him their position. At this the inspector demanded an NOC for offering Friday prayers there. He was told that there is no need of an NOC for offering Friday prayers; others are also offering their Friday prayers without obtaining any permission. The inspector said, “They are offering the prayers in the mosques and you are offering it in a house, so you need permission. I am constrained to convey this in view of the law and order situation.”
Ahmadis met the higher police official to help, but he told Ahmadis not to say their Friday prayers until he had spoken to the mullas.
The authorities do not allow Ahmadis to build a place for worship, nor do they allow them to pray at home. This is the freedom of worship – Punjab style. The Punjab is ruled by Mian Brothers who now complain of terrorism.
After overwhelming the civil administration, the mullas now find it easy to frighten the soldiers – in District Rawalpindi
Wah Cantt: Last year, the mullas in Rawalpindi managed to seize the administration’s support to deny Ahmadis the right of congregational worship in the Ahmadiyya Ewan-i-Tauheed in Rawalpindi. Encouraged by their success, they turned on the heat against the Ahmadiyya mosque in the nearby Wah Cantonment where the town is under the control of army authorities.
The mullas demanded that the niche in the Ahmadiyya worship place be demolished. They approached the local station commander (a brigadier) and found it easy to convince him of their position. It can be assumed that a copy of their written application was sent to even a higher local authority.
The station commander sent for the Ahmadis to explain. The Ahmadi delegation informed him that their mosque including its niche was constructed in 1976, much before the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadi Ordinance. They showed him the official documents of the lease of the land, the construction plan etc. The official, however, refused to show any inclination to uphold their right to religious freedom and told them to demolish the niche or be ready for the consequences.
|Anti-Ahmadiyya banner in Wah Cantt|
The mullas turned to their routine tactics which are often successful. They indulged in hateful sectarian campaign and put up anti-Ahmadi banners in the town with the following exhortations:
- O Qadianis: Do not injure Muslims’ feelings by building niches in your worship places – Khatme Nabuwwat: Long live.
- Muslims are ready to sacrifice all on the altar of Khatme Nabuwwat of the Holy Prophet.
- Qadianis are enemies of both Islam and Pakistan.
- The Mirzais in Wah Cantt have constructed a niche in their worship place; it is violation of Pakistani law.
In fact there is no law that forbids Ahmadis building a niche in their place of worship. Also, there is no mention in the Quran or Hadith that a mosque must have a niche, nor is there a commandment for Muslims to deny others building a niche. The mullas’ agitation over this issue is only a pressure tactic to assert their religious, social and political power. Having lost their battle in Swat, they are carrying out their campaign for supremacy by other means.
The army authorities in Wah Cantt find it convenient to yield to the mulla on an issue that hurts only a small community. Khalid Ahmad of the daily the Express Tribune is perhaps right in concluding: “Only Muslims and men can live in this country.” (The Express Tribune, Lahore; February 13, 2012) This also reminds one of the Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan who said last year, “Bells of justice to ring without discrimination.” (The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 26, 2012)
Authorities target still another Ahmadiyya mosque
Chak no. 107 RB Sharqi, District Faisalabad; June 14, 2013: The police came to this village and forbade local Ahmadis to proceed with the construction of their mosque. The mosque was being built inside an Ahmadi’s residence and was near completion. The president of the local Ahmadiyya community, Mr. Munawwar Ahmad was called to the police station. He went there along with a few Ahmadis. The DSP and the SHO were present at the police station. They pressurized Ahmadis and obtained an undertaking from them that they would demolish the mosque by June 16.
Ahmadis tried to resolve this matter peacefully. It is noteworthy that the authorities do not allow Ahmadis to construct a place of worship. They order them to demolish the under construction mosques, and they help the miscreants to attack locations where Ahmadi assemble for worship, and book them en-masse for alleged violation of laws. This unfortunately is the reality of freedom of worship in Pakistan – for Ahmadis.
Another Ahmadiyya mosque sealed by the authorities
Fatehpur, District Gujrat; July 2013: An Ahmadiyya mosque has been sealed here by authorities. This is the 29th mosque in this series. This fact could perhaps go in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The mosque is located in a farmland owned by Ahmadis for more than 20 years. Its management is with Ahmadis. Ahmadis allowed their non-Ahmadi kins to pray in the same mosque. So it was in common use.
Recently, Ahmadis transferred the mosque’s ownership to Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. The non-Ahmadis did not like that, although the transfer did not affect their practice of worship. They conspired to make it a big issue and resolved to take over the mosque by force. The Daulat Nagar police found an easy way out. They sealed the mosque.
The Express Tribune, Lahore filed a detailed report on this issue on July 31, 2013 and gave it the headline:
Lahore: Ahmadis in Fatehpur, Gujrat district, have been banished from their place of worship in Ramazan and fear that they will be deprived of the property by the local government and clerics.
The Ahmedis filed a complaint with the police for the registration of an FIR against the assailants. The police did not register a case, nor heeded their request for protection. Instead, they sealed the place of worship, which is located on a four-marla plot, “because of concerns of a clash,” Dolatnagar SHO Riaz Qadir told The Express Tribune. He said that previously, both Sunnis and Ahmedis had prayed there.
The SHO said that he had seen the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya’s ownership document for a four-marla property within that eight-kanal parcel, but the document did not specify where exactly within that eight kanals the four-marla property was located.
Asked why no assault case had been registered on the Ahmedis’ complaint after members of the community were beaten up and thrown out of the place of worship on the first day of Ramazan, the SHO said that since no blood had been spilt, there could be no FIR.
He (the vice president of the so-called Peace and Harmony Committee) said that the four-marla property appeared to have been transferred to the Jamat-i-Ahmadiya by the patwari “by mistake”. He added that he was hopeful the dispute would be resolved and the property “would be given to Muslims”.
“The Jamat-i-Ahmadiya has ownership documents for the property,” he (an Ahmadi) said. “It is the responsibility of the police and the state to follow the law in settling the matter.”
Freedom of worship denied
Shareef Pura, District Lahore; July 2013: Ahmadis remained under pressure of local non-Ahmadis to stop praying in their own local place of worship. They approached the notables of the area to put pressure on Ahmadis. They planned to hold anti-Ahmadiyya conference and take out a procession thereafter.
Deputy Superintendent Police of Baghbanpura came over to the Ahmadiyya centre on August 27, 2013 and arrested three Ahmadis there, Mr. Allah Rakha, Mr. Muhammad Asif Munir and Mr. Mir Ahmad. He locked the Ahmadiyya mosque and took the key with him to the police station. When Ahmadi delegation reached the police station, they found a number of non-Ahmadis and political workers gathered there. They were insisting that Ahmadis may use that building for residence but not for congregational prayers. The DSP parroted the same demand and told Ahmadis to comply. He made the parties sign an agreement, and then released the three detained Ahmadis.
Agitation over minarets of an Ahmadiyya mosque
Village 312/JB, Tehsil Gojra, District Toba Tek Singh; July – September 2013: Mullas led anti-Ahmadiyya agitation in Gojra. They demanded that the minarets of the Ahmadiyya mosque in the nearby village be demolished. The authorities found it convenient to appease them.
The Assistant Commissioner (AC) ordered the minarets to be covered. A bizarre order, but it had to be obeyed. So the Ahmadis covered these and reported the fact to the AC on July 22. The DSP and SHO came to inspect them. However the mullas were not satisfied. They took out a procession two days later. The AC promised the miscreants something and they dispersed. Another meeting was called for July 25.
At the meeting, on arrival, the Ahmadi delegation found 20 mullas packing the venue, while approximately 50 clerics had assembled outside as pressure group. The meeting was nothing but a one-way dialogue in which Ahmadis were told to do what the mullas wanted. The officials only echoed the mullas’ demands. Ahmadis attempted appropriately to say their bit but the AC was not prepared to listen to them, he seemed to care only for law and order (and his career). Human rights and Freedom of religious practice were no issues with him. He gave Ahmadis 15 days to demolish part of their place of worship.
Later, an Ahmadi delegation called on the DCO. She heard the Ahmadiyya position patiently and conveyed that she would attempt a solution in consultation with Gojra administration.
Later on, a few officials of the TMA, the police and two engineers visited the site and assessed the construction situation.
In these circumstances Ahmadis could do little except pray. The mullas, supported by the Jamaat Islami, Jamaat Ahle Hadith and some business leaders etc declared a strike for August 22, and threatened further action (The daily Aman; August 16, 2013).
The administration imposed Section 144 in the village on August 21 and 22. This prevented the procession that could have precipitated trouble. Mr. Khalid Javed Waraich MNA intervened and asked for a statement from both parties to submit to laws. “The administration will hear both sides, and will then take further action,” he said.
It is relevant to mention that this mosque was built in 1960s. It was reconstructed in 1996. It always had its minarets. No one objected to them till January this year. Even then the locals have no objection against them. The law says nothing about minarets on an Ahmadiyya place of worship. The agitation is baseless and a fabricated sectarian mischief.
The local MNA, Mr. Khalid Javed Warraich decided to intervene and gave his verdict in favour of mullas. The Ahmadis protested and he threatened them with ‘consequences’.
It is learnt that subsequently there was a meeting at provincial level between the Punjab law minister and high police and administration officials.
The administration continued to press Ahmadis to destroy the minarets of their mosque. Ahmadis have declined to undertake this gross sacrilege.
Eventually Ahmadis had to cover up fully the minarets with sheets. The village looks uglier but that is what the mullas and the administration are content with. And whither freedom of religion promised in the constitution of this Land of the Pure!
Ahmadis disallowed to congregate for Eid prayer in Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi: Ahmadis asked the administration’s permission to assemble for Eid congregational prayer in their center Aiwan-e-Tauheed in Rawalpindi. Unabashedly the administration denied once again the right of worship to them. The daily The Express Tribune reported the following in its issue of August 12, 2013 (extracts):
Offering Eid prayers; Not a given for everyone
Just a day before Eidul Fitr, the streets leading to Aiwan-e-Tawheed – the central place of worship of Ahmadis residing in Rawalpindi – in Satellite Town was once again filled with banners cautioning residents about ‘unconstitutional activities’ of members of the area’s Ahmadiyya community.
The banners were placed following an attempt by the worship place’s administration to get permission from the city administration for offering Eid prayers at their worship centre, which has been closed for two years.
Even though the city administration denied permission on the pretext of the move fomenting a law and order situation, it provided a local traders’ action committee – affiliated with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz – with an opportunity to launch a fresh wave of hatred against the community.
This was the second year running that Ahmadis were barred from offering Eid prayers at their central worship place in the garrison city in the face of strong resentment and threats made by the action committee, which wants the site to be permanently closed down.
Jama‘at Ahmadiyya Pakistan spokesperson Saleem ud Din, while talking to The Express Tribune, deplored the incident, saying it was unfortunate for community members living in Rawalpindi.
Din said the community members can’t fight with elements behind the hate campaign against them, adding that the community’s only other worship place in the city could only house around 200 people.
A number of community members in Rawalpindi offered Eid prayers in Islamabad, while those who do not have transportation facilities available stayed at home, Din said. He condemned the slack response extended by the city administration towards the issue.
By not granting permission, the administration violated Article 20 of the Constitution that ensures a right to worship for every citizen of Pakistan, he added.
Oddly, three mosques of similar size in the same street have not drawn objections from the pressure groups.
On January 29, 2012, around two thousand people including activists of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan – now Ahle-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat and Jamatud Dawa, along with students from religious seminaries around Rawalpindi carried out a massive rally near the worship place against what they termed “illegal and unconstitutional act” of the community.
One of the worship place’s administration members told The Express Tribune that the local committee was not just causing a split between the Muslim and Ahmadiyya communities, but also between Muslims themselves.
Across the world, it is common practice that the government takes stand for what is right but here the situation is complex. The hate-filled environment for our community has compelled the administration to back the wrong side, he deplored.
Agitation against Ahmadiyya worship place in Lahore
November/December, 2013: Advocate M Badr Alam, on the pay roll of the Khatme Nabuwwat organisation in Lahore, applied in May 2012 to the DCO that the minaret and the dome in the Ahmadiyya mosque be demolished. Later he asked for the intervention of Lahore High Court. The DCO told the court that these were constructed under the rules with the approval of the city government. The case rested there.
This case was put up again in November this year before Justice Yasar Ali Khan. He read the earlier reports and said that as the DCO had changed, the new DCO should give his own report.
At this, an Ahmadiyya delegation called on the DCO and defended its position. The Legal Advisor of the DCO however insisted that as per decision of another judge, Ahmadis are not to build the minarets, dome and niche in their place of worship. The delegation explained to him that the judge never ordered their demolition, and the two cases, the one before the judge and this one regarding Darul Zikr are different in nature, hence the judgment of one does not apply to the other.
This case came up for hearing before Justice Khan again on December 2, 2013. The DCO’s legal advisor requested the judge to send the case to the provincial and federal governments for a solution. Badr Alam insisted that the judgment should be given there and then. The judge however sent the file to the Chief Justice to appoint another judge to hear the case.
Some more details of this case can be seen in Chapter 6 of annual report 2013.