Murdered while in police custody
Sharaqpur, District Sheikhupura; May 16, 2014: Mr. Khalil Ahmad had been detained by the police on a fake blasphemy charge and was in police lock-up. A youth entered the police station and shot him dead. The following Press Release from the Ahmadiyya central office provides essential detail.
Ahmadi arrested under baseless allegation of blasphemy gunned down in police custody
Ahmadis who believe in all the Prophets could never think of blasphemy: Spokesman Jamaat Ahmadiyya
Chenab Nagar: (PR) Mr. Khalil Ahmad, an Ahmadi who was arrested on baseless allegation of blasphemy has been killed in police custody in police station Sharaqpur, District Sheikhupura. We strongly condemn this barbarous act. This murder in police custody raises questions. The perpetrators should be brought to justice after a sound inquiry. As per details, a few days ago, over a trivial conflict the miscreants incited the village folk on loudspeakers. Thereafter the police registered a case under PPCs 295-A, 337-2 and 427 against four Ahmadis – Ghulam Ahmad, Ihsan Ahmad, Mubashir Ahmad and Mr. Khalil Ahmad. They arrested Mr. Khalil Ahmad.
A court accepted plea for bail of the three accused while Mr. Khalil Ahmad remained in the custody of the police in Police Station Sharaqpur. On Friday, one Saleem Ahmad entered the police station and shot dead Mr. Khalil Ahmad who was under detention. The police arrested the killer. Mr. Khalil Ahmad was 65 years old. He left behind a widow, two sons and two daughters.
Mr. Saleem Ud Din the spokesman of Jamaat Ahmadiyya expressed great grief over the incident and condemned it squarely. Blasphemy laws have become a tool with religious extremists who use them extensively to settle personal scores, he said. Had an impartial inquiry been held prior to registration of the case, it would have become clear that people were being agitated over a baseless petty squabble. Subsequent to the detention of the accused, it was the responsibility of the police to protect him; they were careless, and a precious life was lost, Mr. Saleem Ud Din said.
The Jamaat Ahmadiyya spokesman demanded an impartial inquiry in this incident of murder in police custody. The killer and the planners of this incident should be punished severely in accordance with law, he said. END
The killer entered the police station after permission, went to the cell of his target and fired a pistol shot at him from close quarters. The bullet hit Ahmad in the neck and went out from the other side. He died on the spot.
Sharaqpur is only 35 miles north-west of the Punjab capital.
The Punjab Police has a reputation of finding a culprit if they apply themselves to it. The killer youth came from a madrassah run by a banned outfit. It should not be difficult to find out his sponsors and motivators. They are the ones who hold the key to murders such as this one and assassinations of people like Governor Taseer, Minister Bhatti and Advocate Rashid Rehman.
The authorities should not miss this opportunity to bring such criminals to justice, as therein lies the peace of the society and the stability of the state.
Follow up: Two days later the sponsors of the murder sent approximately 20 youth to the residence of the deceased where a number of Ahmadis had gathered for offering condolences to the bereaved family. These urchins were riding two trucks, motor cycles and rickshaws. They had come as show of force and defiance. Ahmadis dispersed to avoid a confrontation. However, the police arrived, rounded up the miscreants and took some action.
Minarets of two Ahmadiyya mosques razed by police
Basti Baba Jhanda, Basti Baba Rahmat, District Rahim Yar Khan; February 18, 2014: Mullas held an anti-Ahmadiyya conference in Basti Baba Jhanda. Thereafter on February 18, 2014, 15 policemen came from the nearby police station and conveyed the orders of the DPO that the minarets of the Ahmadiyya mosques in Basti Baba Jhanda and Basti Baba Rahmat be demolished. They did not listen to the pleas of local Ahmadis and demolished the minarets of both Ahmadiyya mosques.
This criminal act was committed by the police in clear violation of this country’s law PPC 295 and PPC 153-A.
If the authorities in Pakistan do not respect their own laws, why does the state expect the Taliban to respect the country’s constitution and laws? A moot question.
No place to worship
Masroor Abad, District DG Khan; June 2014: In Pakistan, permission was never required in the past to build a place of worship in rural areas. Tens of thousands of mosques have been built all over the country without any permission whatsoever.
Since the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadi Ordinance in 1984, a campaign has been going on by the state and the society against Ahmadiyya mosques. It is note-worthy that no permission has been granted to Ahmadis to build a place of worship in any city or town where the rules require an administrative permission.
Masroor Abad is located approximately 40 kilometers away from DG Khan. It is a village by the river side. Ahmadis decided to build there a place of worship. They had raised the walls and were going to put up a roof when the mullas took notice and decided to agitate against this exercise of freedom of worship.
The mullas decided to demolish the half-built structure. They arrived at about 9 p.m. along with approximately 200 men. The police DSP, SHO and some constables accompanied them.
The officials sent for Ahmadi elders, who came and explained their position to the police and assured them co-operation in their efforts to maintain peace.
The police permitted Ahmadis to complete the building for ‘residential purposes’ only. To achieve this they told Ahmadis to put up a wall in the middle of the hall. Ahmadis agreed to do that.
The above met the approval of the clerics who made Ahmadis sign a document. This was done and the roof was installed. The police were informed. A police ASI and 5 mullas inspected the building on June 22, 2014.
Thereafter, a mulla who is a prayer-leader in a mosque in far off Lahore arrived, and in league with the local mulla held an open air conference and made hate speeches against Ahmadis. The mulla from Lahore urged the locals to drive Ahmadis out of the village. “Otherwise I shall return after Ramadan 20 in company of a score of young men and we shall jointly dump the Qadianis in the river,” he said. The police were there and are a witness to this threatening speech.
Later, two mullas arrived at the new building in company of the SHO and demanded a visit to the interior. Inside, they noticed two steel almirahs. “These almirahs are normally used for storing the Quran and religious publications; these should be removed forthwith,” they demanded. The SHO agreed, and the Ahmadis had to remove the almirahs.
Police desecrate Ahmadis’ graves in the Punjab
Chak 96 GB, Faisalabad; March 13, 2014: The Ahmadiyya head office in Pakistan issued the following press release on the above issue:
Police desecrated Kalima on gravestones of Ahmadis in Chak 96 GB, Faisalabad
Incident is in violation of human rights and human dignity; we strongly condemn it: Spokesperson Jamaat Ahmadiyya
Chenab Nagar (Rabwah): (PR) Mr. Saleem Ud Din, the spokesperson of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya has strongly condemned the deplorable act of the police of desecrating the Kalima written on the gravestones of Ahmadis in Chak No. 96 GB, Tehsil Jaranwala, District Faisalabad. According to the details, an opponent of Ahmadiyyat complained to the police that some writings on the gravestones of Ahmadis in the cemetery hurt his feelings. The local police called the Ahmadis and told them to remove the Kalima. The Ahmadis made it clear that they would not even consider erasing the Kalima nor would they allow anyone do that. Ahmadis write the Kalima, not erase it, in any case. Thereafter, a few policemen came to the cemetery and destroyed the Kalima written on tiles of seven gravestones.
|A damaged tombstone|
The spokesperson of Jamaat Ahmadiyya expressed his intense grief over this traumatic incident, and called it violation of human dignity and human rights. He said, “It is deplorable that the administration, whose duty is to ensure peace in society and treat all equally, acts puppet of opponents of the Ahmadiyya community. This is unlawful and immoral.” He referred to the Order of the Supreme Court, of November 4, 1992 that conveys that Ahmadis have legal right to use words like Bismillah and such other Islamic terms. “Ahmadis face discrimination in Pakistan, but those who persist in such treatment to the Ahmadi dead should not forget that one day they have to appear in the Divine court,” he added.
A few days later, the Ahmadiyya central office in Rabwah wrote a letter to all concerned authorities and officials intimating them the outrage committed, and requested them for appropriate action.
Worship curbed in Faisalabad
Faisalabad; July 26, 2014: Ahmadi worshippers in their prayer centre Baitul Aman had an awful experience at the time of Isha (night) prayers, on account of intervention by religious bullies supported by police unsympathetic to Ahmadis.
At about 9 p.m. when worshippers were busy praying in this prayer centre, a score of locals led by Qari Habibur Rehman of Masjid Khatme Nabuwwat, Khyban Colony and some mullas came to the front door and knocked vigorously. The guard opened the door to see who was there, and the intruders forced their way in. They entered the hall, opened the almirahs, tore up some religious texts and took possession of some others. They acted aggressive and unruly. The worshippers moved to the first floor to avoid a quarrel.
The Ahmadi guard informed the police at 15. At this, the intruders hurled a few threats and departed. They called bad names to the leaders of the Ahmadi community, shouted insults in general and told Ahmadis to close down this centre for worship.
Thereafter the police arrived. A local political leader took the SHO and a few Ahmadis to his residence. He invited there a few mullas too. During the talks the mullas used profane language against Ahmadi leaders. They took the line that Ahmadis may live in the neighbourhood but not use the prayer centre for worship.
The SHO supported the mullas. He told Ahmadis not to worship in the centre, otherwise their centre would be sealed and a guard would be placed there to ensure no worship.
The Ahmadis later informed senior officials in writing of what happened.
Police desecrates the Kalima
Sant Nagar, Lahore; October/November, 2014: Here the house of Chaudhary Noor Ahmad Nasir is used as prayer centre by local Ahmadis. On 26 October five mullas came to the house of Mr. Nasir in the evening and rang the bell. His wife asked, “Who is it?” One of the strangers inquired about Mr. Nasir, to which she replied that he was not at home. The mullas told her that they had come from a nearby mosque to meet her husband. They came the next day at the same time and rang the doorbell. Mr. Nasir thought that Ahmadi worshippers had arrived for the evening prayers and opened the gate. On seeing six bearded strangers Mr. Nasir quickly closed the gate. A mulla asked him, “Are you a Mirzai?” to which he replied, “No, I am an Ahmadi.” The mullas said, “You have written the Kalima on the front of your house. Don’t you know that it’s illegal?” Mr. Nasir replied that the Kalima was there before he bought that house in 1973. The mulla told him curtly, “You have two days to remove the Kalima otherwise a complaint will be lodged against you in the nearby police station.”
On November 3, 2014 approximately 100 persons including mullas and policemen surrounded the house of Mr. Nasir. They pasted a white paper on the Kalima plate and left. The police arrived the next day and white-washed the Kalima. On November 6, 2014 at 6 p.m. policemen came again and knocked at the door. Mr. Nasir’s son responded from the roof. The policemen asked for his father and told him that the DSP was waiting to meet him. Ten mullas were seen standing beside them. The youth replied that they could leave as his father would meet the DSP later at his office. Thereafter the police took to destruction of the Kalima plate with a hammer. Mrs. Nasir pleaded with the policemen to desist from defiling the Kalima, and offered them a piece of cloth for collection of the debris. The policemen refused the plea and took a piece of cloth from a non-Ahmadi’s house. They wrapped the broken pieces of the Kalima plate in that cloth and took it with them.
Harassment of Ahmadi teachers and lecturers
Many incidents of this nature happened this year. Those that were reported in writing to the central office are mentioned below in essentials.
- A professor’s plight in Daska, District Sialkot. This happened in March/April 2014. Sohail Mehmood Babur, Assistant Professor in the local Government Degree College faced severe opposition from some colleagues and a few students in the college, and having been accused falsely of ‘blasphemy’ had to flee from Daska and shift elsewhere.
A few students, perhaps egged on by some teachers, put up a written complaint against Mr. Babur, accusing him falsely of misconduct, inter alia:
- Forcing students to accept that Quran has been changed
- Forcing students to accept that Bible has not been changed and it is present in its original form
- Giving statement that Quran is totally false
- Preferring chirping of birds to Hadith
- Committing blasphemy (showing disrespect to the Holy Prophet PBUH), etc.
Obviously these accusations were pure fabrication as they contradict Ahmadiyya beliefs and position on these issues.
The college principal formed a committee comprising five Associate/Assistant Professors and a lecturer to inquire into the allegations and render a report.
It is a sad comment on Pakistani academia of the second decade of 21st century that all the members of the Committee upheld the lies and fabrications of all the four students, and they all rejected whatever Mr. Babur had to say in his defence.
Driven by bigotry, prejudice and God knows what else, the Committee unanimously concluded and recommended that “The case may please be referred to concerned police station for the fulfillment of legal requirements of investigation and penalization of the culprits (sic).” There was no dissenting opinion over delivering their ‘non-Muslim’ colleague to the vultures of the blasphemy laws.
Mr. Babur had reason to get very worried. Deputy Director Colleges recommended to the Director to transfer him to another city. Faced with a blasphemy accusation, Mr. Babur shifted his family to a far off town. He knows what happened to Ms. Aasia, Ms. Rimsha, Governor Taseer and Minister Bhatti.
Even the right-wing daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore of October 6, 2013 decided to publish an op-ed by Dr. Khwaja, (extract):
O God, save Islam from ‘Muslims’
… (Here) who and when, anyone may kill anyone after designating him a Kafir,
The entire city claims to be Muslim!
Enough is enough. The flood of tyranny and blood is now passing over our heads….
- Severe harassment and maltreatment of an Ahmadi teacher. This happened in Chak Chatha, District Hafizabad in April 2014. Habibur Rahman was a teacher in Government Primary School, Hameedabad. Most of the residents there are Deobandis and are anti-Ahmadiyya activists.
A prize-distribution was scheduled in the school. Parents were also invited to the ceremony. A day before the function mulla Afzal of the local mosque conveyed to the school that if anybody from Mr. Habibur Rahman’s family participated in the ceremony, his people would boycott the function. Mr. Rahman was conveyed the gravity of the issue.
In these circumstances, Mr. Rahman decided that his children’s mother would not attend the ceremony. As other children’s mothers were all going to attend, his children got upset and started crying. Some villagers sympathised with Mr. Rahman but expressed their helplessness over the issue. They told him that a Pir along with a mufti and a few mullas met the local mulla and told him to have the Qadiani teacher expelled from the village at the earliest. The local mulla acted upon their advice. Mr. Rahman was also facing severe opposition from a Qari (reciter of the Quran), another teacher in the school. On May 13, 2014 students of class V beat up their class mate Sabih Ahmad, a nephew of Mr. Habibur Rahman.
On inquiry, the students stated that they were urged by the Qari to beat up Sabih, as beating up Qadianis was an act of Divine merit. “If teacher Habib holds you accountable, I’ll take care of that,” Qari had told the students.
The next day the issue was taken up with the Head Teacher. He sent for students’ parents, but only a few turned up.
The Head Teacher then talked with the Qari who told him to stay clear of the incident “in his own interest.” “We set fire to the Police Station Kassoki and killed two policemen for their support to Qadianis (sic, but false); so keep out of this,” the Qari told the Head Teacher. The Qadiani shall not be allowed to stay on in this school, the Qari said firmly.
From then on the Qari agitated the public and other school staff against Mr. Habibur Rahman, who was advised by his community to keep a low profile and get himself transferred elsewhere.
The Principal of the school forwarded the case of Mr. Habibur Rahman to the District Education Officer (DEO) who directed an AEO to form a committee to investigate the matter and submit a report regarding the facts of the case. The committee told the teachers that Mr. Habibur Rahman had complained that he was being discriminated on religious grounds in the school and the matter should be resolved. Some teachers were of the view that Mr. Habibur Rahman had taken the students’ comments too seriously and had over-reacted. But now that the issue had come up, they do not want their children to be taught by a ‘Mirzai’. “If he is harmed in any way, the people of Hameedabad will be accused, hence he should be transferred and an alternate teacher be provided in his place,” they said.
During this discussion, one teacher spoke in favour of Habibur Rahman and said, “He is a very hardworking teacher and he has never preached his religion; he is a virtuous man.” This teacher also stated the tradition that after the battle of Badr, the Kufaar (Disbelievers) prisoners of war were told by Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) that the prisoner who would teach one Muslim to read and write would be released. “If the beloved Prophet (SAW) could do it, why cannot we do the same,” he asked.
To this, the hostile group responded that they considered Mr. Habibur Rahman worse than the infidels of Makkah, so no further argument was necessary and Mr. Habibur Rahman must be transferred; he is not tolerated in their school.
The enquiry team asked the teachers to submit an application on behalf of the villagers addressed to Department of Education. At this, the teachers wrote an application to the effect that:
“Habibur Rahman belongs to Qadiani faith; hence we have only hatred for him, socially and religiously. We do not want a Qadiani teacher to teach our children. Similarly, the students also hate and despise this teacher and do not want him to teach them. If some wrong happens to him, we shall not be responsible. Hence teacher Habib should be transferred and an alternate teacher be provided instead.”
This application was signed by ten residents of the village. After all this, a villager came to Mr. Rahman and told him that a Maulvi Khan Muhammad Qadri had visited the village and had told the villagers that they should die of shame that a Qadiani teacher was teaching their children. “This is the cause of the hype in hostility; it is better for you to leave this school,” he advised.
Mr. Rahman was accordingly transferred to Government Primary School Khurlanwala. His faith-based persecution followed him there too. On first day at the school, a man told him to get himself transferred elsewhere and send the previous teacher back. An opponent of the Ahmadiyya community, named Faizan came to the school to see Mr. Rahman. Mr. Rahman greeted him with Salaam but the visitor did not return the greetings, instead said, “You are a blasphemer. If there was a Christian in your place I would have hugged him; they are Ahle-Kitab (People of Book) at least. The entire village knows that you are a Mirzai. It is better for you to get transferred from here soon.” He further threatened him that he could have lodged an FIR against him under the blasphemy law 295-C for saying Salaam. He also used obnoxious language and warned Rahman of grave tidings. The villagers told another teacher to get rid of the Qadiani teacher.
Mr. Rahman was advised to take precautions and try to get a transfer from there too. The incident is typical how such issues are being (mis)handled by the state and society in Pakistan. Despite seriously wounded by extremists and terrorists, the administration and the silent majority act timid and allow the radicals have their way.
- Ahmadi lady teachers face severe harassment. Sabahat Rasheed and Mrs. Misbah Rasheed were two Ahmadi teachers teaching in Government Primary School Sahari, District Narowal in January 2014. A student asked the former, “Is it not permissible to say Salaam to you?” It was discovered that Mr. Abid another teacher had told this corruption to the youngsters. The Ahmadi complained to the headmistress. The headmistress called Mr. Abid and asked him the reason. He denied the fact.
Thereafter, Mr. Abid told the story to the local mulla and incited him against the Ahmadi teachers. The mulla made it an issue; he created an uproar and announced in the mosque that Ahmadi teachers were Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed). The village-folk formed a procession and marched to the school. They raised slogans against the Ahmadi teachers and called them blasphemers and Wajib-ul-Qatl.
The local Ahmadi elders moved to solve the issue with the help of the MNA. He intervened and transferred two Ahmadi and two non-Ahmadi teachers to another school and sent the case for inquiry to the DCO office, Narowal. This calmed down the situation.
- Plight of another Ahmadi teacher. Muhammad Arif was teaching in Government High School Chak no. 54 South, Sargodha at the end of 2013. He had served this school previously for over eight years as headmaster. He faced severe harassment for his faith from December onward.
A conspiracy was hatched against him in December 2013. Some miscreants of the village and four teachers of the school incited the students of 9th and 10th classes against Mr. Arif. They also sought the help of mullas from a Khatme Nabuwwat madrassa in Sultan Colony. They formed a procession, gathered in front of the office of DCO and blocked the road. They raised slogans against Ahmadiyya community and Mr. Arif. They tendered an application against Mr. Arif alleging falsely, “Qadiani headmaster preaches Ahmadiyyat, does not allow us to say prayers or recite Darood Sharif and the name of Allah in the assembly and levies extra charges as tuition fee, etc, etc.” They demanded that Mr. Arif be fired from his job. The DCO promised them action. He wrote to the District Monitoring Officer and District Education Officer to hold inquiries. The processionists returned hurling abuses against Mr. Arif and threatened him with harm.
The officials of the relevant departments came to the school to inquire into the issue. The students of the school raised slogans in front of them against Mr. Arif. However, majority of the village folk spoke in favour of Mr. Arif, and out of 18, fourteen teachers gave their testimony in support of Mr. Arif. Meanwhile a few mullas from Sargodha also arrived there and made negative inputs based on religious prejudice. Mr. Arif told the inquiry committee that the events had taken a dangerous turn and his life was in danger there. However, he kept attending to his duties.
Mr. Arif received orders of dislocation on December 13, 2013. He reported to the EDO Office, Sargodha. He had a tough time there too. His opponents used their political influence to further harass him. A brother of one of them owns a madrassa in Sargodha. The EDO had a long beard; he also became hostile to Mr. Arif. They wanted to transfer Mr. Arif to some far off location. At last, Mr. Arif was transferred to Government High School Chak 44 South.
Mr. Arif had faced religion-based hostility in 2001 as well. False allegations were made against him, but he was cleared in all inquiries. The lobby opposed to him persists in their evil intrigues and tactics which are so wasteful and bothersome for Mr. Arif who takes his teaching profession seriously.
- An Ahmadi family made to flee for their faith. Agitation against the Ahmadiyya community entered red zone in Chak no. 7, Seenibar, District Nankana Sahib in May 2014. Local Ahmadis were harassed severely by Khatme Nabuwwat mullas. They held demonstrations and agitated village folk to implement a complete boycott against all Ahmadis. Threats of murder and kidnapping were also conveyed to Ahmadis. Mr. Ijaz Ahmad a school teacher became the focus of their hostility.
The mullas called Mr. Ahmad to a place for a ‘reconciliation meeting’ on behalf of one of his non-Ahmadi relatives. Mr. Ahmad arrived there and found the situation very hostile. After a talk of a few minutes, they started abusing and threatening him. They forced him to sign a paper that declared an end to his links with the Ahmadiyya community.
Mr. Ahmad then felt very sorry and under great stress shifted his wife and children elsewhere. He considered resigning his job and relocating himself somewhere where he would have some peace and freedom of faith.
A complete boycott against Ahmadis was implemented in the area. Ahmadis remain at risk there.
- Religion-based hostility in government school. Abdul Rahman Yusuf is serving as a teacher in Government High School Sahiwal. His brother, Mr. Fazlur Rahman is also a teacher in government service. Both the brothers have faced opposition and hardships at work places for months.
Sectarian speeches were made in his school against Mr. Yusuf. The principal permitted that despite the fact that it is a government school. Muhammad Alam Jafri, the head even supported the anti-Ahmadi lobby in the school. This encouraged the anti-Ahmadi elements further. Consequently three religious fanatics stopped Mr. Yusuf’s car on October 12 last year when he was driving to the school. They harassed him and told him to quit the education department. They waved a pistol at him to show that they were serious. Mr. Yusuf is facing a social boycott in the school. His colleagues called him bad names in front of students. The students also call him Qadiani and Mirzai (derogatory terms for Ahmadis). The attendant of the school laboratory calls him infidel/accursed.
Mr. Fazlur Rahman was posted appropriately in Government Mahmoodia High School in Chak 93-6R, Sahiwal. The principal of Mr. Yusuf’s school advised the head of Mahmoodia School not to let Mr. Fazlur Rahman join the school. He also contacted a mulla of Jamia Rasheedia, who made a threatening phone call to Mr. Yusuf and told him to stop his brother from coming to the school; otherwise he would be himself responsible for the consequences, the mulla said.
These incidents are very disturbing to the Ahmadi teachers.
- Transfer of an Ahmadi teacher. Muhammad Mansha, Ahmadi, was a teacher in Government Higher Secondary School in Kolo Tarar, District Hafizabad in December 2013. One Ghulam Abbas was a peon in the school; however he is more of an anti-Ahmadi activist than a government servant. He somehow convinced the principal that if Mr. Mansha stayed in that school he (the Ahmadi) would be at risk.
Although the principal could have arranged for the transfer of the peon or referred him to the police for appropriate action, but he took the easier action – he wrote to the District Education Officer to transfer Mr. Mansha in view of the threat posed to him by the peon.
The principal was good enough to give a copy of his letter to Mr. Mansha. It is reproduced as here.
- Ahmadi school principal in trouble. The wife of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal was serving as principal in a school in Raza Khail Bala, District Peshawar. On February 13, 2014 some school children burnt a few papers while cooking something. Mistakenly they burnt some papers with Quranic verses on them. The local mullas came to know of this and created hue and cry. They demanded of the DSP to register a police case against the Ahmadi principal. She was on leave that day. The mullas still insisted that the police register a case against her. She was advised not to attend the school for a few days.
Difficulties faced by educational institutes owned by Ahmadis
Education sector has been privatized to a large degree after some bitter experience of the nationalization policy. As a result, Ahmadis opened private schools and colleges. These enjoy considerable reputation with public at large. However, the authorities still retain some legitimate control over them, but the mulla and the authorities misuse their power to create difficulties, at times unbearable, for these institutes.
- Hostile propaganda. This report is from Bait Nasirabad/Bait Daryai in District Muzaffar Garh where anti-Ahmadiyya elements started in October 2014 a campaign against “Nasir Public School” run by the Ahmadiyya Jamaat. This school became a sore in the eyes of local mullas. One of these mullas has established an academy in nearby Adda Rind, however it is not popular with the locals, whereas the Ahmadiyya school has a large attendance by non-Ahmadi children. Mullas allege that Qadianis preach their faith to Muslim children and convert them into infidels; hence their school should be shut down. Mullas have spread the rumour that they have filed a writ petition in the High Court and that the school would be closed down shortly.
The mullas planned a rally against the school. To this end they got posters printed and pasted. The administration has warned them against holding the rally and told them that spreading religious disharmony and hatred would not be allowed. The mullas responded that no religious hatred will be spread in the rally; and proceeded with the arrangements for holding the rally.
Members of the Ahmadiyya community were advised to exercise special care and caution.
- Agitation over opening a school by an Ahmadi. The local Ahmadiyya community in Inayatpur Bhatian, District Chiniot decided in March 2014 to open a school in this village. Mr. Ghulam Ahmad son of Mr. Muhammad Shafi donated 4 kanals of his land for this purpose.
When the opponents of Ahmadiyyat came to know of the planned school, they decided to oppose it. They sent a representation to the police that Ahmadis intend to proselytize in their private school. They took the plea that as there is a madrassa/mosque viz Arabia Nurulhuda (Deobandi) close by, the police should forbid Ahmadis construction of any school at the proposed site.
Haji Ghulam Mustafa, the resident mulla in the Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar was invited by the villagers to lead the service on Friday, 21 February 2014. The mulla delivered a very hostile and abusive sermon at the occasion.
Denationalization of Ahmadiyya educational institutes – a Brief
Since 1947, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan owned and managed a number of educational institutes in the Punjab. In 1972, the government of Pakistan introduced a policy of nationalization of educational institutes throughout the country. In pursuance of the above-mentioned policy, eight schools in the Punjab belonging to the Anjuman were taken over by the government.
In 1996 the government came to the conclusion that the nationalization policy has harmed education in the country. So Gazette Notification No: SO(A-1)SA-1-18/90-A-III dated 28.07.1996 was issued by the Government of Punjab. The owners of the nationalized educational institutes were thereby given the option to take back their institutes after fulfilling certain criteria. The Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya opted to avail this offer and contacted the Punjab Education Department.
All the terms and conditions prescribed by the Department were complied with, and a sum of Rs. 11,012,483/- for the above mentioned eight schools (equal to the emoluments and allowances of the staff for six months to one year as directed by the authorities) was deposited in the state treasury at that time.
Again in July 2002, under the revised notification No. S.O. (R&B) 1-18/90-A-III, the scheme for denationalization of nationalized educational institutes to previous managements was announced but to-date no action has been taken by the Punjab Government despite many reminders sent by us to the government.
The government had taken over the management of two Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya’s colleges as well, namely:
- Taleem-ul-Islam College, Rabwah
- Jamia Nusrat College for Women, Rabwah
Subsequent to the revised notification, the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya requested the provincial government on 13.07.2002 to denationalize the said colleges as well.
The government neither ceded the institutions nor gave any response in writing to our requests.
It is almost unbelievable that during the last 18 years with a case as important as this and having received a large amount of money from the Anjuman Ahmadiyya, a charity, the provincial authorities at Lahore have not responded officially nor acknowledged even once in writing to our letters/faxes/petitions. Although they have returned numerous other institutes like F.C. College Lahore to their owners under this scheme, to date, no action has been taken by the Punjab Government to revert to the Ahmadiyya Community their schools and colleges.
We have been told verbally in the past that the authorities find it difficult to denationalize Ahmadiyya institutes, on account of pressure by the mulla. While it is true that mullas are opposed to such a move, it is also on record that mullas as well as some other elements opposed the denationalization of institutions owned by Christian missions but the government’s resolve and policy commitment secured the reversion without blow back.
Now that Islamist religious lobby stands broadly discredited in Pakistan after the Peshawar massacre, its ability to restrain government action has greatly reduced. The Punjab Government can surely muster the required will and courage to implement its own policy and revert the nationalized institutions to Ahmadis.
The denationalization will absolve the Punjab Government of the blame of religious discrimination.
Last but not least, it will relieve the government of the considerable financial burden of maintenance and running eight schools and two colleges.
- ‘No non-Muslim can teach Islamic Studies’. The daily The Express Tribune published the following report from Lahore on October 23, 2014 under the above headline, (extracts):
Petitioner alleges 17 non-Muslims being interviewed for teaching Islamic Studies
Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday directed the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) to submit an undertaking that no non-Muslim would be recruited as lecturer in Islamic Studies. The judge was hearing a petition requesting the court to declare void a notification for interview of 17 non-Muslims for the lectureship. Justice Shaikh also directed the PPSC’s counsel to produce their National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) record to establish whether or not they were Muslims….
…. The petitioner said 17 non-Muslims were called for the interview for the post of Islamic Studies lecturers. Rehman had filed the petition in 2012 seeking a stay order against the recruitment of non-Muslims as lecturers in Islamic Studies. He had requested the court to declare the notification for interviews void.
It can be assumed that the petitioner, mulla Aziz ur Rehman, had put up his petition to the High Court against PPSC’s call to some Ahmadis for interview who had the required academic qualification and had qualified for the interview.
- A renowned Ahmadi professor made to flee. Dr/Prof Pervez Parvazi is a renowned Urdu scholar and author of numerous books of essays and criticism. He has penned multi-volume series of books on autobiographies/biographies of various Urdu writers. He is an Ahmadi and spent his early years in Rabwah. He was a college lecturer in the Punjab, and then moved on to Japan where he taught for years in University of Osaka.
On return to Pakistan, he reported to his employers, the Education Department that was then run by General Zia’s mandarins.
Dr Parvazi narrated his story in an Urdu book, Akine – partly an autobiography. His narrative of personal experience in Zia’s Pakistan, being authentic, deserves a place in English language archives for future scholars. Here is an extract (our translation):
When I arrived back in Pakistan on completing my term in Japan, I found there a different situation. The entire atmosphere was murky. No one cared for either elders or for youngsters. The literate were not safe, nor the illiterate. Terrorist mullas had gained control of educational institutions. Bigots and men with poisoned minds were occupying high posts in bureaucracy. The poison that Zia had added, in the name of religion, to the fresh and clean environment of Pakistan had affected its deepest layers. My identity as an Ahmadi and my tenure abroad became a poison to my well-being. They did not realise that my teaching in a developed country could be an asset for students in Pakistan. Prior to my departure for Japan, I was teaching post-graduate classes. On my return I was posted in higher-secondary schools. Even there I was often not allowed to teach lest I might corrupt the young minds through proselytizing. When the most contemptible dictator of the present times, General Zia-ul-Haq promulgated the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance, leave alone proselytizing, Ahmadis were denied to even live and work honourably. For people like me, both persecution and prosecution became common-place occurrences.
I was always lucky, by the grace of God, as for my students. Wherever I went, my students always loved me and were respectful. Whether it was a city, a town or a village my students always liked my teaching style and extended me lots of love. No credit to me; it was their gentle loving hearts that were ever ready to offer their affection.
I was tossed around from town to town for four years and having suffered the whims of junior principals of Inter-colleges, I was finally posted to Government College, Faisalabad. It was a post-graduate institution, so I thought that the teachers there would be broad-minded and liberal, but on arrival I was confronted with a different situation. A few days after my joining in, the attendant in the staff room advised me, “Sir, do not take the trouble of serving yourself with water to drink, always let me serve you.” I told him that it was no problem for me at all. At this he said rather frankly, “I have been told by the Staff Secretary to allot you a separate glass and to serve you water only in that glass.” That got me wondering: O Allah, what luck that I am treated as a Dalit, for my faith. Thereafter I stopped drinking water in the staff room. It was summer time; I had to travel by bus for approximately 45 kilometers every day; I was suffering from diabetes; all that made it essential that I drink lots of water, but the water from the staff room cooler became a forbidden commodity for me. Well, that does happen in these circumstances.
Had it remained confined to this, I would have coped with it. I taught post-graduate classes for a year. When the bigots noticed that students, male and female, loved my company and paid attention to what I told them, they started demanding that I should be withdrawn from post-graduate classes. When this was implemented, the students protested. These protests continued for months. At this the administration adopted a foul and hostile attitude towards me that threatened even my life – they began to consider implicating me in some blasphemy case (wherein the law prescribes death as penalty). This left me only two options: leave the college or become a martyr. I am rather timid; I opted for leaving the college rather than accepting martyrdom. I left the country and headed for Sweden. What they said over my flight is another sordid story.
Akine by Dr Pervez Parvazi, first edition, 1996; p. 89-91
Lahore police act in support of mullas to deny freedom of religion to Ahmadis
October 2014: Numerous reports were received from Lahore regarding obstacles faced by Ahmadis in offering ritual sacrifices at the festival of Eidul Azha. Some of these are reported below:
- On October 4, 2014, two Ahmadis, namely Mr. Mubashar Ahmad and Mr. Rafiq Ahmad of Taj Pura, Lahore were called by the police. The police told them that the people living in the neighbourhood had lodged a complaint with the police against their intention to sacrifice animals on the occasion of Eidul Azha; this could not be permitted. Both Ahmadis later called on the SHO who told them that the complainants were miscreants so the Ahmadis should undertake sacrifice elsewhere to avoid their mischief. Accordingly, Mr. Mubashar Ahmad had to shift the venue of sacrifice to his sister’s house.
It was later discovered that the incident was triggered by a neighbour with the help of local mullas.
- On October 6, 2014 at about 3 a.m. a few mullas and policemen knocked at the door of Malik Muhammad Akram, an Ahmadi resident of Sabzazar, Lahore. When he came out of his house, the visitors told him: “As you are a Qadiani, you have no right to offer ritual sacrifice. If you still do that it would disturb the peace.” At this, Mr. Akram told them that the lamb did not belong to him; it belonged to his tenant. The tenant was then made to hand over a written note to the mullas stating: ‘This lamb belongs to me and it is me who is going to do the sacrifice.’ The policemen still told him to take the animal to some other place for sacrifice. The tenant then sent the lamb to one of his employee’s house and undertook the sacrifice there on the day after the Eid.
- In a similar incident, someone knocked at the door of Mr. Abdur Rashid Qureshi of 131-A Block, Sabzazar, Lahore, after 3 a.m. When Mr. Qureshi asked as to who was at the door, the men outside said that they were policemen and that Abdur Rashid Qureshi should come out and have a word with them. When he opened the door, the policemen told him: ‘You are a Qadiani, so you cannot do the sacrifice.’ The police know that there is no such law and the Constitution upholds every Pakistani’s right to practice his religion. Despite this they indulge in extra-legal and even illegal activities, in league with mullas, to deny Ahmadis practice of their faith. Later the police searched Ahmadi’s house. Mr. Qureshi had to go to Samanabad, Lahore to perform the ritual.
- Rashid Ahmad, a resident of Bhaati Gate, Ravi Park bought a camel three days before Eid for sacrifice, and tethered it outside in front of his house. A day before Eid three mullas came to see him at his place and said: ‘You are not allowed to do sacrifice because your faith is different from ours. If you want to do the sacrifice, you should first come to our mosque and publicly announce that you have firm faith in end of Prophethood and that you have no link with the Qadiani denomination whatsoever.’ Having said this, the mullas left. Mr. Rashid sent the camel to a friend’s house where he performed the sacrifice on the second day of the Eid.
Gulshane Ravi case
On April 28, 2013 mullas raided the Ahmadiyya centre of worship in Gulshan-e-Ravi, Lahore. The police joined them promptly and searched the centre for an hour and a half. They also detained nine Ahmadis including the local president, the local prayer-leader, his wife and their twelve-year old son, and took them to the police station. The prayer-leader and his family were released the next morning while 8 others were booked under PPC 295-B and ATA 11-W (an anti-terrorism clause).
Six weeks later, the detained accuseds were released on bail. The trial, however, continued in the Anti-Terrorism Court.
Later on, the dreadful PPC 295-C was added to the summons.
On April 26 all the accused were acquitted of the baseless charges.
Thanks to the trial judge for being just, but what about the administration and the police of Lahore, the capital of the Punjab, for their full support to extremist mullas! Can one quantify the stress and strain suffered by the nine detainees who were led to the police station? The lady and the twelve year old boy could have received permanent psychological damage on exposure to tyranny. The eight accused underwent the stress of criminal prosecution for almost a year. Imagine the impact on the accused when their summons included the dreadful clause PPC 295-C that calls for ‘death’ penalty. This clause was added at the demand of the prosecutor who was an appointee of the Punjab.
A deceitful pamphlet, and Ahmadiyya complaint to District Police Officer
Gujranwala; October 9, 2014: A mulla-led, anti-Ahmadiyya riot in Arafat Colony, Gujranwala on July 27, 2014 resulted in death of an Ahmadi woman and her two granddaughters, widespread loot and arson of Ahmadiyya properties and expulsion of all Ahmadis from that neighbourhood. The riot was ignited by the clerics over a fabricated accusation of blasphemy against an Ahmadi youth.
The riot was widely condemned by saner sections of the society. A police case was registered against the miscreants and their leaders, as also against the Ahmadi youth who was arrested. With gravity of the incident and the crime in view, the mullas moved fast and organised their defence – successfully.
The extremist elements held a joint conference, formed an association, nominated a committee and took numerous initiatives to avoid the arm of the law. On July 28, 2014 (sic) they issued a deceitful and slanderous pamphlet titled “Facts” and distributed it widely in public. This given date is false; the internal evidence proves it. Opening sentences of the pamphlet are: “There are people who are eternally unfortunate and cursed. Late Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani and his followers are such people. Qadianis, who are violators of the constitution, are anti-Pakistan and pro-Greater India, reside in various sections of Gujranwala city….” The pamphlet indulges in great deal of hateful propaganda and asserts that ‘Qadianis’ were solely responsible for the riot, and the rioters and their leaders mentioned in the FIR are all innocent. This pamphlet mentions in detail the various leading mullas and their parent organisations that are in the forefront of the defence of the rioters. A brief mention of these leading figures is in order here.
According to this pamphlet an emergency session was called on July 29, 2014 at the residence of mulla Muhammad Ashraf Mujaddadi, the District Amir of the Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat (AMTKN). An action plan was devised under the directions given by mulla Aziz ur Rehman Jalandhri, the Markazi Nazim Aala (central chief). The next day, on July 30 lawyers and advocates were consulted. These included advocates Rana Rashad Khan, Mian Shahid Ali, Abdul Aziz Bhatti, and Rana Abdul Ghafoor. Later, Ch. Tufail Waraich the president of the District Bar Association supported the position of AMTKN and offered all legal help.
Thereafter, the pamphlet mentions that an all-parties-Khatme Nabuwwat conference was held on July 31, 2014 in the Jamia Masjid Khatme Nabuwwat, Hashmi Colony in Gujranwala. Those who attended included, inter alia, Babar Rizwan Bajwa of JUI, Gulzar Ahmad Azad of KM Movement, Amin Muhammad of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Siddique Naqshbandi of Jamiat Ashaat Al-Tauhid wal Sunna, Mufti Jamil of JUI, Azhar Hussain Farooqi of JUP, Ghulam Kibriya Shah of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, Ayub Safdar of Pakistan Ulama Council, Saeed Mujaddadi of Tanzeem ul Islam and Mazahar Bokhari of Tehrik Jafria. Some of these parties are banned for their terrorism but are operating under changed names. Mulla Zahid-ur-Rashidi of Pakistan Shariat Council was the ‘special guest’ at this occasion.
An All Parties Khatme Nabuwwat Co-ordination Committee was formed in this conference and mulla Zahid-ur-Rashidi and two others were named as the patrons. Syed Ahmad Hussain Zaid was named the Secretary. Nine mullas were named members; Bilal Qudrat Butt of Jamaat Islami is one of them. Most of these members hail from Salafi, Wahabi or Deobandi sects. It is noteworthy that one occasionally hears verbal support to ‘tolerance’ by these groups, but when faced with a sectarian issue of a riot involving murder, arson and loot, they have all teamed up in support of those who committed these grave crimes.
This pamphlet claims that Qadianis locked up their own women and children in a house and fled. It also states that no announcements or calls were made from any mosque; accusations are fabricated and false. It claims that the clerics of the District Peace Committee remained busy in pacifying the people.
Ahmadiyya response: Ahmadiyya central office in Rabwah sent a copy of this pamphlet to the DPO Gujranwala with a covering letter which conveyed that this pamphlet aims at provoking common people to take extreme action against the Ahmadiyya community. The subject of the letter is: Continuation of Organized anti-Ahmadiyya Activities in District Gujranwala.
Ahmadiyya letter, inter alia, points out the following:
- The FIR of this incident, No. 550 was registered in PS Peoples Colony on 27 July 2014 in which the attackers were clearly nominated; however the nominated accused have not been arrested yet.
- On the contrary, succumbing to the pressure of adversaries, police registered a counter FIR No. 553 in PS Peoples Colony on 28 July 2014 under section 295-A, ATA 11-W and arrested the Ahmadi boy Aqib Saleem. To-date his bail has not been granted despite the fact that the baseless allegation has not been proved.
- After this incident, members of all the Ahmadi families in the neighbourhood, which number approximately 125, were forced to flee and have not yet been able to return to their homes. Action should be taken to relocate these displaced families.
- The accused nominated in FIR 550 should be arrested and punished under the law.
- The matter regarding blasphemy over the disputed picture on Facebook should be investigated and finally put to its logical end.
A Khatme Nabuwwat Conference in Layyah
Chowk Azam, District Layyah: A big rally was held here in November. It continued from mid-day to late at night. Approximately 5000 participated.
As usual the mullas indulged in hateful and provocative rhetoric.
The participants were urged to boycott Ahmadiyya products. Leaflets, pamphlets and posters were made available to public inciting them on sectarian lines and urging them to implement a total boycott of Ahmadis.
A number of senior clerics and political influentials including Mufti Munib ur Rehman, the Chair of the Moon Sighting Committee addressed the conference. This Mufti is paid his salary from public funds.
Mulla Amir Muhammad spoke rabidly against a police sub-inspector Mr. Aziz Ahmad, presumably an Ahmadi. The mulla exhorted the audience to kill him if he is not suspended from his job and expelled from the district. “Once again the story of Ghazi Ilm Din Shaheed and Mumtaz Qadri will be repeated,” he shouted. (Ilm Din murdered a Hindu during the Raj, while Mumtaz Qadri assassinated the governor of Punjab in the recent past.) Thereafter he told volunteer killers to stand up, and all those present stood up.
Although this mulla Amir Muhammad was guilty of a crime for which the law prescribes long imprisonment, the police recommended charging him under a very mild clause 16–MPO under which he could be detained for a few weeks.
Flight in search of safety
Karachi; February 2014: Life has become untenable for Ahmadis in Orangi Town of Karachi. A number of middle class Ahmadis had taken up residence there in private or rented houses. The anti-Ahmadi lobby targeted this neighborhood and target-killed a number of Ahmadis during the past two years. The killing spree goes on unabated. Although the sponsors of these attacks are well-known to authorities, they remain untouched by the police. As a result, Ahmadis had to quit this neighborhood. The exodus continues.
Anti-Ahmadi religious bigots hail mostly from the Khatme Nabuwwat faction and the banned Sipah Sahaba and Lashkare Jhangvi. These religious thugs openly harass and threaten Ahmadis.
These miscreants have adopted the policy of not letting Ahmadis sell or rent their properties. They tell them to simply leave; “We’ll take care of your property,” they bully. Once, Ahmadis who were in the process of shifting were confronted with a blockade. Rangers had to be contacted to facilitate shifting house-hold items.
The administration should have arrested these barefaced sectarian terrorists.
Personal vendetta in Multan
Tata Pur; February 16, 2014: Mr. Nasir Ahmad Jutt S/O Mr. Muhammad Sharif does his business in Tata Pur. He lives with his family on the upper storey of his shop. Owner of the dilapidated store adjacent to his shop sold it to one, Muhammad Rafiq. Rafiq wanted to rebuild the store but Mr. Jutt had some reservations over it, so, he obtained a stay order from a court. Rafiq is influential in the area, as he enjoys the support of the Assembly members. With their support and of many in the bazaar he tried to obtain the occupation of the shop in defiance of the court orders. Mr. Jutt opposed him in his attempt. The police came to the site and arrested Mr. Jutt unjustifiably. They detained one from the opposite party as well, to appear even-handed; and booked them under PPC 107/151. The next day they released Mr. Jutt.
Construction of a community building stopped
Darul Nasr, Rabwah; January 2014: Mulla Ghulam Mustafa, an opponent of the Ahmadiyya community in Rabwah, wrote to the local police that Ahmadis were building a place of worship in Darul Nasr. An Assistant Sub Inspector from the police post visited the site. He met Mr. Abdul Malik, the president of the local Ahmadiyya community. The ASI was told that Ahmadis were not building a place of worship but a community hall and a guest house. The site plan approved by the town council was shown to him. However, the ASI told Ahmadis to stop the construction. He sealed the place till further orders.
Ahmadis talked to the administration and resumed the construction after a few days. The construction work was in progress when the police arrived again and stopped the work and took away the construction material with them.
The police acted in response to a mulla’s demand. Pak authorities insist on not learning from experience.
Destruction of a Kalima plate by the police
Chak no. 109, Narain Garh, District Faisalabad; January 21, 2014: The police seem to have adopted an additional duty to remove Islamic inscriptions from Ahmadis’ places of worships and houses, as if they have time to spare after ensuring law and order in the country.
An opponent of the Ahmadiyya community complained to the police that a Kalima plate was affixed on the outer wall of Mr. Abdul Rauf’s residence. The police acted promptly and hammered down the tiles on which the Kalima was written. The policeman in uniform, who did that, was in tears and was vocal that his service made him undertake such (horrible) acts.
Kot Abdul Malik, District Sheikhupura; January 25, 2014: An Ahmadi youth, Arshad Ahmad went to a barber shop. The barber had switched on anti-Ahmadiyya speeches on an amplifier in his shop. Mr. Ahmad asked him to stop that, but he did not do so. Mr. Ahmad stood up and was about to depart from his shop when the barber called him a bad name. Mr. Ahmad was angered, and slapped the insulter. Later, the family members of Mr. Ahmad intervened and defused the issue tactfully.
The next morning the barber gathered approximately 40-50 youth and came to the house of Mr. Ahmad. They shouted insults and raised slogans against the Ahmadiyya community. The procession dispersed when they did not find Mr. Ahmad at home. On their way back they stopped in front of the mobile-phones shop of Mr. Qamaruz Zia, another Ahmadi. They pulled him out of his shop and beat him up. They insulted the portrait of the founder of the Ahmadiyya community and used foul language against him. The police arrived at the scene and took Mr. Zia to the police station. The police later arranged ‘reconciliation’ between Mr. Zia and the mullas to avoid action against the miscreants.
The situation remained tense in Kot Abdul Malik where the administration has a history of taking sides with extremist elements.