Administration and Police 2016

Administration and Police

 2016

A hideous, unwarranted and unlawful raid on Ahmadiyya central Offices in Rabwah

First ever such action; indicative of still more persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan

The PML-N government in the Punjab scored another ‘first ever’ by mounting an armed police raid in the name of counter-terrorism on the Ahmadiyya central offices in Pakistan. Nearly everyone who matters in the field of law and order knows very well that Ahmadis have remained strongly committed since their inception to oppose militancy in the name of religion. Still the CTD went ahead with nod from the top. The strong ties between the governing party and the mulla defy rational analysis. The raid brought little credit to the rulers; instead it manifested how unscrupulous authorities can commit great wrongs in the name of right.

 Rabwah; December 2016:   Government of Punjab apparently deployed terrorism as an instrument of provincial policy against Ahmadis, in the garb of counter terrorism.

An armed police contingent of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) carried out a raid on a Central Office (Publications Department of Tehrik Jadid) and Zia-ul-Islam Press here at mid-day on December 5, 2016. They acted brutally, severely beat up individuals unnecessarily, made unjustified arrests and took away office equipment and personal belongings. This sort of raid and attack had never been mounted in the past 42 years since the state adopted the agenda of acting hostile towards its Ahmadi citizens.

They came in three vehicles, approximately 25 of them, some in uniforms, and others in civvies. The armed personnel were wearing masks. They made forced entry in the office compound. Some of them proceeded directly to the first floor where Publications Directorate is located, while 5 or 6 men took up positions near the boundary wall. The latter made people lie down in the lawn. Those who entered the office ordered the staff to make no move. They told the octogenarian Director to stand up and accompany them. He asked them to show him the warrant, to which the intruders did not reply, but took possession of his lap-top and two mobile phones

The raiders beat up some of the office staff, checked their CNIC cards and arrested three officials, apparently only for their Rabwah addresses, as they took no action against one whose ID card was from District Gujranwala.

Apparently they were in search of the editorial staff of monthly Tehrik Jadid, who were not present at that time. The three arrested personnel are harmless, Waqif Zindagi, a cadre dedicated to the service of humanity in the field of religion. Why they arrested them and hand-cuffed them is not known. The raiders took away five office computers, a lap-top, a printer and a bag full of various books – this was more like loot, otherwise taking away a printer makes no sense.

At the time they came across a visiting peon in a corridor carrying some mail. They snatched the mail bag from him.

Thereafter they forced their way to the roof where the security office is located. They severely beat up the security guard, Rana Irfan Ahmad on duty, took the key of the locked almirah from him and took in custody arms found in the almirah, three guns and a pack of shots, all licensed and authorized. Acting as marauders rather than officials, they did not issue any receipt for the spoils.

The badly injured security guard Irfan Ahmad was driven immediately to the hospital by the Ahmadiyya administration. He was provided emergency aid followed by treatment; he recovered.

The visitors went to the Audit Office as well. They took their mobile phones and checked their CNICs. Later, they left behind the phones at the gate.

This phase of the raid lasted 25 minutes. After that they proceeded directly to the Zia ul Islam Press. It was about 1 P.M. They did not ring the bell but preferred to jump over the wall to enter the premises. They told the press operators to stop the press; they also beat them up for no reason. They asked them to hand them over the monthly ‘Tehrik Jadid’ and its plates. The pressmen told them that they had none at the moment, as they were busy printing the Ahmadiyya daily. The intruders asked them as to who was incharge after Mr. Tahir Mahdi Imtiaz (the squeaky clean printer who is in prison for almost two years in a case fabricated jointly by the police and mullas). Mr. Idrees Ahmad told them that he is the foreman. They handcuffed him and beat him up. They also took in possession 8 coloured plates, 4 black plates and printed sheets of the daily (it is published by permission, and for years now the authorities have found nothing objectionable in its texts).

This part of the brutish raid lasted half hour.

A police case was registered against 9 Ahmadis; 4 of those were arrested and others whose names are found in the monthly. They applied anti-Ahmadi sections PPC 298-B and 298-C, as also some sections of the Anti-terrorism Act.

The CTD is the same department that raided the only bookshop in Rabwah last year and succeeded in securing (5+3) eight years’ imprisonment for its octogenarian proprietor, Mr. Abdul Shakoor. It seems that the CTD Punjab is very meticulous and successful – in operations against very soft targets, decent individuals and peaceful communities.

The way they conducted the raid, it would be correct to assume that the raid was well planned over plenty of time and the prime-movers behind this are the leaders of politico-religious lobby in the Punjab.

It would be interesting for any research scholar to obtain one-year’s issues of the ‘Tehrik Jadid’, the monthly in question and pinpoint even a hint that calls for the notice of the CTD and the anti-terrorism laws.

As the circumstances of the raid became clearer, it became obvious that the raid was unlawful and unwarranted. However, first we report the gruesome development.

It was learnt from reliable sources that those arrested were tortured by the police after they were whisked away from Rabwah. Why did they do that, we have no idea. As a peaceful and law-abiding community, there is little to gain from Ahmadis by the Counter Terrorism Department. Torture of innocent people by police can be monstrous. Sometimes back, the Punjab Police arrested an Ahmadi teacher who was president of a neighborhood community in Rabwah, and tortured him to death. The victim was innocent of any wrongdoing.

As for remand, custody and FIR, the raid on Ahmadiyya central offices is not even mentioned in the FIR. Three Ahmadi personnel arrested from Ahmadiyya central offices were shown to be arrested from other places, in the FIR. This FIR is fabrication. Such falsehood does not suit the CTD.

The police obtained physical remand of the 4 detained individuals from the court. Their names are: Mr. Amir Faheem; Mr. Sabah ul Zafar; Mr. Zahid Majeed Mahmud and Mr. Idrees Ahmad. Five other Ahmadis were also named in the FIR.

The registered FIR of this case states that the monthly Tehrik-e-Jadid and the daily Alfazl were under an official ban. However facts are different. These two Ahmadiyya periodicals were banned by the Home Department of the Punjab Government in 2014 on recommendation of the Mutahida Ulama Board. It was a wrongful order, so the Lahore High Court was approached against it through Writ Petitions No 16660-15 and 16634-15 and the Court provided relief in its Order on June 02, 2015: “Notice. Subject to notice, until the next date of hearing, no coercive measures shall be adopted against the petitioner.” As such, the raid was unlawful and was made in a complete mockery of the LHC order.

As the three community officials arrested at the Ahmadiyya Office were at random and on no cognizable grounds, it is a precedent that puts the entire Ahmadi population at risk, as obviously, the police will think of the charges after the arrest. No one is safe under this modus operandi. The torture of the accused gives it a more horrendous dimension. Feeling of terror and fear prevails among Rabwah’s law-abiding Ahmadi population, ironically not of terrorists but of the Counter Terrorism Department.

It is opined that Punjab CTD is inadequately active against Islamist terrorists reputed to infest in southern Punjab and those who hide behind the screen of Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, ASWJ and numerous other organizations with ‘pious’ names and fronts, so the careerist CTD seniors train and fill in the log book by operations against very soft targets among peace-loving, harmless, unpopular sections of society.

Unless the Punjab Government is firmly advised in its own interest to withdraw this spurious case, the innocent accused would remain incarcerated for years, like Mr. Abdul Shakoor the octogenarian book-seller of Rabwah and Mr. Tahir Mahdi Imtiaz, the printer of the Ahmadiyya publications. The Punjab Government brings no credit to itself and Pakistan by violating Pakistan’s commitments to international covenants on Human Rights, Freedom of Religion, and Torture.

It is not out of place to assert that Ahmadi community is, in fact, an ally of the state in its counter-terrorism campaign. Ideologically, Ahmadis have pursued the policy of “No violence and coercion in matters of religion” for the last 125 years. Its publications have reached over 206 countries in the world and no other country, not even the other three provinces in Pakistan, have found them to be objectionable to deserve a ban.

Other than the four arrested in the raid, five Ahmadis were named in the FIR; these include Mr. Ehsanullah Danish, Mr. Shahid Mahmud Ahmad, Mr. Rashid Mahmud Minhas, Mr. Nafees Ahmad Atiq and Mr. Abdus Sami Khan. These are all journalists and pressmen. It is noteworthy that while the rest of the country enjoys ‘freedom of press’ adequately, Ahmadi pressmen are deliberately discriminated and are subjected to tyranny and hardships for literally no reason.

The nine Ahmadis were charged under PPC 298-C, 298-B, 298-B (A) and 9-11W/ATA 1997 in FIR Nr. 70/16 on December 5, 2016 in Police Station: CTD, Faisalabad. The fact that the counter-terrorism police charged them under all sections of the anti-Ahmadiyya laws is indicative that the raid was primarily based on religious grounds – the anti-terrorism clause was added for facility of procedure, use of force and causing further hardship to the targeted individuals and the community.

Those arrested were Mr. Amir Faheem, Mr. Sabah-al-Zafar, Mr. Zahid Mahmud and Mr. Idrees Ahmad the pressman.

By the end of December the four arrested are behind bars on judicial remand while the other five have been granted temporary bails by a court. The situation will become clearer after the expiry of the dates of remand and the temporary bail.

Here we make a few comments on this raid in addition to those made above.

  • It is certain that the raid was authorized at the highest level in the provincial capital. According to a press report (The Express Tribune of December 7) the CTD Punjab’s Inspector General himself stated that he had acted after consultations with his legal team. As for above him, everyone knows who is the boss of this I.G. This situation makes one wonder why the day was chosen to be the same as that of naming the National Centre of Physics in an Islamabad University after Dr Salaam, the Ahmadi Nobel-prize winner.
  • The accused individuals have been booked under Anti-terrorism Act. Have the members of the Ahmadiyya community ever been found involved in terrorist activities? The Ulama Board and mullas of Khatme Nabuwwat factions maliciously and most wrongfully accuse Ahmadis of such activities.
  • The Home Secretary should point out just one line from the 12 previous issues of monthly Tehrik Jadid or the 365 issues of the daily Alfazl, that is even remotely ‘seditious’ or ‘treasonable’.
  • The Punjab Government has also banned a book “Tazkarah” comprising dreams, visions, and revelations of the Ahmadiyya founder on the grounds that its contents are ‘seditious’ and ‘treasonable’; surely visions of 120 years ago could not be so, towards a state that was not even envisaged at that time.
  • The Ulama Board has banned religious books of other denominations too. Yes – but they were written by ordinary mullas. Banning of Ahmadi Founder’s works and Ahmadiyya translations of the Quran is altogether a different dimension and level. And it is malafide.
  • Punjab Government, on the recommendations of the Ulama Board, has banned all Ahmadiyya periodicals, even their children’s and women’s monthlies – that makes little sense.
  • The Ulama Board makes recommendations to the Punjab Government that clearly violate international covenants on Religious Freedom, which bring a bad name to both the Punjab and to Pakistan and their governments.

Following information is also relevant to this case:

  • The Khatme Nabuwwat (KN) leadership claimed that the raid was in consequence of their ‘complaint’ to the authorities. It is well-known that the KN is a sectarian organization and as such should be shunned by the authorities, under National Action Plan, rather than encouraged and supported.
  • The raids at Ahmadiyya offices and the printing press lasted less than 30 minutes at each location. It was more like an armed robbery than an intervention by the state in the affairs of a community committed to and reputed for its peaceful character.
  • The English language press gave fair coverage to this noteworthy event, while the Urdu press reported the raid in one column in inside pages, in space enough for a postage stamp. The daily Nation published an article by Mr. Usman Ahmad on December 9, 2016.
  • Opposition political parties decided to make no comment on this occasion. They are otherwise most outspoken and clamorous over the slightest disregard of their own rights.
  • Numerous western foreign governments and NGOs took due notice of this act of tyranny.

The US State Department criticized this crackdown on the Ahmadiyya Community. The Asian Human Rights Commission issued an Urgent Appeal case Nr. 150-2016 giving all the essential details of the case narrative; also, the Commission indicated that a separate letter was being written to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Question of Freedom of Religion and Faith.

The US Commission on International Religion Freedom deserves compliments on reacting fast and adequately to express its concern forthrightly on December 9, 2016 in its Immediate Release. We produce below its text.

PAKISTAN: USCIRF Condemns Egregious Treatment of Ahmadis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 9, 2016

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns the raid by Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism department (CTD) on the publications and audit offices of the Ahmadiyya community in Punjab province. During this raid, which took place on December 5, police beat and arrested several Ahmadis who later were charged under provisions in Pakistan’s penal code and Anti-Terrorism Act.

“USCIRF condemns the brutal raid on the Ahmadiyya offices, the first such raid since Pakistan amended its constitution 42 years ago, declaring that Ahmadis are ‘non-Muslims’, said USCIRF Chair Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. “These actions flow out of Pakistan’s constitution and penal code, both of which impede religious freedom as they prevent Ahmadis from exercising their faith and even calling themselves Muslim. Pakistan’s anti-terrorism law should not be applied to the peaceful Ahmadiyya community simply because they are Ahmadis.”

Pakistan’s constitution declares Ahmadis to be ‘non-Muslims’. Its penal code subjects Ahmadis to severe legal restrictions and officially-sanctioned discrimination, making it criminal for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslims, preach, propagate, or disseminate materials on their faith, or refer to their houses of worship as mosques. The government applies the anti-terrorism law as an unwarranted pretext to arrest members of the Ahmadiyya community. Ahmadis also continue to be murdered in religiously motivated attacks that take place with impunity.

Punjab province, the site of the raid and home to the greatest number of religious minorities, has a deeply troubling religious freedom record. Two-third of all blasphemy cases originate there, including that of Abdul Shakoor, an optician and book store owner. The CTD raided his book store and arrested him. In January 2016, Mr. Shakoor was sentenced to five years in prison on blasphemy charges and three years on terrorism charges, to be served concurrently, for propagating the Ahmadiyya faith by selling copies of the Qur’an and Ahmadiyya publications.

Since 2002, USCIRF has recommended to the State Department that Pakistan be named a ‘country of particular concern’ under the U.S. International Religious Freedom Act for its ‘systematic, ongoing and egregious’ violations of religious freedom. For more information on religious freedom conditions in Pakistan and for recommendations for U.S. Policy, please see the Pakistan chapter in USCIRF’s 2016 Annual Report (in English and Urdu).

 

The ‘deeply troubling religious freedom record’ of the Punjab province deserves immediate attention of its rulers. The provincial government cannot go on running the province on the ‘writ’ of the Ulama Board, as eventually the mullas will be inclined to claim the throne itself rather than act as its mere vizirs. It is not too late for Lahore’s authorities to withdraw the bogus charges against the nine accused and cancel all the absurd and senseless banning letters issued by the Home Department on recommendations of the Ulama Board.

 

Sealing of still another Ahmadiyya mosque after an attack by a hostile mob

Riot took place due ineffective official intervention. Led to flight of the entire Ahmadi community from their village. 2 deaths in the incident.

A massacre averted through firm official action after the miscreants’ occupation and arson in the mosque

 The mob attack on the Ahmadiyya mosque in District Chakwal was another major event in the highly deplorable history of defiling Ahmadiyya places of worship in Pakistan, that has reached unbelievable figures in the past three decades. It is surprising that a state and society can tolerate all that in the 20th and 21st century. The attack on the mosque was mounted by the mullas after prior warning to the authorities. The latter knew the date and time of the assembly of the crowd. Despite that, they used no tear gas, no water hoses, nothing to deter the procession from deviating off the authorized route. Ahmadis, though less than 5% of the attackers, had assembled to defend their mosque. It is sheer luck and coincidence that the event did not end up as a massacre, despite shoddy and cursory attitude of the authorities.

            The mosque was sealed, nevertheless. Ahmadis have no place to worship. That is what the mulla desired in the first instance. The authorities have delivered that.

Dulmial, District Chakwal, Punjab; December 2016:                      A hostile procession taken out on the felicitous occasion of the birthday of the Holy Prophet on 12 December 2016 altered its authorized route and went for the Ahmadiyya mosque in the village with declared intention to occupy it. A major clash at the site was avoided through police intervention however the miscreants succeeded in occupying the mosque and then setting its furnishings etc. on fire in police presence. Eventually Rangers and army units had to be deployed to restore peace. The authorities decided to seal the Ahmadiyya mosque. Two persons, one Ahmadi and one non-Ahmadi died in the event. Essential details follow.

This mosque was originally built in 1860. In those days there were no Ahmadis and no Non-Ahmadis, as Ahmadiyya Movement did not come into being till near the end of the 19th century. When Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad declared his divine mission, a number of influential, literate and land-owing elders of this village accepted his claim and became members of the Ahmadiyya denomination. They maintained their ownership, control and care of this mosque. There was no objection to non-Ahmadis praying there as communal tolerance prevailed in plenty. Later Non-Ahmadis built their own mosques; there are now ten of these. Land for some of these was provided gratis by Ahmadis as a sign of good-will and
service to God.

The control of the Ahmadiyya mosque was not exercised by non-Ahmadis ever. Even after 1974, when Ahmadis were declared Not-Muslims in the constitution, the other Muslims raised no objection to Ahmadis’ mosque – it was their place of worship. Decades later, in 1997, Non-Ahmadis approached the courts to claim its ownership; however, having no case, they could make no headway with their demand in the Lahore High Court. So they stopped pursuing the case. It was revived among the public only a few weeks ago by local mullas and by a mulla based in Canada, Malik Rashid Ahmad who had enough time, money and motivation to make big mischief, as Pakistan is amply susceptible to religious extremism and sectarianism. Assistance of Islamist organizations like Khatme Nabuwwat, Tehrik-i-Labaik Ya Rasool ul Alllah, Tajdar Khatme Nabuwwat etc was readily available.

In a Friday congregation, the leading visiting mulla at the local mosque Lal Shah incited the worshippers to violence and their commitment to forcibly take over the Ahmadiyya mosque on the birthday of the Holy Prophet. He asked them to respond to his call by standing up. Ahmadis learnt of their plans and informed the district administration of this, requesting security measures to protect the life and properties and worship places of Ahmadiyya Community. This letter was written on December 5, 2016, one week before the happening. Its copy was sent to the chief minister of Punjab.

Ahmadi-bashers made no effort to hide their intentions. They too sent a letter to the DCO, with copies to 10 authorities from the President of Pakistan down to the Punjab Home Minister. The letter spread over 27 pages, carried endorsement of 580 individuals (as claimed) but primarily of Sibt ul Hasan, Muhammad Hussain, Tauqir ul Hasan, Malik Rashid Ahmad and Mueed Shah. The letter plainly demanded help in “freeing the mosque, safeguarding the joint interest of Muslims, from the grip of Kufr; otherwise we might be forced into taking the most extreme action to restore the great sanctity of this mosque.”

It appears that the district authorities did little in response to this serious threat except calling some mullas and accepting their assurance that the intended procession will go by the authorized route and will not turn to the Ahmadiyya mosque. On December 12, the police presence was augmented slightly to approximately 2 dozen – entirely inadequate to handle an extremist mob of more than a thousand. The police later told the press that the participants numbered 2800 to 3000.

On 12 December the procession made a forced alteration to its authorized route and headed for the Ahmadiyya mosque, in violation of the commitment given by their leaders to the district administration. Arguably the commitment given was meant to be broken. Ahmadis had foreseen this possibility and a few dozen of them had assembled in their mosque to defend it against the threatened occupation. The processionists were armed. On arrival at the gate of the mosque they indulged in extensive firing, stone throwing and slogan raising. Ahmadis resisted the entry of the mob.

The small contingent of police was present and in contact with the two parties. The siege went on for hours. One Ahmadi defender, a senior citizen, died of cardiac arrest on account of the stress of the happenings. Senior police and district administration officials had arrived by then at the scene. The police eventually persuaded Ahmadis to depart from a back door, and guaranteed safety of the mosque and made the promise that the rioters would not be allowed to take its possession. However, immediately after the Ahmadis left, the mob stormed in and the police did little to stop them. Once inside, they defiled the mosque, piled up its sacred scripts, furniture, carpets etc. and set them on fire.

Then came the Rangers, even Army units. The miscreants fled. The mosque was sealed by the authorities.

During the siege, one of the processionists was hit by a shot, he died subsequently. In a previous report we mentioned that Ahmadis insist they did not kill him; now we know better that the senior Ahmadis did not have the time and opportunity to interview all the Ahmadi defenders, so who shot at him will have to be assessed through professional investigation.

The police registered one (not two) FIR against the rioters as also against Ahmadis; it was entered in the name of local SHO. Its wording is not far from what happened. It is registered as Nr. 214/16 in P.S. Choa Saidan Shah on December 12, 2016 under PPCs 302/324, 153A/186, 353/295, 295-A/436, 148/149, 147 and 7ATA. It names 36 non-Ahmadis and 36 Ahmadis. The numbers seem to imply a balanced approach. However, how a few defenders of their own property, a place of worship, could be treated at par with a violent mob assembled at the targeted site, with commitment to occupy the place. A simple mathematical calculation will show that while 60% of the defenders have been named in the FIR, the aggressors number a little more than 1 percent.

After the riot, the situation was very tense in the village. Ahmadis felt very unsafe. They left with their families for safe locations, to wait for the situation to become clearer. However, such a flight is a very severe hardship in village life.

The ‘tweet’ made by the provincial government during the riot is worth quoting. “Punjab Home Department is following up Chakwal incident. The local admin and police are at the spot and handling the situation. As per details, a misunderstanding developed between the two groups. The police and administration are making all out efforts to resolve the issue amicably,” they wrote. To call the pre-planned assault undertaken by a mob comprising thousands ‘a misunderstanding’ is indeed cool – to a low degree. The tweeted amicable resolution resulted in sealing the Ahmadiyya mosque and flight of the entire Ahmadiyya community from the village – tyranny of the majority!

A day after the mob stoned the Ahmadiyya mosque, Rana Sanaullah, the provincial minister appeared on program Newswise on Dawn TV and made some quotable remarks:

  • At present, everything is under control there (in Dulmial). Majority of people there are peaceful. There was no sectarian tension there, however… .
  • Responsible officials had got the issue resolved through mutual consultation; they (mullas) had assured (us) that they will not undertake any such action at the time of the rally… .
  • (Ahmadi) guards at the scene should not have hurried to react; the police were there. … Had the guards not opened fire, the police would have negotiated an understanding and the procession would have passed, as it always did in the past (sic).
  • See how we defend them (Ahmadis). We saved these people in Jhelum too. I am sorry to notice Ahmadis’ campaign in the social media. If you do that, you are fanning the fire that we want to curb. You expose it further…..Don’t do that….I reassure them that they should entertain no fear.

(Note: Ahmadis’ experience in Lahore, Jhelum, Gujranwala, Chak Sikandar, Jhando Sahi, Tando Allah Yar, etc was quite different to what Minister Rana suggested.)

At present four Ahmadis are under arrest. They are Malik Riaz Ahmad, Mr. Muhammad Anwar, Mr. Naveed Ahmad and Mr. Khurram Akbar. By the end of the month 68 Ahmadis including women and children had gone back to home.

In a recent report in the daily Dawn, Chairman National Commission of Human Rights (NCHR) Justice (r) Ali Nawaz Chohan informed the Senate Committee that the key culprit behind the incident was Abdul Rasheed (sic); accused (Rasheed) had a history of propagating extremism and creating troubles in the name of religion; the chairman NCHR said Rasheed had absconded from the scene and was still at large; We (NCHR) blame the police and the administration for failing to stop the act of violence; the senators blamed the police and the administration for the failure to prevent the act of arson,…Senator Nisar Khan said there had been reports on social media that the police did not act to prevent the violence which continued for around five hours; the (Senate) Committee decided to write to the Punjab government to pay compensation to the victims. (Dawn, January 3, 2017)

The Punjab government has reportedly asked the federal government to put Rasheed and Hafeez ur Rehman, the leaders of miscreants on the Exit Control List.

It is also relevant to mention that an overwhelming majority of the miscreants in the procession came from adjoining villages. The one who died that day was also not a local resident.

The Punjab government has formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate and report on the incident. It is headed by an I.G. Police and its members are officials from police and other security agencies.

Meanwhile, some religious leaders like Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali and Pir Afzal Qadri of Tehrik-i-Labaik Ya Rasoolullah, Mulla Khadim Hussain Rizvi of Tajdar Khatme Nabuwwat and the leaderships of Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat issued a call for observing the next Friday, 16 December as a ‘Day of Protests’, deliver sermons in mosques on the issue, take out processions etc. In fact it was recipe for countrywide unrest. It was announced that ‘two Muslims had been killed by Qadianis, while not a single Qadiani got a bruise.’ The government did not wish the agitation to grow, and issued orders to the administration and police to restrict the mullas effectively. This was done and there were no mentionable incidents, proving that the authorities can be effective if they decide to be so.

The news of this vicious assault on a house of worship spread fast worldwide. The UN Country Team expressed its shock at the brutality of this mob attack on Ahmadi place of worship in Chakwal. The New York Times gave it the headline: Pakistanis attack mosque of religious minority. Lantos Foundation in Washington and England-based International Human Rights Committee jointly condemned the attack on Chakwal mosque as also the police raid on Ahmadiyya headquarters in Pakistan. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan issued a wholesome staff report on December 15 expressing grave concern over the treatment being meted out to Ahmadi citizens both at the hands of those tasked with security as well as the zealots. The commission said that it was hugely distressing that the police were not able to protect the worship place. ‘Both incidents constitute a failure on part of the authorities to ensure protection of citizens’ rights enshrined in the Constitution and under international human rights law,’ it said. The Commission demanded a probe to determine “what could have led to a conclusion that would not have deprived the Ahmadis of one more of their place of worship.”

The local, national and international press reported the loathsome attack, and made editorial comments. The Associated Press reported, “The mob hurled stones and bricks at the mosque before storming the building, said Mahmood Javed Bhatti, Deputy Commissioners of the Chakwal district outside Islamabad, adding that gunmen opened fire on Ahmadis during the melee.” The weekly Newsweek Pakistan issued its report under the forthright headline ‘Islamabad has a shameful habit of forgetting its past’. The weekly concluded its report by comment that, Ahmadis – ‘manufactured’ as a minority in 1974 – are not Pakistan’s only embattled minority community. Christians too are attacked routinely, resulting in deaths and loss of property, as in 2009 at Gojra and in 2013 and 2014 across Pakistan while the state concocted ways of forgetting that it was moving towards its terminal crises.’

The dailies The Express Tribune, The Nation, The News made apt editorial comments on this monstrous and unsupportable assault on a place of worship. The daily Dawn undertook detailed credible reporting of the incident, prepared by its local correspondent in Chakwal.

The local weekly Asaar, published from Chakwal, Chief Editor Yunus Awan, candidly, truthfully and boldly reported the incident in the following bold headlines on December 15, 2016:

Assault on Qadianis’ place of worship in Dulmial. 2 dead, …

Some participants of the 12 Rabi ul Awal procession deviated from the authorized route and headed for Qadianis’ worship place.

They shouted slogans vigorously; broke open the gate and entered; threw out the furnishings and books and set them on fire.

Those inside the worship place saved their lives by escaping from back door. The furious mob persisted in rioting and kept shouting loud slogans.

During the rioting, Khalid son of Ayub died of cardiac arrest in the worship place while Naeem Shafiq was shot dead.

The administration called the Rangers and the Army. The angry mob was driven out of worship place which was then sealed. Funeral rites of Naeem Shafiq were performed on Tuesday.

Weekly Asar, Chakwal, December 15, 2016

The weekly offered the following opinions too in bold headlines:

The DCO and DPO are responsible for the tragedy in Dulmial

The state is duty bound to protect lives and properties of its citizens. The DCO and the DPO failed to take action on the two parties’ representations.

The DCO and the DPO displayed routine lethargy and took no effective action despite the prevailing tension.

The DCO and DPO are also accountable to someone. Those responsible should be punished after due inquiry.

Kunwar Khuldun Shahid, a renowned op-ed writer wrote on December 15 a hard hitting readable article for the blog ‘The diplomat’ and gave it the title of his concluding recommendation: To win its war on terror, Pakistan must accept Ahmadis as Muslims.

Shan Taseer, worthy son of a worthy father, martyred Governor Salman Taseer, wrote, fit for archives, an article in Urdu, for www.humsub; extracts:

“…Tomorrow, if India’s parliament, through a unanimous act, declares, 250 million Indian Muslims to be Non-Muslims, and then persecutes them, and the world raises the issue, would it be disregarded declaring it to be India’s internal problem.”…

“Through this (Second Amendment) that is unconstitutional, non-political and inhuman, Pakistan has become the only country in the world, to use the democratic tool to deliver its people from the bondage of imperialism and dictators and passed them to the bloody claws of Mullaism. This bondage is more disappointing and dangerous as it derives the justification for its tyranny and brutality from religion. Through such legislation we have handed over a gun to a monkey, while we seem satisfied that he will shoot only Ahmadi or Shia citizens.

Fellows… he’ll shoot anyone. For God’s sake, take the gun back from this monkey, otherwise even your future generations are not safe.

            http:www.humsuh.com.pk/36737/shan-taseer

In the meantime the mulla did not rest on his oars. He availed of the vernacular press and the electronic media to justify his excesses and consolidate his success. In this effort, he, as always, distorted the truth and indulged in vicious rhetoric. He conveyed to the common man, inter alia;

  • Ahmadis posted their men; this incited the processionists.
  • Qadianis took away a Muslim, killed him and threw away his dead body.
  • Two Muslims were killed.
  • Qadianis are committed to spread disorder and provocation in Pakistan.
  • Qadiani bureaucrats are playing a dangerous game to derail CPEC.

Issued by Action Committee Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat (Pakistan)

From an op-ed in a vernacular daily:

  • It was the Qadianis who attacked the Holy Birthday procession.
  • In Dulmial Qadianis abducted a Muslim youth and killed him.
  • There are many mosques in the Punjab that are under the Qadiani grip (Qabza) and their aggressive posture can lead to a massacre.
  • The Dulmial mosque, Qadianis had converted it into a Dur uz Zikr, and they even switched on Qadiani TV transmissions therein.
  • Muslims appealed to the president and the prime Minister to hand over this mosque to Muslims, or it should be sealed in the first instance, but none took any notice.
  • Muslims did not set fire to mosque, they only took out Qadianis’ apostatical literature, dish antenna, TV, and other furnishings and set these on fire. They took possession of the mosque and thereafter offered Asr prayers therein. Etc.

(Mulla) Naveed Masood Hashmi in the daily Ausaf; Lahore, December 16, 2016

The mullas have demanded that the original FIR registered by the police should be discarded and a fresh one be entered. Obviously they would like to fabricate the new one to absolve themselves and add hostile and incorrect information in the amended document.

According to a press report the DCO visited the family of the deceased Muslim to offer condolences. He paid them a sum of Rs. 100,000 at the occasion.

In our opinion, while it is courteous to offer condolences to a bereaved family, it is highly improper for the state to send its functionary to a family whose member was involved in a criminal activity which could have blown up into a massacre. This visit conveys the message: “Do what you like in the name of Islam; if you come to grief, the state will be sympathetic to your family and will support them financially.” If this is not terrorism in the name of religion, what else is?

It is almost three weeks that this worship place is locked, and Ahmadis have no place to worship. This is what the mulla wanted. The authorities have delivered that. Mulla is the winner – thanks to his supporters.

‘Ahmadi place of worship may see court case following mob attack’ reported the Dawn on December 19. This is ominous. The mosque should be unsealed first and Ahmadis should be facilitated to pray there as they have been doing since Pakistan came into being. If the mulla wants to go to the court, he may do so; he attempted that in 1997 and quit finding it a hopeless exercise. He may try again.

The government of Punjab might object to being blamed of lethargy, inaction and indirect complicity; after all ‘we succeeded in averting a massacre, with only two dead and the mosque still intact.’ But it ignores that it had to seal the only place of worship with Ahmadis; it remains sealed weeks later to-date. Where should Ahmadis go to offer their obligatory prayers? Is it not its duty and raison d’etre according to the Constitution to facilitate citizens’ right to freedom of worship? The government has a huge store of tear gas shells and water cannons to deter a mob from taking an unauthorized route. Why were the police not directed to take these items to Dulmial on 12th morning? Why the worship place has not been unsealed yet, even if a judicial decision is to be sought eventually? Was sealing not the option the mulla demanded in the first place? The charge of indirect complicity of the government will stick as long as the Ahmadiyya mosque remains sealed.

Last but not least, some statistics concerning Ahmadiyya mosques, from the day a dictator promulgated anti-Ahmadi ordinance in 1984, till now:

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques demolished                                     :           27

Number of Ahmadiyya mosque set on fire or damaged                     :           21

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques forcibly occupied                           :           17

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques construction of which was

barred by authorities                                                                           :           53

Number of Ahmadiyya mosques sealed by authorities                      :           32

Unbelievable – but true

No state that treats some of its citizens in this manner treads a path of bliss, felicity and peace. History has its own way of retribution and the consequences of past policies and actions are fairly visible even to the dense.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and Ahmadis

 It would not be wrong to say that so far Ahmadis are concerned the government (at least in the Punjab) has handed over its writ to the extreme right – be it mullas, TV anchors, op-ed writers, pressmen, whatever. The two incidents described below prove it beyond doubt. This happened despite the fact that a National Action Plan is claimed to be operative and a so-called ‘war on terror’ goes on. The foot-soldiers on both sides are falling, but the terror leaders are not only safe and sound, they indulge in their acts of extremism, and promote the violence-prone ideology blatantly and aggressively – and they win.

 (i) Ahmadiyya and their persecution disallowed to be discussed on TV

Although it is difficult to say if a TV discussion on Ahmadis and their plight in Pakistan would be of any help to the beleaguered community, it is a policy with their bashers to discourage even a mention of Ahmadis on any forum. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has found it convenient to be of the same opinion. The daily Dawn published the following story in its issue of June 18, 2016 (extracts):

Banning a programme is against freedom of expression

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has barred actor Hamza Ali Abbasi and Shabbir Abu Talib from hosting Ramazan shows on Aaj TV and News One respectively, for promoting controversial and sectarian views.

The governing body banned the Aaj News programme Ramazan Hamara Imam, hosted by Mr. Abbasi. In one of his recent episodes, Mr. Abbasi discussed the oppression of the Ahmadi community, asking his guest whether the state could declare a community non-Muslim. During the same episode, he said he would discuss the Ahmadi community as well as the blasphemy law during the last days of Ramazan.

During the episode, Mr. Abbasi said: “The community is being suppressed, but if you talk about it, people say you are from that community. I’m not Ahmadi, I’m a Sunni Muslim.

It appears his show caught the attention of Pemra, which banned the programme on Friday.

According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairperson Zohra Yusuf, Pemra has recently taken a number of decisions which seemed to be against freedom of expression.

… In a statement, Pemra said it has received 1,133 complaints through Whatsapp, Twitter and over the phone, for promoting sectarianism and violence.

The notification said any programme featuring Mr. Abbasi, Mr. Talib or the religious figure Maulana Kokab Noorani discussing this particular controversial issue or any other such topic on any other channel will also be banned.

… Several complaints have been received by the authority over the said programme, and they have been given a chance to clarify their position, the spokesperson added.

This incident will soon end up in dustbin of history, however it did expose a number of people who influence opinions in Pakistan, good or bad. Here, their brief mention will place them on record.

Those who supported Hamza Ali Abbasi’s attempt to broach the subject

Dr Mehdi Hasan:           Pakistan of today is not that of Jinnah; it is that of Ziaul Haq. Religious extremism reigns supreme here. All decisions are made here to placate those who promote their politics in the name of religion. The present government is doing the same.         BBC Urdu. Com

Jibran Nasir:      Thank you Hamza Ali Abbasi, for raising this important question and starting discourse on this topic which is violating fundamental rights of hundreds of thousands of Pakistani Ahmadis.                                                                                                                                                         video

Asif Nawaz:      He (Abbasi) went on to highlight the abuse faced by the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan, questioned why they weren’t guaranteed their rights and also lamented on how people label the person standing up for Ahmadis’ rights as an Ahmadi too. Sounds vaguely relevant to many of us, but Hamza took it to another level altogether.

Published on June 14, 2016 blogs.tribune.com.pk

Shamila Hayat: While commenting on mulla Kaukab Noorani Okarvi remark on TV that anyone who talked about Ahmadis or the blasphemy laws ‘should be shot dead on the spot’, posed the question about the mulla: Is he a scholar or a don or a goon? A religious goon….It really is the time we took our country back from these Mullahs and made it Jinnah’s Pakistan the way it was intended to be.

Those who opposed Hamza Abbasi’s line of thought

Maulvi Tahir Ashrafi, the chairman of the Pakistan Ulama Council said on social media that Aaj TV’s admin should close the program in favour of Qadianis… .

Jamaat Islami:               Mian Maqsud Ahmad, Amir JI Punjab said, “… If PEMRA takes no notice, the JI will take it up to the Supreme Court against the program.”

The daily Ummat, 15.6.2016

JUP (Noorani)’s president Dr Abul Khair Zubair said that Hamza Ali Abbasi should be arrested forthwith.

The daily Ummat, 15.6.2016

A.K. Dogar, Ahsan Ali Khan, Imran Shahid Advocate and Z.A Malik all demanded that the anchor (Hamza Abbasi) should be arrested and prosecuted…. Ahsan Ali Khan said that such a person should have his tongue plucked, thereafter he should be lashed (Tiktiki par).

The daily Ummat 15.6.16

Mufti Abid Mubarak of Darul Ulum… In 1953, more than 10,000 Muslims were martyred merely because they believed that their Prophet had a right upon them…. (Note: This statement on TV was a lie because the number of dead counted and mentioned by the authoritative Judicial inquiry in 1953 Punjab riots put the level of deaths in the entire Punjab in two figures.)

Also, when Abbasi proposed to him to have a discussion on the TV program with an Ahmadi so that he could present arguments in favour of his belief, the Mufti immediately retorted:

“No. No. He (the Ahmadi) does not have the right to preach.”

Jamil Rathore said on Abbasi’s program: In an interview, Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani had once said that apart from Sunni and Shia sects, all other sects in the sub-continent were founded by the British.

Agha Alam Rizvi (a Shia scholar, participant of the Abbasi program) said that he fully agreed with Mufti Mubarak and Jamil Rathore.

Note: It is learnt that fatwas calling for the revival of Abbasi’s Nikah have also been issued, as also those declaring him to be ‘deserving of being killed.`

Madeeha Hanif who on social media has posted her picture in veil and claims to be ‘Social Worker at Islami Jamiat Talibat Pakistan (Official), the female student wing of Jamaat Islami, put the following post in vernacular:

  • Where exactly lives this Hamza Ali Abbasi?
  • Are there nearby any lovers of my Prophet? Why don’t they make life unbearable for this person?
  • Does no moth of the Prophet’s light live on his route, who could defile him the way he defiles the (Islamic) Faith? To which school his children go?
  • Would someone lovingly inform them of the defiling undertaken by their shameless father, like the grandson of Ayub Khan who shouted a slogan in favour of the Prophet before the wretched man? Would someone insult him; become a Moses in the home of Pharaoh?
  • Any relative of his? Anyone who would socially boycott him for faith and stop eating at his table?
  • Any friend with a sense of shame, who would tell him that he could not be his if he was not of his Prophet?
  • Would someone declare to be unfriendly to him and boycott his program from today?
  • Are there people who would knock at the door of Aaj TV office?
  • Only those who are unnecessarily harassing poor Junaid Jamshed?
  • Are there any who could en-masse start blowing their horns in front of TV’s offices?
  • Someone should refuse to guard the shameless Zuberi family whose billions have not sufficed to put a stop to their lust for wealth and rating and lack of scruples?
  • Let some lawyer rise and in thirst for the Holy Water (Jam Kausar) move a court against Hamza!

Jamaat Islami’s ability to generate such hate, rage, and intrigue in its youth is indeed amazing – and that too in the fair name of Islam and its Prophet (pbuh).

(ii) PEMRA wimps out of its notices to TV channels on Ahmadiyya issue

Only a few weeks after PEMRA barred Hamza Abbasi from discussion of the Ahmadiyya issue on TV, two anti-Ahmadi TV programs were broadcast on September 7, 2016. The reaction of PEMRA and its eventual conclusion provide an interesting but woeful study of the function and writ of the state in this field.

Very briefly, TV channel 92 News aired a program Subah Noor, in which Mr. Nazir Ahmad Ghazi acted as the host while Mufti Farooq Al-Qadri, Mr. Khalid Mateen and Dr. Hameed Tanoli participated. This team grossly violated PEMRA’s code of ethics issued on August 19, 2015, and indulged in provocative sectarian discourse and undertook false propaganda against the founder of the Ahmadi community.

Similarly TV Channel Neo News team, Jamil Farooqi the host and Orya Maqbool Jan the guest indulged in blatantly hurting the feelings of a great number of Ahmadis who are patriotic Pakistanis. This duo called the Ahmadi community a ‘Mischief’ (fitna) and attributed fabricated claims to the founder of the community.

Ahmadiyya central office sent a formal complaint to the Chairperson of PEMRA’s Council of Complaints with copies to the Federal Ministers of Interior and Information, for violation of Pemra rules and the National Action Plan.

The daily Dawn reported the incident initially in its issue of September 16, 2016 as follows:

“LAHORE: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra) took notice of complaints against two television channels for airing ‘provocative’ content against the Ahmadi community.

“Anjuman Ahmedia Pakistan president registered a complaint with the media watchdog against Neo TV and Channel 92 alongside “a large number of complaints from the general public” against content aired by Neo TV’s ‘Harf-e-Raz’ and Channel 92’s ‘Subha-e-Noor’ shows, a Pemra statement said.

“The complaints termed the content aired in the shows as “provocative against a minority whose members are already threatened, harassed and have suffered a number of terrorist attacks in the past”.

“The complainants have also mentioned that such programming serves no national interest and is rather incitement to violence against minorities which is in violations of National Action Plan and Pemra laws.”

“Pemra forwarded the complaint to the Council of Complaints in Lahore for further action, adding that complainants had requested the regulator to take action against content “promoting disharmony among people”.

“The regulatory body made it clear that according to Pemra laws, both the channels and complainants will be provided with opportunities for hearing before a decision is recommended.”

The regulatory body issued notices to all concerned. The accused apparently decided to confront the PEMRA, all guns blazing.

The Khatme Nabuwwat organisations’ mullas made hue and cry over the PEMRA notices to the two TV channels. Some reports from the vernacular dailies are reproduced below:

The PEMRA notice to private channels is deplorable: Majlis Ahrar (Islam)

The daily Islam; Lahore, September 18, 2016

The notice issued to TV channels for the programme on Khatme Nabuwwat and rebuttal of Qadianiat is condemnable: Abdul Lateef (Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat Rabita Committee)

The daily Ausaf; Lahore, September 19, 2016

PEMRA’s decision is entirely pro-Qadianiat: Majlis Tahaffuze Khatme Nabuwwat

The daily Dunya; Faisalabad, September 21, 2016

The programme on rebuttal of Qadianiat: the notice to the channels should be withdrawn – a letter to Pemra

The programme was in accord with the Quran, Hadith and the decision of the parliament: Member Rabita Committee Khatme Nabuwwat

The daily Islam; Lahore, September 23, 2016

PEMRA should apologize for sending notices to the channels: Majlis Tahaffuze Khatme Nabuwwat

The daily Islam; Lahore, September 26, 2016

The daily Dawn eventually reported the end result in its issue of September 30, 2016:

“LAHORE: The Council of Complaints of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra) dismissed on Thursday the complaints of the minority Ahmadi community against two private TV channels as ‘non-maintainable’.

“The decision was made after a mob entered the Pemra office in the Cantonment area, asking the authority to quash the complaints and raising slogans against the Ahmadi community.

“Acting on complaints, Pemra had called the hosts of Neo TV’s talk show ‘Harf-i-Raz’ and Channel 92’s ‘Subh-i-Noor’ to explain their position over allegations of ‘provoking’ people to resort to violence against the minority community.

“The representatives of the community were also present there when a good number of people, including clerics, entered the Pemra office, asking the authority to quash the complaints.

“A Pemra official told Dawn that the authority had to call police to control the situation. “Police rescued representatives of the Ahmadi community who could not record their statements before the council,” he said.

“Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya spokesman Saleemuddin said the council had issued the verdict “under pressure” and without hearing the complainants instead of taking action against those involved in putting lives of the minority community members in danger.

“The complainants in their applications to Pemra had alleged that the content aired in the two shows contained “provocative” remarks against a minority community whose members were already threatened, harassed and had suffered terrorist attacks in the past.

“The content fostered disharmony among people and incited them to violence against minorities which was in violation of the National Action Plan and Pemra laws, they said.

“Pemra said in a statement that in response to a public announcement made on Facebook by Orya Maqbool Jaan, the anchor of Neo TV, over 100 lawyers and other people, led by Mr Jaan, entered the conference room of the authority’s office and raised slogans.

“However, it said, after considering the content of the complaints and hearing the respondents, the council unanimously recommended that the complaints were not maintainable.”

It is worth mentioning that when Ahmadiyya delegation reached there, they saw a few mullas and lawyers already present there. Hassan Muaviya (brother of Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi – Chairman of Pakistan Ulama Council) was also there. This mulla is very active on anti-Ahmadiyya front and serves as ever-ready complainant in most of the anti-Ahmadiyya cases in Lahore. The Ahmadiyya delegation waited for two hours for their turn to state their case but were not invited to do so. Eventually the PEMRA called the police, but the two departments jointly decided to yield to the threatening bigots. The police were asked to provide safe return to the Ahmadi delegation who protested against non-hearing of their plea.

After the hateful programs, the Daily Times published an article titled Neo’s hate speech and PEMRA’s inaction on September 12, 2016; its opening paragraphs mentioned:

“Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) is completely silent on Neo channel’s abusive hate speech against the Ahmadi community. Hamza Ali Abbasi’s show during Ramzan was promptly banned because Abbasi dared to speak out about the fundamental human rights of a peaceful community that has been repeatedly wronged by Pakistan since September 7, 1974. Now Orya Maqbool Jan’s abuse against the Ahmadis has been allowed without check by PEMRA. These are double standards, and all I can say at this point is shame. On all of us.

“That it was hate speech is unquestionable. Ahmadis and their sect’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, were painted as British plants by Neo and Jan. Ironic to say the least! Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was for the longest time seen by the Muslim community as a valiant ideological warrior against the onslaught of Christian missionaries on the faith. This was before his more controversial claims were aired. To accuse him of being a British lackey is a travesty of justice and fair-mindedness. You can have a theological disagreement with his claims, but to try and retrofit British perfidy on to him cannot be sustained in the eyes of historical evidence.”

The daily The Express Tribune published the following story as well on October 3, 2016 under the title, “When custodians of law turn into an unruly mob,” (extract):

“A group of lawyers, under the leadership of Lahore High Court Bar Association President Rana Zia Abdur Rehman and LHCBA Secretary Anas Ghazi, and enraged clerics from different seminaries barged in the office of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Lahore, where its Council of Complaints was holding a meeting on the complaint of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya, who had accused two TV channels of airing programmes aimed at spreading hatred regarding them.

“The lawyers would have not done so had the former judge of LHC, and father of LHCBA secretary, Nazir Ghazi, not been among those against whom Pemra had initiated proceedings.

“Nazir was the host of the show, aired on September 7, in which the members of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya said remarks were made against them.

“The enraged lawyers and clerics also hindered the Council of Complaints to an extent that it could not continue the proceedings.

“A Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya representative, who was at the Pemra office, had to hide in the premises to save themselves.  However, the council had to carry out the proceedings under the influence of the protesting lawyers and clerics, because of which the application filed by representatives of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya was disposed of without the complainant being heard.

“So the rule of “no one can be condemned unheard” was compromised. No action was taken or even demanded by Pemra, under Section 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of Pakistan Penal Code.”

The above led to the claim: “The rejection of Qadiani application against TV channels is our triumph: Khatme Nabuwwat Rabita Committee”

The daily Islam; Lahore, September 30, 2016

Khaled Ahmad, a renowned columnist has recently written a book: Sleep Walking to Surrender; dealing with terrorism in Pakistan. It was briefly reviewed in The Friday Times of September 30, 2016. Following extract of that review appears relevant to this case, in particular the mention of ‘deep state’:

“Non-state actors, and the extremist terror outfits they control, pursue extortion, kidnapping and murder to fund their activities, and receive ideological, financial and logistical support from the deep state. The army continues to use them in its India-centric agenda. Civilian institutions are intimidated and individuals who speak out against the terror outfits become targets of their retribution. Violence, not law, increasingly commands human conduct, and the state’s willingness to enter into ‘peace talks’ with the Taliban is viewed as a form of surrender to extremism.

“Khaled Ahmed is Pakistan’s most respected columnist, and his formidable expertise on the ideologies of extremism is internationally acknowledged. In Sleepwalking to Surrender, he analyses the terrible toll terrorism has taken on Pakistan and appraises the portents for the future.”

The extremists’ comment on the PEMRA decision on the Ahmadiyya complaint

The incident was a clear victory for the bigots of the right wing, and a demonstration of ‘wakeful surrender’ of the state authority. The victors celebrated it in op-ed columns of vernacular newspapers. We produce below extracts from one such op-ed published in the daily Islam of October 3, 2016. It is titled: Qadianis’ defeat in PEMRA.

“…We were informed on the evening of September 28 that there will be a hearing of the Notices at 2 p.m. on September 29, issued by PEMRA to the two TV channels. On Thursday 29 September 2016 at 2 p.m. when Mr. Nazir Ahmad Ghazi (Channel 92) and Mr. Orya Maqbool Jan (New News) turned up at the court (office) of Dr. Mehdi Hasan and other members of PEMRA Lahore Council, (they found that) a large number of leaders and workers of Majlis Ahrar Islam, Aalami Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat, JUP and all other denominations, and lawyers, students and representatives of other groups were present at the location.

“On commencement of the hearing, Mr. Muhammad Matin Khalid, Mr. Nazir Ahmad Ghazi, Mr. Orya Maqbool Jan and Mr. Azhar Siddique advocate high court, drunk with the love of the Prophet (PBUH) defended the programs of the TV channels and explained the Qadianis’ status in constitution and law. Dr Mehdi Hasan and other members of the PEMRA Lahore Council gave their decision in favour of the programs of the TV channels. At this, there were deafening shouts of slogans of Allah o Akbar, Taj-o-Takht (crown and throne) Khatme Nabuwwat – Long live. Mr. Orya Maqbool Jan addressed all those assembled there, and thus Qadianis came to disgrace.”

The follow-up was interesting and deserves a place in records. The same evening chairperson of the complaints council Dr. Mehdi Hassan spoke to Voice of America and denied dismissing the complaint and said:

“If something else has been published in the press release then whoever wrote that did it due to the pressure of the 100 or so people who raised slogans.

“I implored the crowd that we have not yet made a decision on whether the complaint of the Ahmadiyya community is maintainable or not and due to the atmosphere that has been created in the conference hall, we cannot objectively make a decision. Yet they continued to raise slogans and alleged that I am not authorized to make the decision on the complaint since they have doubts about my faith.”

 Police move fast to book an Ahmadi local leader

Shadan Lund, District D.G. Khan; April 25, 2016:              Police registered an FIR no. 125 against Mirza Ikramullah S/O Mr. Zafarullah under 14-14/15 Punjab Security Act on April 25, 2016 in P.S. Kala, District DG Khan. They blamed the accused that the boundary wall of the Ahmadiyya mosque did not meet the security standard and CCTV cameras were not working properly.

Interim bail of Mr. Ikramullah was sought, and other demands of the police were met.

Prosecution based on faith and greed

Chaubarah, District Layya:   Mian Muhammad Khan Joya, Ahmadi was booked fraudulently under PPC 406 by the police on complaint of his opponents who were motivated by greed and used faith to promote self-interest. Mr. Joya is father-in-law of Ms. Maryam Khatun who was killed by these opponents in December 2011 for the same reasons.

Our fact-finders found that the charges against Mr. Joya were fabricated and baseless. The accusers were those who killed his daughter-in-law almost five years ago. On their behest Mr. Joya was arrested on June 26, 2016 and was remanded in police custody. On July 11, 2016 he was granted bail.

His opponents are a powerful gang, masters in dealing with police and processing litigation and prosecution. Along with this case, they had a similar case registered with Satrah police in District Sialkot.

On July 11, 2016 when Mr. Joya was released by the court on bail, the Satrah police was on hand to arrest him in the second and similar case. Later he was released on bail.

Ahmadiyya mosque handed over to opponents; missionary house sealed

Chak 2/TDA, District Khushab; March 2016:          The District Coordination Officer of District Khushab handed over the local Ahmadiyya mosque to an anti-Ahmadiyya group. This mosque was previously sealed by the administration on October 28, 2015.

Opponents of the Ahmadiyya community not only took control of the Ahmadiyya mosque but also occupied the adjacent missionary house. Ahmadis applied to the SHO of police station Mitha Tiwana to revert the missionary house to Ahmadis. The District Police Officer and Assistant Commissioner also came to the spot. A contingent of mullas was also present there. After an hour’s discussion the three officers decided to seal the missionary house instead of restoring it to Ahmadis.

A brief resume of the case is worth mentioning. On November 10, 2000 a violent mob led by mullah Athar Hussain Shah killed five Ahmadis and destroyed the Ahmadiyya mosque in Takht Hazara, District Sargodha. Instead of convicting Athar Shah, the riot leader, the judge sentenced four Ahmadis to five-year imprisonment. Later this mulla settled in Qaidabad, District Khushab. He continues to foment anti-Ahmadi agitation in his parish.

In October 2010 Shah got a petition registered in the sessions court Khushab that the Ahmadi mosque in Chak 2/TDA, District Khushab is a property of ‘Muslims’. It should be confiscated and handed over to Muslims. On November 29, 2012 the judge dismissed the petition and held that the complainant was not a local citizen, so his demand was baseless. He also accepted the Ahmadiyya claim to the mosque.

Shah challenged this decision in Lahore High Court. He said that a masjid could belong only to Muslims. As a matter of fact, Ahmadis had got the title changed from Masjid to Bait uz Zikr in revenue records. Despite recognizing the fact that the mosque was built in 1955 by Ahmadis and was in their possession since then, the court overruled the decision of the sessions court and decided in favour of the mulla. The High Court observed that a Masjid is of Muslims, and ordered the DCO to hear both the parties and give a decision.

The DCO Khushab, Mr. Zia-ur-Rehman is a brother of Maulvi Fazal-ur-Rehman of Jamiat Ulama Islam (F). He is biased against Ahmadis. He ordered a Tehsildar on September 23, 2015 to investigate and report.

The Tehsildar did not call any Ahmadi to hear the Ahmadiyya plea. He heard only the mulla’s party and compiled his report in favour of the ‘Muslims’. The DCO thereafter issued orders that the mosque and the living quarters of the Imam should be gotten vacated from the Ahmadis and the complex be handed over to Muslims.

Ahmadis hurriedly filed an appeal in the court of Additional Commissioner Revenue Sargodha against the DCO’s orders. The Commissioner issued a stay order on the matter and asked both parties to appear in his court on November 21, 2015.

On October 28, 2015 an Assistant Commissioner accompanied by policemen came to the village. He said that he had orders from the DCO to seal the mosque. Stay order was shown to him at which he consulted the DCO. The DCO asked him to seal the mosque anyway. The AC complied and sealed the Ahmadiyya mosque despite the stay order.

Now Ahmadis of the village have no place of worship as the mosque has been handed over to the opponent party and Ahmadiyya missionary house has also been sealed.

Condemnable action of Sargodha Police

Sargodha, Punjab; July 28, 2016:     The police destroyed the Kalima and other sacred writings from the Ahmadiyya mosque in Chak No. 32 South of District Sargodha.

On July 27, the SHO, a sub-inspector and a few constables came to the village and told Ahmadis to remove the writings. Ahmadis refused to comply and told the police that they would not defile the sacred writings, however if the police did it, they are the servants of the rulers.

All the sacred writings in the worship place were inscribed on china plates. The police acquired a ladder and sent a man up to do the destruction. The policemen stated that they had been ordered by the DPO to do that.

Even before this date, the police had visited a number of times with intentions to do  the same ignoble task, but the village folk supported the Ahmadis and took the position that they had no objection to the writings. However, it is learnt that this time a delegation of mullas called on the DPO, and the careerist decided to do as demanded of him.

Construction of an Ahmadiyya mosque barred by authorities

Chak 278-HR, District Bahalwalnagar:        Ahmadis were constructing their place of worship and house for missionary when some opponents of the village opposed it. Intelligent agencies came to the village and cleared it after inspection. Later the police told Ahmadis to stop the construction, on the pressure of the mullas.

Brazen discrimination in the Punjab

Chiniot; March 2016: A housing authority in the Punjab, once again advertised auction of ‘government land’ in Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) on condition that Ahmadis in no way would make a bid for it or even buy the land at some future date from the successful bidder.

This ‘government land’ in Rabwah in fact belongs to the Ahmadiyya community but was wrongfully taken over by the Punjab government; later when the community took up its complaint with the High Court, the court issued a ‘stay order’ forbidding the authorities to proceed further with construction or transfer of plots etc. They have done that nevertheless.

The daily The Express Tribune reported the story on March 18, 2016. It is reproduced below.

Enshrined discrimination: No Ahmadis for Chenab Nagar plots

LAHORE:  The Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency (PHTPA) on Tuesday auctioned residential and commercial plots in Chiniot district following the placement of an advert that excluded Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya adherents from the proceedings.

Chenab Nagar, the headquarters of the JA, is situated in the district. The agency’s regional office in Jhang had placed the advertisement in a leading Urdu daily newspaper on March 1. The advertisement for the auction of 25 commercial and residential plots across two low-income housing schemes across the district proscribed Ahmadis from participating in the process.

The auction went ahead as planned on Tuesday with the exception of plots in the Chenab Nagar Lower Income Residential Scheme.

PHTPA Deputy Director Muhammad Saeed, who presided over the auction and placed the advertisement, told The Express Tribune that the exception had been made due to the scheme’s ownership having been contested at the Supreme Court.

The advertisement read: “anyone related to the Qadian/Ahmadi/Lahori/Mirzai sects cannot participate in the Area Development Scheme Muslim Colony, Chenab Nagar.

Every aspirant has to file a duly certified affidavit stating that he/she has no relation to Qadianis/Ahmadis/Lahoris.”

It requires the participants to submit an undertaking that they will not sell the property or transfer its ownership to anyone belonging to the JA.

It says that the plot allotment of those found doing so will be cancelled and payment made by them confiscated.

The advertisement also stipulated that anyone interested in participating in the auction had to file another affidavit certifying their unqualified belief in the finality of prophethood.

It referred to a directive issued by the Department of Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department (dated July 7, 1976) to justify the prohibition on members of the Ahmadiyya community.

Speaking to The Express Tribune JA spokesperson Saleemuddin said his organization was fighting a court case over the ownership of the land on which the plots were located. He said the land had originally been owned by the JA. Saleemuddin alleged that under pressure from clerics the government had taken possession of the land in 1976. Following that, he said, an order had been issued asking Ahmadis to stay away from the land.

Saleemuddin said they had moved Lahore High Court (LHC) against the government’s action and obtained a stay order. In spite of the stay order, he claimed, the government had developed plots on a portion of the land and auctioned those. Overtime, Saleemuddin said, residential and commercial plots were developed on around 90 percent of the land and auctioned.

He said LHC had dismissed their petition last year after which the community took the matter to the SC.

The appeal was now pending a hearing at the apex court, Saleemuddin said. He said Ahmadis had the right to participate in the auction of any property under the Constitution.

“It is a violation of our fundamental rights to prevent us from participating in the auction,” he said, Saleemuddin said the government was encouraging tolerance and co-existence under its National Action against Terrorism on the one hand, and discriminating against the JA on account of its religious beliefs, on the other.

Deputy Director Saeed said he was bound to prohibit the community from the auction under the 1976 directive. He said the government’s policy was to not let Ahmadis participate in auction of plots in localities where land was owned by non-Ahmadis.

Human Rights and Minorities’ Affairs Minister Khalil Tahir Sindhu told The Express Tribune that such advertisements should not be placed. He said the advertisement violated the fundamental rights of citizens that had constitutional sanction. Sindhu said no citizen could be deprived of the right to participate in an auction on the basis of a mere advertisement. The minister said he would strive to ensure that authorities took notice of the development and resolve the matter once and for all.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 18, 2016

 Ahmadiyya mosque handed over to opponents; missionary house sealed

Chak 2/TDA, District Khushab; March 2016:          The District Coordination Officer of District Khushab handed over the local Ahmadiyya mosque to an anti-Ahmadiyya group. This mosque was previously sealed by the administration on October 28, 2015.

Opponents of the Ahmadiyya community not only took control of the Ahmadiyya mosque but also occupied the adjacent missionary house. Ahmadis applied to the SHO of police station Mitha Tiwana to revert the missionary house to Ahmadis. The District Police Officer and Assistant Commissioner also came to the spot. A contingent of mullas was also present there. After an hour’s discussion the three officers decided to seal the missionary house instead of restoring it to Ahmadis.

A brief resume of the case is worth mentioning. On November 10, 2000 a violent mob led by mullah Athar Hussain Shah killed five Ahmadis and destroyed the Ahmadiyya mosque in Takht Hazara, District Sargodha. Instead of convicting Athar Shah, the riot leader, the judge sentenced four Ahmadis to five-year imprisonment. Later this mulla settled in Qaidabad, District Khushab. He continues to foment anti-Ahmadi agitation in his parish.

In October 2010 Shah got a petition registered in the sessions court Khushab that the Ahmadi mosque in Chak 2/TDA, District Khushab is a property of ‘Muslims’. It should be confiscated and handed over to Muslims. On November 29, 2012 the judge dismissed the petition and held that the complainant was not a local citizen, so his demand was baseless. He also accepted the Ahmadiyya claim to the mosque.

Shah challenged this decision in Lahore High Court. He said that a masjid could belong only to Muslims. As a matter of fact, Ahmadis had got the title changed from Masjid to Bait uz Zikr in revenue records. Despite recognizing the fact that the mosque was built in 1955 by Ahmadis and was in their possession since then, the court overruled the decision of the sessions court and decided in favour of the mulla. The High Court observed that a Masjid is of Muslims, and ordered the DCO to hear both the parties and give a decision.

The DCO Khushab, Mr. Zia-ur-Rehman is a brother of Maulvi Fazal-ur-Rehman of Jamiat Ulama Islam (F). He is biased against Ahmadis. He ordered a Tehsildar on September 23, 2015 to investigate and report.

The Tehsildar did not call any Ahmadi to hear the Ahmadiyya plea. He heard only the mulla’s party and compiled his report in favour of the ‘Muslims’. The DCO thereafter issued orders that the mosque and the living quarters of the Imam should be gotten vacated from the Ahmadis and the complex be handed over to Muslims.

Ahmadis hurriedly filed an appeal in the court of Additional Commissioner Revenue Sargodha against the DCO’s orders. The Commissioner issued a stay order on the matter and asked both parties to appear in his court on November 21, 2015.

On October 28, 2015 an Assistant Commissioner accompanied by policemen came to the village. He said that he had orders from the DCO to seal the mosque. Stay order was shown to him at which he consulted the DCO. The DCO asked him to seal the mosque anyway. The AC complied and sealed the Ahmadiyya mosque despite the stay order.

Now Ahmadis of the village have no place of worship as the mosque has been handed over to the opponent party and Ahmadiyya missionary house has also been sealed.

Khatme-Nabuwwat conference at Aiwan-e-Iqbal, Lahore

Lahore; April 10, 2016:         Following story was published in the daily The Nation on April 10, 2016:

LAHORE:         Speakers at annual Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Conference yesterday demanded “implementation of anti-Qadyani Ordinance 1984 and taking National Action Plan (NAP) to Chenab Nagar where the preaching activities of Qadyanis continued despite ban”.

Chenab Nagar is head-quarters of Qadyanis/Ahmadis and located in District Chiniot of Punjab province.

International Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Movement organized the sitting at Aiwan-e-Iqbal. Movement Chief Abdul Hafeez Makki, Pir Nasiruddin Khakwani, LHC former chief justice Khawaja Sharif, MNA Maulana Nasir Chinioti (sic), Jamaat-e-Ehlessunat head Maulana Ahmed Ludhyanvi and others addressed the gathering mainly comprising seminaries’ students.

Around 40 people embraced Islam on the occasion, according to the organizers.

Iftikharullah Shakir, the leader of the movement, presented a resolution demanding government ‘re-visit its stance which aimed at victimization of religious segments of the society.’

“The resolution also demanded ensuring “protection of Islamic identity of Pakistan and unity against anti-Pakistan conspiracies being hatched by Qadyanis and western powers to destabilize the country.”

It is relevant to mention that Aiwan-e-Iqbal complex in Lahore is owned and managed by the government. The fact that it was rented out by the officials to a highly sectarian and extremist organization begs a number of questions about Punjab government’s attitude and bonds with such organizations. Only a few days earlier, a Muslim from Bradford, UK travelled to Glasgow to stab an Ahmadi to death over the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat.

The list of those who addressed the conference is noteworthy. Mr. Abdul Hafeez Makki (of Makka, Saudi Arabia) was mentioned as the ‘Movement chief’; if that is so what was he doing in Pakistan with official support? The resolution passed at the conference demanded “… unity against anti-Pakistan conspiracies being hatched by Qadianis and western powers to destabilize the country”. This resolution is arguably absurd, indeed scandalous. Who is responsible for facilitating such nonsense at official sites?

A reading of the unedited audio/video of all that was said at this conference would reveal a great deal about the nature, aims, and substance of this International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement which operates in Pakistan and some other countries under the protective umbrella of a religious tenet.

It is not out of place to mention here that ‘Kill Ahmadis’ leaflets authored by anti-Ahmadi Khatme Nabuwwat writer Yousaf Ludhianvi were found recently in a mosque in UK, and this ‘Stockwell Green’ mosque in south London is listed as an ‘oversees office’ of the Khatme Nabuwwat and is registered as such with the Charity Commission. According to the daily Adalat of April 6, 2016, ‘a lover of the Prophet, Mr Tanweer Qadri of Mirpur origin dispatched a claimant to prophethood, the cursed Asad Qadiani to hell in Scotland’. Tanweer Qadri travelled on March 25 (sic) to Scotland, stabbed the cursed Asad Qadiani 30 times in his store, and dispatched him to hell, reported the paper (published in London in addition to Islamabad and Muzaffarabad) quoting its staff reporter from Mirpur.

“Khatme Nabuwwat does not inflict violence themselves, but they provide an enabling environment for a number of actors to do so,” said Saroop Ijaz from Human Rights Watch, at this occasion.

Aiwan-e-Iqbal is run by the government of Punjab. So, who enables those who provide an enabling environment to mullas with links in Saudi Arabia!

The daily Pakistan also reported in its issue of April 10, 2016 holding of this conference. Salient features of this report, with our comments:

  • If Qadianis who are bogged down in errancy revert to Islam, we shall embrace them: KN Conference
  • The National Action Plan should be extended to Chenab Nagar (Ahmadiyya HQ town)
  • Qadianis should accept their non-Muslim status so that they are provided protection like other minorities; otherwise they should be prosecuted for sedition.
  • The conference was presided over by the Amir of IKNM, Maulana Abdul Hafeez Makki.
  • Among the speakers was Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi (of banned SSP).
  • Also spoke therein Maulana Fazl ur Rahim Ashrafi, (the present Chairman of the Mutahida Ulama Board, Punjab – on state pay roll).
  • Khawaja Sharif also addressed the conference. (He is the former chief justice of Lahore High Court. He was a defense counsel of Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of Governor Taseer).
  • It was said in the conference that “the moths of the prophethood are greatly enthusiastic to safeguard the End of Prophethood, as they were in 1984, 1974 and 1953.” (In 1974, these ‘moths’ precipitated anti-Ahmadi riots which facilitated Mr Bhutto to amend the Constitution to impose ‘not-Muslim’ status on Ahmadis. In 1953, these ‘moths’ indulged in extensive anti-Ahmadi riots in the Punjab which culminated in the first ever martial law in Pakistan, and the subsequent high level judicial inquiry gave the following verdict (inter alia): “The conduct of the Ahrar (the leaders of the ‘moths’) calls for the strongest comment and is especially reprehensible. We can use no milder word for the reason that they debased a religious issue (Khatme Nabuwwat) by pressing it into service for a temporal purpose and exploited religious susceptibilities and sentiments of the people for their personal ends.” ( 259 of the 1953 Punjab Disturbances Inquiry Report)
  • The conference demanded that the national identity card should carry a religious entry for minorities.

 Ahmadi marriages not being registered in some L.G. offices

Lahore; July 28, 2016:           The daily Express Tribune published the following story, it is reproduced in totality; it reflects the attitude of the authorities to the needs of so-called minorities:

Basic right: Ahmadi, Christian marriages not being registered

By Rana Tanveer

Published: July 28, 2016

LAHORE: The Walton Cantonment Board and the Lahore Cantonment Board do not register marriages of Christians and Ahmadis, stating that they only register marriages solemnized under Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961.

Christians and Ahmadi communities have made arrangements on their own for registration.

Rights activists and community representatives say the discrimination should end.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Peter Jacob, Centre for Social Justice Director, said that a large number of Christians lived in cantonment areas. “They are denied the right to get their marriages registered. On March 12, 2015, a deputy attorney general had undertaken before the Supreme Court that the government would ensure registration of marriages of all couples from minority communities.

However, nothing has been done in this regard so far,” he said.

He said that a Christian man had approached the Walton Cantonment Board administration last month for getting his marriage registered.

“He asked them for the prescribed form, but he was refused. He got them to write down the reason. They said that they did not extend the service to Christians or Ahmadis,” he said.

Jacob said that it was injustice that a government body had refused to acknowledge Christian marriages.

Saleemuddin, a Jamaat Ahmadiyya spokesperson, told The Express Tribune that they had established their own system for registering marriages. “After some effort, we were able to convince NADRA to acknowledge our marriages. Nevertheless, our people still face problems when they are asked to prove their marital relationship to embassies and consulates while applying for visas,’’ he said.

He said several Ahmadi families were residing in cantonments. “However, none of our marriages have been registered with the cantonment administration. They register births and deaths, but flatly refuse when it comes to marriages. They say that they only register marriages which fall under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961,” he said. He said that there was no provision in the ordinance to bar cantonment administrations from registering marriages of minority communities.

Rana Sajjad, the Walton Cantonment Board prosecutor superintendent, told The Express Tribune that they did not register marriages of Ahmadis or Christians. He said legislation was needed in this regard. “We register marriages under Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961,” he said. He said they needed directions in this regard which they had not received so far.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1150717/basic-right-ahmadi-christian-marriages-not-registered/

 Another sectarian conference facilitated in state-owned complex

Lahore; November 27, 2016: Evan-i-Iqbal is owned and managed by the government. It is becoming a routine that this venue is given to extremist Khatme Nabuwwat mullas to hold anti-Ahmadi conference every year. This year again one such conference was held there on November 27. It was widely advertised; approximately 800 attended.

A list of Special Guests included Mufti Munib (Chairman official Moon-sighting Committee), Saqib Iqbal, Tayyab Naqshbandi, Mustafa Hashmi and Azam Naeemi.

Mulla Pir Irfan could not attend for reason of arrest by police; however his son Ghani Qadiri, addressed the conference on-line from London.

As usual the speakers spoke ill of Jamaat Ahmadiyya. “Ahmadis have brought disrepute to Jihad worldwide”, one of them said. They used insolent language for the founder of the Ahmadiyya community.

It is relevant to mention that the ‘chief guest’ Mufti Munib is on public pay roll for his official post. A number of participants had come from far-away Karachi. Who paid for their travel and stay, is a moot question.

A whiff of fresh air

Attock/Rabwah: 4/5 June 2016:  Homeopath Hameed Ahmad, Ahmadi was shot dead here by unidentified men. The authorities took due notice of the incident and displayed unusual sympathy.

The day after the attack, Mr. Khalid Sindhu, the Punjab minister of human rights telephoned the District Amir of the Ahmadiyya community that he intended to visit Attock at this sorrowful occasion. The Amir told him that the funeral party had already reached Rabwah for the burial. The minister replied that in that case he would reach Rabwah to join the final rites.

Earlier, at Attock the DCO and DPO had visited the bereaved family, were present till the dispatch of the dead body to Rabwah and provided a police escort for the journey.

Mr. Sindhu, the minister arrived Rabwah, a little after the burial had taken place. An Ahmadi delegation met him. The minister conveyed that the chief minister, who was in London at the time, had instructed him through the chief secretary, to make the sympathy call. The delegation thanked him for the gesture and told him of the background events leading to the murder. Arson attempts had been made at the deceased’s clinic twice in the past, and the perpetrator had been caught red-handed in the second attempt, and was handed over to the police. Had the authorities investigated the incident in depth, the sponsors of the attempts would have been surely exposed. That would have deterred the recent murderous attack.

The Ahmadi delegation asked the minister to thank the chief minister for his sympathy action and convey him their views about the past handling of the anti-Ahmadi situation in Attock.

The Urdu press reported the minister’s visit but refrained from naming the town (Rabwah/Chenab Nagar); instead, the report mentioned only District Chiniot as the visited location. The report made no mentions that the victim was an Ahmadi.

We withhold further comments and wait for the police investigation and consequential arrest of the murderers and their sponsors.

 Firm handling by the administration in Jhelum

Jhelum; December 31, 2015:            The administration has apparently learnt some lesson after the dreadful incident of arson and attack on the Ahmadi-owned chipboard factory in Jhelum.

Mulla Akram Siddiqui was the key provocateur of that attack. He is the one who incited the people to violence on the loudspeaker of his mosque on the fateful day. Later investigations have shown that he is deeply involved in sectarian and extremist activities from his base in mosque/madrassah. The police arrested him on December 31, 2015.

The administration was apprehensive about the back-lash. The DCO called a meeting of the concerned civil society leaders including the media and clerics, and told them that Siddiqui had been arrested after due investigation and the issue should be left to the court to decide. He urged peace and restraint.

Undeterred, the son of mulla Siddiqui, who is also an imam of a local mosque, arranged to take out a protest rally. The police came out in strength and held a flag-march in the area. Ahmadiyya mosques were provided protection for the day. Ahmadis themselves remained on high security alert.

All went well and there was no violent incident. ‘Where there is will, there is way’.