Administration demeaned by the Mulla
Attock; December 10, 2019: Administration and the Mullah, two important pillars of Pak society, presented their junior echelons in a bout, wherein the administration’s rep. a lady assistant commissioner was routed, demeaned and debased by a group of bearded students speaking mulla’s language of bigotry, hate and extremism — even terrorism. The unequal fight was video-recorded and got viral on social media. It deserves to be placed on record, as it is demonstrative of the state of Pakistani society and state in 2019.
It was on December 10, 2019 when International Human Rights Day was being celebrated. A seminar was held in Attock (Punjab) also, where the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBNB5gTZIsg shows an audience being addressed by Assistant Commissioner (AC) Ms Jannat Hussain Nekokara. The young lady, in her zeal to promote human rights talked of mutual tolerance, care for the minorities, shunning sectarianism, etc. She advised that regardless of our denomination, minorities, be they Shia, Sunni, Ahmadi, etc should be given their rights and our identity should be simply Pakistan, Muslim.
This lecture on tolerance, unity, human rights, especially the mention of Ahmadis was not liked by some in the audience. They made it a big issue and protested in a big way. They fielded a group of aggressive students, bunch of extremists in their late teens, incited them and urged them to demand a sitting with the District administration, with the aim to worsen the audacious AC. The senior most officials of the District apparently got cold sweat. They invited the student gang to a meeting where all the top brass of the district were seated. The rest is available on another video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6XoAguE0lk.
The video shows approximately 20 youth wearing school/college uniform in the big room. One of them can be seen at the rostrum, while some are seated on chairs and others are standing by the wall. One of the students rebukes the AC in loud voice for her remarks and tells the high officials, (translation), “She talked of ‘unity’, she proposes that we team up with the enemies of the Prophet…. There can be no compromise on the issue of end of Prophethood, at any cost….Blasphemers must be killed even if he is your own father….Simply chop off his neck and throw it away…. No unity… such people (as the AC) create…chaos in the country…. They are enemies of the country…”. At this, a senior boss assures him, “She’ll be told to apologize”. The goon shouted, “Yes, she should apologize in the presence of all; it should be then displayed in the entire media.”
It should be mentioned that during the goon’s tirade, none of the officials (approximately a dozen seated there) dared interrupt him or differ with him. In the background were stretched the Pakistan flag and the Punjab pennant. The plight of the state was visible, expressive and distressing.
Someone who saw this drama on the video, tweeted, “They (high officials) rather than advising or educating the students are telling the Assistant Commissioner to apologize!” One can see that the seniors and colleagues of the lady official deserted her when she most needed and deserved their support.
Surely, soon afterwards a get-together was arranged where all the rabble-rousers were present. The good lady was marched in, more like a criminal escorted by a few constables. The scared-looking wide-eyed AC attempted an explanation and an apology, while the video-recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wulGPbTY0Xs was underway, “We were talking about human rights and also of non-Muslim Pakistanis. I first talked about Kashmir, thereafter on human rights, then on human rights of minorities, non-Muslim Pakistanis. Well, I should not have mentioned the word ‘Ahmadis’ but then…I talked of mutual unity and shunning of discrimination so that we can face the external enemy.” At this the brat addressed her in great anger, “Listen to me, if the 1973 Constitution calls them (Ahmadis) non-Muslim and Kafir, . . .” At this, the petrified AC quickly endorsed him, “Sure; they are Kafir, non-Muslim,” “Then why are you talking of Unity; why are you talking of Unity,” questioned the youth. The AC shook her head and tried to explain, “All that I am saying, is that we should mutually…” The youth again interrupted her, “What mutually! 1973 Constitution…” At this a male official pleaded him, “Listen to her, please give her a hearing.” The youth cornered her again, “According to you, are Ahmadis, Muslim or non-Muslim?” The AC replied, “In my opinion, well they are non-Muslim as per the Constitution as also to me. My own child is named Muhammad. So, that is not the issue. You had a misunderstanding; there is no issue, nor do I believe differently, nor is my faith any different (than yours).” The goon was not impressed and retorted, “It is not material to name your son Muhammad; they too name themselves Ahmad, but they are Qadianis!” The AC pleaded again, “My, my faith….sure, they are Qadianis; they are non-Muslims, Kafir, Qadianis are Kafir. Satisfied? There is no dispute.”
Student: “OK, but your DSP has not arrived yet, the DC?”
Question (by someone else): “Well Madame, can you repeat what you said in the speech there?”
AC: “Yes. All that I said was that we should not indulge in our differences; only then shall we be able to face our external enemy….”
Someone interrupted: “Did you use the word, “Ahmadi?”
AC: “I said, we should not practice ‘discrimination’ among ourselves.”
Interruption: “Madame, please clarify that there is a difference between Ahmadis and other non-Muslims.”
AC: “Yes. Ahmadis are non-Muslim; others too are non-Muslim, but Ahmadis are more (ziadah) non-Muslim, for they…deny…Khatme Nabuwwat.”
Student: “Describe your faith in Khatme Nabuwwat.”
AC: “I believe that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) is the last Prophet… Prophethood has ended for ever… Anyone who claims to be a Prophet now or ever, even by a hint, will be a liar.”
On seeing this video, a “disgruntled Pakistani” tweeted: “Best bit is, all seemed so utterly helpless. I’ve never seen such abject helplessness.”
Some Indian@Kumarnau315088 fittingly tweeted, “This is real Pakistan.”
The BBC found these theatrics noteworthy and composed a lengthy pictorial description of its proceedings, including a number of brief comments expressed on Twitter, on BBC Urdu News on December 13, 2019. For example:
One Ateeq Ahmad, @ani-rajpool tweeted, “Where an Assistant Commissioner is not safe at the hand of these clerics, what would be the security for a common citizen? And what greater level of extremism if the protectors of the public themselves are unsafe and where a man has to prove himself to be a Muslim by proclaiming it repeatedly in presence of others?”
BBC quoted a tweet by someone Ifkhikhar: “If in a country an Assistant Commissioner has to defend herself before religious bigots and wretches and rascals, for promoting better treatment of minorities, that country has no right to criticize and condemn the Indian RSS, Hindutva bodies and state actions.”
One Bilal Farooqi, @ bilalfqi retweeted Iftikhar as, “According to some reliable sources, Attock Assistant Commissioner Jannat Hussain Nekokara, a very competent officer, 3rd position holder in CSS-2014, winner of President’s Gold Medal and her family facing threats because she spoke about Ahmadis. Govt must ensure her safety.”
The well-known and out-spoken Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of the Nobel laureate Mallala Yousafzai did not hide his contempt for the perpetrators of this incident, and tweeted, “This shameful hooliganism and public harassment of a civil servant is highly condemnable.”
@ZiauddinY on December13, 2019
Before closing this narrative it is worthwhile, even essential, to go a little deeper into this incident that unfolded in Attock. Not that it happened in Attock only, it happens almost every week all over, if not every day—in Attock, it only got recorded on videos that went viral and are available to all. Also, occasionally it explodes in a big way and sends shock waves all over the country and makes people think. For example, what happened in Oct/Nov 2017, only two years ago, was a mega version of this interaction between the mulla, the authorities and the politician. The issue even then was Khatme Nabuwwat. We refer to that episode here briefly.
Immediately prior to the so-called Faizabad riots/Dharna of November 2017, the politicians had passed a law that facilitated Ahmadis in a limited way to exercise their basic right of voting in general elections, although they could still not stand as candidates. The mulla found in this a great opportunity to reap political harvest and he raised a huge cry of protest against the fair new law. Mr. Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister found it convenient to immediately step back, and got the new law amended to push Ahmadis back to square one. However, the mulla would not loosen his teeth dug in PML-N’s neck without drawing some blood. He demanded that the entire cabinet should resign and those who had played a role in drafting the law to facilitate Ahmadis’ voting right should be punished. To enforce their will, mullas blockaded Islamabad and beat back police efforts to raise the blockade. The army refused to use force against the clerics. The government thus had to lick the earth, fired its law minister, paid damages to the blockaders, and allegedly presented a big purse to Mullas Rizvi and Qadri. These mullas went home in triumph as celebrities who had made huge political impact on the public and were very hopeful of a big vote in the forthcoming Elections 2018.
These mullas over-assessed their power and crossing the red-line next year, viciously attacked the judiciary and the army in October 2018. That was not acceptable to the powerful establishment, and the two mullas were neutralized.
The politicians did not learn their lesson even after the demeaning Faizabad episode; they leaned on mullas and made Khatme Nabuwwat (KN) the major issue for Election 2018. As they all raised the KN flag, one wonders, if in the final analysis, it made any difference. However, the KN issue and the mulla’s importance in national politics remains high—thanks to politicians and seniors of all state institutions.
Everyone who is conversant with Pakistan’s history knows that this poisonous crop was sown in 1974 when Mr. Bhutto, in league with mullas, introduced anti-Ahmadi Amendment Nr. II to the Constitution. This crop is now yielding its copious bitter fruit all over the country. The mulla has been facilitated and has succeeded in creating a hard corps of fake Sunni supremacists. The issue of KN, which any smart analyst would quickly assess to be essentially semantic in essence, has been raised to the status of the Number 1 national issue. This republic initially became an Islamic Republic, now it is de-facto a Khatme Nabuwwat Republic.
One need not be a genius to conclude from the three Attock videos that the youth involved in the incident are no longer serious students; they are potential terrorists. Their spokesman who asserted that the deniers of end of prophethood “must be killed even if he is your father…Simply chop off his neck and throw it away…” must be the most sought after rascal by organizations like the Khatme Nabuwwat, the TTP, the LT, Je M, etc, all ready to offer him a leadership position.
Due credit can be given to Mr. Naseer Khan for choosing the right words in his worthy tweet of December 12, 2019 @ LHA#4 n:
“It is not the students’ fault really. Politicians decided to use the support of extremist maulvis for political gain; now this is the kind of conditioning kids grow with. They become hate-mongering despots. Satanic reality.”
These days Mr. Ali Annan Qamar is the DC and Syed Shehzad Bukhari is the DPO in Attock; Mr. Usman Buzdar (PTI) is the chief minister of the Punjab, while Mr. Imran Khan is the prime minister.