Amir Park, Gujranwala; July, August 2020: What happened in Amir Park recently is noteworthy, so is a major incident in the Punjab Police. These call for a description and an emotive comment.
Mullas held a Tajdar Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Amir Park on September 5, 2020. This location symbolizes police support and submission to mullas on the issue of Ahmadis. Approximately 600 participated in this conference, most of them were teen-agers and youth. Some of the speakers were invited from outside the city. All these used foul and highly objectionable language against Ahmadis.
A mulla from Trigari said, “(In Trigari) we have made them (Ahmadis) flee; we even dug up their dead. We should do the same here—not only put them to flight, but also dig up their dead.”
A mulla, Waqas, from Sadhokay said, “We have got ‘Masha Allah’ removed from Ahmadis’ buildings in Amir Park, as they are not allowed to put up this.” He wrongly quoted and interpreted the law. He alleged that Ahmadis are not allowed to say Assalamo Alaikum, nor can they follow Shaair (Islamic practices) at home, nor in their places of worship, “nor shall we permit them do so.”
With reference to Ahmadiyya places of worship in Amir Park and Gul Road, he asserted, “These are not worship places, these are the abodes of Satan (Shaitan Khane)”. He received great applause on this novelty.
One, Mulla Shabbeer Haidar Sialwi came up with a scheme, “We are not here merely for applause and slogans. We have to raise slogans in front of their homes. You only have to rise, that will suffice to make them sit down”. It was announced in the conference that a week later there shall be an attack on Ahmadis in Sheikhupura.
All this was in blatant violence of national law PPC 295-A. However, despite the police and agencies’ presence in the conference, the Punjab Police of Gujranwala took no action on these traders and promoters of hate and violence. It was a deliberate and blatant negligence of duty, undertaken obviously with direction from higher authorities.
Only a few days earlier, the police in Amir Park had been proactive against Ahmadis, on behest of mullas. Mullas had demanded the authorities in writing that Ahmadis be denied the rite of Qurbani on the festival of Eid ul Adha, as also all the sacred and Arabic inscriptions on Ahmadi houses be removed. On July 29, 2020 the police destroyed the inscriptions, بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم, لا اله الا انت سبحانك اني كنت من الظالمين and ماشاءاللہ (whatever Allah wills: Dei gratia).
On September 3, 2020, the Security Officer telephoned residence of two Ahmadiyya houses that carried the inscription Masha Allah. He asked Ahmadis to co-operate. He was told that if the police in uniform remove the inscriptions, Ahmadis will not resist. Lo and behold, seven policemen arrived the same evening and destroyed the inscriptions. At this occasion, mulla Amir Hamza accompanied them. This shows absolute submission of the police to religious bigots and rogue elements.
When the police contingent was about to move away from the site of first defiling, the security officer thus expressed his regrets, “We feel very upset over this, on tearing to bits the name of Allah”. He was told that while Ahmadis put these up to elevate the Holy Name, the police and mullas defile them. “We here seek forgiveness of Allah, may He pardon us; we are required to do this (majbur),” he replied, unconvincingly.
Thereafter, they moved on to Islamia Park where they destroyed the same inscriptions at the residence of another Ahmadi. Mulla Amir Hamza arrived there as well and attempted to make a video of the proceedings. The police prudently forbade him do that, as that would be an evidence of the criminal conduct of the police. (The law makes no mention of disallowing Masha Allah to Ahmadis). That day, the police destroyed Masha Allah from three Ahmadiyya houses.
Comment: It is evident that the local police behave this way as in Amir Park, because it has been so instructed by its district superiors, while those superiors are guided by the directions received from Lahore, the provincial capital, from the Inspector General (IGP) to be more specific. All these officials rather than implementing the Constitution and the law, follow verbal directions from above, in order to play safe and ensure self-interest in career stability and promotions etc. However, this is a fallacy and corruption in official conduct. There are powers and forces, hidden and silent that are at work to determine the destiny and future of the fragile man, even if he is an IGP. In the recent past, our reports would show as if there were no IGP to guide the Punjab Police on the right path of justice and fair play (for instance, destruction of 103 tombstones in Districts Gujranwala, Khushab and Sheikhupura by the police). IGP was there, but he cared more for keeping his political bosses happy or by his policy that maintenance of even semblance of law and order was more important than provision of justice and social fairness to marginalized communities and individuals. Nevertheless, this was all in vain; as on September 9, 2020, the daily Dawn reported on its front page: “Shoaib Dastgir (IGP) removed after rift with junior.”
Sadly, humans never learn lesson from mistakes of other humans.