In a pamphlet issued jointly in June 2011 by Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat and All Pakistan Students Khatme Nabuwwat Federation, Faisalabad, Muslims were urged to kill Ahmadis in the open as a pious act of holy war (Jihad), that would entitle the killers to the status of martyrs and ensure them a place under the Holy Prophet’s flag on the Day of Judgment in the Hereafter. The pamphlet provided a list of approximately fifty Ahmadi prominent persons and business houses giving their addresses. The pamphlet gave the names of the issuing organizations, their cell phone numbers and e-mail address. These people are well-known to authorities. Translation of the front page of the pamphlet is placed at Annex IV.
The issuance and distribution of this pamphlet caused great anxiety and sense of insecurity among the local Ahmadis and deep concern among the community in general. The track record shows that religious extremists at Faisalabad tend to follow up their threats to Ahmadi individuals, and commit murders. Faisalabad has been a hotbed of anti-Ahmadiyya activities for some time. Authorities have rarely acted vigorously against local perpetrators of hate and promoters of bloodshed. As a result, during the past years, well-known Ahmadis were targeted and murdered here only for their faith. These were:
Dr Abdul Qadir Sheikh Ashraf Pervez
Mr. Wasim Ahmad Butt Sheikh Masood Javed
Mr. Hafeez Ahmad Butt Sheikh Asif Javed
Dr Shamsul Haq Tayyab Mr. Nasir Ahmad
Sheikh Nazir Ahmad
Mr. Maqsood Ahmad
Mr. Abdul Waheed
Mian Laiq Ahmad
The four mentioned above in the second column were killed in 2010. The city administration and police are well aware of the organizations that promote and organize anti-Ahmadiyya sectarian vigilantism.
Subsequent to the distribution of this pamphlet, Ahmadiyya central office conveyed its text and the community’s concern to high political and administrative authorities. Elders of the local community met senior police and administration officials in Faisalabad. The Commissioner expressed sympathy but advised the community delegation to arrange self-protection.
It is relevant to mention that only a few weeks earlier, two Ahmadis of Zubair Colony, Faisalabad were sent identical threat letters by the same organization, signed by its Amir, Maulvi Hafeez Turabi (Copy at Annex VIII) The letter requires the addressees to recant, accept Islam, or face death. The Amir wrote that their families and children were also on the hit-list. “Your names and addresses have been forwarded to Lashkar Jhangvi, Taliban, Jaish-e-Muhammad and other religious organizations for further action if you do not accept Islam. You have our open permission to show this letter to any intelligence agency or police station to obtain security. You will not be spared. We hope that you will quit Ahmadiyyat and accept the shield of Islam to save you from all the hazards of this life and the Hereafter;” the letter elaborated. The letters carried the following address:
Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat
22-Co-operative Bank Building inside Circular Road, Faisalabad: Phone 2633522
‘Law and order’ is a provincial subject, however, the federal government’s high offices and agencies are also in a position to actively engage the district and regional authorities and require them to take effective action.
The Faisalabad police registered an FIR regarding the pamphlet. They detained one person although he was little-known. The FIR, however, was registered under a diluted clause PPC 295-A which is relevant only to insulting religious beliefs, it does not deal with incitement to murder – a major serious crime. Compare this to how they proceed against Ahmadis; last year, in response to the demand of a raucous crowd, the administration in Kotli, AJ&K registered a case against seven Ahmadis under eight PPCs, 295A, 341/342, 147/148, 149/337A and 296 in FIR No. 79, and arrested them. The Khatam-e- Nabuwwat leaders in Faisalabad seem to have powerful sympathizers who come to their help promptly and effectively.
The media took notice of this event. Some of their actions are listed below:
- The Express Tribune printed the news prominently on June 9, 2011.
- The BBC broadcast ‘Live’ interview of an Ahmadi on June 9, on this subject.
- The daily Dawn published this news in some detail on June 12.
- The News International published a big article on this issue on June 19, 2011.
- The Daily Times wrote an editorial on June 15, 2011: “Hate-crimes against Ahmadis”, and urged “strict measures against the bigots”.
- A day before, on June 14, 2011, the Daily Times published an op-ed by Afnan Khan titled: Terrorists chalk out plan to target Ahmadis.
The Asian Human Rights Commission issued a statement as Immediate Release, AHRC STM- 077-2011 on June 11, 2011 and gave it the heading: Pakistan: Extremists openly plan to kill hundreds of Ahmadis – government turns a blind eye.
The incident received mention as far as Sweden where a question was raised in the Parliament to its Foreign Minister.
Despite this open and serious threat to an entire community, of which the print media took ample notice, the political authorities did not come forth with a response in public, as if threat to Ahmadis is kosher in Pakistan
The authorities registered an FIR in this case which enabled them to indict one or two individuals only. But what about their organization? In what way is it different than other terrorist organizations? If others are banned for promoting and supporting terror, why not the Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat?
Sure enough, a few weeks later, the religious bigots struck and murdered an Ahmadi, Mr Naseem Butt, in his home in Faisalabad at about 1 a.m. on September 4, 2011. Mr Butt had no personal vendetta against anyone; he was killed only for his faith. The casual attitude of the police towards the leadership that initiated the pamphlet in June must have encouraged them to commit murder. The Express Tribune commented on this murder the next day, “The Punjab government’s record of protecting Ahmadis has been dismal”. Three weeks later, another Ahmadi a teacher was target killed in broad daylight in his school in Farooqabad, not far from Faisalabad.
The politicians in power do not run short of words in support of human rights and peace, however. See, what they say in public:
CM (Chief Minister Punjab) wants genie of extremism bottled.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; May 15, 2011
The fight against terrorism cannot be fought without a battle against extremism, and we will have to reverse this tide from all sides, not just by military means – Rehman Malik (The Federal Interior Minister)
The Newsweek Pakistan, January 13, 2011
Foreign Powers are not responsible for terrorism in the country, it is religious extremists. Khurshid Shah (Federal Minister of Religious affairs)
The daily Din, Lahore, April 21,2011
Well, if they mean what they say, what action did the provincial and federal authorities take against those extremists who openly instigated murder of Ahmadis in Faisalabad – and committed murder, for faith only? None.
The felons printed their identity, address and phone number on the pamphlet. They threw down the gauntlet to the state, and the authorities wilted.
Note: Copies of the pamphlet, its translation the listed Ahmadis are available in the Monthly Report of June 2011 at www.persecutionofahmadis.org