The mulla and the state jointly deny property rights to Ahmadi
Rabwah: Rabwah has always been a prime target of mullas. Its land was purchased by Ahmadis from the government in 1948. It was barren land at the time. After 1974, a sizable part of this land was confiscated by the Punjab government to implant mullas there. Twenty-two Ahmadi families were living on the confiscated land. The Lahore High Court accepted the ownership of Ahmadis on their plots and houses in 1976, however the provincial government dragged its feet in implementing the court order. Most of the Ahmadis sold their plots and houses while others were forced to flee from their homes. One such case is that of Mr. Bashir Ahmad. He is the owner of H. no. 15/23 Darul Nasr East. He was harassed into renting out his home in 2005.
During the last five years Mr. Bashir Ahmad has been targeted by the mullas of the so-called Muslim Colony, who enjoy support from the police. Mr. Bashir has been attacked, his tenants thrown out of his house, and the house finally occupied by miscreants.
When the police inspector was asked to help, he plainly excused himself for fear of the mullas and advised the complainant to approach higher officials.
Now the owner is living on rent.
Ahmadi subjected to arson
Chakral, District Chakwal: Mr. Mansur Ahmad’s family is the only Ahmadi family in Chakral. On October 12, 2008 extremist elements set fire to his house.
Mansur had gone away earlier with his family, but on the day of the incident, he alone had come back home. At the time they set his house on fire he was sleeping inside. It was approximately 2 A.M. One of the rooms was destroyed while the other was partially damaged.
Mr. Mansur escaped unhurt, fortunately. The perpetrators of the crime collected his religious literature including the Holy Quran and set it on fire along with other combustible household items. The damage amounted to approximately Rs. 100,000. They also took his computer and printer.
It is noteworthy that the local mulla recently initiated a vilification campaign against Mr. Mansur.
Mr. Mansur reported the incident to the police.
Rocket attack on an industrial plant owned by Ahmadi
Mandi Bahauddin: Shah Taj Sugar Mills at Mandi Bahauddin is a major industrial unit in the district. Its owner is an Ahmadiyya business family. It provides jobs to hundreds of people on the plant; it buys cane from farming families whose members are in thousands. Some criminals, most probably under religious motivation, carried out a rocket attack on its main production plant. Anti-Ahmadi extremists have always openly mentioned this industry’s proprietors in their public list of the targets for a boycott.
Apparently the rockets were fired from a distance of approximately one kilometer. Three of these fell within the parameters of the mills and exploded, while the fourth failed to explode. It appears that they had targeted the main boiler. Had one of these rockets found its target the explosion of the boiler would have resulted in extensive loss of life. The police registered the case.
Although the details of the investigation and finding are not known, it was learnt that a criminal gang, motivated by religious zeal was operating in the area, and was targeting Ahmadiyya properties and persons. Members of this gang visited the FATA for acquiring explosives and weapons, but operated out of safe havens in districts Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin, Gujranwala etc. They had plans to attack Dr Raja Masud who was an eye-witness to the attack on Ahmadi worshipper at the Mong mosque in 2005 that resulted in eight deaths and 20 injured. Members of this gang were arrested by the police subsequently, but an Anti-terrorism judge declared them ‘Not-guilty’ and set them free. That group was reportedly active against these targets.
This was a major escalation in anti-Ahmadiyya violence.
Attack on Ahmadis’ business
Rahim Yar Khan; February 12, 2006: The mullahs took out a procession here to protest against the blasphemous caricatures published in Denmark. The crowd comprised approximately 2500 protesters. They were marching through the bazaar and were heading for the railway station. When they arrived at the electronics shop owned by Messrs Shakil Ahmad and Tariq Mahmud, two Ahmadi brothers, someone pointed out the Ahmadiyya ownership of the shop. It had glass windows in which a number of mobile phones and computers were displayed. Publicity board of Telenor was also on display. A group led by some mullahs attacked the store and severely damaged the glass casings and the inventory. The police were present but failed to take effective action to protect the property.
The mob, having done the damage, dispersed. The police DSP inspected the site, regretted the incident and promised (paper) action. The police registered an FIR of the incident. The proprietors suffered a loss of approximately half a million rupees.
No arrests were made; no compensation was paid.
Religious thugs on the loose
Chak 37/12-L, District Sahiwal: Major Mashhud was on a visit to his home village during March, when a gang of heavily armed robbers raided his residence at night. They took away jewellary, cash and mobile phones. They set on fire a motor cycle and damaged the car and broke its windows.
During the raid, the gang leader questioned the residents about Ahmadiyyat, asked them to recite the Kalima (Islamic creed) and threatened them to recant or quit the village.
The police were informed.
Arson in the clinic
Lahore: Dr Mansur Ahmad Waqar is a well-known Ahmadi doctor in Green Town, Lahore. His clinic was set on fire, apparently by religious fanatics on the night of January 20, 2005. The clinic and its inventory were nearly all destroyed.
According to Dr Waqar, he closed his clinic at 2145 on January 20, and disconnected the main electric breaker. Thus there was no possibility of an electric short-circuit etc. After midnight he received a phone call that the clinic was on fire. The police and the fire brigade also arrived at the scene and managed to control the fire with some effort. In the mean time, most of the clinic and its equipment and documents had been damaged and burnt beyond recovery. Traces of some chemicals were discovered at the site of arson. The proprietor doctor feels that none other than religious fanatics could have done this. The police did not formally register the case, and undertook no inquiry.
No relief to Dr Nawaz
Haveli Lakha, District Okara; June 27, 2004: On December 15, 1999 an unruly mob attacked and destroyed the under-construction extension of the house of Dr Muhammad Nawaz, Ahmadi and president of the district Ahmadiyya community. The mob ransacked and looted a part of the house and put some furniture on fire. All this happened in the presence of the police. Dr Nawaz and his family saved their lives by jumping from the roof of their house on to a neighbor’s housetop. Subsequently the police arrested Dr Nawaz and his two sons and charged them under the Ahmadi-specific law. Neither the hooligans nor their leaders were asked to explain their loot and arson.
Dr Nawaz and his sons were eventually released from prison but they could not go back to their hometown, nor did the authorities help them to resettle there. Dr Nawaz, now homeless, sought refuge at some other location and has continued to suffer from the consequences of his ouster.
On June 27, 2004, Dr Nawaz asked his younger brother to have a look at the locked and uninhabited house. On inspection, the brother found that someone had broken into the house and had taken away part of what was left behind. The exact loss would be assessed only if a member of the family could come and check the inventory. The thieves had attempted to take away the air conditioning unit, but could not; however, in the process they had damaged it beyond repairs.
The Haveli Lakha case reopened
In November 1999 an unruly mob attacked and destroyed the under-construction house of Dr Nawaz, an Ahmadi elder of Haveli Lakha, district Okara. The miscreants led by mullahs razed the construction to the ground and took away all the building material from the site. They also attacked, ransacked and looted his main house and put some furniture on fire. Dr Nawaz and his family saved their lives by jumping from the roof of their housetop on to a neighbor’s roof. The police and administration officials were present at the scene of the loot. Subsequently, rather than taking action against the attackers, the police arrested the doctor and his two sons and charged them along with one, Mr Abdul Qadir, Ahmadi under the provisions of the anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298C.
At the time of indiction, the police spared one Ahmadi Mr Abdul Qadir and let him off the hook of the law for being innocent. However, they did not undertake the formality of having his clearance endorsed by the magistrate. Three years later, in October 2002 the police struck again and arrested the poor fellow. When Mr Qadir presented them the evidence of the action taken by their predecessors, the police prepared a suitable report and sent it to the civil judge for endorsement. The judge refused to accept the same and told the police to charge the man, and the court would release him only if it found him Not Guilty. Mr. Qadir thus ended up in jail.
Eventually he was released. Such is the level of injustice that Ahmadis have to suffer at the hands of the police, the administration, and the judiciary. Unbelievable!
Harassment at Sadiqabad
Sadiqabad, District Rahim Yar Khan; January 2002: Mr Sharif Ahmad Asghar, president of the local Ahmadiyya Community at Sadiqabad faced harassment from religious zealots and the authorities. On January 1, Islamic radicals took out a procession and shouted profuse insults against Ahmadis. The next day, they attacked his house and tried to break open his outer door. On January 4, the mullah delivered an anti-Ahmadiyya sermon in the mosque. Subsequently they conspired to have a criminal case registered against Ahmadis with the police on January 6. They tried to implicate therein two Ahmadi women as well, the president of the local Ahmadi Women’s Association, and the wife of the president. It took a lot of effort and running around to avoid registration of this fabricated case. During those days, Ahmadi youth had to stand guard duty at their president’s house to resist any attack by the menacing bunch.
Loss of home and hearth
On December 15, 1999, a mulla led mob attacked the under construction house of Dr. Muhammad Nawaz, the District President of the Ahmadiyya Community, Okara. The mob demolished the new-construction, looted the old house and set it on fire in the presence of authorities who later shamelessly arrested the victim and his two sons, and registered a case against them under the anti-Ahmadiyya law, while none of the rioters or their leaders were taken to task. The family of Dr Nawaz had to flee from their home to seek protection elsewhere. Later when the agitation calmed down, the doctor requested authorities’ help to return to his home. They refused him point blank and stated that they could not guarantee his safety. Dr Nawaz has now no home and no work. He himself has become a heart patient. The plot that he had purchased for new construction has been occupied by a lawyer who, availing Dr Nawaz’s absence from the town, has initiated litigation against him. The victimized family, once flourishing, has become a destitute. The government does not care.
Storming, loot and arson
On 15-12-1999 an unruly mob attacked and destroyed the under construction extension of the house of Dr. Muhammad Nawaz of the town Haveli Lakha, District Okara, Punjab. Mr. Muhammad Nawaz is Amir Jamaat Ahmadiyya district Okara. The mob pulled down the under-construction rooms brick by brick, razed them to the ground and took away all the building material from the site. They also attacked, ransacked and looted his main house and put some furniture on fire. Dr. Muhammad Nawaz and his family saved their lives by jumping from the roof of their house on to a neighbour’s housetop.
The saddest and the most painful and inexplicable part of this cruel incident was that all this demolition, looting and violence took place right in the presence of and under the eyes of the local police and administration. All the while it was taking place the police and local administration did absolutely nothing whatsoever to protect Dr. Muhammad Nawaz, his family and his property. They made no attempt at all to stop the unruly mob. The only thing done by the police was that they arrested Dr. Muhammad Nawaz and his two sons from the neighbour’s house where they had gone to save their lives and charged them under section 298-C of Pakistan Penal Code and sent them to jail at Sahiwal. In the jail these gentlemen were initially put in the death row and kept in solitary confinement and denied even customary facilities allowed to the under trial. The culprits were allowed to go scott free and no case was registered against anyone for this crime and no one was arrested, whereas the victims were charged and incarcerated. Three other Ahmadis were also charged under the same section.
The background of this cruel incident is that adjacent to Dr. Muhammad Nawaz’s house there was an old and dilapidated house which Mr. Muhammad Nawaz recently purchased from its owner, and started construction of four new rooms. One, Munir Ahmad whose house is also adjacent to this house was also interested in buying it and he was offended at this purchase by Dr. Muhammad Nawaz, and raised objections about the common wall between this house and his. The matter was taken to local civil court and litigation started. Munir Ahmad, feeling that he did not have a strong case, tried to give it a communal and sectarian colour by falsely propagating that Dr. Muhammad Nawaz was building an Ahmadiyya place of worship. In this, he sought and got full help and cooperation of local mullahs.
As the matter was under litigation, the local authorities had decided that they would make an on the spot examination of the site at 11a.m. on 15-12-1999, and make their own assessment. Fearing that the on the spot examination of the site would vindicate Dr. Muhammad Nawaz’s stand, the mullahs started exhorting the people from loudspeakers of mosques of the town to assemble at Dr. Muhammad Nawaz’s house. They proclaimed that it was a matter of Jihad and Dr. Nawaz should not be allowed to build what they claimed to be an Ahmadiyya place of worship. As a result, a large mob gathered at the place and completely demolished the rooms under construction and looted and damaged his main house and clinic.
The police and local administration made no effort to stop the violence. The authorities offered no help, relief or shelter to the family of Dr. Muhammad Nawaz consisting of women and minor school going children who sought shelter on their own as best as they could.
This incident, in a way, is a replay of the Naukot incident where a mob attacked the Ahmadiyya mosque in 1998 and demolished it. The defendants who unsuccessfully tried to save the mosque were arrested by the police and more than a year later are still behind bars, while none of the attackers was apprehended.
Higher authorities in the federal and provincial governments were duly informed of the incident. The letter written to the Interior Minister is reproduced.
Mr. Nazir Ahmad Gondal, Ahmadi, suffered when his house and belongings were set on fire by extremists. Mr. Nazir is old, retired and lived alone at 34 Hassamuddin Street, Sialkot City. When he was away, some miscreants set fire to his house at about noon on 29 June 1998. All the furniture and his personal belongings were destroyed. The room and its ceiling suffered severe damage. In 1974 anti-Ahmadiyya riots also, his house was set on fire. Prior to the arson, hooligans were harassing him on account of his faith.