Kotli, Azad Kashmir, revisited for discrimination on the basis of religion
Kotli: In 2008, the authorities at Kotli withheld the award of a business contract to an Ahmadi on the basis of his faith, and conveyed to him their decision in writing (News Report for June 2008). Despite the change of the Prime Minister, the discrimination on the basis of religion continued.
At Kotli, an Ahmadi’s companies provided medicines, rations and general stores to the District Hospital. This had been going on for more than 20 years. In 2008, although these firms offered bids that were the most attractive, the authorities disqualified them for their association with ‘Firqa Ahmadiyya’. This also resulted in difficulties in recovering the arrears from the hospital. Six hundred thousand rupees were outstanding with the hospital.
Again the hospital ordered some medicines, and the company delivered them on May 19. However, the Medical Superintendent lost courage and refused to take the delivery on account of ‘pressure’ from various quarters. He issued a circular, No. 1534-37/MS/09 dated May 19, 2009, indicating cancellation of the previous tenders “for unavoidable reasons”, and conveyed that tenders would be called afresh.
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.
Legal notice to scuttle Ahmadi’s business
Sahiwal: Mr. Altaf Ahmad, an Ahmadi owns a gift shop in Sahiwal. He lives with his family in the upper storey of his store. He sells different types of gift items including decorated inscriptions of Quranic verses and Islamic symbols. He was sent a legal notice by Abdul Hakeem who is an activist of the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat organization. He sent this notice through Noor Muhammad Sial, Advocate in June 2009. The notice stated, inter alia:
‘As your sign board displays Islamic terminology and your shop stocks inscriptions of Islamic terms and Quranic verses, it injures the feelings of general Muslims. It may provoke them to disturb the peace. You are obviously violating the law and you deserve harsh punishment. You are directed to remove all such items from your shop within eight days, otherwise legal action will be taken against you.’
Mr. Ahmad was greatly disturbed by the notice. His non-Ahmadi friends told him that his shop had been discussed in the Khatme-Nabuwwat Conference held in Chicha Watni, a nearby town. The speakers agitated the audience against his business and his person. Needless to say, Mr. Ahmad was most worried.
Denial of promotion to an Ahmadi for his faith
Lahore High Court declares it illegal
Lahore: The daily The News International of February 15, 2009 reported the case of an Ahmadi in government service, whose department denied him career advancement on account of his faith. The text of the report is produced below. Although the discrimination to which the Ahmadi was exposed is not expressly stated in detail, the report is indicative of the prejudice and partiality suffered by Ahmadis in public service. The news report:
Denial of promotion on basis of religion illegal: LHC
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar of the Lahore High Court on Saturday accepted the petition of Shaukat Ali Wahla of the Sargodha Auqaf Department and declared as illegal the recalling of his promotion as an officer on the basis of being an Ahmadi.
The petitioner was promoted as superintendent in BPS-16 and his promotion was subsequently recalled on August 6, 1996, on the grounds that the Punjab Waqf Properties Ordinance did not permit promotion of a non-Muslim as an officer.
Wahla challenged the order before the high court, which held that the petitioner was condemned unheard. After disposal of the petition, the department recalled the impugned order.
Later, the Auqaf department allowed the petitioner move over on May 21, 2001, from BS-16 to 17, granting him selection grade on the same date. But again on October 10, 2001, he was issued a notice that his promotion as superintendent was illegal and it was recalled on January 29, 2002.
Wahla again challenged the order before the high court, which accepted his petition on October 13, 2004, and held that discrimination on the basis of religion was against Article 27(1) of the Constitution.
The Auqaf department challenged the order before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which remanded the case to the high court on October 12, 2006. The case came up for hearing before Justice Saqib Nisar who declared that the recalling order was illegal.
Villainy of a resident mulla in Rabwah
Rabwah; July 2009: Mr. Mahmud Ahmad Gondal, Ahmadi proprietor of Gondal Banquet Hall, sent a written complaint to the police SHO against Mulla Allah Yar Arshad.
According to the complaint, the mulla telephoned Mr. Gondal, spoke to him in foul and threatening language and told him to shut down his business or face action. As the Banquet Hall is close to the mulla’s residence, he threatened that any Ahmadi passing in that street in car or on motor cycle will be killed. The mulla warned him against reporting the incident to the police. According to the complaint, a few days later, the mulla’s acolytes attacked a guest’s car, stoned it and chased the guest to the Hall.
Mr. Gondal requested the SHO to register a case against the mulla, and provide security to the complainant against the bully.
Propaganda against the Ahmadiyya community in Okara
Okara; March 8, 2009: Hate propaganda against the community intensified in Okara this month. As a result, communal tensions appeared in Mandi Ahmadabad and Chak 36/2L. Mullas came over from Lahore, made hateful speeches against the community in close vicinity of business owned by an Ahmadi, Mr. Ikram Ahmad. He has an electrical shop at the bus stop of 36/2L. They also made hate speeches in the assembly of a local school and urged non-Ahmadis to boycott Ahmadis. The local people thereafter boycotted this Ahmadi family. In Mandi Ahmadabad some shopkeepers told Ahmadis in writing not to come to their shops. Ahmadis reported the situation to the authorities.
Loss of job for being an Ahmadi
Jauharabad; May 15, 2007: Mr. Amjad Mahmud, Ahmadi was fired from service in the Atomic Energy Commission. The real and only reason for this was his faith.
Mr. Mahmud was selected as Technician, initially as temporary, among 40 others by the AEC on the basis of merit. At the time of joining, he had declared his religious denomination. Subsequent to security clearance he received the ‘joining letter’ in December 2005. While in service, he developed good reputation as a hard working dutiful technician. However, later on, his Head of the Department who belonged to a religious party came to know of his Ahmadiyyat, and reacted like a cleric. The boss used direct and indirect methods to force Mahmud to quit the service. He fabricated false accusations and issued warning letters to the Ahmadi. Mr. Mahmud was pushed in a corner, and had to apply to the chairman PAEC and Director General SPD for redress. His colleagues were given the status of permanent employees in August 2006, but Mr. Mahmud’s service was terminated on May 15, 2007.
Our records show that some years ago when students of a university were taken on a tour of the atomic plant in Rawalpindi area, a girl student was off-loaded as she was Ahmadi. Dr A Qadeer Khan was outspokenly anti-Ahmadi; he restricted Ahmadis’ induction in the service of AEC and other related facilities. That prejudice persists and the religious establishment continues to exploit the unsupportable practices to its own purposes.
Ahmadis – no job for them in the state sector!
Since the promulgation of Amendment No. II to the Constitution in 1974, the authorities have implemented the policy of reducing to the minimum the availability of state jobs to Ahmadis. Prior to 1974, Ahmadis joined government service in great numbers, as the literacy rate in their community was among the highest. However, with the passing of Amendment No. II to the Constitution, that declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims, a message was sent to one and all that Ahmadis could be discriminated against with impunity. As a result, the intake of Ahmadis in the military and the civil service, as officers, was reduced to a trickle.
Prior to 1974, there were many Ahmadis who served as pilots in the Pakistan Air Force. One of them, Zafar Chaudhry, an ace pilot, rose to the rank of Air Marshal and was appointed Chief of the Air Staff. However, after that, the intake of Ahmadi pilots was reduced significantly.
One exception occurred two years ago when one, Saeed Ahmad Nazir, an Ahmadi youth was selected in the GD Pilot branch of the PAF. He was doing well in his training. In the aircraft technical tests (ATTs) he scored 96% marks. In flying he did 17 missions, of which four were solo. At that stage, his instructor turned sectarian and failed him in flying missions. When Nazir protested, he said: “(Do not forget) Air Force is very small and I’ll always be your senior.” Later, in one of the gatherings when asked by other trainees, he replied that nothing was wrong with Nazir’s flying but because of “reasons that could not be stated,” they had to suspend him.
Thus only a few days before the graduation, Nazir was rejected. He left the PAF with a heavy heart. They offered him a post in a secondary branch of the air force. However, his friends advised him that there was no point in staying in an organization where he would face discrimination throughout his career.
Harassment of an Ahmadi official
Faisalabad: The mulla and the government have greatly succeeded in thinning out Ahmadis from the government offices. Now it is a standard technique of the mulla to target the rare Ahmadi employees in public services and malign them through fabricated complaints and (vernacular) media trial.
One such victim is Mr. Mian Fahim, the Deputy Superintendent of the Borstal Jail of Faisalabad. For months he has been maligned in the local press by the Information Secretary of the Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, the notorious mulla Faqir Muhammad. However, recently Mian Fahim and his boss, the Superintendent held a press conference at the prison, and it was reported in a three-column news in the daily Aman, Faisalabad on June 7, 2007. The two officials informed the pressmen of all the improvements that they have undertaken at this establishment. Here we report only those portions that concern Mian Fahim the Ahmadi Deputy Superintendent. Extracts:
“… Mian Fahim, the Deputy Superintendent offered that he would tender his resignation if somebody could prove corruption of even one rupee on his part. He further stated that two employees, Anwar Masih No. 4348 and Muhammad Aslam 4803 were charge-sheeted for absence from duty; so they started a propaganda campaign against him on the basis of his faith. Fabricated stories were published in the press against him in different newspapers. He was accused of corruption in connivance with the canteen and building contractors; but it was not true; there is no substance to the accusation. He was maligned for being in league with one Barakat who was indicated as the (bogus) contractor. The Building Department has issued a letter that Barkat is not a contractor, and he has nothing to do with the prison. In fact Barkat is a cousin of Muhammad Aslam; he was thus involved in defamation activities against him (Mian Fahim).” In answer to a question, Mian Fahim said, “I am accused of putting a ban on Quran classes (Hifz wa Nazarah) in the prison, however that is not true. In fact, two years ago, on joining I was the one who initiated religious classes in the Jail. The two employees accuse me of being an extremist Qadiani; while their personal records show them as habitual absentees and malingerers. They were reported to higher authorities who only posted Aslam closer to his residence — at the Central Jail. I was accused 160 times of stealing the wood; but there is no truth in that either. Am I so powerful that my assistant and my boss Mr. Raza Butt (the Superintendent) are unable to restrain me“? He said that on account of his faith the Intelligence Bureau and the ISI held three confidential investigations against him but nothing negative was proven against him. “I am ready for accountability anytime, anywhere”, he asserted. At this the Superintendent Mr. Raza Butt supported him fully and said, “I request press reporters to please inquire from us also prior to entering a report.”
The above report is indicative of the stress and strain of false propaganda that Mr. Fahim has to face — only for his faith, by slanderers like mulla Faqir Muhammad.
An Ahmadi teacher is harassed for his faith
Lahore: The Daily Times of May 16, 2007 had the following story; excerpts:
Ahmadi deputy headmaster being hounded over possible promotion
Lahore: Several residents living next to Masjid-e-Khizra in Samanabad have started campaigning against, a government school deputy headmaster, who is an Ahmadi, because they believe that he will be made headmaster, as the former headmaster has been transferred, Daily Times has learnt.
However, a government official told Daily Times that the deputy could not be made headmaster because he was not senior enough.
A resident said that during a sermon at Masjid-e-Khizra before Friday prayers, the Imam, Abdul Rauf Farooq, demanded the government not promote Saleem Akhtar Khan to headmaster of Government Central Model School, Samanabad because he was an Ahmadi and that residents did not like him.
Farooq told Daily Times that Muhammad Iqbal, the headmaster of the school was transferred a couple of days ago and residents feared that the deputy headmaster might be made headmaster. He said residents including him had no objection over Saleem’s present position. However, being head of the institution he can prove influential and promote ‘his religion’ amongst students.
He said residents wanted two things: either have Saleem transferred to some other school or not promote him to headmaster so that he cannot preach his religion.
Saleem told Daily Times that he had been working at Government Model School since 1998 and that he had never distributed pamphlets amongst students. He said he could not be promoted to headmaster because he was a BS-17 official whereas only a BS-20 official could be made headmaster. He said the campaign against him had another motive behind it.
In April 2007 the chief minister had ordered proceedings against Muhammad Iqbal and nine teachers of various government schools on charges of inefficiency, misconduct and corruption under the Punjab Employees Efficiency Discipline and Accountability Act 2006.
The senior headmaster was accused of altering the result of a 8th grade student, illegally selling key books (khulasas) at Rs. 270 per set and practical copies and charging a Rs. 15 fine from every student.
Zahid Saeed, special secretary (schools), said that Tariq Yousaf, member (colonies) Board of Revenue, who was appointed inquiry officer to proceed against Muhammad Iqbal and other teachers, had asked the department to transfer the accused headmaster till the inquiry was completed. He said the deputy headmaster could not be made the headmaster because he was a BS-17 official whereas the headmaster had to be a BS-20 official.
Conduct most unbecoming the National Engineering Scientific Commission (NESCOM)
Islamabad; October 4, 2007: NESCOM cancelled the provisional fellowship awarded to Ms. Amna Zaheka (Roll No. 310020), Ahmadi, for studies leading to MS (System Engg.) at the Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Islamabad, for reasons of her faith, without saying so, and told her that “you have not been found suitable for employment in NESCOM on security grounds,” vide its letter No. NESCOM-24(8)/2007-Trg dated October 4, 2007. It is signed by Dr Javed Aslam, Director (HRD).
The case deserves special attention as it has direct bearing on the human and citizenship rights of Ahmadis in Pakistan under the present government that claims commitment to the policy of Enlightened Moderation, and faces serious challenge from the forces of obscurantism, religious bigotry and extremism. The fact that the incident was precipitated by the headquarters of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission calls for in-depth inquiry. Mixing engineering and science with religious prejudice at the high academic and professional forum of the Commission is unfortunate — to put it mildly.
Ms Zaheka qualified for the fellowship on merit. She is a graduate from the prestigious University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore. She passed in First Division, scoring 84.86% marks. She stood third in the final year of Mechatronics and Control Engineering. She applied for the fellowship and qualified the NESCOM test, interview and the medical. The fellowship was provisionally awarded and she was informed accordingly — but then came the ‘security clearance’.
The security clearance involved inter alia the notorious Declaration by Muslims, whereby these future engineers and scientists of Pakistan are required to declare their faith in the absolute end of prophethood. Also, the candidates are required to declare their religion. How these are relevant to the engineering profession, is known only to the mullah to whom the security establishment still seems to pay homage. As for her conduct, neither Ms. Zaheka nor her family has any police record. They do not indulge in any criminal, illegal or even political activities.
Ms Zaheka was sure of her merit, so after her provisional award, she took no further steps to apply for admission to any other university or institution. Two months later, when she received the ‘cancellation’ letter, she had missed the last dates of applications elsewhere. In short, she has consequently missed a whole academic year of her life.
It is reasonable to assume that the undue security considerations might have affected some other applicants too. It would be appropriate for the policy makers of enlightened moderation to dig deep and find out how many departments continue to deny normal citizen rights to Pakistanis on the basis of their faith. How come, the sleuths are still finding it convenient to go by the unworthy guide lines issued in the days of 2fake Islamisation of Zia? Why have these not been abrogated or revised despite declared change in state policy? The propaganda gains of grant of military commission to one Sikh youth are insufficient to pull the country from the clutches of fossilized forces.
Failure to apply (a good declared) policy is not only abuse of power, it is harmful. Events are proving it.
A librarian is targeted
Bahawalpur. According to the daily Bahawalpur Post, Mr. Iqbal Arshad, Ahmadi is the Librarian at the Islamic University. The mullah would like him to lose his job. So he arranged the following to be published in the Bahawalpur Post of July 11, 2006:
“Mr. Sajid Azad, the political and social activist has said in a press statement that the present Library Incharge of the Islamia University Library, Iqbal Arshad is an ardent worker of the Qadiani organization. He preaches Qadianiyyat the whole day. Most of the Bahawalpur Qadianis often stay assembled in his office. He helps Qadiani students beyond the rules, and remains busy in their work and organization. As such he should be transferred forthwith, and a Muslim appointed in his place…”
The poor librarian is under pressure.
Mischief is a many-headed snake: Mullah Allah Yar Arshad and the vernacular daily Din
Lahore; June 4, 2006: The daily Din, Lahore of June 4 published the following ‘news’ under a 2-column headline, quoting the ill-famed mullah Arshad based at Rabwah:
Chiniot: The appointment of Sajid Qadiani at Homeo Nishtar College should be cancelled. Maulana Arshad
A Muslim superintendent will be appointed subsequent to our recommendation to the Homeo Council Islamabad. Assurance given by Dr Ashraf
Chiniot (correspondent): The appointment of Sajid Qadiani to supervise the academic examination of girl students at the Homeo Medical College Chiniot has provoked the Muslims greatly. Representing the people of Chiniot, Maulana Yar Arshad, Maulana Ghulam Mustafa and Maulana Masud Ahmadi Sarwari met Dr Muhammad Ashraf Zia, the principal of the Homeo Nishtar Medical College and demanded that in view of the sensitive situation of Chiniot, the Qadiani should be transferred forthwith. As per details (of this case) the appointment of Qadiani Sajid in lieu of a Muslim superintendent over Muslim women-students at the occasion of examination is a grave conspiracy to destroy the city and the country. If he is not immediately transferred, the head of the institution will be responsible for the resulting situation on Monday, June 5. Dr Muhammad Ashraf Zia, the principal assured the delegation of the respected clerics (ulama karaam) that in view of the sensitiveness of the issue he would immediately inform and recommend to the Homeo Council, Islamabad to save this institution from devastation.
The content, language and style of this news, that is not fit to print, is typical of the collaboration of the obscurantist mullah and the yellow vernacular press. They jointly make mountain of a mole hill to obstruct even petty Ahmadiyya role in public affairs, and hurl hollow threats as scare crows to frighten career-conscious bureaucracy into unnecessary fugitive action.
Attempt to deny business opportunity to an Ahmadi on religious grounds
Chiniot; October 26, 2005: The daily Aman, Faisalabad published the following news (extracts):
To permit a Qadiani to own a gas station in Chiniot will result in religious riots. Maulana Allah Yar Arshad
TOTAL PARCO Oil Company should not become a tool of Qadianis, otherwise its products will be boycotted in the entire country.
DCO Jhang and Tehsil Nazim Chiniot should cancel the NOC and the construction plan of the Qadiani Community’s gas station.
Chiniot (staff reporter): Maulana Allah Yar Arshad, Central Secretary of the Organization to Protect the End of Prophethood and a preacher of Majlis Aharar and Islam announced in a largely attended press conference at Chiniot the other day that foundation of religious riots is being laid by permitting Qadianis to establish a gas station at Chiniot. ……… The Maulana said that they would resist such an undertaking.……… Qadianis will not succeed to conquer the city of Chiniot in the guise of business.… He demanded of the Total Parco Oil Company not to become a tool of Qadianis, otherwise all their products will be boycotted all over the entire country. He warned Qadianis to desist from such shameful and conspiratorial activities. He demanded that the District Nazim, the DCO and the Tehsil Nazim should cancel the NOC and the (construction) plan so as to put an end to the wave of unrest and anxiety in the city.
It is relevant to mention that this rabble-rousing mullah is not even a resident of Chiniot. He is a full time anti-Ahmadiyya agitator, and he has funds at this disposal to get his bombasts published in vernacular press. His audacity to intimidate the authorities to deny a routine business right to an Ahmadi is not surprising, because he knows that politicians and officials are quick to surrender to even hollow threats of mullahs.
Faith and business
Goth Dr Jamil, District Badin: Normally faith should not be a significant factor in transacting business, but not so in this land of the pure.
Mr. Shahid Iqbal, Ahmadi is a successful agriculturalist in his village. In addition to his own land, he had rented a large tract from other land-lords. Mr. Iqbal had invested a large sum of money, in millions, on that tract and hoped to reap good harvest that would be welcome by not only him but also his landlords.
Then in the month of June, at some occasion the landlords came to know that Mr. Iqbal was an Ahmadi. They got agitated over the fact, displayed their great anger and told him to recant or forego the unwritten contract. They told him that if he did not recant, he and his clerk would not be allowed to visit the land.
Mr. Iqbal got quite upset about this new turn in his enterprise. He had invested a great deal of borrowed money in the land, and was now faced with the termination of the virtual contract. He asked his well-wishers to pray for him.
Ahmadis’ lists promulgated to impose social boycott
Khushab: In July 2000 anti-Ahmadiyya violence and riots erupted in Takht Hazara, district Sargodha in which five Ahmadis were killed inside their own mosque. The instigator of this violence was Mullah Athar Shah, the resident priest appointed by the Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat. While the justice system gave imprisonment sentences to a number of participants of the riots, the mullah was acquitted. Thereafter he was posted out to Khushab where he continues to indulge in the same kind of activities and mischief as in Takht Hazara.
Apart from numerous other sectarian activities, the mullah’s latest drive is to implement a social boycott of Ahmadis. To this end in August he published lists of Ahmadis giving full information like name, caste, place of work etc. Mullah Athar Shah sent these lists to various clerics and asked them to announce these lists in their sermons and urge “the slaves of the Holy Prophet to implement complete social boycott of these people to prove their love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH)”.
Harassment of a clerk
Dera Ghazi Khan: Mr Abdul Wahab, Ahmadi is a clerk at the office of the Senior Civil Judge. The mullahs cannot tolerate Ahmadis even in petty positions in government offices. The Khatame Nabuwwat organization launched a campaign against Mr Wahab in February. They acquired the support of local vernacular press to promote their agenda. The daily Islam, Multan of January 12 published a three-column news headline to highlight Mr Wahab’s ‘charge sheet’; the details included the following:
“(Wahab) has unlawfully occupied the official residence at Ghazi Colony and has started the drive to convert people to Mirzai faith. Maulana Qari Jamal Abd un Nasser General Secretary of the MMA told the press representatives that according to the Constitution of Pakistan, preaching of Mirzai faith and distribution of its literature is a crime. Abdul Wahab is a Mirzai missionary. He should be told to vacate the accommodation forthwith and he should be duly punished after criminal prosecution. Maulana Qari Muhammad Arshad, Missionary Khatme Nabuwwat, Maulana Zubair Ahmad Khan Bhatti, Maulana Usman Gondal and Maulana Khalil-ur-Rehman jointly and strongly protested and demanded that the clerk Abdul Wahab be transferred forthwith”.
Poor Abdul Wahab – a clerk having to face so many Maulanas, the MMA and the Khatme Nabuwwat organization, all together! May God help the poor soul!
Job at risk
Rawalpindi: Mr Rizwan Munir Ahmad is working as a radiographer in a hospital. Ahmadi-bashers got him implicated in a case and got him fired. Eventually, he was reinstated by the orders of the Supreme Court. However, the gang remained active against him, because in the first week of April, someone telephoned him and threatened him with harm. The caller told him that within a few days he would get something concrete.
Mr Ahmad reported the incident to his District Amir and requested for his prayers.
Campaign against Ahmadi officials
In the long check-off list of anti-Ahmadiyya activities, one item pertains to the expulsion of all Ahmadi officials from the government services and departments. In this the opposition has succeeded to a great extent. A few officials, who are still there, remain targeted, and clerics spare no effort to mount false propaganda against them, so as to harass them and affect their careers and postings.
There are a few middle-ranking Ahmadi officials posted at Sukkur. The opposition in league with the vernacular press has mounted a propaganda campaign against these officials. The daily Jang, Ummat, Juraat, Yadgar, Riasat etc printed fabricated news in February against these officials who include Mr Farooq Ahmed, the Superintendent of the Divisional Post Office and Mr Abdul Qayyum Bhatti, the Controller of Examinations, Sukkur Board. For example the daily Jang Karachi, of February 11, 2004 printed a news dispatch from Sukkur stating that “Anti-Pakistan forces are busy destabilizing the state; they are using Qadianis for this purpose; some Qadiani officials at the head of departments are openly committing blasphemy.” The statement was attributed to Maulana Abdul Qayyum Halejwi. The mullah or the correspondent or both of them are competent liars.
Sale of PIA shares and faith
The Privatization Commission has offered 115 million shares of the national carrier PIA for sale to public. The application form requires the investor at four locations to declare whether he is a Muslim or a Non-Muslim. He is instructed to ‘Tick one’. Obviously an Ahmadi will not call himself a Non-Muslim. If he ticks the entry ‘Muslim’, he is liable to three years’ imprisonment. Does the Privatization Commission want to exclude Ahmadis from investing in PIA? If not, why deliberate actions are taken to show obvious discrimination and construct difficulties for a section of the population?
Official harassment based on faith
Pasrur; September 23, 2003: Mr Awais Ayub Butt, Ahmadi had been a lecturer in a government college, but was unjustifiably relieved of his job. He appealed to the High Court. It gave a decision in his favour, and Mr Butt was accordingly appointed in Degree College at Pasrur, district Sialkot. However, when he reported to join, the college principal did not let him. Sectarian politics were invoked and mullahs in various mosques delivered sermons against Mr Butt, the Ahmadi’s joining the college. The principal gave him in writing the statement that, “in view of the clerics’ opposition and the sentiments of college staff against Qadianis, he should seek appointment elsewhere”. The principal signed the statement and put his official seal on it. It is dated 23. 9. 2003.
Harassment at work place
During the month of July Messers Rafiq Ahmad and Abdul Shakoor, Ahmadis, working at Soofi Textile Mills, Millo Mor, Jhang faced harassment and police inquiries etc at their job. Someone wrote a letter to the Assistant Commissioner that the two Ahmadis were indulging in proselytizing and inviting their colleagues to watch TV programs on the MTA. The A.C. sent the application to the SHO of Police Station Athara Hazari who made enquiries at the Mills.
Commercial and social boycott
Chichawatni, district Sahiwal; June 2002: Mr Naseer Ahmad, Ahmadi, shifted to Chichawatni four years ago and started a business “Al Hamd Seed Corporation.” He flourished there till last year when mullahs discovered that he was an Ahmadi. They sent a hooligan in June 2001, who chased him on a motor-cycle, called him bad names and threatened him with another visit. One week later, three mullahs came to his office and curtly demanded Rs. 50,000. They warned Naseer against reporting to the police. They called at him again, demanded the money and on getting a ‘No’ told him that they belonged to a religious organization that had already disposed of a number of non-cooperating individuals.
Religion pushed into the service of Mammon
Ahmadabad, District Badin: One, Ashiq Hussain sent in an application to the Deputy Superintendent Police to register a criminal case (FIR) against Mr Mubashir Ahmad, an Ahmadi. Ashiq Hussain mentioned in his application that Mubashir who is a Qadiani was pressing him for money under threats of murder while the Qadiani owed him Rs. 100,000.
The fact is that Ashiq Hussain owes Rs. 38,000 to Mr Mubashir Ahmad, and is reluctant to pay. He contrived to report to the police and solicit their sympathy on the basis of sectarian prejudice.
At the intervention of some notables, the police did not register the FIR. Mr Mubashir Ahmad could have lost his freedom in addition to his money.
Harassment in the army on basis of faith
Karachi: Mr Anjam Nazir is a soldier in Pakistan Army in the rank of Lance Naik. A few months ago he, along with other members of his family, joined the Ahmadiyya Community. He informed his superiors as required per rules. They did not take it kindly and continue to be exceptionally harsh with him.
Nazir was made to explain as to why, how and through whom he got converted. They told him (incorrectly) that punishment of apostasy in Islam is nothing but death. They detained him and threatened him with dire consequences. They promised him relief if he recanted. On August 2, authorities arrested him and detained him within the unit. Mr Nazir was subjected to underserved hardship.
It is a pity that his superiors behaved more like mullahs than officers of the national army.
The navy wanders off the charted course
Karachi: It is amazing that obscurantism of Zia regime managed to penetrate even the Pakistan Navy that one should expect to promote a healthy liberal culture among its ranks.
Many months ago, some sailors decided to switch over to Ahmadiyya version of Islam. Ordinarily, this should have been of little concern to the Navy as it does not affect adversely their professional standing and performance. However, some over-zealous officers, who seem to have only a superficial understanding of religious matters, took it seriously, and arranged for three of such sailors to proceed all the way to Islamabad to meet Justice Fida Muhammad of the Federal Shariat Court. The worthy Justice, for want of any other judicial business put before his court, had a few sittings with the sailors. He offered them some books written by Maulana Maudoodi, the founder of Jamaat Islami, to read. The Maulana is one of the great innovators and promoters of violence in matters of religion.
This incident happened last year. It is hoped that the Navy and the judge are wiser now after the post-9/11 developments in this region.
Squeeze on livelihood
Policy makers of the anti-Ahmadiyya persecution are mindful of importance of the economic factor. They know that Ahmadis are relatively more educated and productive members of the society. So, early in their campaign they implemented policies to deny jobs to Ahmadis in the public sector as it provides the largest number of jobs in the services. As a result, the intake of Ahmadis in the government has become a trickle – almost dry. Even private sector has been adversely affected. Ahmadi-bashers use any and all means to deny them opportunity, security and progress in a career.
Ahmadi dismissed from government service
Mr. Taufiq Ahmad Khawar, a Corporal Technician in Pakistan Air Force was dismissed from the Service for his faith. Reportedly, he was told that no action would be taken, if he recanted. He refused to comply. His dismissal was then ordered under section 20(1) of PAF Act 1953 read with Rule 31-A of PAF Act Rules. The section gives discretionary powers to Chief of the Air staff, or any officer, empowered in his behalf to remove or dismiss from the service any person subject to the Act other than an officer.
Denied even a petty job for his faith
Dulmial, district Chakwal; August 2001: Mr. Riaz Ahmad, Ahmadi, an appointee of NADRA, a governmental department, was not allowed to function by the officialdom, for reasons of his faith.
Mr. Riaz was appointed a representative of NADRA, in Union Council Dulmial after the required procedure, training and a deposit of Rs. 2200/- as license fee. A fortnight later, the office refused to give him the RGA book (the official papers) to start work. Why? They would not tell. Anti-Ahmadiyya activists, in the meantime arranged to publish a news item in the local newspaper Al-Akhbar that ‘the village Muslims were greatly agitated over the appointment of a Qadiani as NADRA representative and have appealed to authorities to cancel his license’. The report was fabricated, as Mr. Riaz is a popular man. He is a member and office-holder of numerous social and citizens’ organizations. Mr. Riaz wrote to the Regional Director of NADRA to issue him the RGA book to start working.
Facing problems of livelihood
Khararianwala, District Faisalabad: Mr Afzal Javed joined Ahmadiyya community in March 1985. Sixteen years later, the change is still haunting him and he is being made to suffer for his exercise of ‘freedom of faith’.
Javed was in the army in 1985 when he joined Ahmadiyyat. The army did not take kindly to his conversion and treated him harshly. He had to seek discharge from the military service. Later, he joined an industry in Faisalabad as a clerk. Ahmadis have faced agitation and threats in Faisalabad during the last few years. Recently, Sheikh Nazeer, an Ahmadi was murdered in Faisalabad and the murderer told the police proudly that he did so to earn paradise in the Hereafter. This encouraged other extremists in Javed’s factory to declare the same type of intentions. They planned Javed’s murder and proceeded to hire a killer. One of them offered to bear the costs. The plan, however, got leaked and Javed came to know about it. He reported it to the factory’s manager. The manager was hardly sympathetic; he asked Javed to resign and leave.
On September 18, a score of miscreants assembled and attempted to create a situation against Javed in his presence. They told him not to share their utensils for meals, not to sit at their cot, etc. They threatened Javed of a criminal case under the Anti-Ahmadiyya law and the subsequent arrest. They threatened to even murder him. It was an ugly situation, from which Javed saved himself with utmost tact and constraint.
Subsequently, the factory management told Javed that it would be better for him to resign and go away as the management was not in a position to provide him any protection. He put in his resignation.
Javed ended up without a job. He has a family to support. Where to go? What to do?
Fired from a government job – for reason of faith
District Vehari: Mubarak Ahmad, Ahmadi, was serving as a Havildar in the Army in its Air Defence Corps in the year 2000. His existing posting, rank and service situation was, of course, with the approval and permission of his Army superiors. In November 2000, however, the management decided to invoke an old policy that Ahmadis were not allowed to serve in the Air Defence Corps, as such they decided to send him home. Not only that, giving wrong and unsupportable excuses, they demoted him two steps before retiring him. He had served as Naik for 2 ½ years and seven years as Havildar; but he was demoted to Lance Naik (two ranks below Havildar), and then retired. This caused him great loss in pension and “computation”, more than Rs 100,000, which is a sizable amount for a soldier. There are reportedly 25 other Ahmadi soldiers who have been made to suffer in almost the same manner.
The Army management has acted very unfairly, loaded with religious prejudice. In any court of law, they would be severely reprimanded for blatant violation of norms of personnel management, and would be made to compensate the victims of mismanagement. But the affected Ahmadi servicemen find it very difficult to obtain justice from Army authorities.
The incident is indicative of gross discrimination faced by Ahmadi servicemen in the Army. It is noteworthy that they are denied service in the ‘Fighting Branches’ and can serve only in Support Services like the Medical Corps, Engineering Corps etc. Not only that, they can be denied their normal service terms and conditions at the whims of almost anybody, with no recourse to justice.
Punjab Public Service Commission has a demon
“…You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State …”, so said the Quaid-i-Azam, Founder of the Nation, in 1947 at the birth of the new state of Pakistan. So why should the august employer, called Punjab Public Service Commission, ask candidates their religion; it boggles one’s mind. Obviously, at the Commission there are nuts who disagree with the founding father, and to whom discrimination on basis of religion is a virtue. They seem to be particularly sensitive about Ahmadis, because they have designed the application form cunningly so as to exclude Ahmadi applicants. The Religion entry at serial 14 gives only two choices to the candidate: Muslim or Non Muslim. The authors of this contraption know that Ahmadis do not call themselves ‘Non-Muslim’, nor can they write themselves ‘Muslim’ because then they face three years’ imprisonment. The option of calling themselves Ahmadi has been denied to them in the Application Form. Thus the aim to exclude Ahmadis from the Provincial Service is achieved at the very first step. A copy of the form can be seen here.
Agitation in Rajanpur
Rajanpur: Mr Shahid Iqbal, Ahmadi, a trainee dispenser at the government hospital, Rajanpur, invited ten colleagues and his instructor to dinner. Ten other guests were invited by his elder brother at the same occasion. The occasion included a speech on the august personality of the Holy Prophet.
The next day mullas came to know of the event, and were very angry. They decided to have a criminal case registered against Shahid, and they also planned other actions like taking out a procession etc. A delegation of mullas called on the hospital superintendent and demanded that Shahid be struck off the training. The Superintendent proceeded to do as told by the visiting mullas. Then the mullas met the Nurse Incharge of female nurses and demanded that the sole Ahmadi trainee nurse be also rusticated.
Deprivation of jobs demanded
Lahore; September 5: The mulla’s onslaught on Ahmadis is multi-directional and persistent. Depriving Ahmadis of jobs and means of livelihood is a part of his agenda. There are few Ahmadis employed in government (intelligence) agencies; if they are there, fingers of one hand would suffice to count them. But the mulla cannot tolerate even that. He would also like all Ahmadis removed from the military service. Following was reported in the daily News of September 06, 2001:
Moot asks govt to terminate Qadianis working in agencies
All Parties Pasban-e-Tahafuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Conference has asked the government to terminate Qadianis serving in sensitive agencies.
The demand was made at a meeting held Wednesday at Faletti’s Hotel. The meeting also asked the government to terminate all the army officers belonging to Qadiani sect and impose ban on their employment in the armed forces. Declaring statements of federal ministers regarding joint electorate as anti-Pakistan, the participants said the statements were tantamount to a conspiracy against the constitution of the country.
The conference also condemned the government’s interference in the religious schools besides rejecting the US monitoring teams along Afghanistan border.
JI Naib Ameer Liaquat Balooch said the Muslims were united on the issue of Khatme Nabuwat, adding that a Jewish lobby was active in creating misunderstanding among them. He said Mujahideen were the pride of Muslims and Zionists were active to defame them, adding that any attempt to stop donations for Jehad would not be tolerated and if rulers tried to intervene into the Jehad they would not be spared.
Hafiz Zubair Ahmed Zaheer, Ameer Jamaat Ahle Hadith Pakistan, Sahibzada Saeedur Rehman Ahmed, Allama Muhammad Mumtaz Awan, Ameer Pasban Khatme Nabuwwat Pakistan, Allama Riazur Rehman Yazdani, chief of Jamiate Ahle Hadith Pakistan, Maulana Muhammad Ismail Shaujabadi, central nazim International Majlise Tahafuz Khatame Nabowat, Maulana Hussain Ahmed Awan, central leader of Milli Yakjehti Council, Allama Hameeduddin Al-Mashriqui, Khaksar Tehrik Pakistan, Maulana Muhammad Shafi Josh, leader of Muslim Conference, Pir S.A. Jaffri, Maulana Munir Ahmed Madni of Jamiate Mashaikh Pakistan, Syed Abdul Qadir Azad, Chief of Muttahida Deeni Mahaz, chief of Hizbullah Tehrik Rasheed Warraich and others also spoke.
Major policy decisions were made years ago by the government to deny Ahmadis job opportunities in the public sector. They continue to be implemented and remain effective. Even in the private sector, Ahmadis face difficulties to make a living. A few examples:
Ordeal of Ahmadi tailors
Messers Mansur Ahmad and Nadeem Ahmad, two Ahmadi brothers had rented a tailoring shop at Bhari Shah Rehman, District Gujranwala a few years ago and were earning their living. They are resident of village Jhatanwali, five kilometers away, from where they would walk to their shop every morning and go home after sunset. Fundamentalists could not tolerate a business run by Ahmadis, and they mounted a steady effort, in league with authorities, to dislodge them. They succeeded in November 2000. Some details of this event are relevant to show their usual operating procedure.
Approximately two years ago they launched a propaganda campaign against Ahmadis in Bhari; it gained momentum with time. As a result, the two communities were made to isolate socially from each other. Mullas, simultaneously urged the shop owner to cancel the hiring deal with Ahmadi tailors and expel them. Other non-Ahmadis started ‘advising’ the tailors to vacate the shop in their own interest. They did not. Sometime ago, extremists poured Elfy glue in the shop’s exterior lock. The lock had to be broken to get in. In August, the Markaz Tahaffuz Khatame Nabuwwat, Gujranwala wrote to the tailors an unsigned typed letter. The letter gave them an ultimatum of three days to vacate the shop or face consequences. In the meantime the police contacted them that they were under investigation for possession of illegal arms. The police SHO sent for them. They were called to the police station a number of times. This resulted in undue harassment. Then the police accused them of preaching on the basis that ‘ the Mulla says so and he can’t be wrong’. Non-Ahmadis of Jhatanwali helped the Ahmadi accused and told the police that the accusation was false.
Anyhow, there was danger all around. The tailors feared attack in the dark on their way back home in the evening, so they looked for a place to stay in Bhari, but nobody would rent it to them. Eventually they had no choice but close down their business, and hand back the shop to its owner on November 20, 2000. Now they have no business and no job.
The poor engravers
Mr Nasir Ahmad, Ahmadi, is working as a stone engraver for the last 35 years in Jhang Sadr. His two sons work with him. Normally they receive orders to etch Islamic and Quranic verses on marble.
In January, an anti-Ahmadiyya activist took notice of this means of livelihood by the Ahmadi family, and decided to harass them. He approached them and told them that while etching, the bits of falling stones amount to disrespect to the holy verses. He told them to stop such work. Some days later, another extremist visited them and told them that the spilling of water used by them to wash the writings on the plates amounts to disrespect to the holy verses. They told him that they wash the plates the same way as others do. He retorted that the excuse was unacceptable from them as they were Qadianis. He went away after threatening them with further action. They became careful and started washing the plates prior to morning twilight.
On 20th February, an activist of Sipah Sahaba discovered Mr Nadeem, one of the sons, washing the plates. The miscreant slapped him on the face and forced him to stop the work.
Two other Ahmadi who were in the same business were facing the same problem. They had no choice but to be careful.
Religion pushed in the service of Mammon
Ahmadis hold a tract of 72 acres of agricultural land on lease at Sial Mor in Jhang. Its value went up for reason of proximity to the boundary marked as the Council area. Ahmadis had constructed there a roadside restaurant as well. Their opponents now covet this land and have hired mullas to deny the same to the rightful possessors.
Mullas of the Khatame Nabuwwat organization passed a few Resolutions in the local mosque and moved the authorities. They demanded that:
- 1. Qadianis should be forbidden to practice Islam. They should be prosecuted under religious laws.
- 2. The lease of the land awarded to the Qadianis at Ahmadpur Sial should be cancelled.
- Qadianis’ restaurant should be closed down, as Muslims partake their food there that is not licit as per Sharia.
The DC told the revenue officials to hold an enquiry. Mullas met the Tehsildar. The problem continues.
Ahmadis are denied public jobs on one pretext or another. Often a pretext is not considered even necessary. It is a policy that appointing authorities are following as a matter of routine. When in doubt, the mulla jumps in and provides the required excuse even though it is nothing but deception and fabrication. The situation at the Atomic Energy Establishment at Khushab is described below as a specimen.
Till five years ago, labour jobs were open to all comers at the Bridging Camp KCII, Atomic Energy Khushab. But it has changed since then. Some mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat started sending applications to the management that another Rabwah was being developed close to the atomic installations. It was a pack of lies. The management appointed an official to investigate who discovered nothing of the sort. Only a few Ahmadis of Joya Goth Ahmadiyya had settled on their own land. They were not even provided yet with electricity. However, hostile applications kept pouring in. This is the usual technique of the Mulla. Accordingly, a regular surveillance effort was mounted at the Joya Goth Ahmadiyya. Now there are other surveillance posts as well. However, for no valid reason Ahmadis were denied work at this industrial plant. Thus they are deprived of even meager means to support their families to which they are entitled like any other Pakistani in that area.
The case of Mr Khalid Ahmad Kamal, an Ahmadi from Lahore may also be cited. He was enrolled as a Technician at the Chashma Nuclear Power Project in April 1998. Fourteen months later, Mr. Kamal was informed by the Atomic Energy Commission vide its letter No: CNPP-Admin-PC 2(19)/98-Site/342 dated 2 July 1999 that he had not been security cleared by concerned agencies, therefore he cannot be offered employment as per earlier offer. He was therefore laid off with immediate effect.
Questions arise: 1) Are Ahmadis not citizens of Pakistan? 2) Why is it that one has to be a non-Ahmadi Muslim to be even a technician with the Atomic Energy Commission?
Job vacancy – but not for Ahmadis
The State Bank of Pakistan had some job vacancies for doctors and asked for applications. An Ahmadi doctor applied for it, and he was given a form to fill in. Among other columns there was one at NR 11 where one is required to mention one’s religion. Although it is not clear in what way religion is relevant to a medical job in the State Bank, the column is even more specific; it required: ‘In case the applicant is Qadiani, Ahmadi, he should specifically mention the same’. The State Bank’s Personnel Department is behaving more like office of a medieval madrassah. Its curiosity about Ahmadis in particular is suspect and noteworthy.
Fired from their jobs
Three Ahmadis who worked at Sapphire Mills at Kotri, Sind were handed over highly provocative anti-Ahmadiyya literature. They burnt it. This provoked the extremists, who left no stone unturned to punish them. They approached higher authorities and got registered criminal cases against them under PPC 295-C, 295B, 295-A and 336. They also forced the factory management to fire the poor fellows.