Difficulties in employment, business (2016)

Difficulties in employment, business

2016

 

Almost unbelievable harrying tale of an Ahmadi in District Khushab – and his response

Ahmadis, all over Pakistan, nearly all of them, have come across persecution of some sort. Each one has his own story to tell, but this is generally confined to single incident. However, there are Ahmadis who have lived in environment of stress and strain for years. They suffer harassment in their neighborhood, at their job, in dealing with authorities, everywhere. Their plight is rarely reported in detail. Here is one such tale, however. It is printed to place on record a typical story of an Ahmadi in Pakistan and his life in the early years of the 21st century AD. 

Chak 2 TDA, District Khushab, Punjab:      Rana Inamullah Khan s/o Rana Nasrullah Khan has been facing severe hostility for his faith in his village and in the town of his work. His story is a sample of true history the like of which, or even worse, or less, other hundreds of thousands Ahmadis have experienced over many decades in Pakistan. It also reflects amply the attitude of authorities, the mullas, the society etc on the Ahmadiyya issue in the early 21st century in Pakistan. It is therefore placed on record. It is the victim’s personal account, sent to the Ahmadiyya central office through his district Amir. There is internal and external evidence that his narrative is authentic. The documents he attached as evidence are not reproduced here but are available with his narrative in the office record, for any future researcher. His narrative follows.

This humble self is targeted these days by the extremist anti-Ahmadi movement (Khatme Nabuwwat). I send this report, as per office norm, for prayers and guidance.

Introduction: I, Rana Inamullah Khan s/o Late Rana Nasrullah Khan am a resident of Chak Nr. 2 TDA, District Khushab. At present I am Sales Manager of the Mobilink office in Qaidabad, Distt Khushab. Chak 2 TDA is about 20 kilometers from Qaidabad. I am also Qaid (Head) of the Ahmadi youth organization in District Khushab.

Antagonists: 1) Mr. Shams Shah, an advocate in Qaidabad, 2) His father, who is an influential Pir (holy Joe) and head of the End of Prophethood local chapter, 3) Mullah Athar Hussain Bokhari s/o Karamat Hussain Bokhari, who instigated massacre of Ahmadis in Takht Hazara in November 2000.

Report: In 2006, I was appointed Asstt Manager of the Mobilink franchise in Qaidabad. Within six months Pir Shah Zaman came to know that I was an Ahmadi. The Pir owns a hotel close to my office. The Pir sent for me and told me that he had learnt that some of my relatives were Ahmadis. I told him that I myself was an Ahmadi. At this, the Pir was forthright, “In that case, revert to Islam. For that I give you three days for deliberation. Let me know of your response after due consideration. In case of a negative response we’ll bring you a bad end (tumhara bura hasher kar dein gay).” I told him that my response would be the same after three days as it was at that very time; I am an Ahmadi and would remain so. At this, the Pir blurted out a number of threats before showing me the door. From then on he issued orders to stop provision of food and drinks to me from his restaurant.

A few days later anti-Ahmadi stickers and posters appeared outside our office. These mentioned that the ‘manager’ of the franchise was a Qadiani and that it was Haram (unlawful in Sharia) to do business with Qadianis. When nothing came out of this, the Pir sent message to Mr. Nisar Ahmad, the owner of the franchise to dismiss the Qadiani manager. Mr. Nisar Ahmad is a decent man, devoid of religious prejudice; he told the visitors that he had no complaints against the manager and hence would not fire him. At this the delegation threatened him to dismiss the manager or be ready for arson attack on his office as well as the manager. (Copy of the poster is attached).

Mr. Nisar’s response was courageous; he did not fire me. He, however, advised me to not come to the office for a few days and run the office by phone from home. I did that for nearly a month; thereafter I started coming to the office again.

This difficult situation brought me a reward as well; I was promoted from the rank of Assistant Manager to Manager. God be praised.

In those very days, my younger brother, Rana Zeeshan (now the local community president in Chak 2 TDA) was scheduled to be married in an Ahmadi family in Qaidabad. Opponents of Ahmadiyyat campaigned in Qaidabad for a total boycott of both the Ahmadi families during this happy event. They threatened that those who would participate in any way in the wedding will be excommunicated (deene Islam se kharij). As a result I could not hire a transport from the town for the occasion. The bride’s family could not rent tents and crockery for the reception. They could not find a caterer either. They could only hire a cook, but the mullas made him quit at the time of the banquet. They threatened the security of the wedding party and spread such fear and concern that nearly 50% of the guests had to undertake guard duty. Nevertheless, the event was a success and the bride departed on schedule. Some decent non-Ahmadis joined the happy event.

After the event, mullas prepared a list of non-Ahmadis who had joined the wedding reception. They hung this list in the mosque and declared that they were ‘outside the pale of Islam’. Some of the mullas exchanged hot words with a few of these listed Muslims. A delegation of mullas visited Ahmadi homes in Qaidabad and told them to revert to Islam within three days, or face grave consequences. This group came to my office as well; but I was absent on duty.

As all their efforts came to naught, a delegation of mullas visited the head-office of Mobilink. There they accused me of preaching, distributing pamphlets, spreading Qadianiyat etc and demanded my dismissal. They threatened that the franchise office was at risk of an arson attack. Thereafter the Mobilink held an inquiry and sent them reply that they had received no supporting evidence, as such the head office had no complaint against the manager; no action against him was called for, accordingly. However, as a result of the delegation’s campaign against me, some shop keepers stopped loading Mobilink for a few days and forbade me entering their shops. This happened for almost three days; thereafter it was ‘business as usual.’

These opponents, faced with repeated failures, followed me to the village of my residence, Chak Nr. 2 TDA. They noticed the Ahmadiyya mosque there, and filed a fresh application dated 13 September 2012, with the police SHO of Mitha Tiwana that the Ahmadi president had built a mosque with minarets, looking like that of Muslims. The police had not yet completed their inquiry, when mulla Athar Hussain Bokhari came to know that our mosque was built on a plot officially designated for a mosque, so he filed yet another application with the police that Ahmadis had occupied a Muslims’ mosque; it should be restored to Muslims. (This case, after many references to courts and the administration, culminated in finally handing over the Ahmadiyya mosque and the missionary’s residence to non-Ahmadis on the orders of the DCO Mr. Zia-ur-Rahman, a brother of Mulla Fazlur Rahman (president JUI-F). As a result Ahmadis in Chak now have no place of worship.

In the days of the mosque controversy, my sister was to be married. The bridegroom arrived with his party. The mullas, in violation of the centuries-old local tradition, arranged for a police visit to the village for inquiry. However, the visiting police officer Mr. Ishtiaq Hussain ASI was a very decent and polite man; he was apologetic over his untimely visit, quietly made his inquiry and went back. May Allah reward him profusely.

My opponents switched over to another trick. They initiated a Message on their mobile phones: “Assalamo Alaikum. The manager of Qaidabad Mobilink is a Qadiani. It is haram to do any business with Qadianis. As such, implement Boycott against the Qadiani manager w.e.f. today. Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, Qaidabad, District Khushab.”

After this message was circulated in Nurpur town, the shopkeepers stopped buying ‘the load’. I was passed a threat that if I entered Nurpur, I would be killed. At this occasion, Mr. Hasnain Shah, one of the shopkeepers in Nurpur, displayed extraordinary courage to invite me to Nurpur assuring me full security. He also sent a challenge to the bigots that: “Mr. Inamullah Khan is at my shop; if anyone dares, come and touch him.” At the time he assured me that he alone would meet my sales target, resulting in no loss to my business. Other shopkeepers noticed that Mr. Shah had taken a stand and was earning the entire profit, so they restarted buying the load. That was the end of this drive.

The mullas somehow got hold of my private phone number. They used it to convey me their dire threats. This caused me concern, but I stayed undeterred. God rewarded me once again. I was an employee of Mr. Nisar; now Mobilink registered me on their own pay-roll and appointed me their Sales Manager and responsible for the franchise.

As Qaid of the Ahmadi youth organization, I was receiving my organisation’s mail in the office. I noticed that someone would open it before delivering it to me. Thereafter I changed my address; but the malpractice continued. I had to request the senders to change the courier service.

Hostility against me was perpetual; it came forth in different forms. One of the leaders of the opposition had an FIR registered with police against Mobilink, in my name, for wall-chalking Mobilink ads. The police informed me seven days after its registration – violating the rules. Apparently the aim was to declare me a “proclaimed offender’ for failure to report to the police. I rushed to a court to obtain ‘bail before arrest’. Mobilink is defending me in this case, although I am sure that the FIR was based on religious prejudice. (Copy of FIR 264/2016 P.S. Qaidabad is enclosed)

Mullas have approached a civil court as well against four Ahmadis, including me, that we intend to occupy a mosque with the help of influential persons. All this is legal harassment through baseless litigation. (Copy of their application is attached.)

Recently on April 27, 2016 I went to the shop of one Sanaullah in Qaidabad for business. He used to be courteous to me, but this time he did not respond to my Salaam. On my asking the reason, he behaved badly and proceeded to bash me up. “You a Qadiani, how dare you enter my shop”? he said. A few other shopkeepers in the bazaar came to my rescue, and I went back to my office where I informed my head office of the incident. Mobilink decided to have an FIR registered. The SHO advised otherwise, “It will become a religious issue; do not ask for an FIR.” A few days later the bigots put up an application to the police that I, being a Qadiani, violated the law by wishing Salaam. The SHO has not yet registered an FIR, but the issue is alive and the mullas are insisting for action against me.

These mullas approached the SHO, Mitha Tiwana as well, against me. The SHO resisted registration of a case against me. He is under political pressure of the MNA and the MPA in support of the mullas. Such is the predicament of some police officials.

Recently, a few distant non-Ahmadi relatives contacted me about Ahmadiyyat. One of them expressed his wish to join the community. Sensing some conspiracy, I made inquiries and discovered that these people were under the influence of some hostile mullas from Harappa and were tasked to lay a trap for me.

Mr. Mohammad Yusuf Kathgari, my octogenarian grandfather of Abbottabad suffered 3 months incarceration in his old age. On release he died within three months.

My maternal uncle, Basharat Ahmad suffered physical torture at the hand of hostile clerics in Abbottabad. His wound marks are still visible on his body, 25 years afterward.

Please pray for me to remain steadfast and bear up with these tribulations and trials. By the grace of God my spirits are high and I am not scared nor on tenter-hooks.

The opposition is picking up pace. Anti-Ahmadi stickers have been pasted on shops close to my residence. These direct, “Qadianis may enter the market only after they revert to Islam.” These stickers have been deliberately pasted in shops that I visit for business.

Anti-Ahmadi ‘End of Prophethood’ rallies have been held in four villages near Chak 2 TDA. People have been told that Qadianis are Kafir and Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed). “We took away their mosques. Now take away their lands. Kill them or make them flee”, said a mulla who addressed the crowd.

Some non-Ahmadi friends have advised us, two brothers, that we should fall back from the frontline, as it is getting dangerous at present.

We have heard that the opposition is considering expulsion of our children from schools, in league with school authorities.

Please advise me what to do? At one occasion when we called upon the DCO for justice, he told us bluntly, “You may take me as belonging to your opposition, as well.”

Endorsed by the Ahmadiyya Amir, District Khushab on May 15, 2016

 Glass ceiling in upward career progress

Lahore; November 28, 2016: The daily Ausaf published an op-ed titled: Unholy campaign against a senior general. The writer N. M. Hashmi wrote his comment over an issue, whereby prior to the appointment of the new CJCSC and COAS, a mulla Sajid Mir, leader of the Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith issued a statement about a senior general that he belongs to the ‘Qadiani’ community.

Here we translate an extract from that op-ed as that is relevant to H.R. and Equality before the Law, in the Ahmadiyya context:

“… As per Report, senior military sources have conveyed that it is now an unwritten policy that no person of Qadiani Community can ever become a lieutenant general … because, on this issue, on account of its sensitive perception in public, various checks have been put in place. For any training or joining a course, almost every year, a Muslim officer is required to fill in a form wherein he has to clearly convey that he has firm faith in the finality of prophethood (PBUH) and is not a member of Qadiani Community…”

Naveed Masud Hashmi in the daily Ausaf, November 28, 2016

The above statement and Report is indicative of the unbecoming discrimination and prejudice against Ahmadi officers at a high level in one of the most prestigious institutions of Pakistani state. These restrictions were placed on Ahmadis in the harmful days of Mr. Bhutto and dictator Zia regimes, and no government since then has bothered to remove them, even though these are in violation of Pakistan Constitution, law and the international covenants to which Pakistan is a party.

Severe harassment in Quetta

Quetta; October 2016:            Sectarian agitation against Ahmadis is rife in Quetta for some time, in the name of Khatme Nabuwwat. The activists target individual Ahmadis and make life difficult for them.

For example, one such victim is Mr. Ejaz Ahmad Qamar. He is a motor-cycle mechanic. A Khatme Nabuwwat delegation visited him at his workshop and questioned him on religious issues. They named his children, sisters and brothers in a threatening way.

Earlier Mr. Qamar had to shift his workshop for the same reason. This time the mischief-mongers called on him, in company with media and press. They behaved as a gang of toughs and told him, “If you do not listen to us, and do not recant, you’ll be yourself responsible for the consequences. Another group will then visit you and teach you a lesson.” These people indicated that they had full data of Mr. Qamar’s family.

Mr Qamar is very upset, naturally.

A number of Ahmadis have been killed for their faith in Quetta, after the promulgation of anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX.

And this is happening in Quetta where authorities should be very mindful of sectarian strife – many citizens have suffered at the hands of religious terrorists who murder in the name of Allah.

NAP not visible in Baluchistan in Ahmadiyya context

Liaquat Rd, Sibi; November 2016:   Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad, an Ahmadi resident had to close down his business and flee from his town along with his family due to brazen and flagrant opposition mounted by the local Khatme Nabuwwat faction – despite the official National Action Plan.

Sheikh Mahmud had a sizable Shoes Store in the Liaquat Bazar. Six months ago, someone opened a small shop close by to sell religious items like prayer mats, rosaries etc. Mulla Ataulla of a Khatme Nabuwwat organization took to sitting there often and indulge in anti-Ahmadi propaganda. He would meet shop-keepers and local influentials to incite them against Ahmadis in general, and Sh. Mahmud in particular. He put up hateful stickers on most shops including the one owned by Mahmud. On November 18, he organized an anti-Ahmadi rally and presided over it. He invited tribal leaders to his conference which started at about 7 p.m. and lasted till 11 p.m. The speakers spoke slander and hateful bad-mouthing against the founder of Ahmadiyyat, that could incite a common man to violent action.

Three days after the conference, Sheikh Mahmood left his shop to buy a household item from another shop a few yards away. He was keeping an eye on his own shop as well. He saw a man, with covered face, come to his store and take a secret look. He was there for a few minutes, when a motor-cycle rider appeared from the next street, took him up and sped away. Mahmud hurried to close his shop and went home.

Under the circumstances, Sh. Mahmud felt it unacceptably unsafe for him and his family to stay on there, and he quit the town.

An Ahmadi harassed for his faith

Chak 2/TDA, District Khushab; April 27, 2016:      Mulla Athar Hussain Shah is very active on anti-Ahmadiyya front in the area. He has succeeded in creating a hostile atmosphere for Ahmadis in the district, thanks to the official support. A disturbing incident happened here most recently.

Mr. Zeeshan Inam Ullah works in the franchise of Mobilink. He went to a shop in Qaidabad. There the owner of that shop started quarreling with him over his faith. “You are a Qadiani, why have you come to my shop”, he said and beat him up. Some shopkeepers intervened and Mr. Zeeshan managed to escape.

Mr. Zeeshan went to the local police station and asked for registration of an FIR. The SHO told him that the matter would become a religious issue if an FIR was registered, and did not register the FIR. Mr. Zeeshan returned home.

The same SHO later telephoned Mr. Zeeshan that the shop-owner had put up a complaint that, “Inam Ullah came to my shop, said Salaam to me, used Islamic Sha’ir (symbols) and preached me. A case should be registered against him and action be taken.”

Ahmadi made to flee from job

Islamabad; December 25/26, 2015:               Mr. Inamul Haq, the admin manager of a hotel in Islamabad had a close escape from serious harm. His story can be told in outline, as details would expose him and his helpers to risk once again.

On December 25, 2015, Mr. Haq was sent for by the general manager in his office. There, a mulla and two others were also sitting. The G.M. showed him photos of the founder of Ahmadiyyat and his Khalifas and asked him if he knew them and believed in their claims. Mr. Haq was taken aback by this frontal attack on his personal belief, unrelated to his job. However, he replied in the affirmative. The mulla asked him to recite the Kalima, which he did. The mulla however refused to accept his recital and declared that he was not ‘sincere’ about the recitation, and that any non-believer in ‘end of prophethood’ was a kafir. The G.M. told Mr. Haq to go back to his office.

Later a member of the hotel staff told Mr. Haq that he was at great risk and should leave at the earliest. At about midnight someone knocked at his door. The next morning he noticed combustible material outside his room. On inquiry, he was told that it had been placed there on the orders of the G.M.

At about noon, he was again informed by his informers that he was at risk and should escape as early as possible. Accordingly, Mr. Haq departed discreetly and arrived at Margalla railway station. While waiting for the train he noticed that a man from the hotel security detail had followed him there. Mr. Haq hid himself in a toilet, and came out only after the train departed from the station.

Mr. Haq saw no pursuers subsequently and arrived at his destination safely.

Grave threat to an Ahmadi educationist

Mong, District Mandi Bahauddin; January 20, 2016:         Syed Sadiq Ahamd Sherazi owns here Sherazi Junior Model Middle School that enjoys very good reputation in the area. This school is serving the local people for the last 26 years. Syed Sherazi is also the president of the local Ahmadiyya community.

A woman in burqa (Islamic covering) came to his house and knocked at the door. When a boy opened the door she handed him a written note and went away. The note had the following message (translation):

“Salaamu Alaikum. Tomorrow there is a function in your school. Mr. Shah (Syed Sherazi), come there well prepared to die. We warned you before, but you did not take it seriously. Tomorrow we will keep our word. You have forgotten the October incident; we will remind you of that tomorrow. See you tomorrow. (In the protection of Allah)

The punishment of a blasphemer – Chop his head off the body

Wassalam

A lover of the Prophet (PBUH)”

Hostility at work places for Ahmadis

Barali, Kotli AJK; March 2016:        A major hydro-power project is going on in Azad Kashmir. A few Ahmadis are employed therein. Mr. Bilal Ahmad, an Ahmadi from Jhelum is the finance manager and administrator of the project.

While the administration is satisfied with Ahmadis’ work, the opponents of Ahmadiyya community have made it a practice to create service problems for them through fabricated and false complaints. Recently they lodged an application with the Deputy Commissioner Kotli. It alleges that Ahmadi officers are hostile to Muslim workers, as a result of which the administration lays them off, etc. “Due to this biased attitude, religious hatred and hostility is on the rise, so there is great apprehension that the entire project would come to a halt and law and order in the area would be disturbed”, they threatened.

Several sectarian attempts were made earlier as well, and were partly successful.

 The Salafi power

Raiwind, Lahore; March 2016:         Mullas of a local Ahle-Hadith madrassa are on a hate campaign against Ahmadis in this area these days. They visit the Madina Market and provoke the locals against Ahmadis. They also paste anti-Ahmadiyya stickers at shops. They came to the shop of Mirza Mahmood Ahmad, an Ahmadi, and pasted anti-Ahmadiyya stickers.

Mr. Ahmad spoke to one of the councilors about it, and asked his advice about reporting the incident to the police. The councilor said that these mullas are of the Ahle-Hadith madrassa, and the police are unable to handle them; the situation would become worse, so leave them to their pranks.

Professor faces hostility at college

Jhang; May 2016:      Professor Mian Munawar Ahmad has been facing hostility for his Ahmadi belief for a long time in the local college. He is in charge of the General and Modern Physics Laboratory for the last 15 years and is an expert in his field. The principal of the college is under the influence of anti-Ahmadiyya elements and intends to make a junior professor in charge of the lab instead. This junior has little experience of such lab work. Anti-Ahmadiyya staff is striving to get Mian Ahmad transferred from the college. The atmosphere at the college is very tense for Professor Ahmad. The stress is taking its toll. He has to remain on guard in the face of prevailing hostility.

 Ahmadi shopkeeper targeted

Village Islamabad, District Jhang:    Ahmadis’ situation in this village is precarious these days. A mulla Umar Shahzad has started an anti-Ahmadi campaign from his mosque, Minhaj ul Quran and is targeting in particular an Ahmadi, Mr. Muhammad Firoz, in his weekly sermons.

This mulla spoke venomously against the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in his sermon on July 29. He mentioned Muhammad Firoz by name and took a pledge from his audience that they would buy nothing from his store. He also demanded that the word Muhammad from his name be effaced from the signboard of his shop. He urged his flock to believe that Ahmadis were Kafir.

Mulla Shehzad is persistent in his campaign of hate and intolerance against Ahmadis, who are exercising great care and self-control to maintain peace. In 1974, a mob had set fire to Mr. Firoz’s store.

Ostracisation in bazaar

Lahore; November 29, 2016:   Earlier, there were a number of reports from Lahore whereby Ahmadi clients, especially women, were maltreated by shop-keepers in small and local markets. However, now it seems that the disease has spread further to larger shopping areas.

Mr. Muhammad Siddique of UK accompanied by his wife and daughter was visiting Lahore. There, he went to Rega Market. The ladies stopped at a fabrics shop. The shopkeepers recognized them as Ahmadis, from the veil they were wearing. He was impolite with them, accused them of being Mirzai, Qadiani, refused to sell them cloth and raised a row at which these visitors put an end to their shopping agenda and quit the Market.

Ahmadi retailers from Rabwah are facing similar problems with some wholesalers in Lahore.