Persecution of Ahmadis in Lahore, Capital of the Punjab
Lahore is home to one of the major Ahmadi communities in Pakistan. Perhaps that makes it a special target of Ahmadi-bashers. This city was the centre of the 1953 anti-Ahmadi extensive riots in the Punjab that led to the first-ever imposition of martial law in Pakistan. More recently, terrorists chose this city in 2010 to massacre Ahmadi worshippers in two main mosques. Events proved that their choice of the city was well-considered, because the law-enforcing agencies waited for hours before mounting any response, giving the attackers plenty of time to achieve their object.
This year, as before, anti-Ahmadi mullas had a free hand to openly hold major rallies in Lahore. They planned Ahmadis’ persecution in the city diligently, and are in the process of implementing their condemnable agenda – with help of authorities.
The Punjab is ruled these days by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is the Chief Minister of this province. The PML (N)’s affinity for the politico-religious elements, who have a history of extremism, even terrorism, has been talk of the town and was mentioned in dispatches. The police do the bid of their political masters. Their role in stopping Ahmadis in sacrificing animals on Eid festival, their hammering down Kalima from an Ahmadi house, their registration of a fabricated criminal case against two Ahmadi brothers who owned a press in Lahore throw a flood of light on the unholy alliance between the mullas and the PML (N).
Hasan Muawiya, an aggressive anti-Ahmadi bigot, a brother of mulla Tahir Ashrafi the chairman of the state-supported Pakistan Ulama Council, continues to severely harass Ahmadis, with the support of the police. The die-hard terrorists have Ahmadiyya mosques in Lahore in their sights, Ahmadis were informed by the authorities. Essential details are mentioned in the following reports.
Police desecrates the Kalima
Sant Nagar, Lahore; October/November, 2014: Here the house of Chaudhary Noor Ahmad Nasir is used as prayer centre by local Ahmadis. On 26 October five mullas came to the house of Mr. Nasir in the evening and rang the bell. His wife asked, “Who is it?” One of the strangers inquired about Mr. Nasir, to which she replied that he was not at home. The mullas told her that they had come from a nearby mosque to meet her husband. They came the next day at the same time and rang the doorbell. Mr. Nasir thought that Ahmadi worshippers had arrived for the evening prayers and opened the gate. On seeing six bearded strangers Mr. Nasir quickly closed the gate. A mulla asked him, “Are you a Mirzai?” to which he replied, “No, I am an Ahmadi.” The mullas said, “You have written the Kalima on the front of your house. Don’t you know that it’s illegal?” Mr. Nasir replied that the Kalima was there before he bought that house in 1973. The mulla told him curtly, “You have two days to remove the Kalima otherwise a complaint will be lodged against you in the nearby police station.”
On November 3, 2014 approximately 100 persons including mullas and policemen surrounded the house of Mr. Nasir. They pasted a white paper on the Kalima plate and left. The police arrived the next day and white-washed the Kalima. On November 6, 2014 at 6 p.m. policemen came again and knocked at the door. Mr. Nasir’s son responded from the roof. The policemen asked for his father and told him that the DSP was waiting to meet him. Ten mullas were seen standing beside them. The youth replied that they could leave as his father would meet the DSP later at his office. Thereafter the police took to destruction of the Kalima plate with a hammer. Mrs. Nasir pleaded with the policemen to desist from defiling the Kalima, and offered them a piece of cloth for collection of the debris. The policemen refused the plea and took a piece of cloth from a non-Ahmadi’s house. They wrapped the broken pieces of the Kalima plate in that cloth and took it with them.
Terrorists assigned Ahmadiyya targets
Reliable sources conveyed in August 2014 that two terrorists were arrested from a village near Sheikhupura by law enforcement agencies. A significant quantity of explosives and firearms were recovered from them, including suicide jackets.
It was learnt that they were tasked to attack Ahmadiyya places of worship in Lahore in the next few days.
This report was a cause of great concern not just to Ahmadis in Lahore, but in general across Pakistan. Ahmadis missed a slaughter by a narrow margin.
Another attack on Ahmadiyya press in Lahore
Millat Town; April 16, 2014: Two Ahmadi brothers Mr. Adnan Nasir and Mr. Imran Nasir have an outlet of fast food at Millat Chowk. An unidentified man bought some burgers from their shop. Later he filed a police case against them that the brothers gave him Ahmadiyya literature including the monthly Ansarullah.
The allegation was entirely false. The applicant and the police jointly cooked up the case and provided the monthly themselves. The police booked the two Ahmadis mentioned above and four others including the editor of Ansarullah, Mr. Ahmad Tahir Mirza, its composer Mr. Farhan Ahmad, the printer Mr. Tahir Mehdi Imtiaz and the publisher Mr. Abdul Manan Kauser under PPC 295-A, 298-C with FIR no. 151 in Police Station Millat Park.
One of the applied clauses (295-A) is from the blasphemy section while the other is from the anti-Ahmadi law. These expose the accused to 10 years of imprisonment.
Samanabad; April 26, 2014: Mr. Khushnood Ahmad had a close brush with severe religion-based persecution when he was whisked blind-folded to a police station on a baseless charge. Mr. Ahmad has a courier business of cargo. According to the details he received a phone call from someone who pretended to be a customer. The caller arranged a rendezvous with Mr. Ahmad but later changed it and asked him to come to the Red Chilli restaurant. This was a gang of mullas who played a trick to implicate Mr. Ahmad in a police case. Accordingly, a man came and handed over a bag to him in which there was a copy of the Holy Quran. Mr. Ahmad sensed danger. He tried to quit the place leaving the bag at the counter but mullas who had gathered there as planned, intercepted him and called the police. A police van arrived in no time, hand cuffed and blind-folded him and took him away. One of the mullas remarked, “I have been chasing you for the last one and half month.” The police shifted him first to an unknown place, then took him to Gulshane Ravi police station and then to Samanabad police station.
A delegation of the Ahmadiyya community reached the police station and convinced the higher officials that the entire event was a malicious plan of mullas and of Hasan Muawiya (a.k.a. Tooti), as he is always among the first to know of such cases and make a ‘complaint’. The superintendent of police understood the evil conspiracy and let Mr. Ahmad off the hook.
Lahore police act in support of mullas to deny freedom of religion to Ahmadis
October 2014: Numerous reports were received from Lahore regarding obstacles faced by Ahmadis in offering ritual sacrifices at the festival of Eidul Azha. Some of these are reported below:
- On October 4, 2014, two Ahmadis, namely Mr. Mubashar Ahmad and Mr. Rafiq Ahmad of Taj Pura, Lahore were called by the police. The police told them that the people living in the neighbourhood had lodged a complaint with the police against their intention to sacrifice animals on the occasion of Eidul Azha; this could not be permitted. Both Ahmadis later called on the SHO who told them that the complainants were miscreants so the Ahmadis should undertake sacrifice elsewhere to avoid their mischief. Accordingly, Mr. Mubashar Ahmad had to shift the venue of sacrifice to his sister’s house.
It was later discovered that the incident was triggered by a neighbour with the help of local mullas.
- On October 6, 2014 at about 3 a.m. a few mullas and policemen knocked at the door of Malik Muhammad Akram, an Ahmadi resident of Sabzazar, Lahore. When he came out of his house, the visitors told him: “As you are a Qadiani, you have no right to offer ritual sacrifice. If you still do that it would disturb the peace.” At this, Mr. Akram told them that the lamb did not belong to him; it belonged to his tenant. The tenant was then made to hand over a written note to the mullas stating: ‘This lamb belongs to me and it is me who is going to do the sacrifice.’ The policemen still told him to take the animal to some other place for sacrifice. The tenant then sent the lamb to one of his employee’s house and undertook the sacrifice there on the day after the Eid.
- In a similar incident, someone knocked at the door of Mr. Abdur Rashid Qureshi of 131-A Block, Sabzazar, Lahore, after 3 a.m. When Mr. Qureshi asked as to who was at the door, the men outside said that they were policemen and that Abdur Rashid Qureshi should come out and have a word with them. When he opened the door, the policemen told him: ‘You are a Qadiani, so you cannot do the sacrifice.’ The police know that there is no such law and the Constitution upholds every Pakistani’s right to practice his religion. Despite this they indulge in extra-legal and even illegal activities, in league with mullas, to deny Ahmadis practice of their faith. Later the police searched Ahmadi’s house. Mr. Qureshi had to go to Samanabad, Lahore to perform the ritual.
- Rashid Ahmad, a resident of Bhaati Gate, Ravi Park bought a camel three days before Eid for sacrifice, and tethered it outside in front of his house. A day before Eid three mullas came to see him at his place and said: ‘You are not allowed to do sacrifice because your faith is different from ours. If you want to do the sacrifice, you should first come to our mosque and publicly announce that you have firm faith in end of Prophethood and that you have no link with the Qadiani denomination whatsoever.’ Having said this, the mullas left. Mr. Rashid sent the camel to a friend’s house where he performed the sacrifice on the second day of the Eid.
Grave consequences of legal action
Sabzazar: Mr. Adnan Munir S/O Mr. Munir Ahmad escaped an attempt at kidnapping last year in June. He lodged an FIR with the police station against ten suspects. Four of them were arrested while six are still on the run. Mr. Munir has been receiving threatening calls since then. His son and daughter escaped an attempt on their lives on August 18, 2014. The attackers snatched a gold chain from his daughter but could do no further harm because a number of people assembled at the spot, and fled away.
The entire family is greatly disturbed and feels at risk. They have to take great care when appearing in court. Their business has suffered heavily. The state has done little to deter the hostile goons.
A child threatened by a mulla
Shahdara; August 9, 2014: Mr. Abdul Hayee, the President Jama‘at Ahmadiyya Factory Area, took his son, Muhammad Tahir, aged 11, to the private ‘Bajwa Hospital’ in Lahore for a medical check-up. Tahir was suffering from fever. The physician recommended a blood test for him, for which he went to the hospital laboratory. Later, when Mr. Hayee went to the laboratory to collect the report, he told his son to remain seated in front of the physician’s room and wait for his return. Thereafter, a mulla came, and finding Muhammad Tahir there, spoke to him:
‘You are a Mirzai. Tell your father to behave himself and become a Muslim. Otherwise, we will harm him greatly. I know you go to the City District School. We will kill you too. I give you time until 20th August. I know that you live in Wapda Colony.’
Then the mulla saw Mr. Abdul Hayee approaching, so he slipped out of the hospital. Mr. Abdul Hayee found his son visibly disturbed, but thought it was due to the high fever he was suffering from. When they returned home, Muhammad Tahir kept crying and became withdrawn from his family. The next day, when his father told him to get ready for the hospital for another check up, he refused to go and started crying. Following his mother’s gentle prompting, Tahir narrated her incident of the previous day at the hospital. He described facial features of the mulla, and said that he had covered his head and beard with a scarf, and was wearing a white dress.
Security situation in Lahore
A firm and reliable report was received in February 2014 that Ahmadiyya centers, places of worship etc. are under serious terrorist threat. Suspicious men were seen doing the recce and were reported to the police.
The authorities made it public that Lahore is targeted. Ahmadiyya locations are on their list and teams have been tasked by their sponsors to undertake attacks on them. Sleeper cells have been activated. Police have arrested some of these. Ammunition and weapons have been recovered from their possession.
Ahmadis, in Lahore implemented a sort of red alert in their places of worship and took special steps to improve the security of their persons and property.
Frightful threat to a notable Ahmadi
October 7, 2014: Someone dropped a threatening letter at the house of Mr. Saleem Ahmad Nasir, Advocate on October 7, 2014 in the morning. Three Kaffans (shroud in which a dead person is wrapped) and three bullets of Kalashnikov rifle were deposited with the letter. Mr. Saleem lives in Lahore with his wife and a son Maooz Saleem.
The threat was written on the letterhead pad of “Hakeemullah Mehsood” of Tahrike Taliban. Translation of the text is given below:
Peace be upon you. On behalf of the Tahrike Taliban, we invite you to accept Islam and recant from Ahmadiyyat and Mirzaiyyat, call Mirza Ghulam Muhammad (sic) a liar and accept the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as the last of the prophets. We expect Ch. Saleem Ahmad Nasir to accept Islam along with his family. History is witness that Muslims always treated non-Muslims well, invited them to Islam and those who accepted Islam lived happily thereafter. However, history has also preserved the fate of those who did not accept Islam. That is why, as Muslims, we invite you to become true Muslims. If you, your son Maooz Saleem and wife Rehana do not accept Islam and let go of this last opportunity, you will meet the same fate as the other Kafireen (Infidels) of your Jamaat. Remember that the punishment of your sin is only death. You and your family are on our hit-list and we are well aware of your activities. Simultaneous with the delivery of this letter, your names and addresses and other information has been sent to Lashkar Jhangvi (a banned terrorist organisation), Jaishe Muhammad and all other religious organisations so that if you do not accept Islam, you may not escape the consequences. You are at full liberty to show this letter in any police station or to any agency and do whatever you can for your security. But remember that with this Kufr (infidelity), you will not be able to survive. We are hopeful that you people will enter the fold of Islam and quit Mirzaiyyat; otherwise you are responsible for your own end.
Ameer (President) Tahrike Taliban Pakistan (Sd: Hakeemullah Mehsood)
The status of anti-Ahmadi police cases in Lahore
A.The daily Alfazl case
A baseless case was registered against 6 Ahmadis, including the editor and the manager of the Ahmadiyya daily Alfazl on April 10, 2013 under PPC 295-B, 298-C and ATA 11-W. The maximum punishment to which the innocent accused are exposed is imprisonment for life (under PPC 295-B). Four of the accused were arrested.
Mr. Faisal Ahmad Tahir and Mr. Azhar Zarif, two of the detainees were released on bail after one month. The other two, Mr. Khalid Ishfaq and Mr. Tahir Ahmad had to wait behind bars for 11 months before they were bailed out on March 1, 2014.
This case which essentially pertains to distribution of the Ahmadiyya daily, which is extra careful in what it publishes, is being heard in an anti-terrorism court, although it is the state that is terrorizing the victims. It would be an interesting and useful exercise for an NGO that concerns itself with ‘freedom of press’ to examine and pursue this case in detail and assess the extent to which the authorities here violate Ahmadis’ rights, their freedom of religion and freedom of press.
It is not surprising why, in the light of experience gained in implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act, the civil society expressed great apprehensions over the proposed Tahaffuz-e-Pakistan (Protection of Pakistan) Ordinance.
Eventually four of the accused who presented themselves before the court were acquitted. The honourable judge wrote in his judgment (extract):
“In the light of the evidence discussed above, the charge framed against the accused is not proved as the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the charge beyond any reasonable doubt, rather it is proved on record that the prosecution case registered against the accused persons is result of malice, ill will, malafide and prejudice of the complainant and witnesses against the accused persons on the basis of their sect/faith. It is proved before this court that the complainant is habitual of getting cases registered against ‘Ahmadis’ to satisfy his ego.
Haroon Latif Khan
Judge ATC-III, Lahore
For the remaining two accused a separate challan was made out, and their case remains alive.
B.Gulshane Ravi case
On April 28, 2013 mullas raided the Ahmadiyya centre of worship in Gulshan-e-Ravi, Lahore. The police joined them promptly and searched the centre for an hour and a half. They also detained nine Ahmadis including the local president, the local prayer-leader, his wife and their twelve-year old son, and took them to the police station. The prayer-leader and his family were released the next morning while 8 others were booked under PPC 295-B and ATA 11-W (an anti-terrorism clause).
Six weeks later, the detained accuseds were released on bail. The trial, however, continued in the Anti-Terrorism Court.
Later on, the dreadful PPC 295-C was added to the summons.
On April 26 all the accused were acquitted of the baseless charges.
Thanks to the trial judge for being just, but what about the administration and the police of Lahore, the capital of the Punjab, for their full support to extremist mullas! Can one quantify the stress and strain suffered by the nine detainees who were led to the police station? The lady and the twelve year old boy could have received permanent psychological damage on exposure to tyranny. The eight accused underwent the stress of criminal prosecution for almost a year. Imagine the impact on the accused when their summons included the dreadful clause PPC 295-C that calls for ‘death’ penalty. This clause was added at the demand of the prosecutor who was an appointee of the Punjab.
C.The Black Arrow Press case
The Black Arrow Press in Lahore was owned by an Ahmadi. The mullas, in league with the police, arranged a raid on it and had four Ahmadis arrested including the owner and an Ahmadi who was visiting to collect the printed stock, an Ahmadi children’s monthly. The police registered a criminal case against the four accused under PPC 295-B, 298-C and 24-A. They were accused of a crime – one does not know what precisely.
Hasan Muawiya aka Tooti (brother of Chairman of the Ulama Council of Pakistan, Maulvi Tahir Ashrafi) was, of course, present as a witness for the prosecution.
The accused plea for bail was rejected and had to be taken to the Lahore High Court where the infamous incident happened whereby ‘LHC judge was forced to withdraw order of granting bail.’
Eventually bail was granted to all except Mr. Esmatullah who was mentioned in another case also where a non-Ahmadi book-binder, Syed Altaf Hussain was booked by the police for binding Ahmadiyya books.Mr. Hussain died soon afterwards – due to stress, perhaps.
Eventually Mr. Esmatullah was also released on bail in July 2013, after spending 7 months in prison.
The press is no longer operative which was a source of livelihood not only for the owner but the entire staff, including many non-Ahmadis.
A very serious development took place in September/October. The vicious ‘complainant’ team applied to the court that deadly Blasphemy clause PPC 295-C be added to the charge sheet. On October 3, an Additional Session Judge approved this belated monstrous request. The accused were left with no choice but to flee for their lives.
D.The monthly ‘Ansarullah’ case
A description of this case is available in this chapter under the heading: Another attack on Ahmadiyya press in Lahore. The prosecution goes on in this fabricated case.
E.The weekly Lahore case
The oldest weekly in Paksitan ‘Lahore’ was eventually made to stop publication in July 2013 by joint effort of religious thugs and the authorities in Lahore. Its editor was an Ahmadi, Mr. Yasir Zeervi. He and three others were booked by the police in FIR 282/13 at Police Station Mazang under the anti-Ahmadi clause PPC 298-C. The prosecution goes on in this spiteful case against a literary personage.
F.Dr Masood Ahmad case
It would be recalled that septuagenarian Homeopath Masood Ahmad, a British citizen was booked and arrested for reciting the Holy Quran. He was later released on bail (under international protest); however his case remains alive.
G.Atif Ahmad case
Mr. Ahmad was booked under anti-Ahmadi clause PPC 298-B on January 16, 2013. The case remains open.
All these court cases and their prosecution involve costs for hiring ‘complainants’, raiding parties, protestors, court witnesses, support to the prosecutors and, of course, management costs. Where does the money come from? A hint was dropped by none else than the Interior Ministry which was quoted in a news item published by the daily Khabrain on April 29, 2014 as:
35 big madrassas receive Rs 260 million in foreign aid; Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain are among donors: Interior Ministry
Some people are of the considered opinion that the above disclosure is only tip of the iceberg.
An encounter with a suspect mulla
November 7, 2014: A mulla came on a motor-bike to the Ahmadiyya mosque in Model Town on Friday November 7, 2014. He was dressed in black clothes and had his head covered with a piece of cloth for turban. He asked the people on duty whether a congregation was to be held. Then he went to the side gate and insisted to be allowed inside. On refusal, he stood clear and talked to someone on phone. Thereafter he went away. He appeared to have a jacket around his waist. He was followed by Ahmadi security personnel for his suspicious moves. He rode through various parts of the city and then entered the office of Sunni Tehrik in Paul Nagar.
A stunning threat
Lahore; January 2014: Rana Muhammad Akram, an Ahmadi of Shahdara received the following threat by letter:
You’ve not understood despite (our) repeated reminders. You were told twice to correct yourself but it seems that you do not make sense of our message; instead you are becoming more of a Mirzai (Ahmadi) by the day. You are trying to become more of a Mirzai activist; we know all about you. We watch closely all your movements, where you go, whom you meet and what you do.
You are being given another chance. If you do not correct yourself within ten to fifteen days or do not shift from the area, we will make you an example for anyone who is considering conversion to Mirzaiat. We are set to accomplish all the tasks that we have been assigned about Mirzais. We have to exterminate this evil (fitna) from Pakistan anyhow, and we shall target-kill all (Ahmadis). As per Pakistani law, you people are Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed).
Do not take it as an empty threat. This is our last warning to you. What happens to you henceforth will be witnessed by all and sundry.
Rachna Town; April 24, 2014: Mr. Bakhtiar Ahmad Butt is facing uncommon and unpleasant religion-based interest from his neighbours. There is a non-Ahmadiyya mosque in front of his house. Despite knowing that Mr. Butt is an Ahmadi, his neighbours frequently urged him to offer his prayers in their mosque.
Mr. Butt was returning home on April 24, 2014 when some of his neighbours stopped him in front of the mosque and forced him into the mosque. They harassed him there. They asked him whether he was a Muslim and to recite the Kalima. When he recited the Kalima, one of them shouted, “Congratulations, Mr. Butt has embraced Islam.” Mr. Butt was then released.
Mr. Butt reported the incident to his community elders. He was advised to exercise caution.
Mughalpura; May 3, 2014: An anti-Ahmadiyya conference “Mehfil Zikr Khatamun Nabiyyeen” was held here with the support of anti-Ahmadiyya mulla, Hasan Muawiya. Last year also they held a conference at the same site. In the light of that experience an Ahmadiyya delegation met the local DSP/SHO and expressed their strong apprehensions regarding the scheduled conference. The SHO called the opponent party and made them sign an undertaking of good conduct. The mullas were not allowed to use sound-amplifiers, however unabashedly they used abusive language against the Ahmadiyya community and its elders as usual.
A vicious mischief averted
January 2014: Mr. Sadiq Ahmad owns a cloth shop in Azam Cloth Market. A mulla-looking customer came to his shop and asked the rates of cloth. Due to rush in the shop Mr. Ahmad told his salesman to attend to him. He took him upstairs in the store to show him the stock. They returned after about half an hour. The mulla departed saying that his cousin would come to make the deal. Mr. Ahmad asked his salesman the reason of the long time in the store. He said that the mulla had started saying his prayers upstairs.
The mulla came back after half an hour and stood outside at the corner. He took some photos of the shop with his mobile phone. Mr. Ahmad called the mulla in and asked for his mobile phone. The mulla hesitated but gave him the phone. It had a few photos of Mr. Ahmad’s shop and the street. Thereafter the mulla had sent some SMSs to someone named Ibrahim. Upon inquiry the mulla replied that he had attended primary classes and then studied in a madrassa in Afghanistan. Mr. Ahmad took a photo of the mulla with his own mobile phone. At this the mulla left the shop hurriedly.
Mr. Ahmad was extra cautious in view of the incident of Dr. Masood who stayed behind bars for approximately two months on complaint of a fake customer. This saved him from a similar mishap.
Lahore has been hot-bed of anti-Ahmadiyya activities since the twin attacks on two Ahmadiyya mosques in 2010 that resulted in death of 86 Ahmadis. Fresh incidents are regular occurrence.
PAF Colony: Mr. Shafiq Azam lives here. The watchman of the area informed him that two suspicious men came and inquired about him, calling him ‘Insolent to the Prophet’. They were wrapped in sheets and were hiding rifles under them. “Where does he live,” they wanted to know. The watchman put them off.
North Cantt: Mr. Zeeshan Bashir is head of the local Ahmadiyya youth organisation. His neighbour is a mulla. One day when Bashir came out to go to his office, he saw the mulla waiting near his house. Bashir noted his presence with due suspicion and delayed his departure for office. He attempted the sortie again at 10:30 a.m. The mulla was not there. However, Bashir did not go far when he saw the mulla ahead waiting for him. The mulla started chasing him on a motorbike. Probably he wanted to see the workplace of Mr. Bashir. Mr. Bashir decided not to go to his office then, and returned home zigzagging through streets. The incident shows that the mulla and his sponsors have some vicious plan up their sleeves.
Some more disturbing reports
Following reports regarding the persecution of Ahmadis were received in March from Lahore:
Samanabad; March 16, 2014: Some unidentified men came to the shop of Mr. Qureshi Rafiq Zahur, Ahmadi, damaged his shop and harassed him. Later the SHO of local police station intimated that an application from Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat Muslim Town had been received on which the Deputy Superintendent Police directed him to ‘do the needful’. A photocopy of a calendar which was hanging in the shop was also attached to the application. Subsequently the SHO came to his shop and took away a few copies of parts of the Holy Quran (seeparas) from his shop.
Mr. Zahur felt greatly upset and harassed on account of these interventions.
Samanabad; March 16, 2014: There is a restaurant (Hot Chilli Restaurant) in front of the Ahmadiyya mosque in Samanabad. The manager and a waiter of the restaurant came to the Ahmadiyya mosque and handed over a plastic bag to the Ahmadis present there and stated that the bag was found lying on the outer shade of the restaurant, and it contained some religious books.
The CCTV recording was then checked. A mulla was seen in the video, who came to the Ahmadiyya mosque at 2:15 p.m. He looked around the area and went away. Five minutes later two men came on a motorcycle. They were carrying two shopping-bags. One of them put one of those bags on the outer shade of the restaurant and went away.
This was done surely to create some mischief against Ahmadis. The police were informed of the incident and were shown the video of the suspects.
Samanabad; March 28, 2014: An Ahmadi driving his car was stopped by some unidentified persons at the Millat Crossing. They searched his vehicle and objected to the ‘traveler’s prayer’ hanging in his car. “Being a Qadiani you have no right to keep Quranic verses and prayers. This is unlawful for you,” they asserted. The police arrived at the scene and tried to pacify the bigots but did not succeed. So, they took both the parties to the police station where they made the Ahmadi youth and his fellow sign a paper declaring that he did not intentionally hang the prayer in the car. This absurd procedure solved the grave non-issue.
Some incident reports for May, June
Factory Area, Shahdara: This neighbourhood has been targeted by anti-Ahmadi elements for long. Assaults, harassments, registration of police cases and hostile propaganda continue uninterrupted.
On May 18, 2014, religious extremists distributed anti-Ahmadi leaflets in the bazaar. Their title was:Key to the love of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Why a boycott against Qadianis is essential?The distributors of the pamphlets motivated the people verbally as well to have no dealing whatsoever with Ahmadis as that is Gunahe Kabirah [major sin, as per Shariah (sic)]. They told them that Qadianis are Kafir (infidels) and Zindique (apostates of a higher degree).
This campaign, although it violates the laws of the land (PPC 153-A, 295-A etc), continues unchecked under the nose of the local police.
Terrorists launched:It was learnt from reliable sources that 3 to 5 suicide bombers entered Lahore. They were tasked to attack churches and Ahmadiyya places of worship in the city. They planned to target-kill Ahmadi leaders in the provincial capital. Official agencies were aware of this situation.
Ahmadis took suitable precautions. However, the plans and designs of religious extremists can be effectively foiled only by a policy of neutralising the top leadership of terrorism and their sympathisers and blocking their funds. This requires political will and decision.
Naseerabad:A complaint was lodged against Mr. Waris Ali, an Ahmadi by local mullas that he sends his children to a Muslim`s house to learn the recitation of the Holy Quran; being a non-Muslim he had no right to do that, they said. Waris Ali is making a prayer area next to his house, he has no right to make it, they alleged. (The building in fact is a house under construction for Mr. Muhammad Yusuf, a brother of Mr. Waris Ali.) Waris Ali had written the ‘Kalima’ on his house, which he had no right, asserted the ‘complainants’. On request of these bigots, an investigating police team came and told Waris Ali to present himself at the police station on June 6. As the complaints were not justified, status quo prevailed.
Township; May 25, 2014:Mr. Tahir Ahmad Mubashir, the local Ahmadiyya missionary dropped his wife at a relative`s place. At about 1 p.m. when she was returning home, a young man started following her and remarked, “Those who are friends with Mirzais (Ahmadis) are traitors to the Master (Aaqa).” The lady picked up pace and reached the main road. Here the stalker turned about and disappeared.
Rachna Town; June 5, 2014:Hostile mullas pasted offensive stickers in a street that led to an Ahmadiyya mosque. At the corner of that street there is a shop owned by an Ahmadi, Mr. Riaz Ahmad Bhatti who has rented it to a non-Ahmadi butcher. Mullas affixed those offensive stickers inside this shop and told the shopkeeper that he would be held accountable if these stickers were removed.
Township:The daughter-in-law of Mrs. Azar Rasheed went to the market. She stopped by a shoemaker`s shop to get her shoe repaired. A mulla was sitting there. When he saw an Ahmadi woman, he asked the shoemaker to visit the mosque to learn what is to befall Mirzais (Ahmadis).
A few days later, her twelve year old grandson went out to buy some rice. On the way, a mulla stopped him and asked him why he hadn`t come for the prayers. The boy replied that he would deliver the rice at home and then go to the mosque. At the shop, another mulla sitting there told the shopkeeper to attend to the boy quickly as he wanted to speak to him. The mulla asked the boy if he knew the `Kalima`. The boy replied, “Yes I do” and recited the ‘Kalima’. When he was about to leave, the shopkeeper told the mulla that the boy was a ‘Mirzai’. At this the mulla replied, “Why wasn`t I told about this before, I wouldn`t have let him go.” On hearing this, the boy, who was still nearby, ran back home.
Guldasht; June 2014: Ms. Bushra Wadud, widow of an Ahmadi martyr Mr. Abdul Wadud, lives in Guldasht Town, Lahore. She faced hateful behaviour in the local bazaar.
Ms. Wadud went out to buy a few school items for her children and visited Farhan Stationary. She noticed that the shopkeeper had stocked numerous anti-Ahmadi publications and had displayed hate-promoting stickers in the shop. The shopkeeper, perhaps recognizing her as an Ahmadi, offered her a calendar issued by a Khatme Nabuwwat organization. She looked at it, returned it to the mulla and came back.
A few days later she went there again. There was another customer at the shop at the time. The shopkeeper, noticing her, started telling the customer, “Our people are asleep while the Ummah is in great danger. The threat is not from Jews, Christians nor from Hindus, it is from the Qadiani Jamaat. They have installed their own prophet and are deceiving the people by following Islam. They recite the Kalima of Muhammad, but in fact they adore Ahmad. It is a sin to call their place of worship a mosque. They are good at planning and implementation.”
Ms. Wadud hurriedly did her shopping and beat the retreat.
Training course for extremists
Lahore: The daily Islam, Lahore, a far-right Jihadist paper, published the following ad in its issue of May 21, 2014 (translation, extracts):
10 day Khatme Nabuwwat Tarbiyati (Training) Course
at Jamia Abdullah Bin Umar, Gajju Matta near Kahna Nau, Lahore
Commencing 31 May, Saturday at 0800
Bring your seasonal bedding along
While there is nothing wrong with doing a course on a religious theme, the devil lies in detail. Do they teach bloodshed to ‘protect’ end of prophethood? Do they indulge in intense hateful, bigoted, sectarian propaganda? Do they recruit the students as hit-men, after the course? Who are the instructors? What is their past like? Who provides them funds? Answers to these questions are important, as these will enable the authorities to parry future sectarian assaults and strikes.
Reports in the month of August
Baghbanpura; August 2014: Mr. Mazhar Umar Butt, an Ahmadi was returning home from the bazaar when Hasan Muawiya the younger brother of the well-known Maulvi Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi noticed him. Muawiya started shouting abuse against the founder of the Ahmadiyya community on seeing him. Mr. Butt refused to pay heed to the insults and paddled fast to return home.
Green Town; August 31, 2014: A mulla held a Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Masjid Abdullah. Other mullas from the city were also invited at the occasion. As usual, anti-Ahmadiyya speeches were made and the audience were incited. Mullas held a meeting after the conference in which they planned to take out a procession on September 1 and set fire to Ahmadis’ houses.
Ahmadis informed the police of their plans. The inspector questioned the mulla over the report. He accepted that they had plans for a procession but not about torching Ahmadis’ houses. The police inspector warned him against any such attempt.