Plight of Rabwah (2015)

Plight of Rabwah



Rabwah targeted

December/January, 2014/15:            At the end of last year, anti-Ahmadi sectarian and extremist elements planned to turn the heat on Rabwah, Ahmadiyya centre in Pakistan. For this ignoble purpose they chose Ahmadiyya mosques and various religious epithets written on houses and business locations, also Ahmadiyya publications and their publishers and sellers etc. Their plan included effective support and help from political and official circles.

They pointed out dozens of locations in Rabwah where religious inscriptions ‘hurt their feelings’ (these inscriptions are common among Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis). They threatened that they would assemble and offer Friday congregational prayers at the river bridge (on entry to Rabwah) on 26 December 2014. They declared that the district road could be blocked. They also had it announced in the vernacular press that they would assemble in Rabwah on 4 January 2015 to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and take out a huge unprecedented procession in the town. All this implied a serious threat to law and order.

To implement this portentous plan, mulla Hasan Muawiya aka Tooti arrived from Lahore. Mulla Ilyas Chinioti MPA (PML-N) offered his services. He led a big delegation of the ulama and called on the district and divisional authorities. It is learnt that they claimed support from Rana Sanaullah (former provincial minister of the Model Town fame) and Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, son of Punjab chief minister.

It took the menacing delegation little time to convince the officials to do what was demanded. Although the Peshawar tragedy had already happened and the evil of extremism and terrorism had become bare-faced and all and sundry were condemning them with one voice, but wishes of the federal high command had perhaps not reached Chiniot in writing. So the DCO and DPO found it convenient to yield to the mulla, seek 15-days’ grace period and assured the religious and political bigots that they would deliver. “District authorities have promised to redress activists’ grievances,” reported The Express Tribune of December 27, 2014.

The official roller-coaster went into action. The police raided the only book depot in Rabwah and confiscated some books and prevailed upon its closure; the mullas were in company at the time. Tooti had himself videoed at the occasion making a general statement in police presence. Earlier two Ahmadi security guards were booked by the police on complaint of a mulla. Aamir Liaquat Husain of GEO TV had it announced in his show that Ahmadis were responsible for what happened to school children in Peshawar. Mulla Ilyas Chinioti the PML-N MPA declared: “Jewish, Christian and Qadiani lobbies are active against national security.” (The daily Ausaf, Lahore, December 20, 2014). In these stressful circumstances, the police repeatedly sent for Ahmadi community leaders in Rabwah and told them to wipe off all the ‘inscriptions’ as demanded by the mulla. Ahmadis, of course, did not consent to this defiling and told the police that they will not let any private person do this desecration.

While this was going on in Rabwah, the Prime Minister had already announced in Islamabad his 20-point National Action Plan which included inter alia “Taking effective steps against religious persecution.”

Eventually on January 6, 2015 Ahmadis were told that the DPO had issued orders that the police itself would efface all the religious inscriptions in Rabwah. Accordingly the police arrived in the bazaar with their transport and a ladder.

Ahmadis prayed to God and approached higher authorities against the callous and offensive intended action. The senior officials saw the obvious wrong and told the district authorities to have another look at the law and reconsider their action.

This put a break on the execution of the evil plan.

In the meantime, however, the Punjab Government had already banned the publication of the Ahmadiyya monthly ‘Tehrik Jadid’ through an official notification. One, Muhammad Ziaullah of Chiniot had put up an application to the DPO using highly abusive language against Ahmadi leaders, requesting him to confiscate Ahmadiyya publications, arrest their authors, publishers and promoters for being blasphemous. It is interesting that two of the named publications are titled: ‘In defence against attacks on the honour of Prophethood (pbuh)’ and ‘Answers to the allegations against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’. The so-called complainant demanded that the concerned individuals be booked in a criminal case under 295-C, 295-A, 11-W ATA, 295-B, 298-C. These laws invite penalty of death, life imprisonment etc and trial in an anti-terrorism court. While concluding he wrote, “These accused should be arrested and given the deserved punishment so as to cool down the anger of Muslims and to nip this conspiracy of promotion of sectarianism in the country.” Thankfully, the police took no action, this time.

Security ‘raid’ on Jamia Ahmadiyya, Rabwah  

Rabwah; August 8, 2015:                  A heavy contingent of security personnel carried out a search operation in the Jamia Ahmadiyya, Senior and Junior Campuses, and according to the daily Din declared both the institutions as ‘CLEAR’.

According to press reports, security agencies had carried out raids on numerous madrassahs in and around Chiniot and had detained some staff and students for interrogation. The mullas got agitated over it and called on the RPO Faisalabad to carry out similar search operation against Ahmadiyya Jamia. It is of interest to mention that neither the mulla nor the authorities accept Ahmadiyya Jamia in the category of ‘madrassah’ as the word carries Islamic connotation. Also, the intelligence agencies have never shown any reservations on what goes on or is taught in Ahmadiyya institutions – and rightly too.

A contingent comprising approximately 100 personnel raided the Jamia. They were there for over an hour. The Jamia administration extended them all assistance and courtesy, both in the teaching blocks as well as the hostels.

A press report on a state-owned college in Rabwah

Lahore; January 11, 2015:    The daily ‘Pakistan’ published a report on the security situation of a girls’ college in Rabwah. We provide below its translation:

Government shows no interest in providing protection to minorities

Blind watchman is appointed in girls college. This is declared ‘the safest hide-out for terrorists’.

Chenab Nagar:  (Correspondent) Government shows no interest in providing protection to minorities; blind watchman is appointed in Girls College which is declared as an extremely vulnerable site. According to the information, 13-point agenda was circulated to tighten the security of educational institutes in the country, after the Peshawar tragedy. Government Taleem ul Islam College and Government Jamia Nusrat Girls College of Chenab Nagar have been declared as extremely sensitive places. Orders were issued to re-open the college after clearance report of the Special Branch. But it is shocking that there are two roads adjacent to the Girls College and it is easy to enter the college by climbing up the outer walls. Derelict college buildings built in 1952 provide an ideal platform to terrorists for making trenches. These buildings have been declared as the most dangerous and unusable for the last 10 year by the buildings department. These include the principal’s residence, girls’ hostel, dispensary and other structures. Wild growth and trees inside the college have covered it in such a way that it looks like an island. According to the college administration, letters about the demolition of these buildings were written to the Provincial Government, the Building Department and the Director Colleges many times, however, till today they have not paid any attention. Two watchmen are appointed in this girls college for day time and night duty. But it is shocking that the person who performs night duty is blind. Ninety percent of the male appointments including the clerk, office boy and others remain vacant. In these circumstances, this government college located in minority area is entirely unsafe and needs the government’s attention.