Polictics of persecution – 2010

2010

A fascist sectarian state is promised and promoted by rulers in Azad Kashmir

Bagh and elsewhere, Azad Kashmir (AJK); April 2010: Numerous states all over the world pursue objectionable policies and use fascist means to perpetuate themselves, but rarely do they own up and uphold such actions in public. Not so in Azad Kashmir. Kashmiri mullas and politicians have apparently forgotten that they are a part of the world community and will be held accountable for what they say, and for what they do. An event in Bagh that was widely reported in the local press and the Pakistani national Urdu newspapers is indicative of the nature and level of the depravity of civic and political life in that territory.

An End of Prophethood conference was scheduled in Bagh (AJK) by Major Ayub Memorial Committee on April 29, 2010. The AJK prime minister, the president, ministers etc were invited to attend. Col® Abdul Qayyum, the Committee’s president told the daily Ausaf, “We shall put an end to the evil of Ahmadiyyat in Azad Kashmir.” (The daily Ausaf, Islamabad; April 27, 2010)

The conference was attended by Raja Farooq Haider Khan, the then Prime Minister of AJK (he was invited as a special guest) , Pir Atiq ur Rehman the AJK Minister of Auqaf (Religious endowments), a few ministers, a number of political leaders and a host of mullas from religious parties who indulge in political activities.

At this conference, the Prime Minister was presented a report by clerics, “who gave it special attention and passed it to the Minister of Auqaf”, according to the press report. This conference passed a number of resolutions, most of which would put a self-respecting educated person to shame; these are produced below from a press report:

  • The apostasy centers of Qadianis that resemble mosques should be demolished forthwith.
  • Qadianis should be forbidden from entering Azad Kashmir.
  • Qadianis should be made to register themselves at police stations in Azad Kashmir.
  • Qadianis in government service should be listed; the list should be promulgated and Qadianis in key posts, especially those in the education department, should be removed.
  • Qadiani newspaper the daily Alfazl, their TV channel MTA and other literature should be forbidden in Azad Kashmir.
  • Marriages between Muslims and Qadianis should be declared null and void.
  • Qadianis in Azad Kashmir should be registered as Non-Muslims and should have a clear identification (Aledah shanakht banai jai).
  • A text book on Khatme Nabuwwat should be made a part of syllabus in public and private schools, etc. etc.

Special Edition of Sadai Chanar, May 3, 2010 and the daily Ausaf, Islamabad; April 30, 2010

The prime minister’s response to the above absurdities was highly encouraging to the clerics – even beyond their expectations: Excerpts:

  • Qadiani growth in the territory is totally unacceptable.
  • It is essential to put a stop to the evil of Qadianiat.
  • I promise to actively pursue and legislate anti-Qadiani measures (on demands put forward by the Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat).
  • As it is essential that there should be a distinct difference between Muslims and non-Muslims, I will ensure clear distinction of identity between Muslims and Qadianis. They will not be allowed to follow Islamic practices (Sha‘aire Islam). The issue will be resolved soon in the Assembly forum, so that the non-believers in Khatme Nabuwwat stand distinct.
  • We shall give all the rights due to the non-Muslim.
  • Qadianis enjoy the support of Jews and Christians; they are being promoted to stab the Muslims in their chests (seenon mein khanjar ghonpne…). It is a religious duty to confront this evil.
  • The Anti-Christ (Dajjal) is still to appear; and he will also be one among the Qadianis. (The Special Edition of daily Sada-i-Chanar; May 3, 2010 and the daily Jinnah, Islamabad April 30, 2010)

Unbelievable but true. The mulla and the press reacted joyfully, and reported that the Khatme Nabuwwat activists and lovers of the Prophet were most encouraged by the bold statement of the prime minister. “For the first time ever, a prime minister took a clear and unequivocal stand against Ahmadiyyat; this has enabled the Muslims and Kashmiri people raise their heads in pride and they feel infused with religious ecstasy.” The daily Sada-i-Chanar; May 3, 2010

Pir Atiq ur Rahman the Minister of Auqaf, a mulla well-versed in the mundane world of politics, echoed the same views. Excerpts:

  • Qadianis are busy in spreading their mischief in Azad Kashmir. It calls for their speedy extermination.                         The daily Jinnah, Islamabad April 30, 2010
  • Khatme Nabuwwat is the principal dogma of the Muslim Ummah. We shall safeguard it at all costs. Prime Minister, this issue needs legislation. Allah wishes this historical accomplishment from you. We all have to support the prime minister in this, through unity and joint action. The daily Khabrain; April 30, 2010

Extremist elements availed the opportunity to talk of blood, death and destruction. The print media displayed it in bold headlines; for instance:

  • We shall spill the last drop of blood to safeguard the end of prophethood – Maulana Maqsood
  • Stop the conspiracies against me. I am willing to be shot to uphold the constitution. Farooq Haider (PM, AJK)

“I am grateful to Rashid Tarabi, Khalid Ibrahim etc. members of the Assembly, in the constitutional battle. Our friends in Peoples Party should remember that if they join a conspiracy, their blot will never be washed off”, said the prime minister.  The daily Khabrain, Islamabad, April 30, 2010

Another such conference was programmed in Kotli for June 6. The theme, of course, was none other than the Honour of the Prophetsa and the End of Prophethood, although the sectarian organizers deliberately opted to give it the title of the Labbaik, Ya Rasul ullah Conference (Present sir, O Prophet of God).

According to press reports the real issue disturbing the prime minister’s peace was his shaky political position and the unrest raking the AJK higher judiciary, in which he pushed a judicial reference based on blasphemy. Like his predecessors, he turned to the mulla for political support in the name of ‘end of prophethood’ and blasphemy. He seemed to convey: You touch me, and I shall deliver the whole territory to flames with the mulla on my back. He conveniently forgot that such tactics could never save his predecessors. He calls himself a revolutionary (Inqlabi), but this is not the decade for a fascist revolution from a pseudo-mulla.

True enough, he was removed from his post a few months later.

 

Another story from Azad Kashmir

The daily Pakistan of May 20, 2010 published a story according to which Anjuman Talabah Islam (student wing of JUP) was planning to launch an anti-Ahmadiyya campaign in AJK. Pir Atiq-ur-Rahman, the Minister of Auqaf had taken upon himself the ‘Jihad’ of spreading anti-Ahmadiyya hatred through Khatm-e-Nabuwwat conferences and support to sectarian elements.

Here is a translation of what was reported by the daily Pakistan:

Mounting negative activities of Qadianis in Kashmir are at climax

Anjuman Talabah Islam has launched a Khatme Nabuwwat public relations campaign from Karachi to Kashmir

Mirpur (Bureau Report): Mounting negative activities of Qadianis in Azad Kashmir. The Anjuman Talabah Islam has launched a major Khatme Nabuwwat public relations campaign from Karachi to Kashmir. The central president of ATI and chairman of the Joint Pakistan Front, Syed Jawad-ul-Hasan Kazmi has arrived Kashmir on an exigent tour. (In view of) concerns over increasing activities of Qadianis, the coordination of Labaik Ya Rasul Allah (present O, Prophet [PBUH]) conference in Goi during the tour of the central president of ATI and chairman of the Joint Pakistan Front, Syed Jawadul Hasan Kazmi, the ATI would make important demands to the Government so as to prevent an epidemic like Qadianiat. According to the available details they resolved to expose the fitna (mischief) of Qadianiat and groups supporting Qadianis. After the announcement of Labaik Ya Rasul Allah conference in Goi, the ATI Jammu Kashmir is determined to launch a Khatme Nabuwwat public relation campaign for the successful coordination of holding the conference, and then to follow up all its aims and objects to uproot the poisonous plant of Qadianiat. The Nazim ATI Jammu Kashmir, Mr. Nisar Nakshbandi stated that the ATI Jammu Kashmir will take strong steps against the Qadiani fitna, and make powerful demands on the government; and the ATI groups from all over Kashmir will participate in Labaik Ya Rasul Allah conference in Goi, thus conveying a signal of death to all Qadianis and those who support them.

Obviously Kazmi had come all the way to Kashmir at the invitation of the president of JUP in AJK, Pir Atiqur Rahman, who now is a minister in the AJK government.

No action was taken by political, administrative and police authorities against these agents-provocateurs?

 

A minister presides over ‘call to murder Ahmadis’

Sangla Hill; October 2010: The daily Jang of October 4, 2010 reported proceedings of a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference held at Sangla Hill (Punjab). Pir Atiq ur Rahman, Minister of Auqaf in Azad Kashmir, the chief guest presided over this conference.

According to the daily Jang, it was urged at this conference to wage a Jihad against Qadianis till the last breath with the aim of Ahmadis’ extermination (khatima).

Following was also said/demanded at the conference, inter alia:

  • Former Presidents Bush and Musharraf, the killers of Muslims should be delivered to Pakistan.
  • Dr Aafia’s sentence to 86 years imprisonment is a slap on Muslims’ face.
  • We condemn the Indian court’s verdict on Babri Mosque.
  • This is the century when the US will break up.
  • Products marketed by Mirzais (Ahmadis) should be boycotted.

It is for consideration of the top leaders of the governments of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir whether it is appropriate for a minister from Azad Kashmir to come all the way to the central Punjab and play leading role in a conference that upholds the most obscure views on human rights and makes controversial and ill-considered comments on sensitive foreign issues with which Pakistan has to deal.

 

Misuse of religion for politics

Azad Kashmir; April 26, 2010: It is common knowledge that in the Third World, politicians are prone to using religion to promote their politics. However, most of them do so in a subtle way without being too blatant about it, but not in Azad Kashmir.

Prime ministers in Azad Kashmir change so often that it is difficult to keep track of who is in office. The following statement published in the daily Waqt is as follows:

Mirzais have got united against me.       Prime Minister Azad Kashmir

All the Mirzais (Ahmadis) of Azad Kashmir have united and turned against me. A wide-ranging conspiracy is underway….

Chaudhry Yasin, the Senior Vice President of the Peoples Party (Azad Kashmir) told a press conference that all preparations are complete to move a no-confidence motion against the prime minister of Azad Kashmir. … Raja Farooq has proved himself to be the most incompetent prime minister.

From the above press report it seems that the incumbent faced a difficult political situation, and thus blamed the “Mirzais” for it in the false hope of getting some relief. In truth, very few of the senior leadership of the Ahmadiyya community are even aware of Raja Farooq’s name.

Mian Nawaz Sharif – welcome to the world!

Lahore: Mian Nawaz Sharif, head of the PML(N) , two times former prime minister and a former chief minister of the Punjab, who condoling the death of an Ahmadi at the home of a well wisher stated on June 5, 2010, “Qadianis are an asset to our country and nation, and are our brothers.” (The daily Ausaf June 6, 2010) This simple statement caused uproar among the mullas and religious parties.

The protest was quite unjustified. The Sharif brothers have rarely been kind to Ahmadis during their days of political power. Mr. Sharif, at this occasion, did not apologize for any of the following:

  • Changing the name of Rabwah
  • Supporting Gen Zia in the promulgation of anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX in 1984
  • Closing down the Ahmadiyya daily Alfazl and sealing its press in May 1985
  • Anti-Ahmadiyya riots in Nankana on April 12, 1989
  • Anti-Ahmadiyya riots in Chak Sikandar on July 16, 1989
  • Booking the entire Ahmadi population of Rabwah in a criminal case under anti-Ahmadi law on December 15, 1989
  • Arresting two Ahmadi scholars of DG Khan for translating the Holy Quran
  • Arresting Mirza Masroor Ahmad on a spurious accusation – the accused was elected as Khalifa of the worldwide Ahmadiyya community four years later.
  • Arresting Ahmadi children in District Layyah on a fabricated blasphemy charge
  • His Chief Minister presiding over a meeting of mullas wherein they declared that Ahmadis (by implication) were Wajib ul Qatl (must be killed).

etc; etc.

Yet the mullas refused to forgive him for his mild political expression of fraternal ties with Ahmadi citizens of the country.

The mullas were most unforgiving; for instance:

  • Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema of Majlis Ahrar said: “Nawaz Sharif, by referring to Qadianis as his brothers and sisters, and a national asset, has demonstrated the worst of pro-Qadiani, un-Islamic inclinations (Kufr parwari) and obeisance to the U.S. It is highly condemnable.” The Majlis Ahrar India went a step further and told him that if he did not repent, he would be considered outside the pale of Islam.
  • According to the mullas of Wafaq al Madaras Al-Arabiya, JUI(S) and Khatme Nabuwwat Majlis, Nawaz Sharif had become a traitor to the Constitution; he will be raised with Qadianis on the Dooms Day; and he is simply ignorant. They found his statement regrettable and condemned it strongly (shadeed muzammat). The daily Din of June 7, 2010
  • The Ulema of Pasrur and Rajana were of the opinion that Nawaz Sharif had committed a great sin (Gunahe kabeerah).
  • Mulla Ilyas Chinioti and his colleagues, mostly from the Khatme Nabuwwat faction called his statement, a religious ignorance (deen sey doori) and called it treason to Islam and Khatme Nabuwwat. One of them called his statement most stupid (intihai ahmaqana). The daily Khabrain, June 7, 2010
  • The mullas of Azad Kashmir said, “Mian Nawaz Sharif has thus committed treason against Islam and the Constitution of Pakistan. He should repent and talk sense in future.” The daily Ausaf, June 7, 2010

etc; etc.

The BBC reported that in this context “leaders from 11 political parties came together to condemn him and threatened to issue a fatwa declaring him a heretic.”

Mr Sharif’s powerful friends in the print media also deserted him on this occasion. Mr. Abbas Athar, the editor of the Daily Express was frank to write in his paper of June 10, 2010, “My personal security and family rights are dearer to me than others’ human and legal rights. I am a weak man, as such I am not in a position to offer support to Mian’s doctrinal or constitutional position.”

Mr. Sharif did not respond to the vitriol directed his way and decided to weather the storm through silence, although some of his supporters claimed that he had been misunderstood.

Mian Nawaz Sharif has been one of the foremost political leaders in Pakistan who in the past 33 years has consistently supported the ‘Islamisation’ of Pakistan and has nourished the religious lobby. The arrogance, obscurantism and militancy of the mulla in 2010 is the consequence of the policies of the state since mid 1970s.

Mr. Sharif experienced during only the second week of June what the Ahmadiyya community has suffered for the last 36 years.

Ahmadis appreciated his recent courageous gesture in higher politics, and hoped that he is a changed man after decades of experience with mullas.

“Such are the heights of wickedness to which men are driven by religion”. Lucretius on the Nature of the Universe

A noteworthy news from the press

Islamabad: Here is a report from the daily Dawn, Lahore of December 17, 2010 which merits attention of all those concerned with Pakistan’s present and future. Extracts:

“Banned groups being guided back into mainstream?

“Islamabad, Dec 16. The Jamaat ul Da‘wa, a controversial religious organization which had hitherto kept its focus on Kashmir and the ongoing militant movement in the Indian held valley, has decided to enter Pakistani politics.

“According to observers, the conference, which was called to finalise an anti-government campaign in the name of protecting the existing blasphemy law, was clearly a political gathering aimed at weighing options for a greater anti-government alliance.

“The fact that Maulana Mohammad Ahmad Ludhianwi, leader of the Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat Party (formerly Sipah-i-Sahaba) was also there, and along with Hafiz Saeed delivered fiery speeches, suggests that serious efforts are on to cobble together a conglomerate of religious, former militant and rightwing political groups.

“The Namoos-i-Rasalat conference held in Islamabad under the auspices of the Majlis-i-Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat was attended by chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Ameer of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Munawwar Hasan, his deputy Liaqat Baloch, former JI Chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad, and President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. Representatives of many smaller political and non-political religious groups were also present.

“On the other hand, the JI and a representative of the Wafaqul Madaris defended the participation of Maulana Ludhianwi and Hafiz Saeed.

“Chaudhry Shujaat said he had gone to the conference only to present his party’s view-point on the blasphemy law and returned home soon after delivering his speech without bothering as to who the other participants were.

“Members of civil society organizations are also anxiously watching the recent developments and believe that the religious parties are being brought together at one platform by “the forces which have always exploited religion for political motives”.

“We are sure that rightist elements in the establishment are behind the move to bring all religious forces on one platform in the name of Namoos-i-Risalat in order to achieve their political objectives, civil society representative Dr. Farzana Bari said.”

A comment:     The above report is significant in that Mr. Munawwar Hasan, the Amir of Jamaat Islami announced on June 18, 2010 that he intended to launch a movement like that of 1953 on the Ahmadiyya issue. The role of Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat at the above gathering in Islamabad and that of Jamaat Islami betrays follow-up of Hasan’s threat. It may be recalled that in 1953 an Action Committee (Majlis Amal) under the banner of Khatme Nabuwwat and Jamaat Islami etc. precipitated serious riots in the Punjab, that resulted in the first ever imposition of martial law and the fall of both the central government and the Punjab government. The movement did long term damage to politics in Pakistan.

Erasing Zia

The News International, a daily published from Lahore published a story on March 23, 2010 with the following headline:

Proposed 18th Amen

Ziaul Haq to be deleted as president from history

The daily commented on this news in its editorial. This comment is very apt and deserves to be placed on record for consideration and follow-up. Excerpts:

“…

And here we notice, with a deep sense of irony, that the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms has so continuously shied away from touching any of the provisions rammed into the Constitution by Zia in the name of Islam in order to serve his own twisted notion of religion and satisfy his hunger for power. How does avoiding concrete steps to undo the damage that was done, and still is being done, by what that dictator did help his ‘eradication’?

The task of setting right the wrongs done by tyrants and their sycophants cannot be performed by deliberately falling into a state of denial through an exercise in forgetting and erasing, but by remembering, each step along the way, what it was that landed this country in the moral, political and social impasse it faces now. Many expected to back the move in parliament to erase Zia may do their own conscience a favour by remembering their own role in strengthening the yoke of infamy that was the Zia era. This country needs meaningful reform, not meaningless change through removal of portraits. And this requires more thought, commitment and of course character from decision-makers.”

It is Jamaat Islami – again

Lahore: According to report made by the staff reporter of the daily Dawn, Lahore June 19, 2010, “Jamaat Islami Chief Syed Munawwar Hassan on Friday warned of a fresh Khatme-i-Nabuwwat movement if the ‘Qadiyanis did not accept their minority status’ in Pakistan and the government kept silent about their blasphemous and unconstitutional activities.”

The JI Chief issued this warning only three weeks after the Lahore carnage in which scores of Ahmadi worshipers were killed in their mosques.

Three days later the Jamaat Islami Shura decided in favour of an anti-government drive (The Dawn, Lahore; June 22, 2010). Jamaat Islami is one of the leading religious political parties in Pakistan. Using religion in the service of politics is its declared policy, although stated differently.

It is important to consider the large scale anti-Ahmadiyya Khatme Nabuwwat movement and riots of 1953 that resulted in the first ever martial law in Pakistan and the overthrow of democratic governments in the Center and the Punjab. Jamaat Islami played a leading role in the insurgency, and did great and enduring harm to the Pakistani state and society.

Reliable research and analysis have confirmed subsequently that the 1953 Khatme Nabuwwat movement was launched for political motives under the garb of religion. Mr. Nazir Naji, a senior columnist has recently stated that he participated in the 1953 movement when he was 16 and went to prison for months for the cause of Khatme Nabuwwat. However on release ‘when I came to senses, I realized that the movement was in fact a play for political power’ (The daily Jang; May 30, 2010).

Subsequently, when peace was restored through the use of military force, a high level judicial inquiry was held to assign responsibility and hold accountability for the breakdown of law and order. The Jamaat Islami took the position that it had de-aligned itself from the violence by not participating in a crucial meeting of the Majlis Amal (Action Committee). The honorable judges inquired deep into this plea of innocence, and firmly concluded that the plea was not valid. They pointed out that although Maulana Maudoodi (The Founding Amir of JI) could not attend the meeting, he sent Maulana Sultan Ahmad, as his representative. The judges also mentioned that the decision to serve the ultimatum to the government had Maulana Maudoodis’ approval and, therefore, of the Jamaat (pp. 243-254 of the Report of The Court of Inquiry… to enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953). This judicial report has been called one of the finest official Pakistani documents and is recommended reading for all concerned. It had become a rare document, but now its recent edition has been published by Naya Zamana Publications. It is also available on http://www.thepersecution.org/dl/report_1953.pdf

These days the Jamaat Islami is in the political wilderness; it boycotted the 2008 national elections. Its warning of anti-Ahmadi agitation and decision to launch an anti-government drive apparently is a scheme taken from its 1952/53 playbook.

Amir Jamaat Islami in Faisalabad

Faisalabad; June 27, 2010:    Those who do not wish to see peace in the country turn to cities like Faisalabad to keep the sectarian and factional fires smoldering in the name of Tahaffuz Namus Rasalat i.e. safeguarding the honor of Prophethood.

The Jamaat Islami took out a big procession in this city on June 27. Approximately 5000 participated. One thousand motorcycles and 600 cars were also there. The Jamaat used its organizational skill to make the event a success. They established small camps in various neighborhoods to urge the people to participate. Transport was arranged to bring people to the site of the rally. Anti-Ahmadi banners were on display. One wonders, what relevance Ahmadiyyat had to the theme of the rally. Syed Munawwar Hasan, the Amir Jamaat Islami addressed the audience. He said:

“It is licit and obligatory to kill enemies of the faith and those who oppose the honor of the Prophet. Implement a boycott of western propaganda and Qadiani beliefs. We will push him out of the country who is  against Islam. Expose conspirators who are pro-West; they are Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed). Walk in step with the Amir of Jamaat Islami. We shall accept even death in the way of servitude to the Prophet and love for him. Chop off the heads of those who defile the Prophet (PBUH). God will accept your offer and sacrifice; Islam supports that (course of action). We are the true guardians of Islam. We shall confront the enemies of Islam and the Prophet.”

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