The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education.
International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Education is one of those sectors in which the persecution of Ahmadis is glaring and very hurtful. This is by design of the mullas and the bigots. The state officials have given their helping hand in this barefaced criminal activity.
A perusal of these sample incidents given below will give an idea of what Ahmadi children and youth go through. Ahmadi teachers suffer the same way. The story of two lady lecturers in Lahore is an indicator. The plight of two Ahmadi students at the hand of IJT goons is horrendous. The situation in some schools/colleges/universities is nearly unbelievable. Year after year it has gone on like this. This year is no exception. There is no let-up on the part of the bigot-brigade. The authorities either support this or look the other way.
A recent report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom on public schools and madrassahs confirms in principle what is stated above. Our report provides a more detailed report on some sample incidents, to which the US team had no access. Extracts of the US Report are reproduced in the last story of this chapter.
Hateful stickers published by World Tahaffuze Khatme Nabuwwat Council for pasting on students’ notebooks
Harassment of Ahmadi students
Kamrah, District Attock; May, June 2012: Here is an incident to show the sort of discrimination and harassment that Ahmadi children face in educational institutions. It is fairly wide-spread, but most children suffer and do not report their plight to elders, or the elders do not send reports to the community headquarters.
Miss Dania Nazish and Miss Tazaeen Nazish, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Zahid Ahmad were students at the Federal Government School, Kamrah Cantt. The class teachers and the principal came to know of their Ahmadi identity, and asked them awkward questions. This encouraged other students to maltreat them and call them ‘Kafir’ (infidel), etc.
Miss Dania Nazish stood 1st in class 7, this entitled her to a stipend of Rs. 3000 from the Educational Board. However, a year later, she was placed 6th in the class. Her father applied for a “papers’ recheck”; at this he was told by the class teacher that an error in marking the mathematics paper had reduced her grading; she was up-graded accordingly to the 4th position. In the final examination, Dania stood first in the entire Board. Mr. Ahmad, thereafter, had her transferred to another school. At this the school administration expelled her sister Tazaeen also from the school. Mrs. Ahmad attempted to meet the principal over the issue, but she refused to see her. Both the girls are now attending a different school.
A sample of Islami Jamiat Talaba’s activism
Lahore; June 7, 2012: Mr. Umair Ahmad and Mr. Saqib Ahmad, two Ahmadi students study in Hailey College, Lahore. The leader of the local Islami Jamiat Talaba called them and tried to obtain information from them. The Nazim of IJT phoned Mr. Umair Ahmad and told him to come to the canteen. On arrival, Umair found him there with 12 others of the IJT. They took him to the office of the college mosque and asked him the name of the Ahmadi who proselytized there. Umair replied, “No one.” They snatched Mr. Umair’s mobile phone. They further asked the names of Ahmadis studying in the 4th semester. They told him that they knew that there were five Ahmadi boys and four girls. “Will you identify them?” they asked. They harassed him and demanded from him the info about Ahmadi female students. Umair repeatedly replied that he did not know.
They told him to telephone the head of the Ahmadiyya Youth in Lahore. They themselves took out his mobile number from his mobile and told Umair to ask him about the Ahmadi students studying in the college. They switched on the speaker of his mobile so that they could also hear the conversation. The call could not go through. At this one of the IJT goons called him (the head of Ahmadiyya Youth) from his mobile phone and told Umair to ask him about the Ahmadi students after introducing himself. The head of the Ahmadiyya Youth stated his ignorance in this regard and referred Umair to another Ahmadi official in Lahore and also sent his mobile number via SMS. At this the IJT rascals rebuked Umair. Meanwhile the time of Zuhr prayer approached. After the prayer service they asked Umair, “Do you know Saqib?” Umair replied in the negative. The Nazim of IJT told his fellows to bring Saqib. He asked the same question from Saqib about Umair. Saqib also replied in the negative. At this he snatched Saqib’s mobile and called Umair from his mobile. He found that both mobiles did not have numbers of each other because both of them really did not know each other. An IJT member who was a class fellow of Umair said that he knew Umair, he really did not know anything, as he did not tell lies. At this the Nazim let Umair go after the investigation and mental torture that lasted two hours.
An IJT youth later told Umair that they tortured Saqib but it could not be established if Saqib was an Ahmadi. He further told Umair that the teachers of the college had given the task of driving out Ahmadi students from the college and the hostel to the IJT.
The Jama’at Islami calls the IJT a body of ‘Saleheen’, the pious. If this sort of conduct is that of “the pious”, it is a pointer to the moral content of Islamism peddled by this Jama‘at.
Also imagine the high level of ‘freedom’ available to the IJT for indulging in criminal conduct.
Sargodha University, hostage with the End of Prophethood activists
Sargodha; April 2012: A Khatme Nabuwwat conference was held in Sargodha on April 5, 2012. It was poorly attended, however it seemed that they planned some mischief against Ahmadi students. This materialized a few days later.
On April 8, some non-Ahmadi students sent SMS messages to Ahmadi male and female students, to the effect: “You are not Muslim, as such we have nothing to do with you. We shall not share hostel with you (Ham sath nahin rahain gai)”, etc.
On April 9, all the non-Ahmadi students of the Pharmacy Department observed a social boycott of Ahmadi class-mates. They put up anti-Ahmadiyya notices and stickers on class room black-boards. Some lecturers also provided the unbecoming lead in this sectarian agitation, and allowed mulla-type students to deliver anti-Ahmadiyya lectures to fellow students. These pseudo-clerics indulged in slander and calumny against Ahmadi leaders and called Ahmadis Kafir and Kazib etc.
On April 11, non-Ahmadi male and female students held a meeting in the evening. Thereafter, at about midnight non-Ahmadi girl students visited every room of the university hostel, pointed out Ahmadi girls and declared: “These girls are Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed); we shall not tolerate them,” etc. Ahmadi girls had a sleepless night. Likewise Ahmadi students of the Statistics Department faced a social boycott the next-day. Anti-Ahmadiyya literature was distributed among students and teachers.
Ahmadi elders contacted university management and made enquiries. It was learnt that some miscreants who were not from the university were pulling the strings, and the university administration was not actively involved.
However, this is surely not the way to run a university.
A disclosure – a Qadiani teaches Arabic!
Faisalabad; May 12, 2012: The vernacular daily ‘Aman’ disseminated the following noteworthy report on May 12, 2012 from the industrial city of Faisalabad in the central Punjab. (Translation):
A Qadiani teacher discovered teaching Arabic in Girls Middle School 77 GB
There is deep conspiracy in appointment of this teacher to teach Arabic by the headmistress despite full knowledge
People demand transfer of the said teacher from teaching Arabic
Sidhar (correspondent): There is tension all over the area after discovery that a female Qadiani teacher has been teaching Arabic for the last two years in Govt Girls Middle School Chak 77 GB, Mullan Pur. The Education Department was not aware that the said teacher was a Qadiani, but for the headmistress to appoint her to teach Arabic, despite knowing her Qadiani identity, smacks of a deep conspiracy. She should be removed from teaching Arabic and given some other job.
As per details the said teacher got herself enrolled as an SESE Arabic teacher in 2010, and was appointed in Govt Girls Middle School Mullan Pur. The said teacher was teaching Arabic all along while the headmistress and the entire staff knew her to be a Qadiani.
Now subsequent to this discovery there is hostility amidst the people all over the area. People have demanded that the said teacher be removed forthwith, otherwise they will act on their own.
It will be appropriate to enumerate the upshot and ramification of this press report which is typical of numerous such stories that are regularly published by the Pakistani vernacular press:
- The correspondent has essentially taken objection to an Ahmadi teaching Arabic, as Arabic happens to be the language of the Quran. His position is as absurd as some Roman Catholic journalist in Italy objecting to a local Adventist teaching Greek. Also noteworthy is the extent to which unscrupulous elements bend the law to suit their wild prejudices. By no stretch of imagination, even the notorious Ordinance XX can be interpreted to imply that Ahmadis may not learn or teach Arabic.
- The press report shows that Ahmadi individuals are put under great pressure and are victimized through baseless media reports. This report, partly fabricated, conveys a false impression that there is great tension all over the area. It mentions that ‘people’ have demanded the removal of the said teacher. These ‘people’ in fact are no more than the correspondent himself and two or three of his accomplices who wish that she lose her job for her belief.
- What this press report mentions as news is in fact a suggestion to the people to make the reported demand. Also this vulgar report suggests to the people to take law in their own hand.
- One can imagine the concern and worry of the targeted lady-teacher whose posting, job, even personal security was threatened through the media.
- This report has not spared even the non-Ahmadi headmistress and staff who are amicably working as a team to educate local children. It accuses them of involvement in the ‘conspiracy’. This attitude of the correspondent is in line with the campaign orchestrated by top clerics that even those people, including authorities, who are friendly or not-hostile to Ahmadis, should be targeted and intimidated to join the anti-Ahmadi chorus.
- While a correspondent could be found wanting in journalistic ethics, one expects the editors and publishers of a major newspaper to scrutinize incoming reports for their fitness for print. This is lacking with not only the ‘Aman’, it is so with most other major Urdu dailies in Pakistan, where Ahmadis are concerned. Their correspondents are aware of the laissez-faire attitude of their superiors – some are perhaps encouraged to file such reports. In 2011 the daily Ausaf, Lahore, printed 218 anti-Ahmadiyya news, mostly fabricated. In the present report by the ‘Aman’ the statement of tension all over the area is a plain lie.
- This report is indicative of the situation faced by Ahmadis in Pakistan where the clerics, the media, the state and a part of the society have joined hands, through acts of commission or omission, to persecute Ahmadis beyond limits.
Religion-based hostility in schools
Green Town, Lahore; January, 2012: Mr. Mubashir Ahmad Nasir and his family encountered troublesome religious discrimination at school. His wife was a teacher in Iqbal Memorial High School, while his children were students there. When the staff came to know of their Ahmadiyyat, an agitation started in the school. The propaganda and hate drive was a torture to them. The school administration fired his wife from her job and expelled his children from the school. He then had his children admitted in a government school but the situation there was not much better. He had to shift his children to another private school. All this was traumatic for the family.
Sectarian prejudice in educational institutions
Hafizabad; October, 2012: Sectarian treatment was meted out to Ahmadi students in a private school here. Shiraz Ahmad S/O Mr. Basharat Ahmad Qamar went to school on October 12 wearing a T-shirt with a sticker of Shezan on it. The owner of this company is an Ahmadi family. At this a teacher Maulvi Barkat Ullah reprimanded him and told him that he was a Mirzai and Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed). “We should have dealt with Qadianis of Chak Chatha as we dealt with those of Mangat Uncha”, he added referring to a riot at the latter location. The next day he told Shiraz to stand up in the classroom and told him that he was a Qadiani, but it was not his fault, it was that of his parents.
Mr. Qamar talked to the principal of the school and complained about the behaviour of Maulvi Barkat Ullah.
Lahore; October, 2012: Miss Afshan Malik, Ahmadi is a student of F.Sc. Part II in Government Degree College for Women, Gulshane Ravi, Lahore. She participated in the Natiya (poems in the honour of the Holy Prophet PBUH) competition in the Punjab Youth Festival. The Chief Minister of the Punjab was also present at the event. He liked her recital of a Naat so much that he asked her to recite one more Naat while the result was being compiled. She did that and was acclaimed by the audience. These two Naats were produced by Ahmadi elders. She was awarded the first prize and a trophy.
After a few days when her rivals came to know of her religious denomination, they turned to mischief against her. She was harassed in the college. They tried to get a police case registered against her. The situation became very serious.
In the face of all this she had to discontinue her studies and the entire family had to shift elsewhere.
Lahore; March, 2012: Mr. Ilyas Ahmad Umair of Iqbal Town was a student of ACCA in the Acute Business College. The college administration called him and inquired from him whether he was an Ahmadi. Upon confirmation they returned his dues to him and strictly prohibited him from entering the college. This disturbed him greatly, but he was counseled to bear up with the discrimination and persecution courageously as he was not the first who had suffered.
Kot Abdul Malik, District Sheikhupura; September, 2012: The situation is getting tense for Ahmadis here for the last few months. A big madrassa is located here. Students of the madrassa speak venomously against the founder of the Ahmadiyya community, in the open. They instigate the public to implement a social boycott of Ahmadis. Ahmadi students are harassed in their schools; even teachers do not behave properly with their Ahmadi students. The children of Mr. Amjad Ali were beaten up in the school because of their faith. They were greatly harassed and became afraid of going to school again. Similarly a few non-Ahmadi youths harassed the nephew of Mr. Amjad Ali and abused him on September 24, 2012.
Translation: Boycott of Qadianis (Ahmadis) is a symbol of faith. (Toofani)
Inscription on a ballpoint pen distributed in Sargodha
Sargodha; September, 2012: Miss Hira Mubarak and Miss Zonera Mubarak, two Ahmadi sisters study in the University of Sargodha. Hira is doing her M.A. Education. A student of the same university came to the Education Department to meet his cousin, a classmate of Hira. He asked Hira if she was a Qadiani? “Qadianis are infidels, don’t have any relationship with my cousin”, he told her. He asked his cousin to boycott Ahmadis. Hira maintained her calm in the face of this provocation. The overall situation here for Ahmadi students in the hostel is a cause of concern. A few miscreants promote sectarianism at the campus. They distributed ball-point pens among the students, with the inscription “Boycott Qadianis” on them. Ahmadi students are under stress.
Problems for Ahmadis in the education sector
Roda, district Khushab; January 2012: Mr. Muhamad Yunus and Mr. Muhamad Azam own a school, Shad Academy in Roda, Khushab. This academy earned a good reputation in the area due to the dedication of its proprietors in providing good education. A group started opposing this enterprise. They took the anti-Ahmadiyya line to oppose it. A mulla Dilawar Muhajir was leading this campaign. They published a provocative pamphlet against this academy and distributed it in the area. They met the parents of the children and urged them to shift them to other schools. The mulla did not get the desired response, so he took to threats. They pasted the following at the Academy’s gate:
“Yunus Mirzai. Recant. We Deobandis have a lot of questions to which you Mirzais have no reply. You ought to be grateful to earn a living here. You’ll have to flee if you do not recant. You misguide our children. If they come to know that you are a confirmed Mirzai, they will desert you. Children, tell Yunus Mirzai to read this.”
Another incident happened in September 2012 when a student, Muhammad Saqib Rahman S/O Abdul Rahman did not do his homework, so he was reprimanded. Saqib told his father who telephoned Mr. Muhammad Yunus, the principal and abused him for disciplining his child. Abdul Rahman later met a mulla Dilawar and decided jointly to give the matter a religious colour. Abdul Rahman then filed an application with the District Police Officer against Shad Public School stating that, “My son was taught Qadianiat in the school; upon his refusal they subjected him to torture.”
On the advice of the mulla, his son Umar Farooq and Saqib’s father sent the following SMS to different mobile numbers:
“The extent of barbarity: Shad Academy’s principal and the Jamaat Ahmadiyya missionary Master Yunus tortured a student Muhammad Saqibur Rahman for refusing to accept Qadiani religion. The child is in a critical state.”
The DPO investigated the accusation himself and found it a fabrication of Saqib’s father and mulla Dilawar. The bigots had threatened to take out a procession on September 3, but relented when Mr. Yunus agreed to stop pursuing the case after an apology from Saqib’s father.
Hostility in vocational institute
Phalia, Mandi Bahauddin; February, 2012: Mr. Tahir Mahmood S/O Mr. Muhammad Akbar is a teacher in Vocational Institute Phalia for the last three years. He faced hostility at his work-place from day one and it increased by the day.
The principal of the institute is harsh with him, and insults him unduly, in the presence of the staff and students.
Mr. Mahmood applied for ten days leave for personal reasons. He wanted to help an Ahmadi who faced a fabricated charge under the anti-Ahmadiyya laws. The principal was reluctant to grant leave, instead an enquiry was received from the head-office about him. He urged him to resign to avoid a charge of fraud which would result in loss of his job and due financial benefits. He is now facing severe hostility at the institute. Anti-Ahmadiyya lectures were also organised by the principal. Some media persons came and took Mr. Mahmood’s photographs. Mr. Mahmood was greatly upset.
Hateful stickers provided to children
Jhang: For sometime the anti-Ahmadiyya extremists in district Jhang in the Punjab have increased their highly provocative and sectarian activities. There is apparently little that the authorities have done to stop them from this drive which is in violation of law and an obvious threat to law and order.
Mullas took out processions on February 5, 2012 to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet p.b.u.h. They deceitfully availed of that holy occasion to make hateful speeches against Ahmadis.
The so-called World Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Council issued stickers for school children and pasted these on text books and note-books on sale. These stickers are pasted below and contained the following messages:
- It is strictly forbidden in Sharia (Haram) to talk to or have any dealing with Qadianis.
- A complete boycott of Qadianis is the first sign of love for the Holy Prophet.
- If your teacher is a Qadiani, refuse learning from him.
Another incident in Sargodha
Sargodha; April 2012: Mr. Hasan Muhammad Tahir S/O Mr. Muhammad Tahir Butt is from Ahmad Nagar, Rabwah; he currently lives in Sargodha and is a student of the Para-medical College there. He is doing a course for ‘sanitary inspector’. He is the only Ahmadi in his institute. He is facing organized hostility at his college. He received threatening text messages on his mobile phone warning him not to come to the college.
A threatening note was dropped at his residence in Ahmad Nagar, Rabwah; it conveyed:
“If Hasan would come out of his home today or tomorrow, he will not be spared. He will not be safe if he goes to Sargodha again.”
Mr. Tahir was advised to take special precautionary measures for his safety.
Discrimination against Ahmadi student
Premkot; district Hafizabad; April 2012: Mr. Muhammad Abdullah, an Ahmadi student, is a candidate for the matriculation examination. He was told to appear in Ethics instead of Islamiat on religious grounds. This was entered in his roll number slip which was issued to him by the relevant educational board for appearance in the examination. His father had to approach the relevant office to make the required correction.
Harassment in Chak Chatha, District Hafizabad, Punjab
Chak Chatha; November, 2012: Continuous provocation of the mullas against Ahmadis has affected the daily lives of Ahmadis here. An Ahmadi student, Sabih Ahmad S/O Dr. Shafiqur Rahman was beaten up by his class fellows in the school. They gave him some papers on which abuses were written. The next day he was again beaten up and abused. Later some unidentified men tried to take him away by luring him with offer of an ice cream, but failed due to the timely arrival of an Ahmadi at the scene. The lock of his father’s clinic was also broken the same night.
Ahmadis are under great stress in Chak Chatha.
A fabricated criminal case against college female lecturers
Lahore; May 31, 2012: The police registered a case under anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C and the religious law PPC 295-A at P.S. Civil Lines, Lahore against two Ahmadi lecturers of the state-owned Post Graduate College of Nursing on May 31, 2012. If convicted under PPC 295-A, the two ladies could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
Extremist elements had this case registered with the help of student who was reprimanded by Ahmadi lecturer for missing classes and coming late. The IJT, some outsider mullas and a few bigots on the staff pushed the false accusation and a judge joined in with the final push in ordering the police to register the FIR. Details are available in chapter 5 of Annual Report 2012.
Education and religious discrimination in Pakistan
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom published a comprehensive report in November 2011. Its title is; “Connecting the Dots: Education and Religious Discrimination in Pakistan – A study of Public Schools and Madrassas”. This study was carried out jointly by International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD, a U.S. activity) and Sustainable Policy Institute (SDPI, a Pakistani think tank). The ICRD claimed to have involved over 2700 madrassa leaders from more than 1600 madrassas in Pakistan.
Some extracts fit for record, are produced here:
- Interviews with public school and madrassa teachers demonstrated that they had limited awareness or understanding of religious minorities and their beliefs, and were divided on whether a religious minority was a citizen. Views expressed by teachers about Ahmadis, Christians, and Jews often were very negative. Page no. 11
- However, the attitudes toward religious minorities are decidedly mixed, with clear demonstrations of tolerance, understanding and acceptance in both public schools and religious schools (madrassas) on the one hand and equally clear expression of bigotry, ignorance, and hostility in both on the other. Page no. 14
- Hindus are often singled out for particular criticism in texts and in interview responses, together with Ahmadis. Page no 15
- Many (public school teachers) described Ahmadis as non-Muslims and expressed a particular distaste for them. Page no. 16
- A large portion of public school students could not correctly identify religious minorities as citizens. Page no. 17
- General Zial-ul-Haq’s regime infused the education system with rigid Islamic content.
Page no. 21
- Students are encountering problems because of their minority status and faith. Page no. 23
- Moreover, the Ahmadis – officially declared a minority – refuse to be categorized as non-Muslims. Page no. 24
- There is compelling evidence that the non-Muslim law, created for Ahmadis, is being used to discriminate against other minorities in Pakistan. Page no. 25
- Religious minorities are often portrayed as inferior or second-class citizens. Page no. 42
- The majority of pejorative content came in the form of omissions and distortion of history. Page no. 47
- Non-Muslims are never described as citizens (in madrassa text-books) with constitutionally protected rights which accompany citizenship. Page no. 51
- Adherents to the Ahmadi practice were widely seen in a pejorative and discriminatory light, and often considered non-Muslims. Page no. 57
- Criticism seemed to be focused on Ahmadis, Hindus, and Jews. Page no. 58
- Teachers thought that Ahmadis deny the finality of prophet-hood and held them in general contempt. Page no. 59
- There were also instances of negative views towards the Ahmadi sect that were seemingly influenced by the discriminatory constitutional prohibitions. Page no. 59
- “Ahmadis are the result of a grim conspiracy of Christians and Jews, and they are just like them; they have turned away from their religion [Islam] and are liable to be killed.” – Madrassa Teacher (Balochistan) Page no. 69
- Hindus and Ahmadis, as well as Shias, were the targets of a great deal of scorn and hostility. Page no. 78
- Students in general had very negative images of Ahmadis. Page no. 81
- Students (madrassa) expressed hostility towards Hindus and Ahmadis and held derogatory views regarding their beliefs. Page no. 69
- “If there is an Islamic government it will give the death penalty to Ahmadis” – Madrassa student. Page no. 107
Leonard A. Leo, the USCIRF Chair noted in the Preface to this study: “Views expressed by teachers about Ahmadis, Christians, and Jews often were very negative. Interviews showed that these biased sentiments were transmitted and held by the students.”
Plight of an Ahmadi headmistress
Badomalhi, Narowal; November 2011: Mullas are very active against Ahmadis in Badomalhi, Narowal. They spare no opportunity to harass Ahmadis. People are instigated against the Ahmadiyya community through Friday sermons and leaflets. Education sector has also been affected by this drive.
Ms. Bushra Latif the headmistress of Government High School is an Ahmadi. She is the only science lady teacher of repute in Badomalhi. She is a noble, sober, intelligent teacher, and a devoted Ahmadi. She was targeted by mullas. Two hoodlums forced entry to her house on November 1, 2011. They harassed her and her two daughters at gunpoint for half an hour and looted some gold jewellery and cash. Previously in 2004 there was a robbery at her house, and in 2008 some unknown persons indulged in firing shots in the air outside her husband’s shop.
Ahmadiyya community is facing discrimination on the bases of religion in various spheres of life in Pakistan since the promulgation of anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX of 1984. There is perhaps no sphere in which Ahmadis are not targeted and their rights are denied. This is blatantly so in the field of education. Ahmadi students, both male and female, face prejudice and harassment in educational institutions.
In the recent past, official Boards of Education in the Punjab introduced the system of ‘On-line’ registration of students for examination; this exposed Ahmadi students to harassment for their faith. Earlier, students had the freedom to state their own religion on their forms, but the new format restricts them to only two options, Muslim or Non-Muslim. As such this way, Ahmadi students are compelled to call themselves non-Muslim, which is against their belief.
It is the first time that a student’s religion is mentioned on his Roll Number slip. Writing Non-Muslim on an Ahmadi’s Roll Number slip causes him mental hurt. This is what the mulla wants, and the authorities oblige him by doing his wish.
Although Ahmadi students and teachers face frequent incidents of discrimination and harassment, it is not possible to mention them all here. A few sample cases are briefly mentioned below, the first is in some essential detail.
Plight of Ahmadi educationist couple
They could have been an asset to the education sector in Pakistan
The following story shows how Pakistani society has harmed itself in the early 21st century. Its Islamist clergy, administration, police, polity in general have all played their part in landing the society in a quagmire.
Mr Azhar Ahmad is a youthful Ahmadi in his early 30s. He has an MBA in ‘Marketing’. He resided in Qutb Pur, Tehsil Dunyapur, Lodhran, a district located in the southern Punjab. He is married to Ms. Sarwat Mubbashir who has master’s degree in Zoology. They were married in December 2008. They now have two sons, Muddassar Ahmad Chaudhary aged 18 months and his new-born sibling Masroor Ahmad Chaudhary. As the couple are motivated to spread education in society through commitment, hard work and honest living, they decided to set up an educational institution in their town that would serve the people.
They established New Millat College of Commerce and Sciences, Dunyapur in April 2009. It was started in a 7-room building. The inauguration ceremony was held the next month to which they invited the elite of the district. It was a great success.
The couple’s hard work and good management delivered excellent results the very first year. A majority of the students were, of course, non-Ahmadi. The two top scorers stood first and third in the entire district. All the students, male and female, passed; they all obtained ‘first division’ marks – an amazing feat. The college claimed to provide a decent building, qualified teachers, friendly environment, a modern lab, at moderate cost.
All the above was not to the liking of their competitors. They started a hostile propaganda campaign against the New Millat College. As they could find no other valid reason, they picked up the weapon of religion to harass the couple. In this they enlisted the willing support of Khatme Nabuwwat clerics.
As the College of Commerce and Sciences had proved a great success, the couple planned to hold classes for women for F.Sc; B. Com; B. Ed. and M. Ed degrees. They took a loan and started construction. The new building comprised 19 rooms. Students joined the New Millat Girls College, and the classes began.
In response, the Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat printed hostile posters and put them up all over the town. The posters called for a general boycott of Qadianis, and of the New Millat College in particular. They urged “the Muslims of Dunyapur to boycott these (Qadianis’) institutions as evidence of their love for the Sovereign of the Two Worlds (PBUH), save the children becoming Qadianis and thus deserve the intercession of the Prophet.”
This campaign was intense and effective. Consequently, none of the town’s notables sent a message of congratulations to the couple over the brilliant results shown by the college after the first year of operation, even though the beneficiaries were primarily their children. The reaction displayed jealousy and prejudice. The mullas were furious. They took to holding open-air meetings and processions. The so-called elite sought peace in accepting intimidation. Mr Ahmad reported the unjustified agitation to the police. They did not respond.
The lack of administration and police support to the targeted family encouraged the mullas to become more rabid. They put up hateful banners in the town and distributed hate literature. They even visited door to door to dissuade parents from sending their children to colleges run by ‘Qadianis’. Delegations of mullas met the teachers and told them to stop teaching at the ‘New Millat College’. They even contacted the students, and indoctrinated them in hate and extremism.
The mullas used invective and slander in their speeches. They openly declared Ahmadis to be Wajib ul Qatl (must be killed). “They have no right to build here educational institutions; they are not allowed even to build a mosque. They should be thrown out of Dunyapur. Their colleges should be shut down”, mullas insisted. The bureaucracy found it convenient to support the mulla. The District Education Officer, Lodhran refused to register the college, so the students of New Millat had to obtain their examination registration through another college.
The Khatme Nabuwwat mullas, supported by the competitors of the New Millat colleges, had spoiled the communal and social peace sufficiently to urge the administration to take notice – of course, on the lines suggested by the clerics.
A committee was formed and its meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Deputy District Officer Revenue. It was also attended by a DSP, the police rep, a number of mullas, Ms Qudsia Saleem, the principal of the ‘New Millat’.
A reading of the ‘minutes of meeting’ shows that the chair and the DSP initially said a few decent words in support of peace and harmony, but then followed the agenda of the obscurantist mullas. The minutes convey that three of the participants stated that Qadianis were Kafir (infidels) and Wajib ul Qatl (must be killed). Also Qari Asghar demanded that if ‘these people’ want to run a school they should indicate boldly on the school board that it belongs to Qadianis. Maulana Akram said that this was a Qadiani conspiracy whereby they wanted to preach Qadianism in the town; they are in minority, they should build a school where they are in majority. Ms Qudsia Saleem said that the schools’ opponents were raising non-issues and they were only interested in making the New Millat enterprise a failure. The DSP (police) then came up with, “I have been told by the District Police Officer that the issue can only be solved with the help of the people. So I suggest, a Committee should be formed, whose decision should be implemented.”
As planned, a so-called Peace Committee was formed whose members were rabid ulama 1. Mufti Asghar Ali, 2. Maulana Saeedi, 3. Maulana Hafiz ur Rahman, 4. Qari Akram and 5. Kanwar Khalil. Also included as ‘v/s’ (whatever this means) were two Ahmadis Ms Qudsia Saleem and Mr Azhar Chaudhry.
It was a strange committee whose recommendations were to be binding on the administration. It comprised none else but the opposing parties themselves; one group of five mullas and the other group of two targeted Ahmadis. How on earth could such a ‘committee’ come up with a fair and reasonable solution? The mediocrity and apathetic nature of the district level bureaucracy in Lodhran is noteworthy here. These ‘Minutes of the meeting’ were sent to the DCO, DPO, etc. As the ‘Committee’ proceeded to act as proposed, it is reasonable to assume that the high level district administration approved the ‘Minutes’.
The Peace Committee’s recommendations surprised no one. These five mullas wrote down their findings as that of the ‘Five-member Peace Committee’, as if assuming and endorsing that the two Ahmadis were not a part of the committee. The committee stated their unanimous decision that (extracts), “Qadianis/Mirzais should not be allowed to build any school or college in Dunyapur. …The present New Millat College, is an institution run by Qadianis, it should be closed down immediately so that there is not the slightest change in the beliefs and thinking of the Muslim students, and the peace of Dunyapur remains undisturbed. Thereafter, if the administration does not act to close down the school and the college, it will be held responsible for the (breakdown in) law and order. From the Five-member Aman Committee Dunyapur.”
It is obvious that the entire procedure of holding a meeting followed by this ‘Peace Committee’ and all its relevant formalities were pre-planned to obtain a warning from the mullas to the authorities to facilitate their action of closing down the New Millat institutions, as desired by the religious fanatics. Lodhran is a district in the south Punjab. This region has been mentioned in dispatches repeatedly in recent years, all over the world – not incorrectly and not without reason.
Thereafter the situation worsened rapidly for Mr Azhar Ahmad and his wife Ms Sarwat Mubashir. The mullas visited them and told them to convert to ‘Islam’ or face the consequences.
The couple were left with no option but to give up their enterprise. They held a meeting with the colleges’ staff and decided to transfer the institution to one of the staff members. This was at great financial loss to the couple. Within days the couple shifted to another city where they are, for the time being, more at peace, but without their cherished goal of providing first-rate education to the youth of Pakistan.
The staff member who purchased the property at cut-rate price, later refused to pay them the outstanding amount.
Although, the couple left Dunyapur in March 2011, this did not help peace in that town, as peace was not the aim of mullas. Months later, the communal situation turned more grave than ever. Mullas visited Ahmadi businessmen and threatened them with harm to life and property. They continue to make provocative speeches using sound amplifiers and post anti-Ahmadiyya stickers urging the people to hate Ahmadis and implement a complete social boycott of them. Such fascist tactics are being used to marginalize a small community.
A fabricated criminal case against college female lecturers
Lahore; May 31, 2012: The police registered a case under anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C and the religious law PPC 295-A at P.S. Civil Lines, Lahore against two Ahmadi lecturers of the Post Graduate College of Nursing on May 31, 2012. If convicted under PPC 295-A, the two ladies could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
The accused, Ms. Tasnim Kausar is working at this college for the last 15 years. Ms. Rubina Jabeen is also a lecturer at the same college; she joined the Ahmadiyya community in 2003.
For some time the extremist and sectarian elements of the college, which include some members of the staff and a few clerks, were on the lookout to have the two Ahmadi lecturers implicated in some case under religious laws. They succeeded this time with the help of a student Sumera Naz.
Recently Ms. Jabeen reprimanded one of her students for missing classes and coming late. The boys from another class, who are under the influence of the Tablighee Jama’at, decided to support the girl and rise in protest. They also took to abuse and slander against the teacher and the Ahmadiyya Jama‘at. The principal, rather than controlling the unjustified protest, decided to support the students. Mullas, who are always on the lookout for such an opportunity, came over to the college in dozens in the form of a procession carrying banners. They were, in fact, encouraged to come. They indulged in badmouthing against the two lecturers; it will not be decent to repeat their words here. Half-truth reports of these developments were published in some vernacular newspapers. The lady lecturers were threatened with physical harm.
To top it all, it was a judge, Mr. Javed Iqbal Sheikh who ordered the police to register a case. In the FIR, the complainant accused the teacher of proselytizing and asserting that Ahmadiyyat was a superior religion to Islam. Rubbish, of course; Ahmadis do not consider Ahmadiyyat a separate religion.
AHRC report on Ahmadi students’ rustication
Anti-Ahmadiyya agitation remained intense in Dharanwali, District Hafizabad for months. It affected the religious and social peace of the community. The Asian Human Rights Commission posted the following report on its website on October 7, 2011.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2011
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
PAKISTAN: The principals of the schools obey the instructions of Mullahs to rusticate the Ahmadi students
In the far-flung areas of Pakistan, students from the Ahmadi community have to face such practices by local religious groups, influential in the schools, which force Ahmadi students to hide their identity or to migrate to urban centers where Ahmadis face fewer persecutions. The Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), under the guidance of extremist religious leaders, has been allegedly assigned the task to “clean” the educational institutions, including universities and professional colleges in particular, of Ahmadi students. The staff of the educational institutions is being forced to provide details of the students.
The AHRC has recently received information that on September 22, a public meeting was held in Dharanwali, a settlement near Hafizabad, Punjab, which was addressed by mischief monger Mullahs whipping up hatred against Ahmadis. Using heart-piercing slanderous filthy language against the followers of Ahmadis and its leadership, they announce that they will never allow the burial of any Ahmadiyy Muslim in their cemetery and they will never let any Ahmadi child study in their schools.
Quickly after the inflaming provocation, ten Ahmadi students and a teacher were expelled from the local schools of Faisalabad district (sic), Punjab.
The following students were rusticated from two different schools of being Ahmedis;
- Shajar Ahmad – son of Amjad Zaid Ahmad, student Class 9,
- Faraaz Ahmad – son of ijaz Ahmad, student Class 12,
- Shabih Nasr – daughter of Nasr Ahmad, student Class 10,
- Tanseelah Khalil – daughter of Khalil Ahmad, studying for B.A Degree,
- Tanzeela Khalil – daughter of Khalil Ahmad, student Class 12,
- Nabeela Kahilil – daughter of Khalil Ahmad, student, Class 12,
- Iqbal Ahmad – son of Munir Ahmad, student, Class 6,
- Sadia Munir – daughter of Munir Ahmad, student Class 10
- Maham Jameel – daughter of Jameel Ahmad, student Grade 1,
- Manahil Jameel – daughter of Jameel Ahmad, student prep class.
They were all expelled from Chenab Public school (Principal Muhammad Yasser Arafat), and Muslim Public school, Dharanwali (Principal Yasser Abbas).
Moreover, an Ahmadiyya teacher Rafiya tul Bari, daughter of Amjad Zaid Ahmad, teaching in Chenab Public school, Dharanwali, was also expelled for being an Ahmadiyya Muslim.
This alarming situation for the fundamental right to education of Ahmadiyy Muslims in Pakistan continues to accelerate and the international community must take resolute action to pursue the Government of Pakistan to honour its commitments to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the Harare Declaration to which Pakistan is a signatory.
It is observed that in the recent days a strong wave against the different sects has swept through Punjab province which has provided shelters to the banned Islamic militant groups who are openly organising their public meetings and collecting funds on the streets. The banned religious groups gathered so much power through the ministers of provincial governments that they are now out of control. The rule of law which protects the religious freedom is under the total control of the Mullahs, the religious bigot, in the Punjab government.
The AHRC urges the government of Pakistan to repeal all the laws and ordinances denying Ahmadis their civic and fundamental rights and propping up the Mullahs and extremist groups to continue the murders of Ahmadis and the destruction of their means to livelihood.
The daily Mashriq reported the same story in its issue of October 10, 2011. It reported also that a teacher singled out an Ahmadi student in refusal to coach her in ‘tuition’ on payment. This resulted in her failure to pass the exam. The same daily remarked in an op-ed on October 11, 2011 the following:
“Officials of the Education Department should ponder that they have some responsibilities over and above those concerning the expulsion of Ahmadi students; they should not only be mindful of physical security of the students and teachers, they should ensure that the syllabi do not include texts that negate tolerance, forbearance and fraternal sentiments. Only that way we can send a signal to the Taliban and their off-springs that Pakistan is serious about education of its youth and will not bow to any pressure to submit to the will of obscurantists.” (translation)
Ms. Ayesha Rashid, an Ahmadi has circulated a comment on internet, with the title: Shadows of Endless Nights. (Annex V to Annual Report 2011) It sums up well the situation faced by Ahmadi students and teachers in Pakistan.
Miss Hina Akram’s ordeal continues
Faisalabad: Miss Hina Akram of National Textile University, Faisalabad was maltreated by her teachers last year to the extent that she had to stop going to classes. Recalling the incident very briefly, the young lady was in very good books of her teacher, Mr Rao Rashid, till he came to know that she was an Ahmadi. He urged her to convert, offered her board and lodging with a ‘Muslim’ girl, and advised her to mind her life in the Hereafter. Subsequent to her refusal, he warned her of dire consequences and proceeded to make her stay in the university most difficult. She approached the Vice Chancellor for redress but he did nothing except convey his difficulties. Three months later, we received a follow-up report; it is given below.
As Hina could no longer continue her studies in the Faisalabad University she attempted transfer to other locations. She went first to the UMT Lahore. There the teachers told her that they already knew about her problem in the NTU Faisalabad. “Go back to Faisalabad, recant and you will have no problem there,” they told her.
Thereafter, she approached Hajveri University. They agreed to admit her and told her to revisit on December 1, 2010. However, on December 1, they came up with plain refusal. Then she tried Multan, but she came to know that all those people were linked to one another and provided mutual support and information. There is a fraternity of seniors and juniors who co-operate on this basis. Hina apparently has come to a dead end in her higher education.
Expulsions from schools for being Ahmadi
Despite having suffered severely at the hand of extremist elements, the Pakistani state and society continue to lean more than ever before on these people, and do their bidding. The new trend is to expel Ahmadi students from the state and private schools.
In August 2011, following seven Ahmadi girls and boys were expelled from various schools in Pachnand, District Chakwal:
|Government High School|
|Government High School|
|Alyusuf Memorial School|
|Alyusuf Memorial School|
|Government High School|
|Alyusuf Memorial School|
|Govt: Girls School|
A teen-age student exposed to the tyranny of the blasphemy law
Khushab: Rana Sajeel Ahmad, a 16-year old Ahmadi student of Pubic High School Khushab was beaten up severely by a gang of students on November 23, 2011. This led to a dispute that resulted in the dreaded charge of blasphemy against him.
Subsequent to the beating, the attackers accused Ahmad of preaching his creed and defiling the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). The school administration found it convenient to accept the fabrication. The next day, Rana Hakim Jamil, father of the victim, met the school principal, but he expelled Ahmad from the school accusing him of blasphemy.
Four days after the attack, two applications were delivered to the police station. The first one was from Waqas Ahmad, an activist of the Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat who had obtained signatures of 12 students over a fabricated statement of the victim, “Your prophet is false; my prophet is true.” The applicant demanded that a criminal case be registered against Rana Sajeel Ahmad under PPC 295-C, the blasphemy law. It is relevant to mention here that according to most of these mullas it is perfectly acceptable, even desirable, to support the cause of religion through falsehood.
The second application was moved by Qari Saeed, the divisional chief of Majlis Khatme Nabuwwat. He accused therein that Rana Hakim Jamil had declared the religion of his son as Islam on the Entrance Form of the school. He demands that the father be prosecuted under PPC 298-C, the anti-Ahmadiyya law.
In fact, the Form was not signed by the father, it bears the signature of Rana Danial who is a brother of Rana Sajeel Ahmad. At the time of admission, Danial was told to sign on the dotted line; “the rest of the columns would be filled by the school administration”, he was assured. This is not unusual in Pakistan for procedures which are considered a mere formality.
The next day the DPO was requested to intervene. He heard the plea of the accused but said, “The case will be registered under PPC 295-C and 298-C immediately on availability of the evidence.” He told Ahmad that “these crazy people” would kill him.
After making written complaints to the police the mullas turned to their ‘standard operating procedure’. They held rallies in which they declared that if the police did not register the blasphemy case, they would take out processions and rallies. They declared that the two accused were Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be put to death). They issued a resolution (translation): “If the police do not register a blasphemy case against Rana Sajeel and Rana Hakim Jamil, they will be responsible for all that would happen to both. We are prepared to go to any length to protect the honour of the Prophet.” The mullas sent their emissaries, armed with this resolution, to other towns in the district.
As a result of these activities, and the police failure to handle the mullas firmly, the law and order situation in the town became delicate. The two accused felt that their lives were under threat, so they went into hiding. The police decided to placate the miscreants further.
The DPO sent for both the parties. Ahmadiyya delegation met the DPO on December 12, 2011, but did not present the accused for fear of their safety. Their opponents arrived in a huge crowd and presented their false witnesses well-briefed. The DPO was more concerned with maintaining calm than with dispensation of justice. He ordered that Mr. Asfand Yar be booked under 16 MPO, and that Sajeel be presented. The police arrested Asfand Yar who was not even accused by the mullas, to compel the family to deliver the two accused, who decided to avoid exposure to the lynch mob.
A few days later, the police booked Rana Sajeel Ahmad under PPC 295-C the blasphemy clause and his father Rana Hakim Jamil under PPC 298-C the anti-Ahmadiyya clause. Asfand Yar remains detained by the police who say that he will be released if Sajeel is presented. That is the Pakistani way: arrest an innocent member of the family to force them to deliver the accused, even if the charges are entirely false. The Express Tribune of December 15, 2011 reported the event at length under the headlines: Blasphemy charges: Out of fear, Ahmadi family on the run. Blasphemy allegations continue to haunt minorities in Pakistan.
There is reason to believe that the DPO knows that the blasphemy accusation against Sajeel is false, as no Ahmadi would ever say that Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) was a false prophet, but to avoid unrest and protect his career, he, like most others, opted to pass the case to the courts to decide. The much-trumpeted procedure, under rule section 156-A requiring a Superintendent of Police to investigate the accusation prior to charging an accused failed once again. It would fail almost every time, the unworthy drafters of this Rule designed it that way.
An Ahmadi student’s hard time in Bahawalpur University
Bahawalpur; November 24, 2011: Mr. Abdul Moeed is a student of computer engineering in Bahawalpur University. He was beaten up recently in the university. Essential details follow.
Anjuman Talabah Islam (ATI), an Islamist students’ organization recently appointed a Nazim (organizer) in his class. He contacted Moeed and asked him time to sit down and talk with him. Moeed asked him the agenda, and the Nazim replied that it was his proselytizing in the hostel. The meeting did not materialize.
A few days later, on November 14, two students met Moeed and were harsh with him. It resulted in a scuffle in which both parties were roughed up. Mr. Moeed’s right shoulder got dislocated. He was taken to a hospital, x-rayed and discharged after first-aid.
On release from the hospital Moeed went to nearby Multan to recover at his aunt’s home. He missed his exam scheduled for November 17.
His recovery is satisfactory, but his return to the University is problematic.
Harassment of an Ahmadi student
Lahore; November 22, 2011: Miss Rabia is a student in the Comsat College in Lahore. She saw a hurtful anti-Ahmadiyya poster in the premises, and tore it up. The anti-Ahmadi opponents got flared up and stirred up trouble. The college administration took her in custody. The crowd demanded that she should be handed over to them; the administration resisted that demand.
Later at night Miss Rabia and two other Ahmadi girls were taken away from the hostel by their relatives to save them from the unrest. The next day, the community advised all Ahmadi girls of the Comsat College to miss the college.
The opponents insisted that a criminal case should be registered against Miss Rabia.
Ordeal of another public school owner
Bahawalpur; January 24, 2011: Mullas became active in Chak No. 9/BC fomenting agitation against Ahmadis. They undertook a campaign against a private school run by an Ahmadi, Mr. Muzaffar Ahmad.
They issued a poster calling for a rally against the ‘Qadiani’ Muzaffar Public School, Chak No. 9/BC Baghdad, Bahawalpur.
This rally commenced successfully as scheduled. Several hundred attended the rally. The participants urged the authorities to take immediate action to close down the school and punish those responsible for alleged blasphemy. They gave an 8-day dead-line to the authorities and threatened them with consequences if their demands were not met. This rally was led by the local Amir of Khatme Nabuwwat Mulla Ishaq Saqi, Mulla Riaz Chughtai, Rao Javed Iqbal, Mufti Iftikhar etc. Students from various schools and colleges also participated in the rally. Protesters were holding anti-Ahmadiyya banners and placards in admiration of Mumtaz Qadri, Governor Taseer’s murderer. This story was published by the vernacular press, specially by the daily Khabrain, Multan; January 25, 2011.
Ordeal of an Ahmadi college principal
Lahore; April 2011: Mr. Nafeer A. Malik is serving as principal at the Quadi-e-Azam Law College, Lahore. Students wrote a letter to the director of the college demanding the removal of Mr. Malik for reciting the Kalima as an Ahmadi. Extracts from their letter are translated below:
“… During the lecture the principal recited the Kalima and said that had he been the judge and his own brother had committed the murder, he would have given him capital punishment. We were surprised to hear the principal recite the Kalima as he is a (Qadiani/Mirzai) non-Muslim.
“This injured our religious feelings that he recited the Kalima as a Qadiani and tried to deceive us. …
“We are jointly writing this letter under oath. Take this matter seriously and relieve him from his duties. If you do not dismiss him within a few days, we would be compelled to protest and take legal action in cooperation with all religious and political parties and bar councils. We would have our complaint registered against the principal, under PPC 298-C (copy attached) and have him punished by the court. This will affect the reputation of your colleges. …”
An Ahmadi educator faces anger from extremist colleagues
Chak 736/GB, District Toba Tek Singh: We translate below a self-explanatory application sent by Mr. Zafar Iqbal, Ahmadi, a district teacher educator (DTE) to his departmental superiors.
To: Programme Director, DSP Lahore
Subject: Application regarding amendment to question papers and prevention of incitement to violence
I state respectfully that I am a DTE at Government High School of 736/GB, in your department. For April Assessment, held in May, DTSC question papers were received by E-mail, for the English Medium (students). I took out the prints, and while I entered Urdu translation on the sheets for science and mathematics question papers, I made no alteration to the question papers on Islamiat, Social Science and Urdu. These question papers had no epithets like Hazrat, Sallalaho Alahe wa Sallam and Raziallah Ta‘la Anho for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions r.a. I give details on the back of this sheet.
Some PSTS teachers started exploiting this issue, and they are creating tension in CTSC through religious hate propaganda. They have prepared a joint application, in which they have accused me of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (PBUH), his companions (r.a.) and his family (r.a.). They are obtaining teachers’ signatures on that (I enclose a photocopy). These charges are baseless, as I had the original question papers photocopied without making any addition or alteration.
I am greatly upset. Any provoked man can attack me and do harm to my person or property. I have received threats that I shall be denied entry to the schools during visits.
The leaders of this unrest and agitation are Mr. Muhammad Sajid PST of GHS 732/GB, Mr. Muhammad Shafi PST of GHS 732/GB, Mr. Muhammad Salis PST of GHS 738/GB, Mr. Muhammad Charagh PST of GHS 731/GB, Mr. Muhammad Iqbal PST of GHS 731/GB, Mr. Naseer Ahmad PST of GHS 731/GB.
It is very relevant that ‘Assessments’ have been completed in other Circles in identical circumstances of no change to the original question papers. I hope you will attend to this issue on Urgent basis. I shall be grateful.
Zafar Iqbal DTE, Govt High School 736 GB Tehsil Kumalia, District Toba Tek Singh.
Copy for info and action. DCO, EDO (Edu), DEO (Elementary) DMO, District Training and Support Kamaliya.
This case shows the freedom, lack of accountability and absence of concern enjoyed by extremists in their public and professional conduct in the Punjab.
Hostility in schools
Sukheki, district Hafizabad; December 2011: Mr. Qamar Ullah Shaheen is the president of local Ahmadiyya community. He has two daughters who study in the local Girls Higher Secondary School. Miss Naima Ambar is a student of the senior class. One day her teacher spoke against Ahmadis in the classroom. She urged the students to boycott Shezan products as Ahmadis are their owners and alleged that they used their income against Muslims. Mr. Shaheen’s younger daughter Miss Ramia Ambar also faces hostility at the school. Her fellow students harass her and use bad words against the founder of the Ahmadiyya community. One of them suggested her to recant and take an oath of allegiance on her hand.
An Ahmadi student denied admission
Gujranwala; December 2011: Mr. Shahzem Sohail Ahmad applied for admission in Punjab Medical colleges. He passed the entry test and qualified for admission from Gujranwala Medical College on merit on December 18, 2011. He received call from University of Health Sciences on December 25, 2011. He went there with educational certificates. The staff there declared the issued marks-sheet bogus, although it had been issued by them, and cancelled his admission. The university administration tampered grossly with his obtained marks and made them 635 instead of 935. The vice-chancellor and the controller of examination threatened Mr. Ahmad of grave consequences and told him to admit that his marks-sheet was fake and bogus. He refused to yield to their pressure. His admission was cancelled despite qualifying for it on merit.
Mr. Ahmad, in consultation with his father, has decided to approach the Lahore High Court to obtain justice.
Hate campaign in educational institutions
Islamabad: G-10 and G-11 are the sectors of Islamabad where mostly flats and students’ hostels are located. Members of Tablighi Jamaat instigate the youth against Ahmadis after prayers in the mosques there. After the incident of the murder of Governor Taseer, some youth of Sector E-9 in Islamabad were reported to have said that they would like to kill Ahmadis. This is the sector where officials of security agencies reside.
A debate took place in Bahria University on the subject of death sentence to Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Governor Taseer. Students, male and female, of post-graduate level took part in it. It is a pity that very few students spoke in favour of the judicial decree, while majority of them spoke in defence of Mumtaz Qadri. Many of them expressed their conviction that they would have themselves killed such a ‘blasphemer’.
Kotli, AJK; October 2011: Prof. Mahmood Ahmad is the district president of the Ahmadiyya community in Kotli, AJK. He teaches in the post-graduate college in Kotli. He noticed anti-Ahmadiyya inscription on the classroom board, rostrum and found a few pieces of papers with inscription like “Qadiani Infidels (Kafir)”, etc. He ignored these hate messages, held the class and left the classroom. Mr. Tasawwar Ahmad, his son attends the same class. His class-mates harassed him and called him an infidel. Later they beat him in the classroom on October 3, 2011. He received many injuries.
Talim-ul-Islam College, Rabwah
Rabwah: It would be recalled that this college, built, established and developed very successfully in Rabwah by the Ahmadiyya community, was nationalized decades ago by the government of Mr. Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto. With the passage of time and official neglect the college building has become dilapidated and has been declared ‘dangerous’. Now the authorities have sanctioned some money for its renovation. Referring to this, Mr. Aamir Mahmud of Rabwah wrote a letter to the editor of the monthly Nia Zamana. The closing para of this letter published in the issue of June 2011 is translated below:
“In short, the government, under the pressure of mullas, has not handed back the educational institutions to the Jamaat Ahmadiyya, while Parsis and Christians have received back theirs. While the government knows that its occupation of this college and its land is improper and this property belongs to Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, why is it spending big money on its renovation? Would it not be better that the government of Punjab spends this money elsewhere to build a new college and hand over this college back to its rightful owners?”
An Ahmadi educator under threat
Township, Lahore; July, 2011: Syed Farrukh Ahmad is an Ahmadi educator in Township, Lahore. He has been harassed by mullas for the last two years. The bigots of the Pasban Khatme Nabuwwat wing are on his trail. “Your case has reached a high level. A plan is ready to take care of you. Pamphlets will be distributed to every student and in every home against you and your school after the summer vacations”, a mulla told him. Mullas are known to have discussed his case in a meeting.
Mr. Ahmad was very upset in the face of all this.
Harassment of a school teacher
Chak no. 55 GB, Jaranwala; September, 2011: Ms. Naheed Akhtar is serving as a PTC school teacher in Government High School in her village. There are anti-Ahmadiyya elements in this village among Ahle-Sunnat, Ahle-Hadith, Jamaat Islami and Tablighi Jamaat. Members of the Tablighi Jamaat are especially active against her. Anti-Ahmadiyya posters and stickers are pasted on walls in the village. A disfigured photo of the founder of the Ahmadiyya community is also pasted at a prominent location. The miscreant has displayed his phone number on it.
In response to baseless complaints against Ms. Akhtar, an investigation team comprising the police staff from Faisalabad and Jaranwala came over to the school and made enquiries about Ms. Akhtar. They asked students and other staff members whether she teaches them about the advent of any new prophet. They claimed to have been sent by the DCO Faisalabad. They did not disclose the name of the complainant(s).
Ms. Akhtar feels this is a threat to her job and career.
Sorry state of a nationalized Ahmadiyya girls school
Sialkot: The daily Khabrain, Lahore of January 21, 2011 published a report. Its translation is given below:
“Dilapidated state of the Government Ahmadiyya Girls School. No furniture either. Hundreds of girl-students are made to sit on the ground in class rooms. Walls develop cracks.
“Sialkot (Bureau Report): Hundreds of girl students have no option but to sit on the floor of class rooms in the dilapidated building of their school that was built a century ago. Govt Ahmadiyya Girls School, Buddhi Bazaar was built a hundred years ago during the Raj in 1910. No repairs or maintenance to it has been undertaken subsequently. As such, the school is in extremely precarious state. Its roofs leak during rains. Walls have developed cracks. Doors and windows are crumbling. And there is no furniture in the school for its 750 students.
According to Ms Faiza Mir, the school headmistress, the students of this crumbling school are very intelligent; the school results are 100 percent every year. Mr. Kashif Niaz Butt, a former councilor and a leader of PML (N) stated that a year ago Khawja Muhammad Asif MNA and Mr. Imran Ashraf MPA obtained 5.6 million rupees as grant for the school, but the Education Department failed to utilize the amount. No wonder, hundreds of children are deprived of basic class room furniture. Residents have demanded attention of the authorities.”
The school mentioned in the above news originally belonged to Ahmadis, but was nationalized subsequently. The news describes the sad state in the education sector of Ahmadi students, teachers and former institutions. These also show the neglect and inaction of the authorities towards the oft-repeated comment in official circles that religious extremism is the main threat to Pakistani state and society.