Religiously Motivated Murders – 1999



Mirza Ghulam Qadir of Rabwah

A band of four religious terrorists, belonging to Lashkar Jhangvi, the militant wing of Sipah Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) kidnapped Mirza Ghulam Qadir from the outskirts of the town on April 14. They drove him and his car towards the nearby town of Chiniot but were caught in the traffic muddle on the river Chenab Bridge. Mr. Qadir, a nephew of the Supreme Head of the Ahmadiyya Community, attempted to get away but the kidnappers opened fire at him. They left him bleeding and hurriedly made their escape in their own car. Their bullets also hit a nearby bus and killed a passenger and seriously injured two more who also died subsequently, according to press statement (The Daily Pakistan, April 18, 1999).

These Lashkar Jhangvi terrorists then dashed towards Jhang. In the meantime, police parties chased them. Finding themselves besieged, these outlaws left the car and took refuge in a school and subsequently in a mosque. In the subsequent shoot-out, all the four were killed. The arms and ammunitions recovered from their car included sophisticated weapons like a rocket launcher, hand grenades, time bombs and a light machine gun.

The police confirmed the identity of two of the four terrorists as Ijaz Tarar alias Jaji and Tariq alias Tippu. The government had offered extensive rewards for information leading to their capture. A reward of two million rupees had been offered earlier for the head of Ijaz Tarar, the Commander Operations to notorious Riaz Basra. He was indeed one of the top men in the hierarchy of Lashkar Jhangvi. The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Jahanzeb Burki, stated in a press conference that these terrorists had very dangerous plans to undertake extensive bloodletting and destruction during Muharram (The Daily Khabrain, April 16, 1999).  Involvement of the top brass of Lashkar Jhangvi, imminence of Muharram, the sizable weapons inventory and the status of their captive, all point powerfully towards a great conspiracy and a heinous plan. It is not difficult to figure it out with the evidence now available after their abortive effort.

Experts in crime detection and motivation are of the opinion that these terrorists had planned to falsely implicate the Ahmadiyya Community in sectarian and Muharram violence, in an effort to put the entire blame on Ahmadis and turn the Shia Community and the State machinery against them. It is well known that Lashkare Jhangvi is the militant wing of Sipahe Sahaba. The SSP was created by General Zia. Although initially it had an anti-Shia posture only but for many years now it has adopted anti-Ahmadiyya position as well and acts in concert with Majlis Tahaffuz Khatame Nabuwwat and the JUI (Fazalur Rahman Group). It has consistently undertaken terrorist activities all over the country, and has actively indulged in anti-Ahmadiyya violence.

The four outlaws had apparently kidnapped Mr. Ghulam Qadir and stolen his car to eventually kill him and set him and his car on fire with the weapons inside. This would have enabled them to tell the people of Pakistan that it is Ahmadis who undertake terrorist activities against Shias, and not they, the SSP and Lashkar Jhangvi. They would have shouted themselves hoarse that Ahmadis plan, support and implement all the mischief, the distribution of arms, and resulting bloodshed. Thus, they would have turned the Shia sentiments against Ahmadis and given an excuse to the government to move decisively against the innocent community.

Although Ahmadis grieved greatly over the death of an innocent and a good fellow, they had a narrow escape from a situation, which could have resulted in great harm to their lives and well-being.

Mirza Ghulam Qadir had received post-graduate degree in Computer Science from George Mason University in Washington, and had dedicated his life for the service of the community. He was 37, and he left behind a widow and four young children, including a pair of twins two years old. Mr. Qadir, although highly qualified, lived an austere life in a Community dwelling.


Ms Mubaraka Begum

This Ahmadi lady went to a nearby village to visit the family of a new-convert, Mr. Abid, on May 7. While there, Rafaqat, a man of ill repute, attacked her with a knife and inflicted multiple injuries for the religious prejudice he bore against Ahmadis. She was administered 13 bottles of blood at the hospital. Her condition improved but only temporarily. It worsened thereafter and she was shifted to Lahore where she died two days afterwards.


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