Supreme Court’s ‘no’ to the application for bail of two Ahmadi accused
A regrettable and brazen decision at the apex
Lahore; August 29, 2013: A three-member bench of the apex court refused to grant relief of bail to two Ahmadis accused who are behind bars for months in a case concerning circulation of Ahmadiyya daily and periodicals. First the background.
On April 10, 2013, the Lahore police registered a case against the editor and the printer of the oldest daily, the Al-Fazl, and four others under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the anti-Ahmadi Ordinance XX. The latter four were arrested by the police. (The misuse of the Anti-Terrorism Act is noteworthy.)
FIR Nr. 510/13 was registered in police station Islampura under the blasphemy clause PPC 295-B, the anti-Ahmadi clause 298-C and ATA 11W. All the charges are bogus and the police action was nothing but tyranny in league with religious bigots and miscreants. The political support to the latter is manifest.
The fabricated charges have not been withdrawn against the editor and the printer. Whither freedom of press and media! The request for bail of two of the four detainees was rejected even by the Lahore High Court, and they continued to suffer unjust incarceration.
The two accused, Mr. Khalid Ishfaq and Mr. Tahir Ahmad then applied to the SC for the grant of bail. They were represented by a competent attorney, Mr. Abid Hassan Minto and were heard by a bench on August 29, 2013.
The Additional Advocate General informed the Court that the Anti-Terrorism Court had refused to grant the bail because the daily Alfazl’s publication was ‘banned’. However, it was established in the court room that the reason was not correct and the Alfazl was not under a ban, and was being published. The learned court mentioned in its judgment that the Addl. Advocate General “has frankly conceded that the ban could not be imposed for longer period under section 99-A Cr. P.C.” Mr. Minto therefore requested for the grant of the bail. Justice Ijaz Chaudhry, one of the three-member bench remarked that “the reason for which the ATA Court refused the bail is removed by us and we send the case back to the ATA Court.” At this Mr. Minto requested for grant of an interim bail prior to sending the case back to the lower court. The honorable judges however did not approve even that.
These Ahmadi accused are in prison since April 2013 – nine months and still counting, on a sectarian, baseless and malicious charge of defiling the Holy Quran.
This august court however cannot be judged harsh as it has restored the Lal Masjid of Islamabad to Mulla Abdul Aziz, and acquitted Mulla Sufi Muhammad, who oversaw murder of many in Swat.
Availability of justice to Ahmadis in Lahore, capital of the Punjab!
Lahore: In the beginning of this year, a gang of religious extremists in collusion with Lahore Police raided a printing press owned by an Ahmadi. The police arrested four of the press staff and charged them unwarrantedly under a blasphemy law and the Ahmadi-specific laws. Their plea for bail was rejected by the lower courts, and was then placed before the august Lahore High Court. What happened inside the court room was reported by the daily The Express Tribune in its issue of May 20, 2013 (Extracts):
LHC judge forced to withdraw order
Some jurists say it is ‘improper’ for the judge to withdraw his order, whether verbal or written.
By Rana Tanveer
Published May 20, 2013
Moeed Ayaz, Asmatullah, Razaullah and Ghulamullah, employees of Black Arrow Printing Press, were arrested by Islampura police on January 7. On Friday, their bail petition under Sections 295B (defiling the Holy Quran) and 298C (an Ahmadi calling himself Muslim or preaching his faith) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 24A of the Press and Publications Ordinance were heard at the Lahore High Court.
The courtroom was full and some lawyers had to stand while the judge heard the arguments, after which he approved the bails for the suspects. This announcement nearly caused a riot in the courtroom and the judge had to withdraw the order barely two minutes after he had pronounced it. He then referred the case to the chief justice for fixing it before another judge. The judge withdrew the order after harsh remarks from a lawyer who was part of a group of 25 lawyers who had appeared before the court to argue the case against the Ahmadis. Some jurists said it was ‘improper’ for the judge to withdraw his order, whether verbal or written. He should have considered the repercussions, they said, before announcing the order rather than withdrawing it later. On April 9, another LHC judge, after hearing the arguments on the bail petition of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, referred it to the chief justice for fixing it before another judge.
At this occasion the Asian Human Rights Commission issued a statement. We reproduce below this Statement AHRC-STM-099-2013 verbatim, without comment:
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
PAKISTAN: Lawyers threatened and forced a High Court judge to change his ruling
May 24, 2013
A judge of the Lahore High Court changed his decision less than two minutes after ruling in favour of the accused in a blasphemy case when lawyers and members of fundamentalist groups threatened him. The judge, in the fear of the dire consequences, quickly withdrew his decision of granting bail to the accused persons.
May 19, the arrested persons of a printing press were presented before the Lahore High Court (LHC) for their bail applications. The persons were arrested on January 7, 2013 on the charges of Sections 295B (defiling the Holy Quran) and 298C (an Ahmadi calling himself a Muslim or preaching his faith) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 24A of the Press and Publications Ordinance. The arrested persons were simply the employees of a printing press which was owned by an Ahmadi, the most hated Islamic community in Pakistan.
The Government of Punjab has once again pounced upon the Ahmadiyya newspaper, ‘Al Fazl’ which is the only paper the community has in Pakistan for the education and information of its members. Al Fazl is completely apolitical and extremely particular to publish items within the framework of the restrictions imposed upon it by the infamous Ordinance XX issued during the military government of General Zia ul Haq. A group of fundamentalists, Khatme Nabuwwat, supported by the local police and vandals, attacked the Black Arrow Press in Lahore. Whilst the owner of this press is an Ahmadi the employees are not.
During the hearing the courtroom was full and some lawyers had to stand while the judge heard the arguments, after which he approved bail for the suspects. This announcement nearly caused a riot in the courtroom and the judge had to withdraw the order barely two minutes after he had pronounced it. He then referred the case to the Chief Justice for fixing it before another judge. A group of 35 lawyers came to oppose the bail application of the printing press employees because the lawyers claimed they were from the Ahmadi sect.
The judge had to withdraw the order after harsh remarks from one particular lawyer who was part of the group who had appeared before the court to argue the case against the Ahmadis. When this lawyer used harsh remarks against the judge the other lawyers and some people from a fundamentalist group shouted slogans against the judge and verbally insulted him with malicious remarks.
According to the daily Express Tribune, some jurists said it was ‘improper’ for the judge to withdraw his order, whether verbal or written. He should have considered the repercussions, they said, before announcing the order rather than withdrawing it later.
They appear to be missing the entire point which is that when a judge makes his decision the lawyers should respect it. Any judge should make a decision based on the merits of the case and (not) for reason of personal security. For the lawyers to verbally abuse and threaten a judge makes a mockery of the law. The defendants who were initially granted bail should be released as the justice system permits.
Just one month before this latest incident a similar situation was faced by another judge of the Lahore High Court. On April 9, the said judge, after hearing the arguments on the bail petition of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, referred it to the chief justice for fixing it before another judge.
The hooliganism of the lawyers has become common in the country since the successful movement for the independence of the judiciary. Since the year 2010, when Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudry and other judges were restored after the heroic struggle of the lawyers and masses, the lawyers formed groups which take decisions in their favour or force the judge to accept their dictates. In not one single case has the Chief Justice of Pakistan or the Judicial Reform Committee taken any action to stop such hooliganism. In one appalling case which happened in 2010 a lawyer physically beat a judge of a Session Court of Faisalabad, Punjab province. When the judges went on strike due to this incident the Chief Justice, rather than support their stand, ordered them to settle the issue with the attacker. The judges then had to apologise to the offending lawyer as the other lawyers went on strike in his support.
This is nothing more than vigilantism and has become a disease in the lawyers’ community. In the case of the assassination of the former governor of Punjab Mr. Salman Taseer, who was shot by his guard, the lawyers defending the killer made him a hero of Islam and attacked the court rooms to stop the hearing against him. Later the judge that sentenced him had to leave the country after receiving threats to his life from the lawyers.
The religious fanaticism in the country has now reached the point where it has destroyed the very fabric of the society. The judiciary for whose independence people have sacrificed their lives has become hostage before the lawyers and the fundamentalists and acts on the dictates of bigots.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has always stood up for the independence of the judiciary and supported the lawyers’ movement as a vanguard of change in the society. We are saddened to see the state to which the law profession appears to have fallen. Rather than relying on the rule of law and the supremacy of the judiciary the lawyers themselves have resorted to the same terror tactics of the Taliban and the fundamentalists. The AHRC urges the Supreme Court, the Judicial Reform Committee and the Pakistan Bar Council to act quickly to stop the rot which has taken the form of the hooliganism by the lawyers. If the lawyers are allowed to dictate terms to the judges they are sworn to respect then the entire purpose of the courts ceases to exist. At the moment the people still respect the judiciary. However, if the judiciary continues to pay lip service to the rule of law and caters to the whims of the hooligans then the respect of the people will soon fail and the society will resort to anarchy.
Document Type: Statement
Document ID: AHRC-STM-099-2013
Issues : Rule of law, Extrajudicial killings, Judicial system, Military, Right to education
Ahmadi doctor implicated falsely in a police case is denied bail by a judge
Sant Nagar, Lahore; November/December, 2013: The police arrested an Ahmadi Mr. Masood Ahmad, a septuagenarian homeopath, from his clinic and booked him under anti-Ahmadi clause PPC 298-C. This law carries three years’ imprisonment and fine.
Mulla Mohammad Ihsan lodged an application against him with police that Mr. Ahmad preached him when he went to him for medical advice. He presented the video recording of the proceedings with the doctor, as proof. The police registered an FIR no. 675 on November 25 against the homeopath.
In fact, the whole case was a planned conspiracy. The complainant came to the homeopath and turned the consultation to inquiry in faith matters. Mr. Ahmad, an old man could not sense the trick and replied the question, quoting from the Holy Quran. The mulla was armed with a hidden recording device. He presented that to the police as incriminating evidence.
The magistrate refused bail to Mr. Ahmad on November 30. He remained behind bars. A plea for his bail was then moved before a judge. The judge, despite the mitigating circumstances of the case refused the bail to the elderly doctor. He even echoed the state attorney that the evidence called for levying charges under PPC 295-A and 295-C. The former allows a trial in an anti-terrorism court, while under the latter clause the penalty is death. The Federal Shariat Court insists that it is nothing but death.
In the past the police and the courts generally did not accept such accusations where the accuser had himself approached an Ahmadi at his home or job to discuss faith matters.
It is noteworthy that while the honorable Supreme Court was quoted early this year on February 9, as, “The state should provide security to minorities, otherwise we shall do that”, but a lower judge, while hearing a plea for bail in a case of PPC 298-C shows the way to the authorities to charge the Ahmadi under the law that could lead him to gallows.
Apparently the judiciary is not likely to solve the problem of religious extremism in Pakistan; it is itself a part of the problem.
Some further details of this case are available in Chapter 6.
Judiciary in Pakistan – a mulla’s assessment based on personal experience
Rabwah; September 7, 2013: A mulla, Qari Mansoor Ahmad addressed the crowd here in the annual Khatme Nabuwwat conference. He proudly declared that he had murder of one Ahmadi to his credit. He proceeded to narrate to the audience his trial and judgment in the courts. His narration of conviction and subsequent acquittal is interesting and throws a flood of light on the psyche of present-day mullas and judiciary in Pakistan:
“Today, we stand in their (Ahmadis’) courtyard and curse them a hundred times; we also curse their founder.
“When the decision (of Sep ’74) was announced I was in Multan Central Prison for dispatching a Qadiani claimant of prophecy to hell. We heard this announcement. I swear to God, if today we draw the sword and man our guns, will there remain anything of these people? Will they (Ahmadis) exist then? They will be finished.
“I made this statement in a previous Jalsa (rally) where someone complained that I was calling people to murder and violence. I replied that this call was not from me, it was given by Abu Bakr (the first Caliph of Islam). I am not merely verbal about this call; I am one who has already acted upon it.
“God manifested this issue to me in my judicial trial. Two judgments were passed in my case. The Sessions Judge sentenced me to life imprisonment, while the high court judge acquitted me. The Sessions Judge was a resolute Muslim and a man of faith. The comments he made in his judgment were particularly noteworthy. Whenever I think back on it I am amazed by his deep insight. For the High Court Judge, I cannot praise him enough.
“It was a commonly held view among lawyers of the High Court in (19)72, 48 years ago … 38 years ago, that this particular judge never overturned the decisions of the lower courts… his strictness was renowned. I explain this to make it clear that this issue is settled – no two Muslims can have differing opinions about it. The Sessions Judge wrote his verdict by balancing his emotions with the rule of law. He recorded all the claims of the cursed individual and commented that such a person was an apostate and Wajibul Qatl (worthy of death). The Sessions Judge wrote this down, but proceeded to say that to execute or kill such an apostate was the job of the state, and not of any individual. He said that he sentenced me for taking the law in my hand, not for the compliance (sic). However, the comments made by the High Court Judge are worth writing in golden ink. He dismissed the case and said that such killing is not a crime.
“After this, I tell our rulers that if they do not want Pakistan’s honourable Muslims to act themselves against such cursed elements then they have to step forward; it is their responsibility.”
Note: The Urdu original is reproduced here.
The weekly ‘Lahore’ case
Lahore: All of a sudden the weekly ‘Lahore’ stopped publication in May 2013. It is the oldest weekly in Lahore, the capital of the Punjab. The reasons are telling and worrisome. Its editor is an Ahmadi.
This weekly often printed articles, inter alia, on Ahmadis’ human rights and their position on religious, social, political, etc issues in order to counter mostly false and malicious propaganda against them. In Pakistan, the press is relatively free. The Lahore shared this freedom. But for how long?
Mohammad Yaqub, linked to the Khatme Nabuwwat faction in Lahore applied to the police that a case under PPCs 295-C, 295-B, 298-C, ATA 11W etc be registered against Mr. Yasser Zeervi, the editor of ‘Lahore’ and two others for distributing the weekly which carries “blasphemous writings” (sic). These penal codes include the Blasphemy law, the Anti-Terrorism Act and the anti-Ahmadiyya law. Their penalties include death, imprisonment for life, unlimited fine etc.
The police were good enough not to immediately book the editor as demanded but sent the application to their legal department for examination and recommendation.
The applicant hurried to enlist support from the judiciary and put up a writ in a session’s court in Lahore. The pious sessions judge ordered the police to register the case. We do not know if he bothered to go through the ‘objectionable’ contents, as the editor is routinely extra cautious in selecting the texts he prints in the weekly. It can be categorically said that there is nothing in the weekly that is even remotely blasphemous. The judge simply cared for the sensitivities of anti-Ahmadi bigots, a small minority in Lahore.
It is interesting to see that in today’s Pakistan Maulana Abdul Aziz (of Lal Masjid, Islamabad where the extremist elements murdered a Lt. Colonel on duty) is acquitted of terrorism charges, while an editor whose weekly is full of admiration for the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is frivolously ordered to be booked for blasphemy and terror.
Goons of the Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat took up vigil in the vicinity of the office of the ‘Lahore’ and were an open threat to the person and property of the editor. He had to stop going to his office and was obliged to close it down – at least temporarily. He has gone into hiding. A case under anti-Ahmadi clause PPC 298-C has been registered against him. The weekly ‘Lahore’ is no longer published. It is perhaps the only periodical to meet this kind of fate in Pakistan in decades.
A mulla seeks judiciary’s help in sectarian mischief
Lahore; January/February 2013: Mr. Mohammad Hasan Muawiya (aka Tooti) approached the SHO Police Station Samanabad to have a case registered against Mr. Atif Ahmad under the anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298 B/C. Muawiya fabricated the complaint that Mr. Ahmad had handed over to him a carton of Ahmadiyya publications, on sale.
Hasan Muawiya is either on the pay roll of some Khatme Nabuwwat organization or is a ‘rent-a-witness (or complainant)’ available anytime to the mullas for anti-Ahmadi police cases. In this very report he is mentioned on different occasions at various locations in the provincial metropolis.
The SHO, correctly assessing this complainant as fraudulent, decided not to entertain his complaint. The bigot, supported by his parent organization, availed of the legal services of a lawyer (and there is no shortage of them – ‘Ban the Shezan beverages in courts premises’ type.), and approached a judge.
Ch. Safdar Ali Bhatti, Addl Sessions Judge heard his plea and ordered the concerned SDPO “to look into the matter personally and if convinced about commission of any cognizable offence, then proceed further in accordance with law.”
The SHO registered a case under PPC 298-B against Mr Atif Ahmad on February 2, 2013.
The memorable chief justice
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry who retired after playing a long inning in his post will be remembered in judicial circles of Pakistan for a long time. He is praised for some of his decisions whereby he took the executive to task for unjust actions but is criticized for many others for his ambitious, arrogant, flamboyant, and overreaching character. He will be remembered by Ahmadis of Pakistan for various reasons. The prestigious weekly The Friday Times made the following opening comment on Justice (R) Chaudhry on his retirement in its issue of 13 December 2013.
“When Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was restored as Chief Justice of Pakistan in March 2009, he was the conquering hero of adulatory lawyers, proud judges, hopeful civil society activists, thunderous opposition parties, supportive media and a sober military. Last Wednesday, when Mr Chaudhry departed the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court in Islamabad, the same lawyers were antagonized, the same judges were defensive, the same civil society activists were disillusioned, the same opposition parties were insulting, the same media was cynical, and the same military was resentful. Significantly, a parliament that had once cheered his return was now readying to strike down some of his cherished judicial interventions; and the PML(N) opposition party that had waged and won the battle for his restoration was now in government cursing him and counting the days for his exit.”
We record below a few cases of the Justice Chaudhry era of which Jamaat Ahmadiyya has first-hand knowledge and which are of direct relevance to the role of higher judiciary in its handling of human rights and provision of justice to Ahmadis in Pakistan.
Higher courts’ handling of two murderers of an Ahmadi
Murderers of Ahmadis are rarely arrested and brought to justice. Here is a rare case wherein murderers of an Ahmadi were arrested and put on trial. A mulla Imtiaz Hussain Shah, helped by one Rafaqat Ali got hold of an Ahmadi Mr. Abdul Waheed in a bazaar of Faisalabad on November 14, 2002. While Rafaqat Ali held the victim, the mulla stabbed him to death in broad daylight at about 10:30. At the scene of the murder Shah announced to the people nearby that he had dispatched a Qadiani, and told them not to help the victim. The next day he surrendered to the police and proudly admitted to having murdered the Kafir. The anti-terrorism court tried the two accomplices, sentenced Imtiaz Shah to death and kindly acquitted his helper. While Imtiaz Shah appealed to the High Court for a review, the brother of the murdered Ahmadi appealed against the acquittal of the accomplice who had held the victim during the stabbing. The High Court, very mercifully, maintained the acquittal of Rafaqat, and reduced the sentence of the convicted murderer to only 7 years’ imprisonment. This was not heard of ever in a case of this type in Pakistan, so the aggrieved party approached the Supreme Court for review of the High Court decision. At the apex court, the Chief Justice refused to listen to the arguments of the victim’s advocate and most summarily announced the dismissal of the petitions vide the shortest-ever order in the most serious cases involving a death sentence. When the attorney of the Ahmadi pleaded the Chief Justice to let him say a few words, the Chief Justice threw the file away to convey him that he had no time for him. Humayun Gohar, the well-known op-ed writer wrote: ‘Iftikhar Chaudhry proved the adage: “Give a small man power and he will show you how small he is.”’
Advocate Ali Ahmad Kurd, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association was not exaggerating in his comment on CJ’s retirement: “Courts behaved in a Pharaonic manner” in his term. It is not surprising that such judicial attitude towards murder of an Ahmadi encourages incidents like that at Mong where a team of killers sprayed bullets on worshipers in a mosque killing 8 and injuring 20.
Since the promulgation of the notorious anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance 233 Ahmadis have been murdered for their faith.
Suo Motu notices and the anti-Ahmadiyya laws
Chief Justice Chaudhry was famous for taking suo motu notice of issues and events. He was in a position to take notice of the anti-Ahmadiyya Amendment II to the constitution and the infamous Ordinance XX promulgated by General Zia, particularly after the Parliament had restored the word ‘freely’ to the Objectives Resolution in the Constitution that was most relevant to the freedom of religion of the minorities and, of course, to the people of Pakistan. It was not missed by Mr. Hamdani, a columnist who wrote the following in his op-ed:
“Ahmadis as far as I have understood their position, have long left the matter to God. What they want now is simply to live in peace as Pakistani citizens entitled to equal rights as Pakistanis, which includes the right to practice their faith, whether or not you and I consider them non-Muslims. This is a constitutional right under the Article 20. Those who rely on Zaheeruddin vs the State to suggest that the Article 20 of the constitution is not violated by the persecution of Ahmadis and wanton destruction of their property should remember that through the 18th Amendment, the word ‘freely’ was restored to the Objectives Resolution, which was not the case in 1993. Therefore, logically, a free, fair and impartial judiciary, unmoved by religious passion or pressure should be able to strike down the notorious and illogical Ordinance XX of 1984, which is violation of every known principle of natural justice and all principles of Islam vis-à-vis religious freedom.
“Let us not persecute this community any further. Restore to them, as Pakistanis, their civil and political rights even if you disagree with their religious beliefs, so that they may live honourably and without fear as citizens of country. In the long run, we need them more than they need us.”
Y.L. Hamdani in The Daily Times of April 01, 2013
The honourable Chief Justice who repeatedly talked to the media on ‘Justice for all’ took no suo motu notice of this perhaps the most important human rights issue of Pakistan, instead he did take notice of the market price of sugar, and issued orders. A great opportunity to undo bad laws violative of constitutional guarantees, by constitutional means, was missed.
Joint Electorate/Separate Electorate
General Zia deprived Ahmadis their right to vote in 1985 by instituting separate electorate in lieu of joint electorate. Ahmadis were told to accept their non-Muslim status or abstain from voting. Ahmadis had to choose the latter. Different regimes subsequently, democrat as well as military, maintained Zia’s rules.
Mr. Kunwar Idrees, a prominent Ahmadi senior citizen from Karachi, feeling tormented by his right of vote in jeopardy, challenged this law in 2007 in the highest court. His petition to the chief justice came up for hearing 40 months later. This was followed by a nightmare of adjournmens. The petition was not heard on 20 or more dates for variety of reasons, the main reason being the absence of the Attorney General and three amice curiae who were arbitrarily appointed by the court. Later the case was shifted to its principal seat at Islamabad. Even there the Attorney General failed to turn up on three given dates, while the complainant, nearly 80 years old, had to fly there from Karachi. In one of these hearings the Chief Justice remarked that any decision in this case will have to be made in the light of Zaheeruddin case. In this case, the Supreme Court in 1993 gave a verdict against Ahmadis that was disputed and discredited by renowned members of the legal community, within Pakistan and abroad. Appaled by the adjournments and CJ’s intended approach, the applicant voluntarily disengaged himself from the notice of the apex court in March 2013.
Ahmadis were thus denied once again their basic human right of choosing their representatives in the democratically elected assemblies.
The Human Rights Cell
A mention should be made of the Human Rights Cell created by Justice Chaudhry in the Supreme Court’s office. This was greatly welcome at the start. However its performance was dismal. It is learnt that more than 100,000 complaints are pending with this cell. Ahmadiyya central office reported a number of gross violations of human rights to the Cell, however a typical response to the petitioner from there is reproduced below verbatim:
“HRC No. 40838-P/2011
Take notice that in pursuance of order of the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan, you are informed to avail legal remedy if so advised in accordance with law.
Islamabad: September 30, 2013 Director
Encl: Copy of report/comments Human Rights Cell
Phone # 051-9220881/319
Fax # 051-9219516/ ”
Although the establishment of such a Cell apparently is laudable, but the fact that the Supreme Court is neither staffed nor expected to attend to the mountain of H.R. complaints should have deterred the Honorable Chief Hustice from undertaking this impossible task.
Last but not least, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry deserves to be remembered as Abu Arsalan (father of Arsalan) as they do in the Arab world. Arsalan will always appear where Justice Chaudhry is seriously mentioned. Why? – this report is not the appropriate medium for that description, Arif Mahmud Uppal quoted the renowned Aitzaz Ahsan in his op-ed: “The Chief Justice is departing leaving behind more corruption in lower judiciary,” and that includes his ‘family court’. The daily Mashriq, December 13, 2013
Judiciary in headlines – sans comment
A few headlines from the press are reproduced below for record:
The state should provide security to minorities, otherwise we shall do that: Supreme Court
The daily Nawa-e-Waqt; Lahore, February 9, 2013
Bail denied in Ahmadi literature case
The daily The Express Tribune; Lahore, February 13, 2013
Imam of mosque acquitted in Rimsha case
The daily The News; Lahore, August 18, 2013
Ahmadis will be ‘always vulnerable’ says SHO
The daily The Express Tribune; Lahore, April 6, 2013
Ahmadi literature. Blasphemy suspect denied bail.
The daily The Express Tribune; Lahore, June 9, 2013
Nine die in Taliban attack on SHC judge
The daily Dawn; Lahore, June 27, 2013
Sufi Muhammad acquitted by the anti-terrorism court for lack of evidence
The daily Mashriq; Lahore, October 8, 2013
Judicial activism in Pakistan exists only in newspaper headlines: German media
The daily Mashriq; Lahore, October 20, 2013
Lal Masjid operation: Murder case against Mush registered on (IHC) Court orders
The daily The News; Lahore, September 3, 2013
Jhang: Maulana Muawiya Azam Tariq (of banned SSP) released (by LHC)
The daily Pakistan; Lahore, May 14, 2013
Samanabad; February 2, 2013: Some mullas accused Mr. Atif Ahmad S/O Mr. Muhammad Arif of distributing Ahmadiyya literature and subjected him to torture. They also reported him to the police. The family therefore had to migrate from the place.
The mullas demanded that the SHO register a criminal case against Mr. Ahmad. The SHO hesitated to register an FIR. The mullas then approached a court and complained against the SHO for not registering an FIR. The judge told the SHO to render a report on the incident. The latter succumbed to the pressure and registered an FIR against Mr. Ahmad under PPC 298-B on February 2, 2013 in Police Station Samanabad.
Judiciary in Pakistan: a mulla’s assessment
A mulla Qari Mansoor Ahmad addressed the crowd in Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) in the annual Khatme Nabuwwat conference on September 7, 2013. He proudly declared that he had murder of one Ahmadi to his credit. His narration of conviction and subsequent acquittal is interesting and throws a flood of light on psyche of present-day mullas and judiciary in Pakistan.
His statement in Urdu (original):
آج ہم ان کے گھر کے صحن میں کھڑے ہو کر کہتے ہیں ، تم پر سو بار لعنت، تمہارے باپ پر بھی لعنت،
جس دن یہ فیصلہ ہوا میں اپنے دو ساتھیوں سمیت، ایک مدعی نبوت قادیانی کو جہنم رسید کرنے کے جرم میں، ملتان سنٹرل جیل میں بند تھا۔ ہم نے یہ فیصلہ سنا، خدا کی قسم آج ہاتھوں میں تلوار اور گن اٹھاؤ، پھر اس کا کوئی وجود ہے، کوئی وجود نہیں۔ ایک جلسہ میں میں نے یہ بات کہی تو بعد میں مجھے یہ شکایت پہنچی ، کہ آپ تو قتل و غارت کی دعوت دے رہے تھے۔ میں نے کہا یہ دعوت میں نے تو نہیں دی، صدیق اکبر نے دی ہےاور دعوت زبانی نہیں دے رہا میں تو کر چکا ہوں، اور یہ بات ہمیں اپنے مقدمہ کے دوران بالکل اللہ تعالیٰ نے روشن سورج کی طرح دکھا دی، ہمارے مقدمہ کے دو فیصلے ہوئے، سیشن جج نے ہمیں عمر قید کی سزا سنائی، ہائی کورٹ کے جج نے ہمیں بری کر دیا، سزا سنانے والا سیشن جج بھی بہت پکا مسلمان تھا، بڑا صاحب ایمان تھا، اس نے سزا سنا کر جو فیصلہ لکھا، وہ بہت عجیب فیصلہ ہے۔ میں کبھی غور کرتا ہوں تو اس کی فراست پر سر جھومتا ہوں، اور جس ہائی کورٹ کے جج نے ہمیں بری کیا، اس کی تو بات ہی کیا تھی، اس کے لیے ہائی کورٹ کے وکیل اس زمانے میں ، یہ آ ج سے ۔۔۔ 72 کتنا ہو گیا جی، 48 سال ۔۔ 38 سال پہلے کی بات ہے، اس وقت اس جج کے بارہ میں ہائی کورٹ کے سارے وکیلوں میں یہ بات مشہور تھی کہ جس ملزم کو سزا نچلی عدالتوں سے ہو جائے، یہ جج ان کے ساتھ کبھی رعایت نہیں کرتا۔ اس کی یہ سخت مزاجی پوری ہائی کورٹ میں مشہور تھی۔ لیکن اس نے اس کے باوجود ، میں یہ بات سمجھا رہا ہوں کہ اس میں مسلمان کی دو رائے نہیں ہو سکتیں، کوئی ہو سیشن جج نے فیصلہ لکھا، اس نے جذبات اور قانون دونوں کوتوازن میں رکھتے ہوئے فیصلہ لکھا۔ اس نے اس ملعون کے تمام دعووں کو اپنے فیصلہ میں نقل کرتے ہوئے لکھا کہ ان دعووں کے مطابق ایسا مدعی مرتد ہے اور واجب القتل ہے۔ یہ سیشن جج نے لکھا۔ ایسا آدمی مرتد ہے اور واجب القتل ہے، لیکن جو اگلا جملہ لکھا ، اس نے کہا لیکن ایسے مرتد کو سزا دینا قتل کی، یہ فرد کا نہیں ریاست کا کام ہے۔ فرد کا نہیں ریاست کا کام ہے۔ قانون کو ہاتھ میں لینے کی وجہ سے میں ان کو سزا دیتا ہوں۔اس مدعی کو قتل کرنے کی سزا نہیں دے رہا۔ اور ہائی کورٹ کے جج نے جو بات لکھی ،وہ تو سونے کے پانی سے لکھنے کے قابل ہے۔ اس نے کہا ایسا قتل جرم ہی نہیں ہے۔ اس کے بعد میں یہ کہنا چاہتا ہوں اربابِ حکومت سےکہ اگر تم یہ چاہتے ہوکہ پاکستان کے غیور مسلمان ایسے بدبختوں کے فیصلے خود نافذ نہ کریں توتم اپنا قدم خود بڑھاؤ، یہ تمہاری ذمہ داری ہے۔
Today, we stand in their (Ahmadis’) courtyard and curse them a hundred times; we also curse their founder.
When the decision (of Sep ’74) was announced I was in Multan Central Prison for dispatching a Qadiani claimant of prophecy to hell. We heard this announcement. I swear to God, if today we draw the sword and man our guns, will there remain anything of these people? Will they (Ahmadis) exist then? They will be finished.
I made this statement in a previous Jalsa (rally) where someone complained that I was calling people to murder and violence. I replied that this call was not from me, it was given by Abu Bakr (the first Caliph of Islam). I am not merely verbal about this call; I am one who has already acted upon it.
God manifested this issue to me in my judicial trial. Two judgments were passed in my case. The Sessions Judge sentenced me to life imprisonment, while the high court judge acquitted me. The Sessions Judge was a resolute Muslim and a man of faith. The comments he made in his judgment were particularly noteworthy. Whenever I think back on it I am amazed by his deep insight. For the High Court Judge, I cannot praise him enough. It was a commonly held view among lawyers of the High Court in (19)72, 48 years ago … 38 years ago, that this particular judge never overturned the decisions of the lower courts… his strictness was renowned. I explain this to make it clear that this issue is settled – no two Muslims can have differing opinions about it. The Sessions Judge wrote his verdict by balancing his emotions with the rule of law. He recorded all the claims of the cursed individual and commented that such a person was an apostate and Wajibul Qatl (worthy of death). The Sessions Judge wrote this down, but proceeded to say that to execute or kill such an apostate was the job of the state, and not of any individual. He said that he sentenced me for taking the law in my hand, not for the compliance (sic). However, the comments made by the High Court Judge are worth writing in golden ink. He dismissed the case and said that such killing is not a crime.
After this, I tell our rulers that if they do not want Pakistan’s honourable Muslims to act themselves against such cursed elements then they have to step forward; it is their responsibility.