Unworthy role of vernacular press
The Urdu Press in Pakistan continues to play its ugly and despicable role in promoting the cause of anti-Ahmadiyya extremists. Not only anti-Ahmadiyya news and comments are given bold coverage, articles and full-page supplements are also published to fan the fire of sectarian hatred. Some of the samples, selected only from February issues, are reproduced below to give an idea of the nature of this campaign of disinformation, hate and extremism:
Plan to establish a Qadiani State is finalized in London. The Qadiani State will comprise Sialkot, Shakrgarh and Gurdaspur areas.
The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; February 1, 2001
Even if Qadianis acquire 10 TV channels, the Muslim Umma will not be deceived by them- Maulana Shujabadi
The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; February 1, 2001
The blasphemer Sharif (of Engineering University) enjoyed blessings of Professor Yusuf Anwar, Director Students Affairs (an Ahmadi).
The Daily Khabrain, February 3, 2001
Stay vigilant against those who are critical of the Blasphemy provisions. Every believer should be ever ready to play the role of Ghazi Ilm Din Shaheed to defend the honour of the Prophet. Justice Nazir Akhtar
The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; February 5, 2001
Action against Qadiani demanded
The Daily Khabrain, Lahore; February 10, 2001
The Government should take notice of anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam activities of Qadianis and Americans. Maulana Chinioti
The Daily Jang, Lahore; February 12, 2001
NGOs are propagating the evil of Qadianiyyat in the name of culture. Noorani
The Daily Din, Lahore; February 12, 2001
Qadianis have dug up trenches in Takht Hazara (A full page misleading report)
The Daily Ausaf, Islamabad; February 16, 2001
No change be made to the Blasphemy Law and to the system of Electorate –
Islamic Ideological Council
The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; February 18, 2001
Qadianis will be pursued even if they reach the moon. Maulana Nomani
The Daily Khabrain, Lahore; February 18, 2001
Eight Qadianis recant and join Islam
The Daily Din, Lahore; February 18, 2001
The Dogma of Khatme Nabuwwat is protected by law and laity. Muslims can sacrifice all for this belief. President Tarar
The Daily Jang, Lahore; February 19, 2001
Maulvi is the greatest atom bomb of this age- Maulana Samiul Haq
The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; February 26, 2001
Jihad will continue till Dooms day. Qadianis are enemies of Islam and Islamic countries – Maulana Masud Azhar’s (of Jaish Muhammad) message to the Fatah Mubahila Conference at Rabwah
The Daily Jang, Lahore; February 27, 2001
General Musharaf’s advisers speak Qadiani Language. Maulana Azhar
The Daily Pakistan, Lahore; February 27, 2001
Qadiani Chief invited to prayer duel. The government should be vigilant against Qadianis’ secret activities – Statements at Conference at Rabwah
The Daily Jang, Lahore; February 28, 2001
Conspiracies hatched to amend the Blapshemy Law- Raja Zafarul Haq
The last drop of blood is available for sacrifice in the cause of Finality of Prophethood.
The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; February 28, 2001
This is the time to finish off Qadianiyat. Alah Yar Arshad
The Daily Paksitan, Lahore; February 28, 2001
If this kind of venomous propaganda can continue against a religious group, how can the culture of tolerance and peace take root in the society?
Ever Ready to Exploit Religion
Alipur, District Muzaffar Garh; September 01: The mulla has figured out that he can achieve anything in Pakistan behind the shield of religion. He is not far wrong, considering the permissive attitude of the government. And the Urdu Press is always there to give him a helping hand.
The Ahmadiyya Community owns a plot of land in Alipur. It is properly registered in the name of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. The Community decided to build a wall around it and install therein a water hand-pump. The mulla came to know about it, and the press came to his help with the following report (Tr):
Muslims agitate over Qadianis efforts to Build their
Place of Worship on Muslims’ land
Alipur (Our correspondent): In a joint press conference, ulema and workers belonging to all denominations declared the following in the office of Tehrik Tahaffuz Khatame Nabuwwat (Movement for the protection of the Finality of Prophethood): “In case the authorities do not stop Qadianis from forcibly occupying Muslims’ land and building their place of worship over it in Chauk Marbi of Alipur, the agitated Muslims of Alipur sub-division, including all Shias as well as Sunnis, will rise and 313 suicidal Mujahideen shall undertake a long march to Chauk Marbi, and will themselves forcibly destroy the mischief of Qadianis”. The Daily Pakistan, September 2, 2001
The above report by the daily Pakistan, ironically is typical how Pakistan is being handled daily by the priests, authorities, and the Urdu press in Pakistan. As expected, the DCO urged Ahmadis not to push their rightful claim and to lie low.
Comments of a columnist
March 3, 2001: The Daily ‘The NEWS’ printed a column written by Kamran Shafi in its issue of Saturday, March 3, 2001. In addition to other issues taken up in his essay, Shafi commented upon a news item concerning the Ahmadiyya Community. His comment makes interesting reading. The excerpt:
Surprise ! Surprise ?
While in Lahore over Basant (oops, sorry, The Spring Festival), I came across a newspaper called Zarb-e- Momin, a weekly that comes out in Karachi and which had news of the jihad in Kashmir and so on. It was well presented with a colour section as well. On the front page was a news item to the effect that the Punjab Housing and Physical Planning Department was about to auction off some state land in Chenab Nagar (a name I had not heard before), and that this was a golden opportunity for Muslims to buy land there. Specially because, the reader was informed, Qadianis and Ahmadis were specially banned from taking part in the auction.
This last bit of news told me that the town in question was the one that is also called Rabwah. Is this true? Are Qadianis and Ahmadis, to be banned from taking part in auctions of state land heretofore? Are they to be treated as aliens? Are they no longer Pakistani nationals? I mean. We have heard of Ahmadis, some extremely talented and internationally recognized in their fields of endeavor such as cardiology for one, being passed over for promotion for the reason that they belong to a certain community; but are they to be excluded from being Pakistanis too? Are they not to have any rights anymore in Pakistan’s largest province, and therefore in Pakistan itself?
If this is so, lets be done with it. Lets just roll up this whole minority thing and throw them all out. Strip them of their nationality, put them on whatever leaky boats the National Shipping Corporation still has, and set them adrift outside the territorial waters of this, the land of the pure. If they are lucky they might make landfall in some country which may give them shelter; if they are not; so be it. Let’s cleanse this country for good and all, so that there are no more murders of minorities in broad daylight with the brave Punjab police looking on, and which give this country such a “bad name”; no more minority members in promotion boards; and yes, no more incidents of blasphemy by them either, so that our over-burdened criminal justice system is rid of at least one problem. Let’s get on with it, and who better to start the cleansing but Punjab, in which province Chenab Nagar is situated?
But what am I going on about? This country refused to recognize Dr. Abdus Salam who brought Pakistan such great honour. What in heavens name am I going on about? The minorities might just as well up and die for all we care.
(The author is a former diplomat and was press secretary of prime minister Benazir Bhutto.)