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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Report on the Situation of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan
Report on the Situation of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan

ATTITUDE OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
“We will Insha Allah persevere in our effort to ensure that the cancer of Qadianism is exterminated.”
General Zia

The following are some examples of the official government attitude towards Ahmadi Muslims. A note on terminology: Mirzai and Qadiani are derogatory terms used for Ahmadi Muslims. Qadianism, Qadianiyyat, and Mirzaiyyat are derogatory words for the Ahmadi faith.

ISLAMIC IDEOLOGY COUNCIL

The Islamic Ideology Council in its meeting held at Islamabad on 17th August, 1981, adopted the following resolution which was sent to the Ministry of Defense vide letter No. F.4(35)/81 (RCII)2807 dated 17 September, 1981.

liable to be slain
So far as the change of religion and apostasy … Council recommends that if any Muslim changes his religion and becomes an Ahmadi/Qadiani (including Lahori group), he on the basis of Quranic injunction, Sunnah and Ijmah, would become apostate and Islamic community as a whole considers such person liable to be slain.

GENERAL ZIA

worse than kafirs
General Zia-ul Haq was quoted as saying:

"Qadianis worse than kafirs."

(Daily Pakistan Times, November 17, 1983)

and that:

"The decision about Qadianis is part of Islamization process."

(Daily Mashriq, Evening Special, May 5, 1984)

FEDERAL MINISTER FOR LABOUR

Ghulam Dastgir, Federal Minister for Labour, said

conspiracies
"Qadianis should recognize their minority status and end their conspiracies against Islam."

(Daily Wifaq, May 20, 1984)

GENERAL ZIA

After promulgating Ordinance XX of 1984, General Zia made a public speech on December 7, 1984, in which he stated:

no place for infidels
"There is no place for infidels in Pakistan…If a man's honour is attacked he does not even hesitate from committing murder… If someone is put against him (the Prophet Muhammad), what would be the reaction of the people?"

(Pakistan Times, December 8, 1984)

GENERAL ZIA

In a message for the International Khatme Nabuwat Conference, London, Aug 4-6, 1985, General Zia-ul Haq said:

cancer of Qadianism is exterminated
In the past few years in particular, the government of Pakistan has taken stringent administrative and legal measures to prevent the Ahmadis from masquerading as Muslims and from practising various Islamic practices. We will, Insha Allah [God willing] persevere in our efforts to ensure that the cancer of Qadianism is exterminated.

(message dated August 4, 1985)

THE PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mohammad Khan Junejo said:

crush this curse
"Government of Pakistan has taken various measures to deal with this problem. I hope that the whole Muslim world will take similar steps to crush this curse with full force."

(Daily Nawai Waqt, Karachi, November 28, 1985)

OBSERVER FOR PAKISTAN

The Observer for Pakistan for the UN Human Rights Commission made the following statement on 25 February 1986:

no hostility
The government has no hostility towards the Ahmadis, nor are they persecuted or harrased in any way … In substance, the Ahmadis enjoy all the normal rights. They hold prayer congregations, in fact these are protected by the State … They have the right of association and hold annual meetings in their Centre, the city of Rabwah. They have the freedom of expression, they issue 13 publications …

There exists no plan, no campaign, official or otherwise, to persecute the Ahmadiyya Community.

PROVINCIAL MINISTER FOR AUQAAF

Mr. Malik Khuda Bukksh Tiwana, provincial Minister for Auqaaf, was reported as saying that

"life for Qadianis in Pakistan would be made impossible"

and the Ulema were urged

eradication
"to guide the Government for the eradication of this issue"

(Mashraq, February 28, 1986)

MINISTER FOR EXCISE AND TAXATION

The Minister for Excise and Taxation, Akhtar Rasool said:

exterminate
"We ought to work for safeguarding the ideology of finality of Prophethood in order to adorn our lives here and in the hereafter, and exterminate the defiant Qadianiyyat from its very roots."

(Daily Mashriq, January 1, 1987)

MINISTER FOR AUQAAF

The Minister for Auqaaf, Malik Khuda Buksh Tiwana said:

eradicate completely
"The present Government is determined to eradicate the evil of Mirzaiyyat and is duty-bound to eradicate it completely."

(Daily Jang, Lahore, January 6, 1987)

ADVISER TO THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS

An adviser to the Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs, Maulana Siraj Ahmad Dinpuri, said:

qadianis will be sacked
"All qadianis serving in key posts including the Chief Secretary of Sindh government will be sacked."

(Daily Millat, London, January 4, 1989)

ADVISER TO THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS

An adviser to the Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs, Maulana Siraj Ahmad Dinpuri, said:

my father's rule
"Benazir has stated, Qadianis were declared non-Muslims in my father's rule. How could I undo the great service my father did for Islam? My Government will not give any concession to Qadianis. They will remain as non-Muslims."

(Daily Jasarat, Karachi, January 9, 1989)

MINISTER FOR RELIGIOUS AND MINORITY AFFAIRS

The Minister for Religious and Minority Affairs said:

"Our Government will not repeal the constitutional amendment which declares Ahmadis as a non-Muslim minority."

(Daily Jang, London, January 16, 1989)

and:

deputations of Ulema
"The Government is well aware of the activities of Qadianis outside Pakistan and will do everything in its power to negate its propaganda…The Government will send deputations of Ulema to Africa, East and West Europe and America to neutralize their influence."

(Daily Jang, Lahore, January 18, 1989)

FEDERAL MINISTER OF STATE FOR RELIGIOUS AND MINORITY AFFAIRS

Khan Bahadur Khan, the Federal Minister of State for Religious and Minority Affairs sent the following letter to Mian Nawaz Sharif, Chief Minister of the Province of Punjab:

Subject: ANTI ISLAM ACTIVITIES BY QADIANIS

Some Ulema have brought to my attention increased activities of Qadianis. Besides, the re-appearance of Al-Fazal purported to have been allowed after the judgement of High Court (against which Provincial Government ought to have filed an appeal because of sensitivity of the issue), Qadianis are circulating a large number of pamphlets, and also cassette of the speeches of Head of Qadiani Community. They are also preparing for centenary celebrations. Ulema feel that Qadianis are emboldened because of non-implementation of `The Anti-Islamic activities of the Qadianis Group, and Ahmadis (Prohibition and Punishment) Ordinance 1985' in letter and spirit. Since Qadianism is largely a Punjab factor I shall be grateful if necessary instructions are given to the concerned agencies for appropriate action in accordance with law, keeping in view the sensitivities of the issue.

I am also requesting other Chief Ministers, to take similar action in their provinces.

Copy of letter (D.O.) No: 6 (4) DDJ/89 dated 30.1.1989

ADVOCATE-GENERAL

inviting sentence of death
…Lahore High Court upheld the 1989 ban on Ahmadis holding their centenary celebrations. Earlier, the advocate-general had pleaded on behalf of the government that allowing the celebrations would have meant giving the the community the freedom to preach their faith; that would have been a crime under Article 295, inviting even the sentence of death.

An Ahmadi teaching his faith even to his child was a crime, said the government counsel….

(The State of Human Rights in Pakistan 1991
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan)

MINISTER FOR RELIGIOUS AND MINORITY AFFAIRS

separate Ahmadis
The Minister for Religious and Minority Affairs was quoted as saying that the decision to include a new column for religious affiliation on national identity cards was taken in order to separate Ahmadis from other Muslims in Pakistan.

(The Frontier Post, November 23, 1992)

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Deputy Attorney General in the Federal Shariat Court Stated:

any Muslim can take the law in his own hands
"Death is the penalty for those who do not believe in the finality of prophethood and in Islamic countries it is a heinous crime. It is not necessary that the Government should take action but on the contrary any Muslim can take the law in his own hands."

ADVOCATE GENERAL OF THE PUNJAB

The Advocate General of the Punjab in the course of a writ petition before the Lahore High Court said:

hatred will be instrumental
"If by exposing the faith and beliefs of the Qadiyani community hatred is created against them amongst the Muslims of this country, it is so much the better, because it will be instrumental in preventing the fitna."

COUNSEL FOR THE FEDERATION

Syed Riazul Hasan Gilani, counsel for the Federation, before the Supreme Court of Pakistan said:

a conspiracy
"Qadianiat is a conspiracy to hurt the religious beliefs of Muslims…

… since many religious beliefs of Ahmadis are objectionable to Muslims such beliefs cannot be considered their fundamental right. He said the ordinance was promulgated to save the Muslims from the subversive designs of Qadianis…
…they threaten and make assaults on Islam."

(The News, February 3, 1993)

GOVERNMENT COUNSEL

Ismail Qureshi, Government Counsel, before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, argued that section 298C was constitutional and that

mischievous
activities
"…said ordinance was promulgated to check deceptive and mischievous activities of Qadianis in the country."

PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN and MINISTER OF JUSTICE

retain Islamic clauses
The President and Minister made statements to the effect that the government had had abondoned the idea of scrapping the Eight Amendment and would retain Islamic clauses in the Constitution.

(Dawn, 3 December, 1993)

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

In response to international criticism the Ministry of Foreign Affairs circulated a "Memorandum on Ahmadiyya Question" containing gross distortions of Ahmadi beliefs.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs No.UN(11)-2/29/93, 16 January 1994.)

PUNJAB ASSEMBLY

Unanimous resolution against amendment in Blasphemy Law

LAHORE:- The Punjab Assembly Thursday unanimously adopted the resolution moved by the Opposition member Syed Tabish Alvari which asked the Punjab Government to urge the Centre not to introduce any amendments in the Blasphemy Law which may be against the spirit of Quran and Sunnah and contrary to the public sentiments. Punjab Assembly Speaker Hanif Ramay presided over the session in which both the Treasury and the Opposition members made speeches. Law Minister Ch Farooq in his speech said that in Article 2 of the 1973 Constitution, Islam has been declared the official religion of the state of Pakistan and that the Objectives Resolution has been termed as an implementable part of the Constitution, whereas Article 227 clearly says that no law repugnant to Quran and Sunnah could be enacted. Not only that, he said, as per the Constitution the laws already made were also to be modified in the light of Quran and Sunnah. He said the international pressure aside, no government can deny the Islamic injunctions. He said the governments come and go. "Our real path is Islam. No Muslim can support any law that is opposed to Quran and Sunnah, nor does the government has any such intentions." He said: "We hold the reverence for the last Prophet of God (PBUH) above every expediency. This resolution has the support of the entire House."

(NatioNet, Daily Nation's daily headline news via IMRAN-Net, 5 May 1995, info@nation.lhe.imran.pk)

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Reuter):- Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assured Pakistani Muslims Sunday that blasphemy would remain a crime punished by death.

will not amend the law
"All Muslims feel the same about the honor of the Prophet," she said in a speech. "We will not amend the law but plan some procedural changes so that it is used according to the tenets of Islam."

Pakistani fundamentalist have been leading a campaign, including a general strike Saturday, to keep blasphemy a capital offense.

The law came under attack from local and international human rights groups after two Christians, one a 14-year-old boy, were sentenced to death. They were acquitted by a higher court but fled to Germany in fear of zealots.

Bhutto, who studied at Oxford and Harvard universities, said the only changes needed were to protect weaker members of society from misuse of the blasphemy law. "Foreigners coming to this country should also have to respect the honor of our prophet and Pakistani law," Bhutto said.

The Government of the Province of Punjab

"Qadianis have not been granted permission to hold thier congregation. They never applied for it. Had they applied, the government would not have permitted it."

(The Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, January 18, 1995)

Miscellaneous

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah went on record to deny he was an Ahmadi before assuming charge as the chief justice of Pakistan.
Virtually every government servant must first attest that he is not an Ahmadi if he wants to climb up the official ladder. Even parliament ensures that no government dares to relax this unofficial policy. Lists of Ahmadi employees in different departments are frequently compiled and submitted to parliamentarians on requst. These lists then become hit-lists in the course of bureaucratic infighting. The same applies to the judiciary. Justice Sajjad Ali Shah went on record to deny he was an Ahmadi before assuming charge as the chief justice of Pakistan. The press information department then made frantic phone calls to newspapers across the country requesting that his denial be 'prominently displayed.' Punjab chief minister Manzoor Wattoo also had to publicly declare that he was a Muslim not an Ahmadi before assuming office. "It is strange that you have to deny being an Ahmadi to establish that you are a Muslim," says one young Ahmadi sarcastically.

(NEWSLINE, Special Report, April 1995:
by Tahir Mehdi and Muddassir Rizvi)

Government Spokesman Iqbal Haider

How many blasphemy cases have been registered? There has been a marked decline in registration of the blasphemy cases. There has been a marked decline in sectarian clashes. Whenever we have been informed about any religious sect or minority facing any kind of threat, we have taken notice and taken preventative measures to protect them.

(Voice of America, 24 January 1996, NUMBER=5-32263, TITLE=PAKISTAN RELIGION, BYLINE=DOUGLAS BAKSHIAN DATELINE=ISLAMABAD, VOA gopher service)

Government Spokesman

… said efforts are being made to curb religious intolerance.

"This is a number one priority of Benazir Bhutto to restore tolerance, moderation and liberalisation", said Iqbal Haider. "This is the only way we can succeed in the world".

He said sectarian violence and terrorist attacks are the remnants of a 16 year anti-communist war in neighbouring Afghanistan when radical Muslims were encouraged to come to the region and were armed and financed by the west.

"And now we are left alone to face the consequences", he said.

(Bangkok Post, 25 January 1996
"Pakistan Called Haven for Religious Bigots"
Islamabad, AP)

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Last modified: 31 Janaury 1996
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