Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Report on Punjab Disturbances of 1953
Report of The Court of Inquiry


Ceaseless propaganda continued to be carried on in the press throughout this period. The ‘Zamindar’, which was one of the four papers patronised by Government and which in certain transactions with Government had received a large sum of money, continuously went on writing in support of the demands and against Ahmadiyyat. The ‘Azad’, an Ahrar paper, did the same; in fact, the differences with the Ahmadis was the main topic in the columns of this newspaper.


An article of this paper published in the issue of 9th September, 1952, was examined and a prosecution of the editor was considered to be worthwhile, but the Home Secretary, the Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister thought that another warning may be administered and the result thereof watched.

The issue of this paper for 11th September, 1952; called the ‘Mutaliba Number’, was exclusively devoted to denunciation of the Ahmadis. One important article in it was the poem ‘Multan puchhta hai’ (Multan asks) which eulogised men who had been killed in the Kup firing. This article was examined by the Director of Public Relations on 12th September, 1952, and by the Legal Remembrancer on 17th September, 1952, and though they were both agreed that the publication was actionable, nothing was done in the matter.

The paper also published on its front page a cartoon, which the officer who examined it interprets as follows :—

“On the title page the paper has published a multicoloured cartoon showing John Bull as a snake-charmer, who is producing snakes from the basket of Ahmadism. One big snake arises from that basket and is shown to have overwhelmed Qadian (represented by a high minaret). From there it wriggles into a hole and reappears at Rabwah in the shape of Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud, who is shown to be blowing out three big snakes from his mouth. One of those three snakes is shown biting the late Quaid-i-Millat at Rawalpindi; the other one is shown to be sabotaging an aeroplane (implying the Jungshahi air disaster); and the third one, depicted in the shape of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, is shown to be threatening to bite the Prime Minister of Pakistan” .

The attention of the Provincial Government was drawn to this cartoon by the Central Government by letter No. 28/43/52-Poll (1), dated 11th October, 1952. The letter stated that it was presumed that the Provincial Government had noticed this cartoon and would take suitable action which would be communicated to the Central Government. In reply, by letter No. 3754-PB-52/985, dated 23rd October, 1952, the Director of Public Relations merely informed the Central Government that the Provincial Government had directed the District Magistrate to send for the Printer-Publisher of the paper and to give him a warning that if he did not desist from publishing matter of this kind, Government would have to suppress the newspaper.

In its issue for 12th November, 1952, this paper published a leader with an enigmatic heading in the form of an interrogation mark, in which it grossly abused the present head of the Ahmadiya community and charged the Government with encouraging infidelity and apostasy. The exact words used by the paper in this respect were : —

Akhir kab-tak ek zani wa sharabi, ghunde aur bad-ma’ash, muftari wa kazib aur Dajjal ko is mulk men hamare kan nabi, Masih-i-mau’ud aur Ahmad wa Muhammad ke nam se pukare jate sunte rahenge aur kab-tak ummat ki muqaddas wa mutahhar maon ko ek nang-i-insaniyat aurat ke liye apni qabron men be-chain hona parega, aur kab-tak ambiya’, aulia ki tauhin-o-tazlil aur aqaid-o-sha’air-i-din ki ruswai ka tamasha-i-be-hamiyati jari rahe ga. Akhir yeh zindagi be-hayai-o-be-ghairati aur daiyusi ki zindagi nahin to aur kiya hai. Qaum aj mujassam taur par ek sawaliya nishan ban kar khudawandan-i-hukumat aur qaumi zimmadaron ka munh tak rahi hai. Lihaza un-ka farz hai keh woh un-ke jane pahchane sawal ka jald az jald koi mufassal wa mudallal aur do-tok jawab den warnah samajh len keh yeh khamoshi yeh be-itinai-o-be-niyazi, yeh mudahanat-o-taghaful, yeh kufr-o-irtidad parwari aur ghaddar-nawazi ka socha samjha hua sharamnak rawiya ziyada der tak barqarar na reh sakega” .


“After all, for how long will our ears continue hearing an adulterer, drunkard, vagabond, knave. slanderer, liar and Dajjal being called, in this country, a prophet, promised Messiah, Ahmad and Muhammad and how long will sacred and pure mothers of the nation continue to remain restless in their graves for a woman who is a disgrace to humanity ? How long will this disgraceful exhibition of insult and degradation of prophets and saints and debasement of religious beliefs and observances continue ? If this sort of life is not a life of dishonour and shamelessness, what else is it ? Today, the nation is looking expectantly, like a sign of interrogation personified, towards men at the helm of the State who are answerable to the nation. It is, therefore, incumbent on them to give a detailed, reasonable and decisive answer to the well-understood question, otherwise they should bear in mind that their considered, and shameless attitude of silence, disregard, carelessness, hypocrisy and negligence and encouragement of disbelief, apostasy and treachery will not last long” .

By its letter, dated 21st November, 1952, the Central Government drew the attention of the Provincial Government to this article and also sent for disposal a complaint in the form of a resolution by the Ahmadiya community of Montgomery respecting it which had been received by the Central Government. The article was considered to be actionable under section 153-A, P.P.C. and section 21 of the Punjab Public Safety Act,, but Mr. Anwar Ali, D. I, G., C. I. D., took the curious view that the Central Government had given no guidance in the matter and that the Provincial Government for some time past had been deploring this attitude on the part of the Central Government. In view of the indifference of the Central Government, he thought, the Provincial Government should not initiate any proceedings and said that he himself would talk to the Editor, Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, about it. The Home Secretary agreed with this view and the Chief Minister initialled the case.

Again on 10th December, 1952, the Ministry of the Interior, by its D. O.No. 44/9/52-Poll (1), to Home Secretary, Punjab Government, drew the attention of the Punjab Government to the activities of this paper. The letter referred to Home Secretary’s previous letter, D. O. No. 273-ST (HS)/52, dated the 30th October, 1952, and to Mr. Nur Ahmad’s letter in reply to that Ministry’s letter No, 28/43/52-Poll (1), dated the 11th October, 1952, and pointed out that despite several warning which the Provincial Government said had been given to this newspaper, it had continued to indulge in publishing matter which definitely outraged the religious susceptibilities of a class of people in, Pakistan and which was designed to create enmity between different classes of people, and conveying the Central Government’s view that since warnings in the past had had no effect, the Provincial Government should not hesitate to take the only other alternative, namely, to prosecute the paper. The Provincial Government was requested to intimate the action taken to the Ministry at an early date. No action was taken on this letter and the Ministry of the Interior had again to remind the Home Secretary by letter No. 44/9/52-Poll (1), dated 27th December, 1952. This letter referred to that Ministry’s earlier letter of 10th December, 1952 and stated that since the date of that letter another objectionable poem ‘Dard-mandan-i-Qaum’ had appeared in the issue of the paper of 21st December., 1952, which attracted the mischief of not only the Press (Emergency Powers) Act and the Punjab Public Safety Act but also of the substantive criminal law of the land. The letter again requested the Provincial Government to inform the Central Government at an early date of the action taken on, this article. This letter was seen by the Chief Secretary as well as the Director of Public Relations, but no further notice of it seems to have been taken.

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