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ACTIVITIES OF THE ULAMA AND THEIR INTERVIEWS WITH THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE CHIEF MINISTER
The first person to draw the attention of the Prime Minister, Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din, to the seriousness of the Qadiani movement was Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi. Opposition of Qadianiyyat appears to be this man’s sole interest in life and he carries wherever he goes a large wooden box full of Ahmadiya and anti-Ahmadiya literature. Every calamity, catastrophe or other unfortunate event that falls to Pakistan or to anyone else, including such events as the assassination of the Quaid-i-Millat and the air crashes, not to speak of more important political events, is always ascribed by Shujabadi to the machinations of the Ahmadis. In March 1950 Shujabadi succeeded in persuading another divine of Karachi, Maulana Ehtisham-ul-Haq Thanvi, to go to Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din and to apprise him of the great discontent and indignation that prevailed against the Ahmadis in the country. They both went to Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din and saw him on 3rd March 1950, Shujabadi carrying his wooden box with him. He brought out from this box some Qadiani literature perusal of which horrified Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din.
It has been already mentioned that the demands against the Ahmadis were formulated by the ulama some time in June 1952 in Karachi and on 13th July 1952 in Lahore when a Majlis-i-Amal was constituted to devise measures to secure acceptance of the demands. One of the methods adopted by the members of Majlis-i-Amal was to wait upon Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din, the Prime Minister, and to convince him of the justice of the demands. The first interview with the Prime Minister was by Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan sometime in July, 1952, when he happened to be in Karachi in connection with, a press conference. The Maulana mentioned, the demands to the Prime Minister and watched his reaction. The Maulana has produced a memorandum, Ex. D. E. 16, and claims that this contains exactly what the Prime Minister said to him :—
Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din’s account of what transpired at this interview is different. He has stated that all that he said to Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan was that he would deal with this question in his speech on the Pakistan Day on 14th August.
On return from Karachi Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan published in bold headlines in the ‘Zamindar’ of 4th August that the policy of the Central Government regarding the Qadianis would be announced by the Prime Minister in his speech on the Pakistan Day and that the announcement would be in accordance with the shari’at and the wishes of the ulama. The Maulana wrongly stated in this news item that he had led a deputation of khatm-i-nubuwwat movement in his interview with the Prime Minister, the fact being that the Maulana had gone to Karachi as a member of some press conference and had seen Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din in that connection together with some other members of that conference, and the subject of Ahmadis happened to be mentioned only incidentally.
A deputation of Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, Maulana Abul Hasanat Muhammad Ahmad, Maulana Murtaza Ahmad Khan Maikash, Sheikh Husam-ud-Din, Maulana Ehtisham-ul-Haq Thanvi and Maulana Abdul Haamid Badayuni met the Prime Minister in Karachi on 13th August and presented to him a written memorandum, stating the grievances against the Ahmadis and the following demands in respect of them :—
Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din said that he was just then busy in some engagements for the following day, which was the Pakistan Day, and that he did not have enough time to discuss the matter. He suggested that the deputationists could come to him after he was free from his engagements for the Pakistan Day. In his broadcast on the Pakistan Day the Prime Minister did not say one word about the Ahmadis or the demands against them. On the contrary, that speech contained a veiled reference to, and denunciation of false rumours in newspapers and to internal disruptive elements which, if not checked, were likely to disintegrate the country.
On the same day, however, the Central Government issued the following cryptic communique :—
Since this communique was generally understood to be directed against Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan and other Ahmadi officers, Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan immediately issued the following press statement:—
The same members of Majlis-i-Amal who had met Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din on 13th August again waited on him on 16th August. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Mr. Gurmani and Mr. Fazl-ur-Rahman were also present in this meeting. The outcome of the interview was distinctly disappointing for the deputationists. Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din said that the question whether Ahmadis should be declared a non-Muslim minority was for the Constituent Assembly and that he was not willing to make any move in that direction. Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, he said, had been appointed by the Quaid-i-Azam himself and therefore he would not remove him. As regards the removal of Ahmadi officers from key posts, he pointed out that the deputationists will have to make out a case on the merits. And the grievances in the matter of Rabwah, he concluded, could be represented to the Provincial Government.
Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyad Muhammad Ahmad Qadri, Maulana Murtaza Ahmad Khan Maikash, Sheikh Husam-ud-Din and Maulana Daud Ghaznavi met the Chief Minister of the Punjab on 29th September 1952 and placed before him their grievances against the Ahmadis, including the grant of land for an exclusively Ahmadiya colony at Rabwah, improper allotments, and what the deputationists considered an ammunition scandal. The Chief Minister promised to look into the matter.
ALL PAKISTAN MUSLIM PARTIES CONVENTION
We have already mentioned that after Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan’s speech in Jehangir Park, Karachi, in May 1952, a meeting of ulama belonging to different schools was held in Karachi on 2nd Jane, in which the demands against the Ahmadis were formulated and a board of ulama appointed. A meeting of this Board was held on 15th August which was attended on special invitation by Sheikh Husam-ud-Din, Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyad Muhammad Ahmad, Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari and Maulana Murtaza Ahmad Khan Maikash who were members of a deputation which had come from the Punjab. The Board decided to call an All Pakistan Muslim Parties Convention for 15th, 16th and 17th September. It appears that no steps were taken to call the Convention in September and some of the members of the Board began to show signs of impatience. A meeting of the Board was held on 15th December 1952, which was attended on special invitation by Sheikh Husam-ud-Din, Sayyad Muzaffar Ali Shamsi and Sayyad Munawwar Ali Shah, but there is no record of the decisions taken.
On 23rd December 1952 Maulana Daud Ghaznavi addressed a letter to Maulana Ehtisham-ul-Haq complaining of the delay in calling the Convention and impressing upon him the necessity of doing so as early as possible. He stated in that letter that if there were some financial difficulties in making the arrangements, the Punjab Majlis-i-Amal was willing to undertake the entire financial responsibility. Maulana Muhammad Shafi also wrote to Maulana Ehtisham-ul-Haq on 22nd October 1952 in the same strain as Maulana Daud Ghaznavi and suggested that the Convention should be called for a date during the days that the ulama would be in Karachi in connection with an ulama conference which was meeting to consider the proposals of the Basic Principles Committee. Consequently invitations were issued on 11th December 1952 by the convener Maulana Ehtisham-ul-Haq for a meeting of the All Pakistan Muslim Parties Convention on 16th, 17th and 18th January 1952.
There is some difference between the versions of the Majlis-i-Amal and the Ahrar on the one side and the Jama’at-i-Islami and Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi on the other as to what happened during the deliberations of this Convention. According to the written statement of Majlis-i-Amal, a meeting of the Convention was held after Friday prayers on 16th January 1953 which was attended by the leading ulama of Pakistan and in which the question of Ahmadiyyat was discussed and a Subjects Committee formed. The written statement mentions the names of the following ulama who attended it: —
After the maghrib prayers on 17th January 1953, a meeting of the Subjects Committee was held and on the 18th January the second meeting of the Convention came off, in which the following resolutions were passed:—
After the maghrib prayers the same day, a meeting of the eight members of the Council of Action was held and the following seven members were co-opted :—
(1) Pir Ghulam Majaddid Sarhaddi;
(2) Maulana Nur-ul-Hasan;
(3) Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari;
(4) Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan;
(5) Maulana Ismail Gujranwalvi;
(6) Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan; and
(7) Haji Muhammad Amin Sarhaddi.
In the same meeting, the Majlis-i-Amal organised a deputation to wait on Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din. Accordingly, a deputation led by Maulana Abdul Haamid Badayuni and consisting of (1) Pir Sahib of Sarsina Sharif, (2) Sayyad Muzaffar Ali Shamsi, Secretary, Idarah-i-Tahaffuz-i-Huquq-I-Shia, Lahore, and (3) Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, President, Majlis-i-Ahrar, met Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din on 22nd January 1953. Khwaja Sahib expressed sympathy with the demands but showed his inability to accept them.
The written statement of the Majlis-i-Ahrar is to the same effect, except that, according to it, the deputation was organised on 16th January which met Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din on 21st January. This written statement further alleges that a meeting of the eight elected members was fixed for the evening of 18th January and that during the day, at a dinner arranged by a friend of Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi informed the other members that he would not be able to attend the evening session, because he had to complete the amendments to the proposed constitutional proposals and on the next morning he had to go to Lahore. He suggested that the elected members could meet in the evening and co-opt the remaining seven members. Another point on which the written statement of the Ahrar differs is that Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari was substituted not for Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Calcuttvi but for Maulana Athar Ali of Bengal.
The version of Jama’at-i-Islami is as follows :—
In January 1953, a convention represented by thirty-three leading ulama of all shades of opinion was held in Karachi to consider constitutional recommendations of the Basic Principles Committee. Immediately after this convention an All Pakistan Muslim Parties Convention was called to consider the situation arising out of the Tahaffuz-i-Khatm-i-Nubuwwat movement. Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi also took part in this Convention and proposed in the Subjects Committee that as the ulama had included the Qadiani problem among the amendments suggested by them to the Basic Principles Committee’s Report, no separate action on that score was now called for. After a long discussion this proposal of the Maulana was accepted. Unfortunately, however, it was not allowed to be moved in the open session on account of a technical ruling given by the Chairman of the meeting. Failing in this effort, the Maulana moved that a Central Majlis-i-Amal be formed and that this body should be made the sole authority for laying down a programme to have the Qadiani problem solved constitutionally and that no other organisation or individual should be allowed to deal with that problem. Unfortunately again, the personnel of the Majlis-i-Amal was not completed and thus the proposed Majlis did not formally come into existence. In the opinion of the Jama’at, therefore, all the activities of the member organisations of the Convention from the 17th January to 26th February 1953 were without constitutional sanction and, ultra vires. The deputation, which waited on the Prime Minister of Pakistan on the 22nd January and delivered the direct action ultimatum, was similarly unauthorised and, in any case, it did not represent the Convention correctly. The one-month notice which this deputation gave to the Prime Minister was without any authorisation from any constitutional body. The Jama’at through its Amir, Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, strongly criticised these unconstitutional steps and demanded of the Majlis-i-Amal of the Punjab on the 13th of February 1953 that a meeting of the Central Majlis-i-Amal be called immediately and all other activities in the matter stopped. This was done first through Malik Nasarullah Khan Aziz and again through him and Mian Tufail Muhammad, General Secretary of the Jama’at. On the 19th February 1953, the Secretary of the Jama’at issued directions to the members not to sign the forms which were being circulated by the Majlis-i-Amal for enrolment of volunteers for direct action. He also made it clear that unless the Central Majlis-i-Amal sanctioned any programme, no one belonging to the Jama’at should take part in these activities. In fact, two members were expelled from the Jama’at for violating these instructions. On the 26th February, the first meeting of the Central Majlis-i-Amal took place in Karachi in which the Maulana through his representative, Maulana Sultan Ahmad, Amir-i-Jama’at-i-Islami, Karachi and Sind, made it clear that, as the direct action programme had been decided upon in an unconstitutional manner, all activities in connection with it should be stopped and only the orders of the Central Majlis-i-Amal in this respect be acted upon. Maulana Sultan Ahmad was authorised to dissociate Jama’at-i-Islami from the Central Majlis-i-Amal if Maulana’s proposal was not agreed to. It is an irony of fate that instead of somebody listening to reason, the Central Majlis-i-Amal itself was dissolved and an entirely new direct action committee formed which started direct action on the next day. The Jama’at-i-Islami as such was not a member of this new or any other direct action committee, nor was any individual belonging to the Jama’at allowed to enrol himself as a direct-action worker. The Maulana made it quite obvious to everybody by his orders and by his action in expelling two of the members of the Jama’at for an alleged disobedience of his order that the Jama’at did not believe in or support the direct action in any manner and had completely dissociated itself from such activities.
According to the written statement of Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi, the Ahrar started agitation over the Qadiani question in May 1952. The view of the Jama’at-i-Islami at that time was that the demand for the declaration of Qadianis as a minority was right but that since the constitution was in the making it was not right for the Musalmans to divert their attention to any unconstitutional agitation and that all efforts should be concentrated on having a truly Islamic constitution passed and to have the question of Qadianis settled in the making of the constitution itself. This view of the Jama’at was expressed in the Majlis-i-Shura’s resolution of 8th July 1952. The Ahrar convened in July 1952 a convention of all religious parties and an invitation for it was also received by the Jama’at-i-Islami which deputed Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi and Malik Nasarullah Khan Aziz to join that convention and to present the view of the Jama’at. At the convention a Majlis-i-Amal was formed and two seats on it were offered to the Jama’at-i-Islami but the Jama’at did not accept them. Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi was one of the thirty-three ulama who had gathered in Karachi in January 1953 to consider the Basic Principles Committee’s Report. One of the amendments to that Report was that the Qadianis should be included among the minorities for whom separate seats were to be reserved by separate election. In the middle of January was held an All Muslim Parties Convention in Karachi the object of which was to consider the question of Tahaffuz-i-Khatm-i-Nubuwwat. The proposal to form a Central Majlis-i-Amal was moved by Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi himself but no meeting of the Majlis-i-Amal was held till 26th February. The seven members were not duly co-opted and, therefore, all the proceedings taken by the member parties of the Convention from 17th January to the 27th February were invalid, including the formation of the deputation which waited on the Prime Minister on the 23rd January, the delivery of the one-month notice to him, the subsequent announcement of direct action and the steps actually taken in the Punjab in connection with the direct action. The Maulana protested against these irregularities at a meeting of the Punjab Majlis-i-Amal held on 13th February at Lahore by means of written objections sent by him through Malik Nasarullah Khan Aziz and demanded that a meeting of the Central Majlis-i-Amal be called and all proceedings suspended in the meanwhile. On this, it was decided that a meeting of the Central Majlis-i-Amal should be called for 17th February but no meeting was held and the Maulana again objected in writing before the Majlis-i-Amal through Mian Tufail Muhammad and Malik Nasarullah Khan Aziz. The meeting of the Central Majlis-i-Amal was then held on 26th February. At this meeting, Maulana Sutlan Ahmad, Amir-i-Jama’at-i-Islami, Karachi and Sind, was present on behalf of the Jama’at and he was asked by the Maulana to communicate his written objections to the irregularities and to recall the programme of direct action. Maulana Sultan Ahmad was further directed that if the Central Majlis-i-Amal did not agree, he should dissociate the Jama’at from the proceedings. But at Karachi, the Central Majlis-i-Amal itself was abolished and was replaced by a direct action committee which announced direct action on the following day. No member of the Jama’at-i-Islami was a member of this direct action committee. The Jama’at in a resolution of the Majlis-i-Shura, which was held on the 4th/5th March, dissociated itself from the direct action. The rest of the written statement of the Maulana is the same as that of the Jama’at.
Thus there is an issue between the Majlis-i-Amal, Punjab, and the Ahrar on the one side and the Jama’at-i-Islami and Maulana Abul Ala Maudoodi on the other whether Jama’at-i-Islami was a party to the direct action resolution and to the subsequent action taken in pursuance of that resolution. We have at the present stage merely stated the points of difference between the two contending parties and when we come to deal with the question of responsibility we shall discuss the whole evidence on this part of the case in order to determine the question of the extent to which the Jama’at-i-Islami is responsible for the disturbances which came as a sequel to the direct action resolution and programme.
MORE INTERVIEWS WITH THE PRIME MINISTER AND CHIEF MINISTER
Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din came to Lahore on 16th February 1953, and a deputation consisting of Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan, Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyed Muhammad Ahmad Qadri, Sayyed Mazaffar Ali Shamsi, Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari and Hafiz Khadim Husain met him in order to inquire what attitude he intended to adopt in regard to the demands. Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din replied that he had difficulties of which the deputationists had no knowledge and hinted that the demands could not be accepted. He, however, told them that if they wanted to have further discussion, they could come down to Karachi.
On 20th February another deputation comprising Maulana Muhammad Bakhsh Muslim, Sufi Ghulam Muhammad Tarannum, Sayyad Muzaffar Ali Shamsi and Hafiz Kifayat Husain met the Chief Minister of the Punjab to remind him of their grievances against the Ahmadis, which could be redressed by the Provincial Government. The Chief Minister replied that he was looking into the matter.
Another deputation of the ulama met Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din in Karachi on 21st February 1953. The deputation consisted of Maulana Suleman Nadvi, Maulana Ehtisham-ul-Haq Thanvi, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan and Maulana Abdul Haamid Badayuni. The deputationists told Khwaja Sahib that one month’s ultimatum had expired but no reply to the demands had yet been given by him. Sirdar Abdur Rab Nishtar also was present at this interview. In the course of the talk Maulana Ehtisham-ul-Haq wrote something on a slip of paper and passed it on to others who nodded approvingly except Maulana Abdul Haamid Badayuni.
On the following day Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din received a telephone call from Maulana Abdul Haamid Badayuni who said that some ulama from the Punjab were coming for an interview with Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din and that the ulama who had waited on him on the previous day should not be called at the interview with the Punjab ulama. Sometime later the same day, Maulana Abdul Haamid Badayuni came to Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din accompanied by Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, Maulana Abul Hasanat Sayyad Muhammad Ahmad Qadri and Sayyad Muzaffar Ali Shamsi. Sirdar Abdur Rab Nishtar was again present at the interview. Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan had left for Bahawalpur and he was telephoned to come down to Karachi but he said that he had to return to Lahore and could come to Karachi only if the Governor-General’s Viking was sent to him. At this interview the demands were repeated but the deputationists were told more distinctly that the demands could neither be accepted nor moved by Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din in the Constituent Assembly.