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SPEECHES BY AHRAR LEADERS
The record of the speech, of Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan referred to in Malik Habib Ullah’s letter shows that in his speech delivered on 27th August 1848, on the occasion of the Urs of Sayyed Imam Ali in village Bhullar, he described Begum Liaquat Alt Khan and other women who did not observe pardah as prostitutes and alleged that the abduction of one hundred thousand Muslim women by Hindus and Sikhs in East Punjab, was due to the Quaid-i-Azam’s desire to become the Governor-General of Pakistan.
On 8th August 1950, Assistant Director, Intelligence Bureau, Government of Pakistan, by his letter No. 9/B/50-(25) sent to the Superintendent of Police (B), C.1.D., Punjab, a copy of a congregational address by Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad in which he bad warned his followers of the grave danger with which they were confronted. In that address the leader of the Ahmadiya community had alleged that the situation was not being properly reported to the Government, that open propaganda for the extermination of the community was going on unchecked, that the Government was doing nothing to stop such propaganda, that their lives and properties were in grave peril and that they must be ready to defend themselves if it became necessary to do so. In reply to this letter Malik Habib Ullah, by his secret letter No. 9931-BDSB, dated the 3lst August 1950, informed the Bureau that the reference in Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad’s address was presumably to the speeches of the Ahrar who since the merger of the Majlis-i-Ahrar with the Muslim League had been carrying on a sustained campaign of vilification against the Ahmadis, that on several occasions these activities of the Ahrar had been reported for action to the Government, that the Adviser for Law and Order had declined to take any immediate action lest the Ahrar should earn cheap martyrdom, that a warning had been given to the Ahrar leader Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, that the warning had produced no effect on the activities of that leader and that the results of a fresh warning by the Governor were being awaited.
The demand for declaring the Ahmadis as a non-Muslim minority was first publicly made at an Ahrar meeting held at Pind Dadan Khan on 1st May 1949. Thereafter Ahmadis were the sole subject of speeches made at public meetings organised by the Ahrar, and not only the leaders of the Ahmadiya community but Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, the Foreign Minister, became the chief object of their abuse. In the Tabligh Conference held by the Ahrar on 26th and 27th November 1949 at Sialkot, speeches were made to an audience of 11,000 persons by Master Taj-ud-Din, Maulvi Muhammad Hayat, Maulvi Muhammad Alt Jullundri, Sheikh Husam-ud-Din, Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi and Sayyad Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, each of them abusing the Ahmadis, their founder and leaders and Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan. A specimen of the kind of speeches that were made in that meeting will be found in the record of the speech of Maulvi Muhammad Hayat who said :—
The prosecuting police officer who examined this speech for action thought that such observations were merely a stock-in-trade of political demagogues which caused no offence to anybody.
In the subsequent public meeting arranged by the Ahrar in the name of Ahl-i-Sunnat-wal-Jama’at at Naushehra Virkan on 7th December 1949, Maulvi Ghulam Ullah Khan described Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a Dajjal who had been created by the British to disrupt Islamic solidarity and alleged that the Qadianis, particularly Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, were causing great damage to Pakistan and the Muslim community and that they were arranging to barter away Kashmir for Qadian. This speech was reported to be actionable under section 153-A of the Penal Code and section 21 of the Punjab Public Safety Act, and Mr. Anwar Ali, D.I.G., C.I.D., while forwarding the case to the Home Secretary, inquired from him whether it was Government’s intention that action should be taken against those who were abusing Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan and engendering hatred against a particular section of the people. In his comments Mr. Anwar Ali also alluded to an arrangement which the Ahrar leaders said had been made by them with the Prime Minister to knock Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, who had become a political menace, out of the Cabinet. The case came up to the Adviser for Law, who referring to his opinion in another case, ordered that no action was to be taken against the Ahrar leaders for the present and that Government would wait and see.
The next important Tabligh Conference was held by the Majlis-i-Ahrar at Lyallpur on 17th and l8th December 1949, in which, before an audience of about 5,000, Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi, Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi, Maulvi Muhammad Ali Jullundri, Sheikh Husam-ud-Din and Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari made speeches which, according to Mr. Anwar Ali’s note dated 30th December 1949, were actionable under section 153-A of the Penal Code and Section 21 of the Punjab Public Safety Act. The Adviser for Law made the following comment on this case on 2nd January 1950 :—
When the case came before Sirdar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the Governor, on 5th January 1950, he noted that he had already warned the Ahrar leader Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi who had come to see him a few days before that while Government did not prevent anyone from propagating his religious views, it would not tolerate speeches which might lead to a disturbance of the peace.
The Tabligh Conferences that were being held by the Ahrar and in which the Ahmadis were being abused provided an excuse to the latter to hold their own meetings. One such meeting was held at Sialkot on 15th January 1950 in reply to a Tabligh Conference which had been held by the Ahrar on 26th November 1949. The Ahrar, however, attempted to break up that meeting by throwing brickbats and the police had to resort to a mild lathi-charge. The Superintendent of Police, the District Magistrate and the Additional District Magistrate arrived on the scene and after the police drove away the rioters, the meeting was resumed but immediately a large crowd collected at a little distance, installed a loudspeaker and demanded the release of four rioters who had been arrested and the surrender of an Ahmadi who had stabbed a non-Ahmadi.
The Tabligh Conference at Multan was held on 28tb and 29th January 1950, which was addressed by several speakers including Sayyad Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi, Ghulam Nabi Janbaz and Maulvi Muhammad All Jullundri. The meeting attracted a large crowd and in the speeches made on that occasion, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was compared to Master Tara Singh, and disparaging references were made to Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan who was described as a traitor to the Muslim community. There were also obscene references to the founder of the Ahmadiya community and its present leader. General Nazir Ahmad also came under comment. Sayyad Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari alleged that the Deputy Commissioner of Multan had dispossessed Muslims of mosques which he had given over to the Mirzais. When the report of this incident came up before the Adviser for Law on 11th February 1950, he repeated his previous argument that any action taken against the Ahrar for their vilification of the Foreign Minister and the Ahmadis, would make them martyrs and earn for them considerable public sympathy and that they did not deserve such “honourable place” in the public estimation. When Sirdar Abdur Rab Nishtar saw the case on 13th February 1950, he noted that he would like the President of Majlis-i-Ahrar to be sent for and warned against the consequences of the campaign of vilification that was being carried on against the civil and military dignitaries of the State. He remarked that nobody could be permitted to undermine the State in the name of religion and added that he had spoken about this aspect of the matter to Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi and Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi but that it appeared that the hint given to them had not proved effective. He directed that the Ahrar should now be spoken to a little more frankly, and observed that if the Adviser for Law felt some difficulty in talking to them, he would do so himself. Accordingly Master Taj-ud-Din, the President of Majlis-i-Ahrar, was sent for by the Adviser for Law on 20th February 1950 and warned against the consequences of vilification of high State Officers like Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan and General Nazir Ahmad. He was told that if the warning went unheeded, Government would be constrained to take severe action against the Ahrar and that the result of this warning would be watched.