Report of The Court of Inquiry
SECTION 144 ORDERS ENFORCED AGAINST PUBLIC MEETINGS IN MOSQUES: SARGODHA AND GUJRANWALA CASES
Orders issued by District Magistrates in pursuance of the directions given by the Provincial Government were enforced in certain places by the prosecution of the offenders.
On 12th June 1952, the Ahrar announced that a public meeting would be held at 8 o'clock on the morning of the following day, which was a Friday, in Municipal Park, Sargodha. The District Magistrate banned the meeting by an order under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, promulgated in pursuance of the policy laid down by the Government in the letter of 5th June 1952. Thereupon the Ahrar made another public announcement that the meeting would be held on the date fixed in the Juma mosque. But the District Magistrate lost no time in having it proclaimed that his order under section 144 was equally applicable to public meetings in mosques and that the holding of the proposed, meeting would be a contravention of that order. The meeting was, however, held at 10 o'clock and was presided over by Sheikh Husam-ud-Din. Speeches of the usual type against the Ahmadis were made by Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, the President, and Sheikh Husam-ud-Din, the General Secretary, of Majlis-i-Ahrar-i-Pakistan, and Muhammad Abdullah, the President of the District Majlis-i-Ahrar, Sargodha, and slogans “Zafrullah murdabad,” “Mirzaeeat murdabad”, etc., were raised while the meeting was in progress. Mian Muhammad Ishaq, the Magistrate on duty, warned the audience and the organisers of the meeting that their act in attending the meeting was contrary to law, but nobody heeded him and the meeting continued till 11-45 a.m. For this contravention of the order under section 144, Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, Sheikh Husam-ud-Din and Muhammad Abdullah were prosecuted in the Court of the Additional District Magistrate, who by his order, dated 14th July 1952, convicted them under section 143 and sentenced them to six months' rigorous imprisonment each. On the basis of the same incident, two separate complaints were also field by the District Magistrate in the Court of the Additional District Magistrate under section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code. These complaints came up for hearing on 14th July 1952 when the Prosecuting Sub-Inspector made a statement withdrawing the cases under the instructions of the District Magistrate.
The next contravention of an order under section 144 occurred when a public meeting was held in Juma Masjid, Sheranwala Bagh, Gujranwala, after Friday prayers on 20th June 1952. This meeting had been announced a day earlier by means of printed posters and loudspeakers in the streets of the town. While the khutba was going on, Muhammad Amin, General Secretary, Majlis-i-Ahrar, announced that Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari and Sheikh Husam-ud-Din, who had come from Lahore, would speak at the meeting. The meeting began after the prayers when several people had gone away. It was presided over by Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan and the proceedings started with such slogans as “Mirzaeeat murdabad”, “Zafrullah ko hata do”, “Mirzaioon ko aqaliyyat qarar do”, and two resolutions were passed. Nine different persons, including Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, Sheikh Husam-ud-Din and Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan, were prosecuted for this violation, but on 16th July 1952, when the cases came up for hearing, the prosecuting officer made a statement withdrawing the cases under the orders of the District Magistrate. The prayer was granted and the accused were all acquitted the same day,
The Ahrar now began to confound the issue by making it a grievance that for purely religious activities inside the mosques the worshippers were being arrested and prosecuted and that the Government was thus encroaching on people's religious beliefs and observances. The amusing case mentioned below is illustrative of the propaganda that began to be carried on against Government.
One Maulvi Muhammad Shafi, khatib of Jami’ mosque, Sargodha, together with certain other persons, was arrested for an offence under section 143 for having defied an order of the District Magistrate under section 144. He offered bail and was released. He, however, took advantage of his release by making a virulent speech in the form of a khutba in Idgah, Sargodha, on 24th June 1952. He asserted in that speech that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who claimed to be a prophet, was a kafir together with those who believed in him, that his claim to prophethood was false, that false prophets had been killed in the past, that Government should declare whether the Government in Pakistan was Islamic or non-Islamic, that if it was an Islamic Government, Muslims had the right to discuss religious matters in mosques but that if it was not an Islamic Government, Muslims shall stop discussing such matters in mosques and in that case mosques will have to be closed down. He went on to announce that he had nothing to do with politics but that so far as his religious beliefs were concerned, he shall not refrain from saying things which pertained to religion. We are mentioning this case not because it has any importance of its own, but because of the ostensibly plausible argument employed to establish an unqualified right to do whatever the Ahrar liked in a mosque in the garb of religion and also because of the ludicrous position in which it put the prosecution and of the subsequent secretariat noting in which the real issue arising from the application of section 144 to mosques was brought out. Maulvi Muhammad Shafi was already on bail in another case of breach of section 144 order when he made the speech mentioned above. Because of that speech, he was arrested for a fresh offence but he gave bail and was again released. It appears that under a direction of the Majlis-i-Ahrar at this stage persons accused of breaches of section 144 orders by making speeches in mosques were to prefer jail to bail, and in pursuance of this direction Maulvi Muhammad Shafi appeared before the Magistrate and had his bail cancelled. In the case of maulvis of the type of Muhammad Shafi, who was not a prominent member of the Ahrar, the policy of the Government was that they should be released if they apologised; but this maulvi would neither apologise nor give bail. When Mr. Qurban Ali Khan was consulted about the embarrassing position that had arisen by the extension of section 144 orders to mosques, he brought out the precise issue which the Government had to face when he remarked in his note of 2nd July that unless it was conceded that a mosque was a sanctuary for those who defied the law, the Government could not absolve itself of the responsibility to see that the law of the land was enforced.
Having come across two posters expressing resentment over the application of section 144 to mosques and announcing a public meeting in the Barkat Ali Muhammadan Hall on 13th July to consider the situation arising therefrom, Mr. Anwar Ali on 3rd July 1952 wrote a note complaining that much mischievous propaganda was being done by the Ahrar and their friends against Government, that it was being given out that section 144 had been applied to mosques and the right to worship abrogated and that unless something on a big scale were done by the Public Relations Department to check this propaganda, popular ill-will against the Government would be the natural result. Mr. Qurban Ali Khan agreed with this, remarking that the Director of Public Relations was their only source. The Home Secretary expressed himself as follows on 4th July 1952:—
“2. I think it has become imperative now that we should intensify our propaganda because otherwise we shall lose our case by default. It has become very necessary that the man in the street should be told again and again what we have really done and the reasons for our various actions.
3. I sent for the D. P. R. this morning and told him to accelerate his machinery and flood the Province with propaganda material. I impressed upon him that one or two press notes will not meet the situation because the Ahrar have maneuvered to confuse the issue in order to enlist popular support.
4. As desired by H. C. M., I spoke to Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan and the editors of his group on July 1st and explained the whole situation to them and answered all the questions which they could think of for dispelling their apprehensions and misgivings. They went back completely satisfied but I am sorry to say that with the exception of one paper they did not express approbation of Government’s action even in a mild form. I again spoke to Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan yesterday as desired by H. C. M. on the telephone and after having been convinced once again about the bona fides of whatever we have done he has virtually upheld in today’s paper all that the Ahrar have been saying. The other papers of his group have done likewise (relevant cuttings from these papers are placed below). Messrs. Hamid Nizami and Mazhar Ali Khan were also called by me yesterday. I made it clear to them from the very out-set that my intention in calling them was only to explain the whole position to them and nothing else and that they were quite free to put their own interpretation on what I told them. They both considered, that whatever this Government had done was worthy of popular support and calculated to strengthen the integrity of the country. Mr. Hamid Nizami, however, said that he feared if he were to say so in his organ, the newspapers favoured by the Government as well as the Muslim League would be the first to denounce him as an Ahmadi for increasing their own circulation. He also said that the very purpose for which curbing action was being taken against the Ahrar would be defeated unless the newspapers also co-operated with Government and did not help in the spread of the virus through their columns. Mr. Mazhar Ali Khan said that the root cause of this trouble was that Government had themselves made religion their source of slogans and strength. He added that if one group could exploit religion how could the others be denied its use for furthering their own ends.
5. A conference of D. Ms. who are mainly concerned in this matter has been called for tomorrow after which a directive will be issued to all the D. Ms. for organising field publicity in their districts for which the D. P. R. will give them the necessary help and guidance. Other recommendations formulated at this conference will be submitted to H. C. M. immediately for his orders.”
The Home Secretary had called and addressed some newspaper editors on 1st and 3rd July also with a view to explaining to them how it had become necessary for Government to ban public meetings in mosques organised by the Ahrar and seeking their co-operation. He thought he had succeeded in clarifying the position but to his disappointment he discovered only a few days later that his optimism was misplaced and that in entertaining a feeling of satisfaction he had not taken into account the lack of conscience in many of the newspaper men.
It was at this stage that the Ahrar enlisted the support of the ulama by calling a convention of all Muslim parties at Lahore on 13th July 1952 and giving out that the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat had become a general issue for all creeds and sects of Muslims. To consider the situation arising from a announcement of this Convention a conference of District Magistrates of all important districts was held on 5th July 1952, which was presided over by the Chief Secretary and attended by the Home Secretary, Inspector-General of Police, D. I. G., G. I. D., and the Director of Public Relations. This conference took the following decisions:—
“(1) The orders under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, should be amended wherever necessary so as to make them applicable specifically to the public meetings organised by the Ahrar or the Ahmadis only without making any mention of the venue of the meeting. The model order promised by Government would be sent to the District Magistrates as early as possible but District Magistrates concerned need not defer the issue of revised orders to await the receipt of the Government draft.
(2) If any members of the Ahrar party or the Ahmadiya community deliver violent or inflammatory speeches at any public meeting not organised by their respective organisation a reference should be made to Government for action under section 153, P. P. O. or the Public Safety Act. Pending the receipt of Government orders the culprits should not be arrested unless it is considered to be absolutely necessary.
(3) No action should be taken to disperse meetings organised by the Ahrar or the Ahmadis even outside mosques unless it becomes an imperative necessity to do so for the maintenance of law and order. Meetings being held in mosques are in no case to be interfered with in any way and action should be taken regarding all meetings whether held inside a place of worship or in other public places by the registration of regular cases against the prominent loaders of the two groups only.
(4) The Government propaganda machinery should be accelerated so that the interested parties cannot dupe the public and the true significance and nature of the action taken by Government is explained to the common man. Pamphlets, leaflets and posters should be prepared and distributed to the District Magistrates for dissemination throughout their districts. Propaganda through newspapers should also be intensified and the papers which, are generally pro-Government should be asked to co-operate in this matter also because their attitude is anything but favourable towards Government in this matter.
(5) Maulvis and khatibs of the various mosques should be contacted by the District Magistrates and the true picture of the whole situation should be laid before them so that the interested parties cannot play upon their religious sentiments and mislead them into inveighing against Government.
(6) The Convention called for 13th July, 1952, in Lahore should not be interfered with in any way. The speeches delivered and the decisions taken there should be examined later to see what action, if any, is called for. This convention may actually prove to be useful from the point of view of Government if the intending participants are contacted by the District Magistrates or the Director, Public Relations and prevailed upon to denounce preaching of violence and defiance of law. The Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, will make an effort to intimate the names of the intending participants to the District Magistrates concerned.
(7) In all action taken in this connection by officers on their own initiative or in accordance with the Government instructions issued from time to time it should be borne in mind that the ultimate object is to kill the threat to law and order created by the Ahrar-Ahmadi controversy by isolating these two organisations from the rest of the public. This will destroy the unfounded bogey of interference with the religious and political rights of the public by Government which the Ahrar have created in their desperate effort to regain their lost power.”
The same day some Ahrar leaders saw Mr. Anwar Ali, D. I. G., C. I. D., and threw before him the bait of not making public speeches which were likely to disturb the public peace provided orders under section 144 and prosecutions for breach of such orders were withdrawn. Mr. Anwar Ali recorded his reaction to this offer as follows:—
“This morning Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan came to see me along with Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi, the new President of the Majlis-i-Ahrar. It seems to me that the Ahrar realise that their fate is sealed and unless they can immediately rally to their side the sympathy of the general Muslim public, they will be finished as a political organisation. The object of the visit was to give an assurance that the Ahrar, as a party, were prepared to make a statement in public declaring that no speeches would be made which were likely to disturb peace and tranquillity. The demand was that at the same time Government should release the persons who had been arrested and the orders under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, should be withdrawn. I explained the decisions which were reached at today’s meeting and said that Government might be disposed to consider the withdrawal of the orders and even release all the Ahrar if the two leaders tendered written apologies. Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus did not give any answer and said that, so far as he and his party believed, Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari had not committed any wrong. I have no doubt that once the Ahrar realise that Government means business and will not change its decisions, they will be more disposed to come to a settlement”.
Mr. Qurban Ali Khan’s matter-of-fact remark on this was:
“I do not think Government have any cause to change their decision that law and order shall be maintained. Whatever tends to create a situation which is likely to end in a breach of the peace, must be hit on the head well and hard”.
The Home Secretary congratulated himself and said:
“As far as the main issue is concerned, it appears now that the Ahrar have realised that Government have foiled their attempts for confusing the issue and that they are being isolated for being made ineffective as a source of threat to the public peace and order”.
Effectively to enforce the decisions that were taken in the conference of 5th July, instructions were issued by Mr. Anwar Ali D. I. G., C. I. D., to all Superintendents of Police in the Punjab, on 19th July 1952, requiring them to keep themselves informed of the speeches which were made in mosques or outside, and to detail intelligent persons who could keep mental notes of speeches.
The decisions of the conference were approved by the Chief Minister on 8th July. While the Chief Minister was in Nathiagali in the first week of July, Moulana Suleman Nadvi, who was also in Nathiagali in connection with a constitutional sub-committee, mentioned to him his concern in the application of section 144 to mosques. On 10th July 1952, three Maulvis saw the Home Secretary in his office and put him certain questions which were subsequently repeated by Maulvi Muhammad Ali Jullundri on 11th July by means of a letter asking clarification of the following four points :—
(1) whether restrictions under section 144 Criminal Procedure Code had been imposed on tardid-i-mirzaeeat in mosques;
(2) whether such restrictions had later been withdrawn from the mosques;
(3) whether the Muslims were allowed to deliver speeches on tardid-i-mirzaeeat and masala-i-khatm-i-nubuwwat in the mosques ; and
(4) whether the Muslims were allowed to hold meetings outside mosques to discuss these two issues.
The Home Secretary, after consulting the Inspector-General of Police replied to this letter saying that the orders promulgated under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, applied only to those public meetings which were organised by members of Majlis-i-Ahrar-i-Pakistan or the Ahmadiya community and that, apart from this, Government had never imposed any restrictions on mosques or other places of worship or on worship and religious ritual. He further said that besides the Ahrar and the Ahmadis all other political and religious bodies were at liberty to hold public meetings. As already stated, the Director of Public Relations had also been directed to intensify his propaganda with a view to explaining the correct position regarding the application of these orders to gatherings in mosques but all that is known is that he also addressed some newspaper men after the Home Secretary had, done so in the first week of July and that some time before 11th July he issued a poster under the heading ‘Ihtiram-i-Masajid’ explaining that there were no restrictions on visits to mosques or on assemblies in and outside the mosques for the performance of religious rites, or on religious addresses or on the exposition of the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat or any other religious doctrine and that the object of issuing orders under section 144 was to stop people from preaching violence or lawlessness and from causing provocation or creating occasions for disorder, violence and breach of peace between different religious sects under the garb of religion.
One of the points raised by Mr. Cheema, Deputy Commissioner, Montgomery, and supported by the other Deputy Commissioner in the conference of 5th July 1952 was that the Central Government should be requested to express its views on the situation by issuing an authoritative statement on the subject. It was felt by the officers that such statement would completely clarify the situation and considerably strengthen the hands of the Provincial Government in carrying out whatever policy was enunciated by the Centre. But by now Secret letter No. 4/9/52-S. (I), dated the 2nd July 1952, from the Secretary, Ministry of the Interior, Government of Pakistan, to all Provincial Governments and local administrations had been received which was as follows :—
“I am directed to invite your attention to the very noticeable increase in religious and sectarian controversies in parts of Pakistan during recent months. These controversies have been particularly rampant between the Ahrar and the Ahmadis and have led, in some places, to a disturbance of the peace. The Government of Pakistan consider that if this state of affairs is allowed to continue unchecked, grave consequences may well follow. The attention of the Provincial Governments and local administrations is, therefore, drawn to the Ministry of the Interior letter No. 738-S. (I), dated the 7th September 1951, to the present addresses which is reproduced below for ready reference :—
‘Instances have occurred where Muslim members of various sects have indulged in objectionable propaganda against each other calculated to hurt each other’s feelings and leading, in its extreme cases, to personal violence. An illustration of this type of agitation is the Ahmadi-Ahrar controversy in the Punjab. The Central Government consider that while the legitimate rights of any community or sect to propagate its religious beliefs should not be unduly restricted, and no discrimination should be made between the protagonists of differing views, religious controversies should be confined to reasonable limits and should not be allowed to reach a point where the public peace and tranquillity may be endangered. Militant or aggressive sectarianism should, in the opinion of the Central Government, be suppressed with a heavy hand.
2. I am desired to bring the views of the Central Government in this matter to your notice for such action as may become necessary in your jurisdiction.’
The Government of Pakistan will be glad if the Provincial Governments and local administrations will enforce, strictly and impartially, the policy enunciated in the above letter. This policy applies equally to newspapers and periodicals which habitually indulge in sectarian writings.
The Government of Pakistan have noted with satisfaction the action taken recently by the Punjab Government with sectarian agitation”.
The Home Secretary also thought that a reference to the Centre had become necessary and, therefore, on 4th July he recorded the following note:—
I am submitting the main policy file regarding the Ahrar-Ahmadi controversy to H. C. M. as I feel that the time has come when the Central Government should be addressed at the highest level to formulate their policy regarding this question, unless that has already been done, and to make it known to us and the people of the country by deed and directive.
2. This Province is no doubt the stronghold of the Ahrar and contains the largest number of Ahmadis in any one Province of Pakistan but the fanaticism and the philosophy of hatred which the Ahrar are preaching under the cloak of religion for their own political resuscitation, if not curbed, and killed now, will not remain confined to this Province or to the Ahrar and Ahmadis. This Government have taken certain steps to ensure that the conditions will not be created either by the Ahrar or the Ahmadis which will imperil the public peace and order. These steps have been taken after due deliberation and after all other methods had been tried to ensure that the Ahrar will desist from their evil course. There is no doubt that the Ahrar are the aggressors in this matter and are the originators and authors of the whole dispute. They are now feeling frustrated, and seeing their political doom they are making desperate efforts to exploit the sentiments of the Muslims by distortion of facts and misrepresentation of Government’s intentions and actions. It will become evident to everyone before long that Government only wanted to snaffle the Ahrar for curbing the agitation sponsored by them and that there is no question whatever of Government interfering with the legitimate religious or political activities of any party or group of people. The honesty and the bona fides of this Government do not require any vindication but I feel that we have a right to ask for the co-operation of the Central Government to facilitate us in the discharge of the administration of this Province, particularly in matters which properly speaking are within their scope and sphere.
3. The Ahrar are using three slogans now to enlist popular feeling in their support :—
(1) propagation of the masla-i-Khatm-i-nubuwwat ;
(2) the declaration of the Ahmadis as a minority ; and
(3) the removal of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan.
4. As far as (1) is concerned, the Central Government should tell us unequivocally what line to pursue. This demand means nothing else but what the Ahrar and many other Muslims call ‘radd-i-mirzaeeat’—eradication of mirzaeeat. Should we allow, encourage or connive at activities which aim at physical or religious annihilation of a minor section of our people? The orthodoxy of the Ahmadis is heterodoxy of the non-Ahmadis and if the latter class are allowed to inveigh against the Ahmadis, will they also be given the right to declaim from pulpit and platform that what they believe is the truth and the rest all blasphemy? If we concede this right to one section of the public, are we prepared to allow the Christians to preach what they piously believe regarding our Prophet (peace be on him) and shall we be prepared to risk public demonstrations by the Shias of their sentiments towards some of the most illustrious of the sahaba? Is it the intention to make this country a battle field for warring groups and religions with the ultimate object that the vanquished will either perish or will be converted ? The hydra which the Ahrar are trying to raise should be killed before it is hatched otherwise it will devour our freedom and all else that we cherish. This is a matter on which the Centre should give us a lead. This religious belief cannot be enforced by the Ahrar and other non-Ahmadis on the Ahmadis without creating problems of law and order. We should, therefore, know whether considerations of law and order should be given paramount importance or whether we should give priority and precedence to the religious beliefs and the susceptibilities of the majority of our people. All the above points can be settled and the questions answered competently by those who are framing our constitution and whose scope is not limited like that of the Provincial Government.
5. The second plan of the Ahrar is that the Ahmadis should be declared a minority. This is a matter entirely for the Central Government to decide and they should not leave it undecided any longer. If they feel that the demand is just and in accordance with what they have in mind regarding the future destiny of this country, they should concede the demand, forthwith. If on the other hand they consider the demand to be preposterous, they should issue an authoritative statement in unambiguous terms. It is for the Centre to decide whether they should give in to this pressure created by the Ahrar to undo Pakistan, against the creation of which they had done their utmost until the proverbial last minute. Whatever the decision of the Centre, it should he made known to every one as early as possible.
6. The third demand of the Ahrar is again a matter regarding which Centre should tell the public what their view is. If they still repose confidence in the Honourable the Foreign Minister which I am sure they do, what is preventing them from saying so openly to quell the campaign of vilification being carried on against him? The man in the street is now feeling, though quite unjustifiably, that some of the Honourable the Foreign Minister’s colleagues are behind this agitation, otherwise the complacency with which they are ignoring the insults heaped on him cannot be accounted for.
7. If H. C. M. approves of my suggestion for addressing the Central Government, he may kindly send an appropriately worded letter to H. P. M. Honourable the Chief Minister may also like to discuss the entire situation with H. E. the Governor.
8. I am not burdening this note with the action that is being taken to give a fillip to our propaganda so that we shall not lose our case by default and the public will know the real and true facts and the steps that are being taken to implement the policy of this Government to finish the Ahrar-Ahmadi controversy as a source of danger to the law and order of the Province. Honourable Chief Minister is being informed of the up-to-date position, verbally and otherwise but I may mention here that the Ahrar, as a clever move, have convened a convention of the various religious organisations on the 13th of this month to consider the question of khatm-i-nubuwwat. I have also called a conference of the District Magistrates who are mainly concerned with this matter for tomorrow. The recommendations formulated at our conference will be submitted to Honourable Chief Minister immediately. In view of the convention called for the 13th, I would request H. C. M. to consider the desirability of prevailing upon C. S. and I.G.P. to postpone their leave for the present. They may proceed on leave when this agitation has blown over.
9. Chief Secretary may please see before the file goes by special C. I. D. messenger to H. C. M. at Nathiagali.”
The following was the Chief Secretary's view on this :—
“H. C. M. may please peruse the above note of H. S. from page 1.
2. I cannot say that we need seek support from the Central Government regarding the action which we have taken in order to maintain law and order in our Province. One would normally not ask them to issue any statement to the effect that they fully endorse the action taken by us. But in this case the Ahrar have been giving an impression that their agitation is endorsed by the Central Government or by some Ministers or officials of that Government. The C. I. D.’s report is that this matter is being whispered round in the towns. It is, therefore, desirable that we should report the position to the Central Government, and ask them to consider whether they would issue a statement to the effect that there is no truth in this rumour and that the Central Government fully support the action which the Provincial Government has taken.
3. If H.C.M. decides to write a letter to H.P.M. at a personal level, we are likely to achieve the beet results. But I feel that a, formal approach in respect of what I have mentioned above will also be proper.
4. H.S. has omitted to mention that the Central Government’s policy on this subject has already been explained to us at M/1-C. This policy is that religious controversies should be confined to reasonable limits and should not be allowed to reach a point where the public peace and tranquillity may be endangered. They have laid down that militant or aggressive sectarianism should be suppressed with a heavy hand. This policy has also been reiterated in a letter which was received yesterday and is placed below as P.U.C. In this letter they have noted with satisfaction ‘the action taken recently by the Punjab Government in dealing with sectarian agitation’. In these circumstances I do not agree with H.S. that the Central Government has not indicated its policy to us.
5. The questions : whether the Ahmadis should ever be declared as a minority, and whether the Honourable Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan should be removed from his office of Foreign Minister, do not concern the Provincial Government to give a declaration on the first subject. The decision, I think, rests with the Constituent Assembly. It is clearly inappropriate to suggest to H.P.M. that he should give a pronouncement on the point whether the Honourable Foreign Minister enjoys his confidence. But while we write to the Central Government, we can mention that these two demands are being put up by the Ahrar party as two of their three slogans.
6. The Question : whether the Inspector-General of Police and I should or should not proceed on leave, is for H.C.M. to decide. I have talked to I. G. and also H. S. and the impression I have formed is that there is no harm if I proceed on leave on the 7th for 16 days. The I.G. is proposing to go on leave on the 15th; but he will not do so if the situation deteriorates in any manner. I do not feel that there will be any serious development till I am due to return from leave.”
When the file came to the Chief Minister at Nathiagali, he observed :—
“I am already taking steps to secure the formulation of a consistent and definite policy by the Central Government for all the Provincial administrations on the question of the Ahmadi-Ahrar controversy as well as on the general attitude to be adopted in all agitations and movements likely to inflame and exacerbate sectional feelings. It is probable that a conference at the highest level will be held in Karachi towards the end of this month to consider this problem.
In the meanwhile I feel that there is no necessity to make a formal reference to the Centre on the point suggested by H. S. :—
(a) in view of the Central Government’s very recent communication placed as P.U.C. below, and
(b) particularly in view of the obvious and overriding fact that we need no guidance or consultation to make us realise our primary duty of maintaining law and order in the Province.
Our general policy in respect to the Ahrar and Ahmadis is absolutely clear. As a Provincial Government we are not concerned with any religions difference of opinion, or as to what should be the political status of a particular community, or as to what relation of mutual trust or distrust exists between certain Ministers of the Central Government. Our only concern is to see that the law of the land is not broken, and that the security and safety of all citizens is safeguarded.
We must keep ourselves strictly aloof from all religious and political controversies and their merits in their own context. Our publicity should make this point clear.
1. We should pursue with a heavy hand all persons who incite to violence.
2. Continue our present ban on sectional meetings.
3. In view of the sensitivity felt by all sections and opinions of Muslims keep strictly aloof from any sort of interference in mosques. I see the logical difficulties in this position, but too technical and legalistic an attitude will inflame rather than solve the problem. Besides I am inclined to discount the agitational effect of meetings and gatherings exclusively held in mosques.
I feel that if the situation remains as uncertain as it is at present, I.G.P. may consider postponing his leave for a few days.
C. S. may go, but he should hold himself in readiness to be recalled from Karachi at the shortest notice.”
The matter rested here when the ulama, gathered in Lahore for the All Muslim Parties Convention to be held on 13th July 1952.