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This part deals particularly with the adequacy or otherwise of the measures taken by the civil authorities to meet the agitation, but is by its very nature bound up with the circumstances leading to the imposition of Martial Law on the 6th of March 1953. Here and there it may be difficult to avoid references even to the “Responsibility” section, for the transaction is one, and water-tight compartments are neither possible nor advisable.
We are dealing with the evidence and conduct of persons who have held or still hold eminent positions in the political The witnesses. or official life of the country. With some we may have personal friend-ship, for others we have admiration, whether for their astuteness, intelligence or sincerity of purpose. It would, therefore, be embarrassing for us to give expression to pronounced views about them with the insolent confidence of a demagogue. Where there is a conflict in evidence and the matter is not important, we prefer to say that it is unnecessary to pronounce judgment. Where the matter is important, we should merely say it is proved or not proved. Then, again, it should be clear that we are examining the administrative machinery as a whole, and not the conduct of any particular authority. That conduct will become relevant only to the extent that it has a bearing on the functioning of the machine. It is only where a particular officer voluntarily takes upon himself a greater burden than the situation warrants, as in the case of the District Magistrate of Lahore, that it should be necessary to see whether the burden has been discharged. It is only where an officer has allowed extraneous considerations to influence his policy, as the Director of Public Relations appears to have done, that his conduct should be individually scrutinized.
The majority of witnesses gave evidence with the realization that they were being examined by intelligent persons, The same. and that it is a moral offence to insult intelligence. We are grateful to them. We were particularly struck by the sincerity of purpose which inspired Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din. Not all people may agree with his views, but at times, when he was speaking, he scintillated flashes of a light “that never was on sea or land”. Some few of the witnesses were not so frank. We are not grateful to them, but realizing as we do that habit is second nature, we can be indulgent. Evasiveness and prevarication are vices more distasteful to a court of law than an error of judgment in a riotous situation, and our advice to these gentlemen is to re-adjust their mental equipment.
And this is indeed the main object of our exertions. Whatever may have been the intention of Government in directing this inquiry, it has given us an opportunity to ask our officers, on whom lies the burden of administration, to bear this burden in the traditions of the steel-frame, when we saw the erect figure of a district officer in the middle of an excited procession, a soft smile on a firm mouth, determination written on his face. We are particularly anxious to address ourselves to these gentlemen because the politician is, and ought to be, the judge’s despair, and what is meat for the one is poison for the other. A strong administrative service is God’s own boon to people—and a boon unto the Government also, if the Government is that of the people. You will remember that it was the presence of three or four “stout fellas” in Karachi belonging to the services that saved the boat from capsizing.
We can start with facts which are axiomatic. The maintenance of law and order is the duty of the provincial government Difference between “Law” and “Order” and the primary concern of every civilized government, irrespective of every other consideration. But law and order are two different terms, and a person may make a speech or write a pamphlet which offends the law but which does not lead to disorder. A government would, therefore, be failing in half of its duty if it ignores such a speech on the ground, for instance, that although a month has passed since the speech was made or the pamphlet written, nothing untoward has happened. It is overlooked that this attitude offends the majesty of law and gradually comes to breed contempt in the minds of the speakers, writers and a multitude of readers. It was partly by reason of this cultivated frame of mind that humiliating challenges were delivered to authority. Since this ultimately recoils on the “order” situation, it is well for the administrator to bear in mind that people should be disciplined to keep within the bounds of law.
In the provincial sphere, the Chief Minister, Mian Mumtaz Muhammad Khan Daultana, was the Minister in charge The Law and Order officers. of Law and Order, and he was assisted by the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary, the Inspector-General of Police and the Deputy Inspector-General of the C. I. D. According to the Rules of Business, the Chief Secretary is in charge of “public tranquillity”, and for other police matters including the administration of the Public Safety Act, the secretariat work is dealt with by the Home Secretary, who acts as the Chief Secretary’s assistant in the sphere of law and order. All important cases relating to law and order pass through the Chief Secretary, who is also the head of the political branch of the C. I. D. The Inspector-General is Joint Secretary in the Home Department and in charge of internal defence. The D. I. G. (C. I. D.), is responsible for the provincial intelligence organisation and assists both the government and the district officers. He marks papers about political matters direct to the Chief Secretary or Home Secretary, according to the subject, but in respect of criminal matters through the Inspector-General.. The collection of intelligence is the responsibility of the C. I. D. and the District Security Staff, the latter being under the Superintendent of Police, and the two work in collaboration. In Lahore particularly, Intelligence is collected mainly by the provincial C. I. D. The District Magistrate is the head of the criminal administration of the district and is responsible for the maintenance of law and order. The police force in a district is under the general control and direction of the District Magistrate.
Through the courtesy of Government, we had the benefit of over a hundred of the C. I. D. files relating Home Secretary and D. I. G. (C. I. D.) bear the burden. to the Majlis-i-Ahrar or kindred matters, and we have studied quite a number of them cover to cover. What we saw was that when a matter came up before the D. I. G. (C. I. D.), he generally marked it to the Home Secretary, but that on a few occasions the Inspector-General and on still fewer occasions the Chief Secretary also wrote. It has not been clear to us how far in practice the Inspector-General and the Chief Secretary come into the picture, but the burden seems to be carried by the Home Secretary and the D. I. G.
As we understand the case, the Chief Minister lays down the policy and the Secretaries work out the details. Chief Minister lays down policy only. But Mr. Daultana himself admits—and this should be borne in mind when examining the policy in action—that it would be his duty to interfere if a glaring case of inaction came to his notice.
Mr. Daultana’s plea is that so far as the law and order position went, his policy was one of Mr. Daultana’s plea : policy of firmness. Officers responsible for details. firmness, and that he had done nothing contrary to the advice of his officers. In other words, if in the working out of details any infirmity is detected, the responsibility will be hat of the officers. He further says that the law and order situation was made difficult by the appearance of a new phenomenon on the political horizon, a phenomenon which affected the entire country and which consequently could be adjudicated upon by the Centre alone. Under the British rule, since Muslims were fighting a political battle on many fronts, nominal unity with those calling themselves Muslims was necessary. With the emergence of Pakistan as a national state of Muslims, Concept of “millat” in Pakistan gave things a different complexion.
Although Muslim Leaguers in general regarded the issue as a religious one, and could not detach themselves Muslim League Council, 26th July, 1952:
Next he made his views clear to the pro-League papers in July, 1952, and thereafter the “Ehsan”, Attitude of pro-League papers. the “Afaq” and the “Maghribi Pakistan” blacked out sectarian propaganda. The fourth pro-League paper, the “Zamindar”, was in the good books of the Centre and received numerous favours from that quarter.
Last but not least, (continues Mr. Daultana) adequate administrative action was taken against sectarian Action against sectarian meetings. meetings. Both Ahmadi and Ahrar meetings were banned in June 1952, resulting in vicious propaganda that the Government was interfering with mosques. For when the ban was imposed, the Ahrar held meetings in mosques. Some prosecutions were launched nevertheless and some persons convicted, with fruitful results ; the Ahrar brought a deputation on the 19th July 1952, and later published a statement that it was not their intention to resort to violence and that they would help Government in maintaining law and order. On this assurance Mr. Daultana withdrew the ban and the prosecutions, and released the convicts.
He maintains that it was not possible for him to take unilateral action against the Ahrar for the preservation Unilateral action not possible of law and order. Firstly, it might have resulted in a conflict of policy with the Centre or the provinces. Secondly, after the 8th of August, 1952. when it was decided at the Karachi meeting of the Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers and Governors to avoid direct clash with the Ulama, and to exert personal influence, it was not left open to take action. Lastly, it was not a particularly bad situation in the beginning of 1953 : the outbreaks of June and July 1952 had been controlled, the Ahrar. had given an undertaking and the Centre was negotiating with the Ulama.
In respect of the agitation itself, Mr. Daultana’s view was that the Khatm-i-nubuwwat doctrine was a sacred Khatm-i-nubuwwat : Ahmadis’ fanatical tendencies tenet of Islam and the Ahmadis were non-Muslims. It was accentuated by the “exclusive separatists, uncompromising and fanatical tendencies” of the Ahmadis themselves. The Ahrar took advantage of it to redeem lost power and credit. Nevertheless, the movement was inopportune at a time when the country was faced with internal and external danger. Viewed in international context, it was a highly debatable issue and weighty arguments, political and practical, could be urged against it. Above all, any movement which aroused sectarian bitterness was fraught with grave consequences.
But, in short, “we could not control the effect without checking its cause”.
Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din agreed that Mr. Daultana pressed the Centre for a decision, Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s defence.
His own belief was that if ninety per cent of the Ulama agree that a believer in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Fatwa of kufr : its effect. was a kafir, or that he should be stoned to death, he would bow his head to the decision. But the fatwa of kufr does not necessarily turn a community into a non-Muslim minority. The basis of the Demands has, therefore, no connection with the demand for an Islamic state. Fatwas of kufr have been quite a feature of Islam since the Four Caliphs, but they have never resulted in the denial of civic rights to the individuals or classes against whom the decree was made. This is very comforting indeed, in a state where fatwas are likely to become as necessary as guns and butter. The last remark is our own.
Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din agreed that he had not advised Mr. Daultana to restrain the Ulama from publicly He wanted Ulama to have freedom of expression expressing their religious belief, for this would have meant interference with freedom of expression. But he added that liberty of expression did not mean licence, and when the speakers started going beyond the limits, if the Punjab Government had made judicious use of sections 153-A and 295-A of the Penal Code, the situation But not licence. would not have deteriorated to the extent that even if the Ulama had wished to back out of “Direct Action,” they had not the courage of doing so for fear of public opinion.
Since Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din agrees that he wished to avoid a clash with the Ulama, Conference of August 1952. the question whether at the conference of August 1952, any decision to avoid a clash was taken loser importance. Two of Mr. Daultana’s own witnesses, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar and Khan Sardar Bahadur Khan—the only witnesses who were questioned as to the conference of August—say nothing, however, in support of Mr. Daultana, The former said that when provincial representatives were questioned as to their views, Khan Abdul Qayyum showed reluctance over the use of force, as it would react on his province, while Mr. Daultana was of the opinion that if the Centre took a definite decision that the movement should be put down, then with some effort the Punjab Government Sardar Abdur Rab Nishter would be able successfully to tackle the situation. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar could not say whether the Prime Minister expressed any view or that any formal decision was taken, but that the consensus of opinion was that the movement should not be putdown by force. That was Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din’s attitude also, generally: he did not seem to be in favour of the Demands, but at the same time he did not wish to use force to suppress public opinion.
Khan Sardar Bahadur Khan said Mr. Daultana had urged the Central Government to take a clear and unequivocal Khan Sardar Bahadur Khan decision, and thus place the administrative machinery in the Punjab on a “stronger wicket”. The Government would, in that case, mobilise its political machinery—the Muslim League and the press—to educate the public.
Mr. Chundrigar, another of Mr. Daultana’s witnesses, was not questioned in respect of this meeting.
This evidence does not negative Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din’s assertion that the conference regarded Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din’s statement not negatived. the communique of the 14th August to be the best solution of the matter. Sardar Abdur Rab, who, under the Prime Minister’s direction, prepared the draft of the communique, states that although it was not prepared at this conference, it possibly resulted from the deliberations of the conference. There must be some meaning in Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din’s unhesitant denial that the conference decided to avoid a head-on clash with the Ulama. If this was not what the conference decided, then Mr. Daultana’s plea that after the 8th of August 1952, it was not left open to him to take action, loses force. And if the Conference Communique of 14th August, 1952. resulted in the communique of 14th August, the communique acquires fresh importance. It was an effort at “canalization”—an expression which will become familiar at a later stage—and should have given an insight into Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din’s mind. Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan, editor of the Zamindar, who had led a deputation to Karachi, Should have made Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s attitude clear. made a triumphant announcement on or about the second of August 1952, that the Central Government would accept some of the Demands on the 14th August, and received a baffling answer in the contents of the communique, Kh. Nazim-ud-Din denies that any promise was made by him beyond the statement that he would deal with the subject in his Pakistan Day speech. Here, again, Mr. Daultana has made a statement which his counsel has not tried to put to other witnesses; that the Central Ministers told Kh. Nazim-ud-Din that he should not have given an undertaking to M. Akhtar Ali Khan but that if he had done so he should make up his mind to fulfil it. “It was decided, however that a clear pronouncement of policy was not possible or politic and that we should avoid the issue by some sort of a sop to the people and that sop was the issue of the communique”. Mr. Daultana does not explain how the Ministers climbed down from their lofty insistence that Kh. Nazim-ud-Din should fulfil his promise, to an evasive communique making no reference to the Demands. We would, therefore, take the communique at its face value and hold that if, notwithstanding the expectations raised by the Zamindar, Kh. Nazim-ud-Din addressed himself, not to the Demands, but to what he regarded as the root cause, he could not have possessed any overflowing enthusiasm for the Demands, and if the Ulama had any hopes of him, then we all hope for Heaven.
We do not know what enduring good Mr. Daultana’s counsel Effect of communique not material obtained from Mr. Anwar Ali’s statement that the non-contradiction of the announcement in the ‘Zamindar’ had raised hopes in the public mind. If the communique had given birth to any widespread riots the raising of hopes for a short period of twelve days would have been an argument worth attending to. Nor do we understand the further, but more or less contradictory, statement of Mr. Anwar Ali that the communique itself created an impression among the Ahrar and their friends that their view-point had been partially accepted and that further concessions would be made. If that communique pleased the Ahrar, then, on the one hand, Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s effort at “canalization” was successful, and on the other, the hopes raised earlier by the ‘Zamindar’ were not dashed to the ground. After all, it was not the intention of Kh. Nazim-ud-Din to see that in no circumstances were the Ahrar overjoyed with any act of Government. To the extent to which the Ahrar’s grievances appeared genuine, it was open to Kh. Nazim-ud-Din, and very necessary, in fact, to take preventive steps.
Kh. Nazim-ud-Din does not deny that Mr. Daultana pressed for a decision from time to time. Mr. Daultana pressed for a decision The second occasion arose at Murree on the 26th of August 1952 and the third occasion, according to him, after the Dacca session of the Muslim League in October. Lastly, the matter was revived on the 16th or 17th February 1953, when Kh. Nazim-ud-Din visited Lahore, It was then that Kh. Nazim-ud-Din told him he was not prepared to take up a head-on fight with the Ulama.
Mr. Chundrigar, who was a witness of the talks at Murree and Lahore, states in respect of the Mr. Chundrigar’s evidence former that both he and Mr. Daultana impressed upon the Prime Minister the necessity of defining the Centre’s attitude and announcing it, because the Muslim League and other sober sections of the people could not carry on any counter-publicity so long as the attitude of the Central Government was not known, and that the situation was Likely to deteriorate. He replied that he would discuss the matter with the Ulama, after Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar’s return from pilgrimage and then formulate a policy. He aimed at evolving a formula acceptable to all and getting it endorsed by the Pakistan Muslim League Council. In reply to a question by us, Mr. Chundrigar admitted that the Prime Minister had said, “without reference to these demands”, that if a question of law and order arose, it would be for the Provincial Government to tackle it, “but he did admit that enunciation of the Central Government’s policy one way or the other or the indecision of the Central Government would affect the law and order position”.
Then, says Mr. Chundrigar, on the 16th February 1953 there were further talks and the Prime Minister said he was hopeful of negotiations with the Ulama of various schools, and, relying on a difference of opinion between them, expected some of them to forbear from supporting “direct action”, which, therefore, might not materialise. In the event of failure, he intended to call a conference of the Ulama of the entire Muslim world.
Mr. Fazal Ilahi, counsel for the Punjab Government, suggested to the witness that on 26th August at Murree the Prime Minister was of the view that though the demands were not acceptable, if such a declaration were made, it would afford opportunity to the agitators to excite the masses. The reply was that “he did not express any such view on the 26th August. In my presence this view was expressed by him for the first time on 16th February 1953 in Lahore”.
The question put by us in respect of Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s attitude to law and order Two important points in Mr. Chundrigar’s evidence. and the question put by Mr. Fazal Ilahi in respect of his attitude to the demands bring out two very important features of Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s defence, but if they are not read as supplementary to Mr. Chundrigar’s version of the meetings of the 26th August and the 16th February as given by him in answer to the questions of Mr. Daultana’s counsel, the impression one gets is that Kh. Nazim-ud-Din was thinking of the Ulama only and of nothing else. If these questions had not been put, we were likely to form an incomplete view of his conduct. It is true that the Ulama, occupied his mind a great deal, but these answers show that he was also alive to the law and order situation and that he had communicated to the Provincial Government his views about the demands at least on the 16th of February. If that be true, what was it that the Provincial Government wanted to know when on the 21st of February 1953, under the Chief Secretary’s signature, a letter was sent to the Ministry of Interior requesting it to “enunciate the firm policy that they want to adopt with reference to these demands”, as such enunciation “will considerably strengthen their hands”?
At one stage of his statement, Mr. Daultana’s grievance was that Kh. Nazim-ud-Din Concession to Ulama for ulterior objects. followed a policy of concession to the Ulama, in order that he might utilise them on other fronts. “I think his policy was to concentrate attention entirely on the religious issues so that by this concentration, and by obtaining wide popularity, he might get through many other provisions (of constitution-making) such as parity and the language issue.
There is force in this argument, and in the absence of other circumstances it could well have been said What impression he gave to Ulama: that Kh. Nazim-ud-Din gave an impression that he might accept the demands in good time. But some of the Ulama who waited on him in deputations have made statements before us which convince us that his attitude ought to have been clear to an intelligent person. Maulana Murtaza Ahmad Khan Maikash saw him twice, Maulana Maikash on the 13th and 16th of August, 1952, with three or four other persons. “He said that our demand relating to the declaration of Ahmadis as a minority was within the sphere of the Constituent Assembly. We asked him whether, as leader of the Assembly, he would or would not raise that question. He said that he would consider this matter”. In regard to Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, “he finally expressed his opinion that he would not take any action in the matter”. As regards the removal of Ahmadis from key-posts, he said that the case would have to be “presented” to him by the deputation—whatever that might mean—and that he would then consider it sympathetically. But at the same time he asked them whether they had seen the press communique of 14th August. In other words, that should have been enough.
In fact, if Maulana Abul Hasanat is to be believed, that is exactly what Maulana Abul Hasanat. Kh. Nazim-ud-Din said. “We again asked him whether Government had taken any decision in respect of the three demands. He enquired from us if we had seen the press communique issued by the Central Government to the effect that Ministers and Government officers were not to indulge in sectarian and religious propaganda. We said that we had seen the aforesaid communique as well as Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan’s observations in regard to it. Kh. Nazim-ud-Din then said that the action taken by the Government, namely, the publication of the communique, should satisfy us. We said that the communique had nothing to do with the demands that we had presented to him”.
Four or five months later, Maulana Abul Hasanat again met him, Maulana Abul Hasanat again. this time with Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan and some others. This must have been in December 1952, because there was a subsequent meeting in January, Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din then told the deputation that “he had given a good deal of thought to the matter and had arrived at the result that it was difficult for him to concede the demands”. In January, he told them that “if he removed Chaudhri Muhammad Zafrullah Khan from the Cabinet, Pakistan would not get a grain of wheat from America”. After they had heard this, they said nothing about the other two demands.
Maulana Abdul Haamid Badayuni met him in with five other members of Maulana Badayuni the Central Majlis-i-Amal on or after 18th January 1953, but his evidence is not very convincing, though clear enough for an inference. According to him, the Prime Minister had expressed himself as being unable to remove Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan because of his importance in the water dispute between India and Pakistan and of the food situation, but as regards the main question, he was prepared to consider it. Asked why the Council bad started “direct action” if on the main question the Prime Minister was accommodating, the Maulana replied that the answer to the other two demands was not satisfactory. On six or seven previous occasions the Prime Minister had promised to concede the Demands, “but that we should wait”. The witness’s impression, however, was that “apart from any other obligation, he was not willing to concede them”.
Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din himself does not claim that he clearly Did not clearly tell them told the Ulama at any time that he was not prepared to declare the Ahmadis a minority. This was because he wished to avoid a “head on” clash. No one asked him what a “head on” clash exactly means, but we suppose the idea conveyed by it is this. If you tell a man you are not going to accept his demand for something and that he can go to the more blazing of the two estates to which people are transferred hereafter, it fires him with infinitely more enthusiasm for what he regards as his mission than when you express sympathy with his point of view but regret that it is not possible for you to oblige him or that you have overwhelming difficulties. In such cases you are always willing to give further thought to the matter, but if that overflow of good-will which should characterise the utterances of a true public man leads any person to any sort of paradise, it cannot be the paradise of a wise man.
At another stage of his statement, Mr. Daultana contended that the policy of the Centre was one Policy of drift of drift. That would not indicate any intention, but lack of the power of decision. But if the Centre is drifting in its own sphere, does it not stir provincial leadership to a stronger realization of its duty to save itself from the drift? We are not thinking of that exceptional type of leader-ship which rises to the surface in an hour of emergency. We are considering the common run of man, somewhat above the average, who can, by the exercise of commonsense and industry, help a lame donkey to its destination. Mr. Daultana replied that he could devise no better way of saving his own government from drift because it was clearly indicated in the Karachi conference of August 1952 and subsequently that the demands and the speeches, so long as they kept within law, could not be prohibited. To the last minute he was not certain the that Prime Minister would not concede the Demands. The object of the negotiations with the Ulama appeared to be to persuade the leaders not to press the demands as an immediate objective. If this is the impression that Mr. Daultana received from the Prime Minister’s conduct, it is unfortunate; but the party concerned, the Ulama, had a very different impression. It was not a mere impression in their case they heard it straight from the man concerned. Consequently, Ulama of negotiations there could be but one object in negotiating—to persuade the Ulama to yield, rather than to displease them by a blunt answer. Further, although it is true that the Prime Minister advocated liberty of expression, particularly of religious thought, his contention is that the speeches did not keep within the law; nevertheless they were not muzzled. It will be found in due course that this contention is not gratuitous.
The argument that the Prime Minister’s injunction to avoid clash Object not ostensibly in favour of violence. with the Ulama resulted in failure to take action in the provincial sphere assumes that the Ulama were a set of rowdy and abusive fanatics who preached violence and revelled in the sight of blood. Perhaps they will not deny being called fanatics, but not one of them was prepared to admit before us that he did not condemn violence. Maulana Maikash, who argued the ease of the Ulama with remarkable vigour, condemned all abusive utterances made by petty leaders, notwithstanding his own fanatical zeal against the Ahmadis. These utterances, it will be found in the sequel, were made by Sayyed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, Preachers of violence are not Ulama. Maulvi Muhammad Ali Jullundhri, Sayyed Muzaffar Ali Shah Shamsi, Master Taj-ud-Din, and a few others—we should not forget Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan—but these gentlemen do not pretend to know anything profound about religion or to belong to the hierarchy of the Ulama. Sayyed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, upon being questioned as to the form of future government that he contemplated, replied that the question was for the Ulama to answer. He is thus the only Amir-i-Shari’at without a religious portfolio.
But, after everything has been said in reply to Mr. Daultana’s complaints against Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s fears about a head-on clash are unreal. the Centre, it is difficult to appreciate the intensity of the fear which Kh. Nazim-ud-Din had of a head-on clash with the Ulama. “Any decision rejecting the demands would have led to the slaughter of a very large number of Muslims, who would honestly lay down their lives, thinking that they were courting martyrdom. If any bloodshed has been caused, I maintain that before God I shall not be held responsible, but if I had taken the offensive and plunged the country into a religious war, I am sure I would have been condemned both-here and hereafter. The situation would have been ten times worse if the fight had been on merits and not on the law-and-order question, and it is doubtful whether we would have ultimately succeeded”. With great respect, it seems to us that this view, notwithstanding its transparent sincerity, is affected by sentiment. The victims of the disturbances, apart from the Ahmadis and officials, belonged to two classes : those who courted martyrdom and those who exploited such occasions for prosecuting criminal designs, and neither of them could distinguish a law-and-order situation from a fight on merits. The fanatic believed in all circumstances that he was fighting for a noble cause: it required only a Bukhari to tell him so. The knave and vagabond did not care whether it was the Prophet’s honour or a dozen bicycle tubes that he was risking his life for; it needed only a Bukhari to proclaim the Prophet’s honour. Very few people in Lahore knew on the morning of the 27th February that the Ulama had been arrested because they had decided to send pickets to the house of the Prime Minister. The arrests, they thought, had been occasioned by the non-acceptance of the Demands. It also appears that Kh. Nazim-ud-Din had been told by Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan something about the Frontier and the tribes, and Kh. Nazim-ud-Din expected a holy war if the demands had been rejected. Well, now the demands have been rejected: they were rejected on the 27th February of last year. And the tribes do not know whether the little breeze in Lahore was occasioned by the rejection of the demands or by the surfeit of criminal talent incidental to big townships. It all depends on what you tell them. Therefore, it all depends on the man who tells them and the paper who tells them; whether it is a person who believes language to be primarily the vehicle of abuse and malice, and who thinks, when wielding the mighty pen, that he can stir any filthy pool with it. In short, it is a matter of “educating” the Public, as Maulana Maudoodi discovered about the end of February 1953, or of “canalising” a religious or political trend, as Mir Nur Ahmad knew long ago.
The Ulama are a very learned class and entitled, like all devotees of learning, Ulama, like all specialists, have a single-track mind. to great respect. But like all learned persons whose energy has been directed to specialisation, they have developed a single-track mind, and a single-track mind has dangerous possibilities. You cannot do without specialists, but you need a “general practitioner”, a person well-grounded in all subjects which are the particular province of the specialist, to co-ordinate their activities. In respect of subjects other than his own, the specialists’s outlook is bound to be narrow. We have no admiration for cheap terms like mullaism or fanaticism. A common graduate, without anything but surface knowledge of any of his subjects, revels in these phrases as though he himself were a superior being. You might as well accuse a botanist of botanicism or a chiropodist of chiropodism. We therefore do not say that the Ulama’s outlook is narrow because they are Ulama; it is narrow because they are specialists in one branch of life. They look for rain that their own small crop should thrive; they do not know or care where it injures another small crop five miles away. The Ulama have frankly told us, without the blinking of an eye,—to say nothing of tears— that they do not care what happens to Disregard of Muslims in other countries. Muslims in other countries, so long as their own particular brand of Islam gains currency here. To quote a single instance, the Amir-i-Shari’at said that the-remaining 64 crores—the figure is his own—“should think out their own destiny”. Perhaps for those teeming millions, the solution suggested by Maulana Muhammad Ali Kandhalvi of Sialkot is the most practicable—to change their ideology and religious views according as they are in Lahore, Delhi or Timbuctoo.
Consequently, for those who have to look after the crop not only here,. but also in China and Peru, it is imperative to consult all-embracing interests and deny irrigation here and there. If Kh. Nazim-ud-Din was convinced that the demands cannot be conceded, there should have been no hesitation in rejecting them. What he was reluctant to do was to “crush” the Ulama. Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s regard for Ulama. How the rejection of the demands could result in crushing the Ulama, except in a metaphorical sense, is difficult to understand. Such, however, was his regard for the Ulama that on the 27th February 1953, just before direct action came to the door of his house, he threatened resignation in the hope that “if the Ulama did not listen to reason and realize that they were endangering the safety of Pakistan, they should be shocked into this realization by my offer of resignation”. We were startled by the abundance of faith which this observation carried, and remarked that perhaps the Ulama would have welcomed his resignation as a feather in their caps (some of them wear caps now) and used it against future governments in similar situations. It seemed also to be his view that the Ulama represented the public. It has already been shown how a demand acquires the status of a public demand, and Kh. Nazim-ud-Din has himself stated that the reason why Maulana Maudoodi dissociated himself from Demands were not sufficiently “public.” “direct action” was that, according to him, the time was not ripe for it. In other words, the demands were not sufficiently public. Maulana Maudoodi stated in one place—not before this Court—that the movement was known only in the Punjab and Bahawalpur, where also it had not the support of the intelligent section, and that considerable propaganda was necessary to enlist public sympathy. The demands, therefore, must be regarded to be those of the Ahrar in the first instance and of the Ulama later. If they had been rejected early enough, the Government might have been called an infidel government, but worse things have been said of the Government and Kh. Nazim-ud-Din, and nothing has happened to them. Perhaps Khan Sardar Bahadur Khan was right in forming three categories of people—those who believed genuinely in the demands, those who wanted to make political capital out of them and those who were given to understand that if they pressed, and pressed hard, the Central Government would accept them—and observing that the majority of people belonged to the third group, which would have withdrawn from the movement if a clear stand had been taken by the Centre. Opinions always differ and are apt to be categorical, but our idea of what people call a public demand is far from that of something sacrosanct. It may not be based on anything real, but if you can get the support of a popular paper and an eloquent speaker, you go a long way. If the demand is against the government, be it any government, you have a better hearing. Notwithstanding that What is a “public” demand ? some people now call the Government their own, their conception of it is still that of an alien rule. They regard it as their own because they can revile it in terms with which ribald childhood is familiar. They regard it as their own because they can smoke away office hours without fear of dismissal. In short, for many other good and corrupting reasons. We said “a popular paper”. The daily “Zamindar” is an instance of a popular paper, and you will know in good time why it is popular.
It was, therefore, a purely religious approach to the subject which made Kh. Nazim-ud-Din think that any bluntness Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s approach was religious. with the Ulama would spell national disaster. And while he sincerely held this belief, he was alive to the fact that “whoever pressed the Centre for a decision did so in order that the responsibility should shift to the Centre. * * * In that case, if the army or the police shot anybody, the provincial leaders would say it was at the bidding of the Centre. If in the sequel the Central Government were overthrown, the Provincial Government would say to the people: ‘We had supported you throughout?’ It is this natural but unfortunate fear of assuming responsibility for an unpleasant piece of work that has brought these bitter consequences. Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s ease is that if the situation could be adequately handled on the law and order side, why was it necessary to insist that a decision should be taken on the demands? If it could be so handled, and if also it was made clear from time to time that the Centre was not willing to concede the demands, there could then be only one reason for insisting that a “firm” decision be given, and for telling people repeatedly that only the Centre Intention was to embarrass Centre. could give a decision—that the Centre should be embarrassed. We think this argument can best be appreciated if we treat the two Governments as an organic whole, which suffers as a whole if a part thereof is injured. If the choice were between a major injury and a minor injury, nobody could doubt that the major injury should be avoided. This is on the assumption that the choice is to be made by one person. A choice of two evils. If the demands were rejected it would make the Centre unpopular, and if action were taken on the law-and-order side, it would make the province unpopular. But the quality of unpopularity in the two cases would be different. In the former case, a “religious” demand will have been rejected, and there would be considerable scope for stirring up religious fanaticism. In the latter case, action under the existing law will have been taken because a subject of the country was grossly insulted or because a Minister of the Government was maligned because people were incited to bloodshed. The latter action would have both a legal and a moral basis and could be justified without stretching an argument, though it would cause some degree of provocation, Seen from a single viewpoint, action in the provincial sphere would certainly be the lessor of the two evils. Viewed from two different angles, however, each party would be motivated by his own good. And that is so because people have an eye, not necessarily on the common man’s welfare, but on their political future. “The Chief Minister once told me”, says Mr. Anwar Ali, “that he was afraid that if he took any action and the Central Government accepted the Demands, his position would be compromised”.
It now becomes necessary to examine the law-and order side and the contribution mad to it by the Centre.
As early as 1951 (7th September), the Ministry of Interior expressed its views to all Provincial Governments with Central Government’s concern over law and order. reference to the Ahmadi-Ahrar controversy in no uncertain terms. “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 and aggressive sectarianism should, in the opinion of the Central Government, be suppressed with a heavy hand”.
These views were repeated on the 2nd of July 1952 in view of “the very noticeable increase in religious and sectarian controversies”, leading in some places to a disturbance of the peace.
The letter ended as follows: “The Government of Pakistan have noted with satisfaction the action taken Central Government approves action by Punjab Government recently by the Punjab Government in dealing with sectarian agitation”. The reference here is to the ban imposed on Ahmadi and Ahrar meetings in June 1952 and the prosecution of certain persons for inflammatory utterances.
The policy laid down from time to time by the Punjab Government for the guidance of the officers appears from the circular letters which have been reproduced in detail in the earlier parts. They will be mentioned in this narrative in their proper context. Four Periods. For our present purpose, the period under examination may be divided as follows:—(1) The Government of Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar under section 92-A, up to April 1951. (2) The Government of Mr. Daultana, up to 19th July 1952, when upon assurance by the Ahrar that they would maintain the law-and-order situation in proper gear, the ban against their meetings was lifted and prosecutions withdrawn against them. (3) The period up to and including the direct action challenge. (4) From 26th February to 6th March 1953.
I. SECTION 92-A RULE
This period is cited by Mr. Daultana as a model for him to follow. It is also useful by way of an insight into the activities of the Ahrar. Some incidents relating to it may, therefore, be mentioned. On 29th December 1949, the D. I. G., Mr. Anwar Ali, suggested action on a speech of Maulvi Ghulam Ullah in Sialkot, and in January 1950 again, on speeches made at Multan, criticising General Nazir Ahmad and Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan as Ahmadis. The Chief Adviser, Sheikh Muhammad Anwar opposed to action on the ground that it would give the speakers “cheap martyrdom”. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, observing that “vilification of high officials was different front propagating religious beliefs” and that Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi Warning to Ahrar during Advisers’ Government and Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi, to whom he had spoken, had not profited by the advice, asked the Adviser to speak to the President of the Ahrar, Master Taj-ud-Din. The Adviser did so, explaining that if this warning went unheeded, Government would be constrained to take severe action. This was the second warning.
Meanwhile an Ahrar agency reprinted an obscure pamphlet entitled Ash-Shahab originally Ash-Shahab reprintted by Ahrar. written by Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani, the “Archbishop” of Pakistan, apparently with the author’s permission. This pamphlet justified the stoning to death of two Ahmadis by the Afghan Government many years ago. In June I950, Mr. Anwar Ali noted that “for obvious reasons” it was not advisable to ban the pamphlet, but that Master Taj-ud-Din and other leaders should be warned. The Chief Secretary (Hafiz Abdul Majid), the Chief Adviser and the Governor agreed and the Second Warning. Governor also observed that since previous warnings had not proved effective, they should be told that if they did not desist from these activities, Government would be forced to take action.
In another connection, Mr. Anwar Ali wrote another note on the 28th May, 1950, recapitulating the activities of the Ahrar after the Partition and recommending effective action. The note said that an Ahmadi military officer had been killed in Quetta, that the head of the Ahmadiya community and his father were described as adulterers, that Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah was being vilified as an ass, a knave and a traitor and as having bartered Kashmir for Qadian, that S. Ataullah Shah Bukhari had proclaimed in one of his speeches that he would have killed Mirza Ghulam Ahmad with his own hands if the claim to prophethood had been made now, that a man actually rose from the audience and inquired if he should kill Ch. Zafrullah Khan and that on another occasion an offer of Suggestion of Mr. Anwar Ali to declare Ahrar an unlawful association. killing Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad had been made. Mr. Anwar Ali suggested that (1) where active violence was preached, section 3 of the Safety Act Should be used, that (2) section 21 should be used where the Foreign Minister was vilified, that (3) obscene speeches, such as the one in which Mahatma Gandhi and the Khalifa of Qadian were stated to have slept in the same bed, should not be tolerated, and that (4) the declaration of the Ahrar as an unlawful association should be seriously considered.
In this note he took up the Ash-Shahab again. He recalled that the Minister for the Interior (Khwaja Shahabud Din) had Ash-Shahab : Khawaja Shahab-ud-Din’s opinion. been of the opinion, during one of his visits, that the pamphlet in question should be immediately proscribed as it preached violence. The Minister had also said that unless action were taken against the Ahrar now, their popularity may have increased manifold end later action might give them the role of martyrs, apart from creating practical difficulties.
We need not repeat here what the Chief Secretary and the Adviser said, except that Mr. Anwar Ali’s A mere warning again. note seems to us to be the best appreciation of the situation, that the Chief Secretary approved only action under section 3, that the Adviser again dwelt on the plea of cheap martyrdom and that the Governor approved the Advisor’s note, giving a third warning to Master Taj-ud-Din on 16th July, 1950. The following passage in the Governor’s note is significant. He told Master Taj-ud-Din that it was believed, and not without justification, that the khatm-i-nubuwwat movement was meant by the Ahrar to further their political ends by making them popular.
We are not sure that Mr. Daultana could make a good start with this action for his model, but this is beyond the scope of our inquiry. Perhaps the previous Government had laid it down as a rule of guidance for itself that three formal warnings should be given before action was taken. The first would be a mere warning, the second a strict warning and the third a severe warning. Even the Ash-Shahab was not proscribed until Khwaja Shahabud Din had expressed himself strongly in respect of it.
The Ahrar thought they could start afresh with the new Government—with a clean slate as regards the warnings. That is to say, the warnings were wiped off clean.
II. MR. DAULTANA’S GOVERNMENT—UP TO 19TH JULY, 1952
The first file relating to Mr. Daultana’s time is entitled Yaum-i-Tashakkur (the Day of Thanksgiving) and Processions on The Mall : a suggestion. it bears this note by Mr. Anwar Ali : “In pre-Partition days processions were not allowed on The Mall.” What a boon it would be if they take a leaf out of the old book. If people know that the procession will not be allowed on the two Malls, half of the procession’s charm would be lost for them and perhaps, on second thought, they would not take out a procession at all. There is no fun in a precession which does not pass in front of the High Court and the Deen barber. This is a matter which Government, might well consider, though the Charing Cross rendezvous, where the civil officers generally receive processions, would be missed by many.
We take a few typical cases—
(1) Perhaps the first speech made during this regime was that of M. Muhammad Ali Jullundri at the Montgomery Muhammad Ali Jullundri at Montgomery —15.4.51. Conference on 15th April, 1951, when he said that he possessed documentary evidence which established a connection between the Ahmadis and the Pindi conspiracy. This was of course nonsense and Mr. Anwar Ali pointed out, quite rightly, that it would stir up indignation and recommended a warning. He referred to the three previous warnings.
This was clear preaching of hatred, and hatred of the most abominable type, for neither was False Propaganda. Maulvi Muhammad Ali important enough to possess such evidence, nor was any document later produced before the Conspiracy Case Tribunal. But information of this intriguing type easily catches the imagination, and whether any evidence is produced or not, it convinces the hearers that its existence is beyond the pale of doubt. The D.I.G. suggested a warning in the old manner, but in the old manner a warning was not given. Mr. No action. Daultana merely initialled the note. In his evidence he has explained—not with reference to this particular note—that the files which were sent up to him. for information were merely initialled by him. But this one asked for some definite action to be taken.
(2) On the 19th of August 1951, Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari made a speech outside Mochi Gate from which some expressions typical of him may be translated in substance :
Thereupon Sh. Bashir Ahmad, Advocate. Amir of the Ahmadi Jama’at at Lahore, made a complaint Sh. Bashir Ahmad protests. to the Deputy Commissioner, who forwarded it to the Commissioner, who forwarded it to the Home Secretary (then Sayyad Ahmad Ali), who made a note that he had discussed the case with the Chief Minister and had been directed to convey a warning to the Ahrar leaders, Another warning. through the Inspector-General, that they were exceeding the limits. They were to be told that if they do not take this warning, Government will have to take steps against them. The Inspector-General administered a warning to Sh. Husamud-Din, Secretary of the Majlis-i-Ahrar, who promised to convey it to proper quarters.
Mr. G. Ahmad, Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, also asked the Chief Secretary Central Government’s concern. on the 4th of September 1951 whether it was a correct report of the speech that the Foreign Minister was selling Kashmir for Qadian. The Chief Secretary replied that it was correct and added that a warning had been administered.
(3) But look at the effect that the warning produced. Two months later, in October, l951, Bukhari at Muzaffar-garh, October 1951. S. Ataullah Shah Bukhari spoke at Muzaffargarh and repeating most of what he presented as the Ahmadi stand regarding Partition, added a new song to it : “An Ahmadi spy has been arrested in the company of one Gopal Dass. I have given excellent information to Government in this behalf.” How can your simple folk imagine that this grand, old man, weighed down with years, yet sharp like a sword, can invent a story about the companion of Gopal Dass which has not the least basis reality ! If this is true, will it not rouse intense feelings against “traitors”.? If you Ignore that speech, knowing that it is false in context, you may show respect for his grey hair but you ignore the disease with which he has infected your people.
Mr. Anwar Ali thereupon suggested that (1) an Ahrar or two should be gagged, that (2) S. Ataullah Shah Bukhari’s D. I. G. suggests action. movement should be restricted to his village, and that (3) cases should be started under the law for offensive speeches. Khan Qurban Ali Khan wrote an equally strong note. He pointed out that the Ahrar had done enough to justify firm action being taken against them. The last warning was the one given by himself to Sh. Husam-ud Din, I. G. suggests firm action. but it was clear that warnings were useless. Even if the Ahrar as a party refrain, Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari could not. He had nothing but abuse in him. It was possible, however, that if he were gagged, a dying party might regain vigour, but that was for the politician to decide. Personally, he preferred firm action to create an atmosphere of tolerance. The Chief Secretary, without committing himself, suggested that the Chief Minister might hear all of them and come to a decision.
On the 21st November 1951, the Chief Minister’s Secretary made a note, apparently under direction, that no action need be taken until the Chief Minister’s return from some place. This was followed by a conference of the Chief Minister with his officers Conference of officers. Results in policy letter of 24-12-51. on the 6th December, and subsequently, by the issue of a policy letter on 24th December, 1951. This was somewhat on the lines of the Central Government’s letter of the 7th September, 1951, and told all Deputy Commissioners that while the legitimate rights of any community or sect to practise its religious beliefs could not be unduly restricted, it was nevertheless important that religious controversies should be discouraged or at any rate not allowed to the extent of endangering public peace and tranquillity. Disorders resulted where Deputy Commissioners were not vigilant and therefore did not take timely preventive measures, or where they discriminated and therefore did not act dispassionately. It was apparently known to Government that certain district officers were indulgent to non-Ahmadi speakers by reason of their own religious beliefs.
Now on paper, and independently of the context, this letter makes very good reading. Makes good reading. It is in the best traditions of the civil service. It shows how alive Government is to the effects of sectarian activities, to the danger to which the religious beliefs of the district officers themselves expose them and with them the administration, to the legitimate rights of But ignores the case in point. everybody to practise his religious beliefs. And yet—what have they done about the Amir-i-Shari’at? Have they not allowed the people to assimilate the poison which was administered to them ?
The D. I. G., Mr Anwar Ali, had made very effective suggestions. The Inspector-General had pointed out that previous warnings,three during the old Government, two during the new regime, had produced no effect, and that an atmosphere of tolerance should be created. Then there is a meeting of five gentlemen on whom rests the burden of the administration. They must have spent about two hours in discussing the possible effects of gagging Syad Ataullah Shah Bukhari—whether, if he is proceeded against, you will get wheat from the Ahrar or rain from an otherwise benevolent heaven ; whether a dying party will be resuscitated. A dying person can be resuscitated only by a miracle, and it was no miracle One word is too often profaned : “firm” action. to take action against the Amir-i-Shari’at. But it certainly would have been a miracle a decade ago if no action had been taken. The I. G. and the D. I. G. said in their notes it was time that “firm” decision were taken. So often has this word been profaned that it gives us a feeling of sickness now to hear it repeated. It was used on the 21st January, 1953 also, when the Chief Secretary asked the Ministry of Interior to define “The firm policy” in respect of the demands. However, the two police officers at least knew what the word means, and their notes said it means putting one or two of them in jail and restricting the movements of a third. Is it conceivable that they changed their mind in the conference ? If they did, it must be because the idea of the other three officers regarding firm action was different.
The utter futility of the circular letter issued on the 24th December 1951 will become further patent
The district officers have to be told expressly that there is something in the criminal law The policy letters presume that District Magistrates do not act under the law unless expressly told. of the land which can apply to such speeches. But Sh. Bashir Ahmad knew the law when he complained to the Deputy Commissioner against the Mochi Gate speech of August 1951, and in making the complaint to the Deputy Commissioner he apparently intended that officer to apply the law. Was there a circular letter from Government prohibiting district officers from taking action in accordance with law without reference to Government, or was it because the Deputy Commissioner was reluctant to prosecute Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari because (1) he was a grand old man, or because (2) he was one of the Ahrar, a noisy party, or because, (3) after all, the utterances were made against Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, who was only an Ahmadi, or because (4) the Deputy Commissioner wished to throw the burden on the Commissioner’s shoulders, or because (5) in his opinion the speech was not actionable ? Whichever of these reasons you select, it shows that the foundation of the administration itself is creaky. Make your district officers self-reliant. If it is not in their character, give them some other job and replace them by men who have broad shoulders for responsibility. At the conference of the 6th December 1951, one of the questions that should have been District Magistrates are not self-reliant. considered was whether the District Magistrates of Lahore and Muzaffargarh should not be asked why they had taken no action under the law, particularly after receiving the circular letter of the 3rd November. It is only thus that sleeping officers wake up to their responsibility. This is largely the function of the Chief Secretary, but it is not likely that when a conference meets just to discuss a speech or two, it should not occur to the Chief Minister that the man on the spot has done nothing.
(4) On the 22nd and 23rd September 1951, an Ahmadi Tabligh conference took place at Bhalwal. Ahmadi conference at Bhalwal. 22-9-51. Out of sheer spite, a rival Sunni Conference was extemporised in a mosque opposite. The police report shows that while the Ahmadis said nothing offensive, the Ahrar did. Mr. Anwar Ali recommended that the Superintendent of Police should warn local leaders. Khan Qurban Ali added on 4th October 1951 that “if they do indulge in sectarian mischief, legal action should be taken.” This is merely by way of an instance of the conduct of Ahrar.
(5) On 18th November 1951, an Ahmadi meeting was broken up by the Ahrar in Multan, Ahmadi Conference at Multan. 18-11-51. and Sh. Bashir Ahmad, Advocate, again wrote a complaint, this time to Government, pointing out that another meeting at Lyallpur had been similarly broken up. He said Government should have a clear policy and show it in practice. He reminded Government that there was going to be another Ahmadi annual meeting in Sialkot during the week-end and asked for protection. Mr. Qurban Ali said he agreed with every word of this letter and pleaded for “firm policy.”
The breaking-up of the meeting in Multan was particularly brought to the notice of Mr. Daultana, who discussed the matter with his officers, and the matter ended with a note by the Deputy Secretary, Home, on behalf of the Chief Minister : “No separate action is necessary on this reference.”
The Sialkot meeting had to be put off with the consent of the Ahmadis themselves, because of the At Sialkot 16-2-51. tense atmosphere, and was ultimately held on the 16th and 17th February 1952. Even then the police had to cordon off the meeting with barbed wire. The Ahrar stood at some distance and threw stones at Ahmadis after the meeting. The Deputy Commissioner prevented the situation from growing worse by show of force, and sent the Ahmadis home in trucks, with police escorts. In respect of the meeting on the 17th February, the Ahmadis themselves thought it was not safe to hold it, and consequently did not hold it.
(6) An Ahrar Conference was scheduled to meet at Okara on the 24th and 25th November 1951, and as Okara Ahrar Conference at Okara 24-11-51. was the hot-bed of Ahmadi-Ahrar controversy — an Ahmadi had been killed there in 1950 — the Chief Minister accepted D.I.G’s. advice that it should be banned. It then transpired that the Deputy Commissioner of Montgomery, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Cheema, had already allowed the meeting to be held on condition that no objectionable speeches would be made. Mr. Daultana was then in Karachi and as Mr. Qurban Ali thought it would be best to honour the pledge, the Montgomery’s De-puty Commissioner Deputy Commissioner was informed that he could allow the meeting if he was confident that nothing untoward would happen. The conference was opened by Mr. Cheema himself, and closed on the following day by the Additional District Magistrate, with his thanks to the Ahrar, because it was termed a “Defence Conference”. Extracts from the following two speeches are worthy of note.
1. Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi— “Beware of Mirzais. They are beyond the fold of Islam and the Pakistan Government should keep them in mind when investigating Khan Liaqat Ali Khan’s assassination. They have no right to preach their faith in Pakistan.”
One cannot help admiring them for being able to discover the missing links in the investigation of all national disasters.
2. S. Ataullah Shah Bukhari—After emphasizing the necessity of strengthening the country’s defences : “One traitor is worse than ten million swine. If Government regard me a traitor, let them shoot me. I regret Mirza-Bashir-ud-Din once openly advocated efforts to reunite Pakistan with India. That was treachery to Pakistan.”
There was some correspondence between the Deputy Commissioner and the Chief Secretary as to the propriety of presiding over a conference of this nature, and on the whole we agree that exception could be taken to Mr. Cheema’s conduct on more than one ground. It is gratifying to note, however, that even without any reference to Government, he had assumed the responsibility of allowing a meeting to take place, subject to safe-guards. Let them commit errors of judgment, but let them do something to show that they are capable of committing errors of judgment.
(7) In March 1952, there came to the notice of Mr. Anwar Ali a pamphlet entitled “Ragra Mast Qalandar Da” “Ragra Mast Qalandar da” March 1952—a mere warning. by Saeen Azad Qalandar of Bhera, containing what was described by the C. I. D. as “abusive and insulting criticism” of the founder of Ahmadism, actionable under section 295 A P. P. C. and section 94-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He made a note that although according to recent instructions such persons were Notoriety and cheap martyrdom denied to criminals. to be dealt with “firmly“, the writer was a person of no extraordinary status and might gain notoriety if prosecuted. We cannot understand why even notoriety should be denied to criminals, but the idea behind the advice seems to be the same that urged the Chief Advisor in 1950 to deny “cheap martyrdom” to the Ahrar as a whole—namely, that they will rise in the scale of values and become important persons for the period following their imprisonment. It is over-looked, however, that, on the other hand people come to regard abuse and vilification as a common feature of life and that ultimately, when it becomes unbearable and any effort is made to check it, they regard it as unwarranted interference with liberty of speech. This is what Multan firing of July 1952 resulted from non-enforcement of orders. happened at Multan in July 1952. For a whole month processions were taken out in defiance of law, and when at last a ban was imposed and a conscientious police officer tried to enforce it, they created a hornet’s nest round his police station, broke the iron fencing, threw bricks at men and things, tried to set fire, injured a number of officers, and were not pacified until they had six bullets lodged in six fatal regions.
Thereupon, the Tasneem of 2nd July 1952 observed : “We cannot but condemn the irresponsibility of the police officer who lathi-charged an assembly merely for the offence of shouting slogans and defying an order under section 144 * * * * . In Sargodha and other places, such orders have been defied.”
However, the Home Secretary agreed with the D. I. G. and the author was merely warned. The Chief Minister, on return from tour, approved the action taken. Perhaps the poem was a good one.
Two months later, in May 1952, the Ahrar issued a poster entitled :
”خليفھ قاديان مرزا بشيرالدين کی گاندھی جی سے ھم بستری اورآکھنڈ ھندوستان“
We cannot translate the title because the word “ھم بستری” has two meanings, and while Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Posters relating to “bed-fellowship”—not even a warning. has used it in one sense, the Ahrar apparently intended the other sense, which makes the meaning filthy. The poster itself is full of indecent material. There is a reference also to a judgment of Skemp J. in which His Lordship is supposed to have ascribed immorality to Mirza Sahib, though in actual fact Skemp J. was quoting from a passage to which the Ahmadis had taken exception. This passage was similarly reported in another objectionable book, “Janbaz Pocket Book”, and one of us had occasion to sentence the author to a month’s imprisonment for contempt of Court.
The D. I. G. made no particular recommendation in this case, and the Chief Minister merely initialled the note.
(8) The next important landmark is the Istihkam-i-Pakistan Ahrar Conference held at Sargodha on the 24th and Sargodha Conference :
This is good enough, but “the firm policy” letter of 21st February 1953, was sent up to the Central Government at the instance of Mr. Anwar Ali himself, notwithstanding the knowledge that in the matter of law and order the Provincial Government was supreme.
In the speeches recorded by the C. I. D., Maulvi Muhammad All Jullundri was reported to Speeches : Jullundri : “Zindeeqs” are liable to death.
This was written on 28th March. On the 4th of April, he wrote another letter. Then changes his mind. “I called for the three maulvis on 2nd April and advised them not to take out processions. If the Ahrar workers and their supporters behave and take out no more processions, I shall postpone taking action”.
This would not be in accordance with the policy laid down in the letter of 24th December 1951, and if the matter remained there, it would merely be said that the local officers were not satisfactory. A bookseller virtually tells a Superintendent of Police that he should mind his own business, What he should have done. and the police officer does not mind it. For “his own business” was to prevent a disturbance of the peace and to make immediate arrests. At one time it seemed as if law and order were defunct—except in his own person and in that of the District Magistrate—and the picture he has given shows both of them jogging along like helpless orphans. We pity them. We pity the administration that has produced them.
But the matter does not remain here. The D. I. G. wrote a strong note and endorsing the opinion D. I. G., proposes action. of the Superintendent of Police, sent the file to the Inspector-General. Thereafter, the Assistant to the D. I. G. informed the Superintendent of Police on the telephone that the D. I. G. has advised action under sections 107 and 151 of the Code, but not under the Public Safety Act. Whether before or after this, the D. I. G. asked the Prosecuting Inspector for opinion, and was informed on the 2nd April 1952 that sections 153-A and 295-A of the Penal Code and section 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure were applicable. On the 3rd of April there is a note But changes his mind after seeing the Chief Minister. by the D. I. G. that the Chief Minister has seen the report, and that the prosecuting agency advise that the speeches are not fit for prosecution. This is a remarkable reading of the Prosecuting Inspector’s advice, but if after seeing the Chief Minister he changed his mind, why does he lay the blame on the prosecuting agency?
Three months later, Maulvi Muhammad Shafi, Khatib of the Jami’ mosque at Sargodha, made Maulvi Muhammad Shafi of Sargodha. 24-6-52. a speech on 24th June 1952, on the occasion of the Juma-tul-Wida, and the Superintendent of Police made a report which is more or less in these terms:
On the 26th June, however, he wrote that he had discussed with the District Magistrate and S.P. takes no notice. the Prosecuting D.S.P. the question of prosecuting Maulvi Muhammad Shafi, etc., under section 188, P.P.C., for the breach of a prohibitory order and that they had all decided not to take action for the speeches delivered by I.G. takes serious notice; but Chief Minister takes no notice. them on the Juma-tul-Wida. The D. I. G. brought the report to the notice of the Inspector-General and the Government. The Inspector-General said : “That they would exploit the name of ‘mosque’ there is no doubt. But unless we concede that mosque is a sanctuary for those who defy the law, we cannot absolve ourselves of the responsibility to see that the law of the land is not flouted.” This was seen by the Chief Minister on the 4th July.
Mr. Daultana told us in Court that when a file came up to him for information only, Action should have been taken. he merely initialled it. In another place he said he generally agreed with the recommendations made by his officers. In yet another place he admitted that if any serious inaction came to his notice, it would be his duty to take action. This was, if nothing more, a case of inaction, quite the contrary of the firm action envisaged in the letters of the 3rd November and the 24th December 1951. A man whom the Superintendent of Police described as a rabid disruptionist had violated an order banning a meeting and had held a meeting. No reason was given, not even that this was a Juma-tul-Wida, and that Juma-tul-Wida is better than a thousand months. This was also a case where the Inspector-General virtually recommended action, and said that if no action were taken, the Government was not absolved of the responsibility to see that the law of the land is not flouted.