Report of The Court of Inquiry
THE KUP INCIDENT
At this stage it is necessary to give a brief account of the Kup incident itself. Contrary to the general belief that had come to be held by district officers that processions and public meetings, though banned by orders under section 144, were not to be dispersed, a Sub-Inspector of Police attached to Police Station Kup in Multan had seen the absurdity of such orders being made and constantly disobeyed. Accordingly, on 18th July this officer took it into his head to disperse a public meeting or procession in Multan by the use of force. This was taken as an affront by an impertinent officer and an insult to the honour of the Holy Prophet. Accordingly, on the following day an infuriated mob of about 5,000 gathered round the Kup Police Station and demanded the transfer of the impudent Sub-Inspector. The higher officers present attempted to pacify the crowd but without any result. The railing of the Police Station gave way to the weight of the crowd leaning against it and the mob entered the precincts of the Police Station itself. A squad of fifteen foot constables came out to lathi-charge the trespassing crowd but they were met with, a shower of brickbats and had to recede. Then somebody attempted to set fire to the building and the police opened fire, killing three and injuring thirteen of whom three died in the hospital.
Protest meetings against the Multan firing and expressing sympathy with the killed and the wounded were held in several places and eventually an inquiry into the incident was held by a Judge of the High Court who found that the firing was justified. Though the persons who were killed or wounded were members of an unlawful assembly and thus offenders under the law of the land, they were publicly described in several meetings as martyrs, and the Ahrar advertised a meeting at Multan for 29th August 1952 to celebrate their chehlum. The D. I. G., C. I. D., suggested that the meeting be banned but the Chief Minister disapproved of the proposal and agreed merely to the administration of a warning to the Ahrar. The proposal that after the administration of the warning a press note should be issued by Government, was also disapproved by him. Again when the Home Secretary inquired whether a general warning should be administered to the Ahrar leaders, the Chief Minister replied that Government need not bother about a general warning at that stage.
By now the demands began publicly to be supported by Muslim Leaguers and several poster and handbills signed by members and office bearers of the League appeared in the districts of Lahore, Lyallpur, Jhang and Sheikhupura. Muslim Leaguers also began to preside over khatm-i-nubuwwat meetings organised by the Ahrar.
It also came to the notice of the President of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League that members of the League were presiding at the meetings of other political parties. He, therefore, thought it necessary to define the policy of the League and on 1st April, 1952, issued the following press statement :—
“It has come to my notice that at some places in the Province prominent members of the Muslim League organisation including, in some cases, even the Presidents of the District Muslim, Leagues have presided over Ahrar conferences. It must be made clear that to preside over the conferences of another organisation is a breach of discipline of the Muslim League. I am, therefore, to direct that no member of the Muslim League organisation shall in future preside over meetings which are sponsored or conducted by organisations other than the Muslim League. This of course does not include participation in functions which are of a purely social or non-political nature; but the definition of ‘political’ may be interpreted very strictly and not loosely. It is absolutely necessary that members of the Muslim League do not take part in any activity which is likely to create hostility or ill-feeling between the citizens of Pakistan or to revile and condemn particular sections or groups of the citizens of Pakistan”.
and on the basis of this statement a circular letter, dated 3rd April, 1952, was sent to all District and City Muslim Leagues, wherein the members of the Muslim League were prohibited from presiding over non-Muslim League meetings, excluding social and non-political meetings, and it was emphasised that members of the Muslim League should not take any part in activities which might create estrangement or enmity between different classes of Pakistan citizens or which were directed against any particular class or section of Pakistan subjects.
Despite this direction, however, Muslim League branches in districts and towns began to ally themselves with the movement that was rapidly spreading. It has already been pointed out that some persons were being prosecuted in Sargodha and Gujranwala for contravening orders under section 144 for taking part in public meetings in mosques organised by the Ahrar. On 17th July, 1952, the City Muslim League, Gujranwala, held a meeting and passed the following resolutions :—
1. That the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat is a fundamental doctrine with Muslims.
2. That the City Muslim League strongly disapprove the application of orders under section 144 to mosques and regards such orders not only unnecessary but a direct interference with the religious observances of the people and strongly demands of the Government to withdraw such orders.
3. That the City Muslim League demands of the Government that all cases arising out of the contravention of section 144 orders be withdrawn and the persons arrested for such contravention released.
4. That the City Muslim League should give legal assistance to those who have been arrested for gathering in mosques in contravention of orders under section 144.
Three days later, i.e., on 20th July, 1952, the City Muslim League, Sargodha, also passed the following resolutions :—
(1) that the City Muslim League unanimously supports the demands for the declaration of Ahmadis as a non-Muslim minority ;
(2) that the City Muslim League requests the Provincial Muslim League and the All-Pakistan Muslim League to take the issue of the declaration of Ahmadis as a non-Muslim minority in their own hands in order to save the nation from further disintegration ; and
(3) that in view of the importance, unanimity and the delicate nature of the demands and public feeling in the country, the Central and the Provincial Leagues should take some practical steps in the matter.
The City Muslim League, Kamoke, also passed a resolution to the effect that since the ulama, of the Punjab had unanimously declared the Ahmadis to be outside the pale of Islam, the Ahmadis had become ineligible for being members of the Muslim League, that members of the Muslim League who were Ahmadis should be rusticated from the League and that no Ahmadi should in future be eligible for membership of the League.
In a public statement published in the ‘Afaq’ of 18th July Mr. Daultana. the President of the Punjab Muslim League appealed to the members of the League to help the League in the solution of the religious and political problems which had arisen over the issue of khatm-i-nubuwwat. He advised them to remain calm and patient in order to enable the Working Committee and the Council of the Provincial League to deal with questions on which these two organisations alone could give a correct lead to the people in the forthcoming meeting of the Provincial League which was to be held on 26th and 27th July.
At a meeting of the Working Committee of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League held on 28th June, 1952, it was decided to hold the next session of the League at Lahore on 26th and 27th July, 1952. A provisional agenda was fixed for the purpose on 1st July 1952, but it did not include the issue of khatm-i-nubuwwat. The agenda was issued to all Councillors who were requested to submit by 15th July such resolutions as they wished to be moved. Accordingly the following resolutions were received by the Joint Secretary of the League :—
1. Resolution, dated 14th July, 1952, moved by Qazi Murid Ahmad, M.L.A., Councillor, Punjab Muslim League, and seconded by Sahibzada Mahmud Shah of Gujrat, Councillor, Punjab Muslim League:
That this meeting of the Punjab Muslim League Council demands of the Government of Pakistan that Mirzais be declared a separate non-Muslim minority and directs the Muslim League Assembly Party that at an early date it should have a resolution passed in the Punjab Legislative Assembly calling upon the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan to declare the Mirzais a separate non-Muslim minority.
2. Resolution, dated 14th July, 1952, moved by Sahibzada Sayyad Mahmud Shah of Gujrat, Councillor, Punjab Muslim. League, and seconded by Qazi Murid Ahmad, Councillor, Punjab Muslim League:
That this meeting of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League suspects Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan’s loyalty to the State and believes that Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan has exploited the office of Foreign Minister to propagate the doctrine of Mirzaeeat and in filling up public posts with Mirzais, that the failure to have the Kashmir issue solved is due not only to Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan’s inability but also to his and his Jama’at’s traditional loyalty to Great Britain and that the interests of Pakistan, Islamic countries and Kashmir demand that Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan be removed from his office as early as possible.
3. Resolution, dated 15th July, 1952, moved by Muhammad Islam-ud-Din, M.L.A., Vehari, District Multan :
That the Mirzais who do not believe in the finality of the Holy Prophet of Islam and on the contrary consider that those who believe in such finality are Kafirs be declared to be a non-Muslim minority and that this demand flows from religious, democratic and constitutional principles.
That the Punjab Provincial Muslim League should impress upon the Central Government the importance of the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat and require that Government to declare persons having a different belief as a minority.
4. Resolution, dated 12th June, 1952, moved by Maulana Sayyad Ahmad Saeed Kazmi, member, Provincial Muslim League Council, Multan, and seconded by Khwaja Abdul Hakim Siddiqi, President, City Muslim League, Multan, and further supported by Sufi Muhammad Abdul Ghafoor Ludhianvi, Honorary Office Secretary, District Muslim League, Multan, Councillor, Provincial Muslim League :
That since the Qadianis are unanimously considered to be outside the pale of Islam, they should be declared to be a non-Muslim minority and that such declaration should not be delayed by Government.
That since Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, who is a Qadiani, is not a representative of the Musalmans, the Punjab Provincial Muslim League Council should demand from the Government of Pakistan that he should be removed from the office and some reliable Musalman appointed in his place.
5. Resolution, dated 14th July, 1952, moved by Muhammad Ibrahim Qureshi, General Secretary, City Muslim League, Jhang, Councillor, Punjab Muslim League :
That the Council should declare that on the strength of their own showings and writings the Ahmadis should be declared by the Council to be a separate non-Muslim minority but that they should be treated as generously as possible.
That the Council should take adequate steps to preserve the doctrine of the finality of nubuwwat of the Holy Prophet of Islam and should not in future appoint any members of the Jama’ at-i-Ahmadiya to any key post.
That the Muslim League should take the question of preservation of the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat in its own hands so that no zilli or buruzi should in future dare propound any doctrine to the contrary and thus endanger the integrity of the State.
The next meeting of the Working Committee was held on 25th July under the chairmanship of Mr. Daultana, President of the Punjab Provincial Muslim League. At this meeting it was announced by the Chairman that the resolutions which had been received by 15th July 1952 had been examined by him and other office bearers and that they had come to the conclusion that only eight resolutions were to be moved in the Council. This was approved by the committee and in the list of approved resolutions there was at No. 3 a resolution called khatm-i-nubuwwat to be moved by Sayyad Mustafa Shah Khalid Gilani.
The second session of the Council began at 8 a.m. on 27th July, and in it the following resolution was passed by a majority of 284 to 8 :—
“The Council of the Punjab Muslim League is fully conscious of the truth that khatm-i-nubuwwat is one of those fundamental articles of the Islamic faith which have knit together Muslims of the world into a spiritual brotherhood and provided a strong basis for the unity and solidarity of the Muslim nation in Pakistan. This truth carries with it the obvious and natural implication that non-subscribers to the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat have a fundamental difference with what Islam stands for in the domain of religious belief.
On the basis of this position, about which there is or can be no dispute, a proposal, which pertains to the domain of political action and constitutional legislation, has been put forward, namely, that the Ahmadis who have a fundamental difference of attitude on a question of faith, should be classed as a non-Muslim minority in the Constitution of Pakistan. In the opinion of the Council the proposal reflects to a certain extent the reaction of Muslims to the strong separatist tendencies which the Ahmadis have themselves at times shown not only in religious matters, but also in the sphere of civic and social life.
The proposal, however, involves grave and important issues of a constitutional and legal nature which will affect the privileges and obligations of citizens of Pakistan and will determine the nature of the constitutional set-up which is to be proposed for Pakistan. Such matters naturally require deep and careful consideration in a spirit of calm unprejudiced deliberation unaffected by emotionalism or agitation. The Council of the Punjab Muslim League is, therefore, of the opinion that the constitutional issue involved may, with the fullest confidence, be left to the mature judgment of the leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League & the Members of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. In the meantime every member of the Muslim League organisation must endeavour to create an atmosphere of calmness and serenity in which alone deliberate decisions affecting fundamental constitutional policy can be taken.
At the same tame this Council affirms its unwavering adherence to the principle that it is not only a democratic but also a religious duty of Muslims of Pakistan to protect as their own the life, property, honour and all civic rights of every citizen of this State, irrespective of his or her caste or creed. This Council expects the Muslim League Ministry in the Punjab to uphold the principle in all circumstances”.
At a subsequent meeting of the Working Committee held on 22nd August, 1932, it was resolved that no member or office bearer of the Muslim League should preside over the meetings of Majlis-i-Amal of All Muslim Parties Convention.
Mr. Daultana now busied himself in explaining the stand taken by the Provincial Muslim League in its resolution of 27th July. Speaking in Hazuri Bagh on 30th August, 1952, he said :
“To-day Pakistan is the only country in the world which seeks to claim Islamic Government. The whole world is watching us in this experiment and if we failed in fulfilling this responsibility, the world would have an opportunity to say that there is no room for an Islamic form of Government in the world. In the matter of khatm-i-nubuwwat, I have the same belief which a Musalman should have. According to me all those who do not believe the Holy Prophet to be the last of the prophets are outside the pale of Islam. I go further and say that to raise any argument on the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat itself amounts to kufr because an argument is possible only where the matter admits of some doubt. The belief in khatm-i-nubuwwat is a part of our faith and it is above all argument and logic. The Mirzais are themselves responsible for the hatred that has been created against them because of their separatist tendencies. They are separate from us in every department of life and have confined their personal, political and social activities to their own class. The Qadiani officers have been guilty of partiality towards men of their own community as several allotments were made by them merely on the ground of the allottee being a Mirzai. This was an abuse of their official position.
The remedy for this state of affairs does not lie in emotional speeches and public meetings. So far as the Punjab is concerned, I shall take strong action against anyone who is found guilty of partiality on sectarian grounds and will have every such complaint fully investigated. I appeal to you in the name of the teachings of Islam and in the good name of the nation to protect the life, property and honour of every person who calls himself a Pakistan citizen. So long as I am the Chief Minister I shall not tolerate in my Province the shedding of innocent blood and shall spare no pains in protecting the honour of every citizen, and I shall discharge this religious, moral and official duty at every cost. The question of declaring the Mirzais as a minority is a constitutional question. Our Constitution has not so far been framed and the Constituent Assembly has not taken any decision in regard to the distinction to be observed between the majority community and the minorities. The question should, therefore, be left to the Constituent Assembly. But assuming for the sake of argument that the Mirzais are declared a minority, what would be the position if they cease to call themselves as Mirzais. The object in declaring a group or a community as a minority is that not only the rights of that group or minority should be determined but that such rights should be protected and they should be given concessions in public services and representation in Legislative Assemblies. If the Mirzais are declared a minority we shall be bound to give them all those concessions and rights which we do not wish to give them now. This is a very complicated question which requires deep and serious consideration. It is not a question which can be settled by holding public meetings, raising riots or throwing stones or by any other rash step. I ask all those who are holding public meetings in connection with the khatm-i-nubuwwat movement, where is the need for such meetings if everyone of us believes in khatm-i-nubuwwat? These unnecessary meetings sometimes create a doubt in my mind about the bona fides of those who are organising them”.
In the course of his speech at Rawalpindi reported in the ‘Civil & Military Gazette’ of 13th September, 1952, he said :
“I want lo make the country a true Islamic republic, in which every-one, irrespective of his political opinions should have equal rights and everything should be settled by exemplary justice; where people are well off economically and. morally, where people are sincere, sober and earnest in achieving the common good of the country.
* * * * * * *
I firmly believe in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad and any person who does not believe so is not a Muslim. But this does not mean that a person who does not believe so should have no right to live in the country.
All those people who live in Pakistan and are loyal to Pakistan, be they Hindus, Christians or of any other sect or religion, come under the protection of the Government of the country and also of the people. To protect each one of the countrymen is the foremost duty of a Muslim as also of the Government; so long as I am at the helm of affairs I will see that no harm is done to any loyal Pakistani purely because of his different faith, caste, or creed.
The question of declaring the Ahmadis a minority is not a religious but a constitutional issue, which should be treated as such and discussed dispassionately and coolly. I appeal to the Ahrar and other religious organisations to create a calm atmosphere for the consideration of such a question”.
In his speech at Nizamabad on 25th October, 1952, he deprecated sectarianism and said that people who were creating disunity among the Musalmans were destroying not only the unity of Islam but the integrity of Pakistan. He advised the public to abstain from joining the disruptionist activities of the communalists.
The point stressed in these speeches was that a person who did not believe in the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat was not a Musalman, that the demands in respect of the Ahmadis flowed from this theological position, that the demands in their nature were constitutional and political which could only be tackled by the Central authorities, constitutional or Muslim League, that the Province was not concerned with the demands and that the Ahrar should make no fuss over this matter in the Punjab.