President Rafiq Tarar
His Religious Profile
According to favourable press reports, President Tarar, from his early life, was a strong believer in Khatame Nabuwwat (End of Prophethood after Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him). He had memorized poems on this subject written by Maulvi Zafar Ali Khan. He used to attend rallies organized by Majlis Ahrar Islam; (it may be recalled that this party of political mullas was intensely anti-Pakistan and anti-Quaid-I-Azam in pre-partition days. Ed.). Syed Bokhari, a top leader of Ahrar called Tarar his fifth son and had named him Khadim Khatame Nabuwwat (servant of the End of Prophethood) for his anti-Qadiani activism. Early in his career, Tarar was once attacked by a Qadiani and received injuries (The Daily Jang, 17 December 1997). The fact is that in 1954(after extensive anti-Ahmadiyya Ahrari riots in the Punjab) Tarar, a young activist, approached an old man by the name of Rahmat, an Ahmadi, and initiated a hot argument and attacked him. Rahmat, fearing harm, took out his penknife from the pocket and used it in self-defense. Tarar was injured. Later, when the case was heard in the court, the Judge observed that while Rahmat was at fault in using his penknife, Tarar was also at fault in initiating the brawl. Tarar, in his own interest, withdrew his complaint.
With the passage of time, Mr Tarar hardened in his fundamentalism and animosity towards Ahmadis, and made no secret of it. During his tenure as Judge of the Lahore High Court, Ahmadis, implicated under religious laws, had a very rough time at that court. As a senator, he may not have contributed much in the Senate, but he did write a few virulent and rabid articles against the Ahmadiyya Community for the Urdu Press. In his article for the Nawai Waqt of 27 Jan 1997, he stressed that Ahmadis must be called Qadiani even if they dislike this label. He openly instigated the readers to violence on this issue by writing: If any important personage or persons attempt to juggle with the Anti-Qadiani Ordinance, they would face millions of Muslims ready to lay down their lives for the defense of Finality of Prophethood. In the conclusion to his article, he challenged the disputants in Persian idiom: Hameen maidan wa hameen god; its simple translation is - let us fight it out.
Senator Tarar wrote an article for the Daily Khabrain of 24 April 1997 in which he made a big case to prove why an Ahmadi should not be appointed a judge at the provincial High Court. He reasoned that as Qadianis are not reconciled with the constitutional amendment which declared them non-Muslim, they cannot be trusted to take oath under the constitution. He conveniently forgot that even the President and the Prime Minister, who take the oath of their office under the constitution, often voice their dissatisfaction with certain clauses of the same constitution; hence lack of reconciliation with a clause of the constitution should be no bar against taking oath under it. Then the Retired Justice went on to say that as there were only 4088 registered Qadiani voters in the Punjab, for each Qadiani Judge, the Muslims should have 7008 judges at the Lahore High Court. To conclude, he threatened, as usual: If any important personage uses his influence in this dispute, then the Muslim crowds will themselves take up the banner on this issue and then Her cheh bada bad (i..e. let the hell let loose).
Last but not least - according to a press report, Mr. Tarar is a great admirer of General Zia.