July 19, 2004: A news item was widely published in local press, specially Urdu dailies, alleging that Ahmadiyya Community in Rabwah has destroyed a Police post and Mosque after forcibly taking over its control. In fact the Police Post was established on the land owned by Jamaat Ahmadiyya and loaned to police more than quarter of a century ago. Police unauthorizedly constructed a platform to offer prayers without taking any permission or consent of Jamaat Ahmadiyya. Later a single room was constructed at the same place which is now called Masjid. Police Post was recently shifted to another location with mutual consent and the possession of the land was handed over back to Jamaat. In order to utilize the land Jamaat constructed a boundary wall around it and demolished the dilapidated residential quarter and toilets leaving the structure of one room Mosque intact. Mullas started making fiery speeches about the alleged destruction of the Mosque and managed to gather large mobs from nearbyb towns. This issue earned them great publicity and soon they managed to demolish the outer wall with the help of Police. Finding the Mosque intact and to keep the issue alive they are now publicizing that the Mosque has been damaged partially i.e., toilets and water taps etc. and are demanding that it should be handed over to them. Unfortunately the Religious Affairs Advisor to Governer of Punjab, instead of clarifying to Mullas that prayers should not be offered on a Mosque constructed on unauthorized land, joined them thereby showing Government support. Read further about the case in report titled Lack of Legal and Religious Justification for the alleged Perpetual Sanctity of the mosque built Illegally at the Premises of the old Police Post at Rabwah (Chenab Nagar).
A Press release from Jamaat Ahmadiyya along with text of letter written to Minster of Interior clarifying the position is produced hereunder :-
No mosque is demolished in Chanab Nagar, This news is totally false, aim of which is to create sectarian hatred and disturb the peace.
Chanab Nagar (PR): No mosque is demolished in Chanab Nagar. This is stated by Mr. Rashid Javed the spokesman of Jamaat Abmadiyya Pakistan. He commented on the news item published in news papers claiming that Ahmadis have demolished a mosque in Chanab Nagar along with old Police Chowki. The spokesman stated that this news is fabricated and totally baseless. Facts are that Police Chowki was situated in a building owned by Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya, which is now shifted to another building by mutual consent. The policemen had constructed a small mosque in the court yard of old building illegally without any permission, which is very munch intact. The spokesman said that mischief mongers mullahs are fanning sectarian hatred with a view to create law and order situation in the country.
The newspapers should show the responsible attitude while reporting.
Text of Letter to Home Minister
I want to bring to your notice a matter of grave concern, which wan-ants a quick, and firm action.
The mullah, the yellow press and some elements of the police have blown the issue of the Chanab Nagar police Chowki mosque out of proportion and are trying very hard to make a mountain of mischief out of this molehill. The background and facts of this issue are presented below.
Almost a quarter a century ago, the government decided to establish a police Chowki (post) at Rabwah. As the authorities, for their own reasons, decided not to construct a purpose built post, they asked the Ahmadiyya Jamaat to lend them a place and building for their needs. The Jamaat obliged by providing this location where a few houses stood at the time. The police was there as guests and paid no rent. The property was owned and is owned till this day by Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan.
With the passage of time, the policeman made a thara in the premises to offer their prayers. Sometime later, without permission and authorization from the owners, they constructed illegally a small room at the thara and started offering prayers therein, we protested foreseeing the consequences against this action then. It was an unlawful act, as no law permits a renter or a user to construct a mosque at somebody elses property. If that were permissible, there would be great chaos in the country, all over. It is important to mention that the mosque was used only by the police staff and was never public place of worship. There was no public residing in the vicinity of the Chowki.
As the Ahmadiyya Community now needed the space for its own use, it arranged with the police to shift its post elsewhere. By mutual accord, the police was provided with alternate accommodation and it shifted to the new post. In the meantime, some mullahs who, the authorities know very well, are always looking for mischief and spare no opportunity to create problems for the government, found it opportune to take up and blow the issue of the mosque out of all proportions.
The Urdu yellow press, never far behind, in supporting sectarian strife, printed two/three column headlines on July 19, and reported to the effect that:
The above is nothing but pure falsehood and fabrication. The press reports are based upon little else than handouts of the so-called ulema. In fact, the mosque is intact; anyone can see it, 2), the police moved to their new post subsequent to their own decision. It is ridiculous, even insulting to suggest that a peace-loving community can forcibly evict the police from its post. After the police shifted to its new location, Ahmadis undertook the necessary demolition of the decrepit building but did not touch the house of worship.
However, we report with great regret that the police have acted unlawfully, and grossly violated Ahmadiyya Communitys basic rights by demolishing last night a wall that the Community built on its own property. Not only that, the police have been guilty of trespass, not only itself, but also brought two mullahs along to show them its compliance with demands of clerics. Surely, this is neither the Enlightened Moderation nor the way President wants to implement it in Pakistan.
The Ahmadiyya Community expects the authorities to respect the law of the land and to facilitate Ahmadis exercise their normal citizens, rights. Ahmadis also hope that the government will not allow itself to be humiliated by petty clerics and their acolytes who have a track record of never contributing to communal harmony and peace.
I am afraid it is not a isolated incident. It seem to be part of a deliberate and evil scheme to use it as a pretext to destroy the peace of land with a view to further their political designs. Such like incident are a matter of grave concern for the Ahmadis the world over protest by them may cause embarrassment for the Govt.
Maj (R) Shahid ahmad sadi