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Hate material in children’s magazine?: Cases registered against Ahmadi kids over magazine subscription
By Ali Waqar
LAHORE: Police in Khushab district have registered a case against five Ahmadis, including two pre-teens, for subscribing to the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya’s monthly children’s magazine Tasheezul Azhan, Daily Times has learnt.
According to the first information report, the complainant, an officer of the Intelligence Bureau, submitted to the Khushab district police officer (DPO) that the magazine is “banned literature” and contains “hate material”. A brief study of the 50-page magazine showed no obvious “hate material” against any group, and the articles were restricted to discussions about Ahmadi beliefs.
The IB officer reportedly learnt from the post office that the magazine was being mailed to the five Ahmadis, and named them in the FIR based on their names on the envelopes the magazines were to be posted in. They had not received the magazines yet.
A case was registered under Section 17 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance in Chora Kalan police station on January 26 against 11-year-old Nusrat Jahan, daughter of Hakim Muhammad Sadiq of Ahmadabad Janoobi; 8-year-old Umair Ahmad, son of Ghulam Ahmad of Ahmadabad Janoobi; Ashfaq Ahmad, son of Muhammad Mumtaz of Khai Kalan; Rafi Ahmad, son of Muhammad Yousaf of Omerabad Majoka; and Abdul Sattar, son of Ahmad Hasan of Thathi Omerabad.
The accused have not been arrested yet, and the Jamaat is trying to arrange pre-arrest bail for them, sources in the Ahmadiya community told Daily Times.
Punjab Home Department officials said they did not know if the magazine was banned or not.
Representatives of the Ahmadiya community said they did not believe the magazine was banned, and they always sent a copy of each issue to the government department concerned. They asked why, if the magazine was banned, no cases had been lodged in other districts. They said the Ahmadis were being unfairly victimised in this case and appealed to the government and civil society organizations to look into the matter fairly.
Tasheezul Azhan, which is edited by Sajjad Mahmood Buttar from Chinab Nagar (Rabwah), is one of the oldest publications of the subcontinent. Started in 1906, the magazine has a circulation of about 10,000 across Pakistan, an official of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya told Daily Times.
In September last year, police raided an Ahmadi newspaper office and arrested a printer and a journalist, charging them with offences under the Anti Terrorism Act. Ahmadi representatives condemned the raid as harassment and an attack on press freedom. Daily Alfazal opened in 1911 and is one of the oldest newspapers in Pakistan.