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Demolition of fence in Wagah Town: Mufti Naeemi breathes fire as Ahmadis consult lawyers
* Alleges Ahmadis fencing ‘mini-headquarters’ not graveyard
By Ali Waqar
LAHORE: Clerics will step forward to stop Ahmadis from fencing their graveyard in Wagah Town if the government surrenders, said Dr Sarfaraz Ahmed Naeemi, the head of Jamia Naeemia and the chairman of what he calls the Difa-e-Islam Mahaz (Protection of Islam Front).
The Ahamdiyya community has meanwhile begun consulting lawyers on the issue and say they would defend their rights.
Naeemi, who has been accused of a hate campaign against Ahmadis, said if the government would “close their eyes to such sensitive issues”, clerics would mobilise people against them.
Talking to Daily Times on the issue of the fencing of the Ahmadi graveyard in Handu Gujjar, Dr Naeemi said he had reports that the Ahmadiyya Community wanted to set up a “mini-headquarters” near the India-Pakistan border, which he said was unacceptable. Clerics would not have opposed the fencing if it were just a graveyard, he said.
He said there were only 25 families in the village and there was no need for a six-acre graveyard. Ahmadis could extend their graveyard in Rabwah as much as possible, he said, and should bury their dead, even those belonging to Handu Gujjar, in Rabwah.
Clerics were ready to allow Ahamdis to extend an open graveyard without a boundary wall, he said. “Other than this, nothing is acceptable.”
He said they had Qadian as their international headquarters in India and wanted a headquarters on the Pakistani side of the border as well. “We do not oppose giving them rights,” he said, “but that does not mean they can do whatever they want.” The intentions of Ahmadis were doubtful, he said, and allowing a minority to build such a large establishment near the border was unacceptable.
Clerics took up the issue because the government did not look serious about resolving it, he said.
“The government should remember that according to our belief, apostates should be killed within three days. It is only the difference of opinion on this decree within Muslims that has stopped us from doing so.”
The issue surfaced several days ago when some people started lobbying against the extension of an Ahmadi graveyard in Handu Gujjar, seven miles from Shalimar Gardens off the Grand Trunk Road going towards Wagah.
The community had bought six acres to extend an existing cemetery, but local clerics – allegedly from Sunni Tehrik and Tehrik-e-Tahafaz-e-Naomoos-e-Risalat – called on the residents of the locality to oppose the construction of a boundary wall.
The community had bought the land from an Ahmadi landlord because no local authority or housing society is prepared to offer them space for a cemetery in Lahore.
On April 22, following directions by the district government and Wagah Town administration, a large contingent of Lahore police supervised the demolition of the boundary wall.
Policemen arrived at Handu Gujjar in five buses at about 5am on Sunday morning and the wall was demolished in less than 20 minutes. District and town officials said the construction was illegal because the town authorities had not approved the plan.