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Saddowala, District Narowal; September 14, 2001: Although subsequent to terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, the whole world was condemning terrorism, this did not deter anti-Ahmadiyya extremist elements from carrying out their terrorist attacks on innocent Ahmadis. They struck regardless. Mr. Noor Ahmad and his two sons, Ahmadis, were sleeping at their farm on 13/14 September night. After midnight, five terrorists who had covered their faces arrived and showered bullets on the unsuspecting people who were asleep. As a result, Mr Noor Ahmad and his son Tahir Ahmad died on the spot. Mr. Javed Ahmad was hit near the shoulder. He was taken to the hospital at Narowal. A guest was also asleep nearby; he was hit in the stomach and was grievously injured. He was rushed to Lahore for treatment.
It is noteworthy that Saddowala is not far from Ghatialian where a few months ago armed men attacked worshippers in an Ahmadiyya mosque and killed five of them.
Sayyadwala, District Sheikhupura; August 29, 2001: It would be recalled that last month mullas and their disciples destroyed the Ahmadiyya mosque at Sayyadwala while the police was present but remained inactive. The next day, when Ahmadis tried to clear up the debris, the police became active against the victims and forbade Ahmadis to attend to their place of worship. A self-explanatory letter is reproduced below that was written from the Community headquarters to the Governor of the Punjab and high Federal officials at Islamabad:
The Daily DAWN reported the incident in its August 29 issue, and published the statement of the Secretary General of the Human Rights Commission Pakistan. It is reproduced here.
Chak 93/TDA, District Layya: It was in April this year that religious fanatics, supported by the administration, proceeded against Ahmadi community of this village and got registered criminal cases of religious nature against them under PPC 295A, 295B and 298B. Ahmadis were accused of having a minaret and a niche in their mosque; they were also accused of having a copy of the Holy Quran in their mosque. The incident seriously disturbed the peace of the village, and Ahmadis felt having been driven to the wall. The authorities, rather than promoting peace and providing a semblance of support to the beleagured Ahmadis, built up further on their shameful record, and the police arrested 11 Ahmadis under PPC 107/151. It is learnt that 11 non-Ahmadis were also detained, but this is a strange type of justice where the aggressor and the victim is given equal treatment. No wonder, the mulla pays no heed to government's warnings and treats them with contempt.
Khoski, District Badin; September 23, 2001: Anti-Ahmadiyya elements took to violence at Khoski in the last week of September. Pushtun and Afghan looking miscreants came over to Mr. Daud Ahmad, an Ahmadi's house, and knocked at his door. When he came out, they beat him up for no reason - or, to be precise, for being an Ahmadi. Then they visited the residence of the president of Ahmadiyya Community. The president's elder son opened the door; they beat him up also. This raised the alarm, and a number of Ahmadi youth assembled in a hurry to take defensive measures. This prevented spread of further violence. Later, in the evening, the local mulla who is a Pathan, held an open gathering in front of Mr Daud's house and made a violent and provocative speech. This raised the level of communal tension.
Members of the Ahmadiyya Community thereafter informed the police who sent for the other party also. A number of town's elite also came along, and they reprimanded the mulla and his colleagues for disturbing the peace of the town. The police promised to follow up the matter.
Alipur, District Muzaffar Garh; September 1, 2001: The mulla has figured out that he can achieve anything in Pakistan behind the shield of religion. He is not far wrong, considering the permissive attitude of the government.
The Ahmadiyya Community owns a plot of land in Alipur. It is properly registered in the name of Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya. The Community decided to build a wall around it and install therein a water hand-pump. The mulla came to know about it, and the press came to his help with the following report (Tr):
The above report by the Daily Pakistan, ironically is typical how Pakistan is being handled daily by the priests and authorities in Pakistan. As expected, the DCO urged Ahmadis not to push their claim and to lie low.
Drote, District Chakwal; Mr. Ghulam Rasul Alvi, a teacher, joined Ahmadiyya Community in 1994. In April 1999, opponents started an agitation against his conversion and launched a hate campaign against him. They even manhandled him and made him sign a note of reversion under threats of murder. A surveillance effort was mounted at his residence to report if he violated the dictates of his tormentors.
As the months passed, the extremists have not allowed him any relief; instead, he is facing more hardships and is in greater danger. He is working in another town; he had to stop visiting his home town.
According to the subsequent reports, mullas held another big conference in his village during August this year. They urged the local transporters to refuse transport facility to Alvi's family. They told tractor-owners not to till his land. They announced over the mosque's loudspeakers that violators of these orders will face the same sanctions. They held another such conference again in the month of September, and instigated the villagers not to allow Alvi to return to the village. A leader of Al Badr Mujahideen declared, It is learnt that Alvi intends to build a place of worship here; he can do that only after our blood is shed and our head decapitated. That day, a procession passed by Mr. Alvi's house and threw stones at it. The procession visited again at 1.30 a.m. after the conference and resumed stoning the house. Fortunately no damage was done to valuable household items. But it was a very difficult situation for the lone family who could have faced lynching.
The noose of the social boycott is getting tight against the beleagured family. The authorities provide no support, no relief. Mr. Alvi has requested his community brethren to pray for him and his family.
Khararianwala, District Faisalabad: Mr Afzal Javed joined Ahmadiyya community in March 1985. Sixteen years later, the change is still haunting him and he is being made to suffer for his exercise of so-called freedom of faith.
Javed was in the army in 1985 when he joined Ahmadiyyat. The army did not take kindly to his conversion and treated him harshly. He had to seek discharge from the military service. Later, he joined an industry in Faisalabad as a clerk. Ahmadis have faced agitation and threats in Faisalabad during the last few years. Recently, Sheikh Nazeer, an Ahmadi was murdered in Faisalabad and the murderer told the police proudly that he did so to earn paradise in the Hereafter. This encouraged other extremists in Javed's factory to declare the same type of intentions. They planned Javed's murder and proceeded to hire a killer. One of them offered to bear the costs. The plan however, got leaked and Javed came to know about it. He reported it to the factory's manager. The manager was hardly sympathetic; he asked Javed to resign.
On September 18, a score of miscreants assembled and attempted to create a situation against Javed in his presence. They told him not to share their utensils for meals, not to sit at their cot etc. They threatened Javed of a criminal case under the Anti-Ahmadiyya law and the subsequent arrest. They threatened to even murder him. It was an ugly situation, from which Javed saved himself with utmost tact and constraint.
Subsequently, the factory management told Javed that it would be better for him to resign and go away as the management was not in a position to provide him any protection. He put in his resignation.
Javed is now without a job. He has a family to support. Where to go? What to do?
Pattoki, District Qasur; More than four years ago, Mr Bashirul Haq and Mr Mubashir Javed, Ahmadis were booked under the religious clause PPC 295A for putting the Kalima (Islamic creed) in a frame at their shop. Later, maliciously, the accusers and the police added the blasphemy clause PPC 295B to the charge sheet, under which the two could get life imprisonment. They were arrested. The Sessions Court and the High Court rejected their plea for release on bail. It was eventually the Supreme Court that granted them relief and released them on bail for the duration of the trial. For almost two years, a magistrate heard the case. The opposition then applied to the court that their case should be sent to an Anti-Terrorism court. This was done. In these courts, cases are heard summarily and decided expeditiously. Under these conditions, it becomes more difficult to obtain justice. The accused therefore approached the Supreme Court with the plea that their case is not fit for trial in the anti-terrorism court. The Supreme Court issued a stay order, so the trial proceedings were suspended. Eventually, now, the anti-terrorism court has ordered that trial be conducted in a normal court, and ordered the accused to present themselves there on September 21.
This brief report cannot bring out the hardships and plight of the two Ahmadis who have to face all this judicial distress for the crime of putting up the Kalima, which is their own creed, in their own shop. These judicial proceedings expose them to great worry, anxiety and the stress of mounting the most competent defense possible, as otherwise they run the risk of losing their freedom for years, like many other fellow Ahmadis.
Lahore; September 5, 2001: The mulla's onslaught on Ahmadis is multi-directional and persistent. Depriving Ahmadis of jobs and means of livelihood is a part of his agenda. There are few Ahmadis employed in government (intelligence) agencies; if they are there, fingers of one hand would more than suffice to count them. But the mulla cannot tolerate even that. He would also like all Ahmadis removed from the military service. Following was reported in the Daily News of September 06, 2001:
Chiniot, District Jhang: Chiniot is the hometown of mulla Manzur Chinioti an ex-MPA; it is a hot-bed of anti-Ahmadiyya activities.
Mr Munir Ahmad, Ahmadi, lives in Chiniot with his family. He has been noted by the opposition activists there, and they are making life difficult for him. They have accused him of services to the community and reported the matter to Mulla Ilyas who is reportedly a son of Mulla Manzoor Chinioti. Mulla Ilyas got in touch with the local administration, and an inquiry started. The local police and the men of the Special Branch Police have visited the Ahmadi twice and subjected him to investigation.
Harassed Munir is worried and is considering to leave the town.
Chak 298/GB, Sherka, District Faisalabad: This village had no history of communal discord, however the mulla did not like the prevailing peace, and has moved decisively to disturb it. On September 20, he invited all the militant and Jehadi organizations to come over to an open conference in the village and speak on the subject of Qadianiyyat. They came and spoke mostly on Jihad. The provocative conference continued till past midnight. The speakers incited the villagers to violence and killings. Authorities have taken no notice of the event.
Chiniot: People are right when they say that Mulla is more interested in Islamabad than Islam. The mulla tacitly agrees by insisting that politics is a fair ground for Islamic priests. Perhaps the prime-mover for the mulla is his political agenda and goals. The post 11 September situation is a boon for such clerics and they are building up political capital out of the tragic event. Mulla Manzoor Chinioti who is the General Secretary of the worldwide Khatme Nabuwwat (Finality of Prophethood) organization is working hard on the anti-US front and is in the news and pictures. A clipping from The News International of September 26 is reproduced below.
Other mullas are also mixing religion with politics. According to a report, printed in the Daily Jang of September 28, still another All Pakistan Khatme Nabuwwat moot is being organized at Rabwah on October 11. Maulana Fazlur Rehman JUI(F), Maulana Samiul Haq JUI(S), Maulana Azam Tariq SSP, Shah Ahmad Noorani JUP, Qazi Hussain Ahmad JI, Liaquat Baluch JI, Mufti Jamil etc are reported as prospective participants and speakers at the Conference.
Anti-Ahmadiyya law and other religious laws continue to take their toll of Ahmadi victims. These laws are among those that continue to be invoked and applied with no let-up. Although they violate basic human rights, and the government has to be, at times, apologetic about them, the society and the state continue to use them as tools to suppress Ahmadis and to impose extreme hardship on them. Some Ahmadis are in prison for years. Many face extensive grilling through the judicial mill. Others face untold misery. One wonders, how, in twenty-first century, a society can perpetuate such tyranny against a peaceful and innocent community, and show such lack of concern to human suffering and international condemnation. Updated situation of Ahmadis who are in prison is mentioned below to remind those who care for the plight of those who have been deprived of their inalienable rights, who suffer detention and have been wrongfully denied the right to be in open air - a right enjoyed even by birds and animals.
If the government is sincere and serious about its claim of being sensitive to the violation of human rights, it should withdraw its sponsorship and support to the prosecution of the above cases and provide relief to these prisoners of conscience.