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Rawalpindi; July 17, 2003: Brigadier (r) Iftikhar Ahmad, a well-known Ahmadi was shot dead by three assailants at lunch time at his home.
Brigadier Iftikhar lived in a house, located in well-guarded Army Officers Colony, opposite the official residence of President Pervez Musharraf, in Rawalpindi. He was having lunch at about 1345 when three armed intruders forced their way inside and opened fire at the brigadier, who fell down on the floor. His sister tried to cover his body, but the terrorists moved to fire from a different angle. They aimed at his chest. It is obvious that they particularly intended to kill him. In the meantime, his brother-in-law tried to intervene. He actually got hold of one of them, who shot at him as well. It misfired, so the assailant hit him on his head with the pistol. He fell. The attackers fled, but in the scuffle, one of them dropped his weapon. Subsequently, the neighbors drove the injured to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) where Brigadier Iftikhar Ahmad died after surgery at about 6 p.m. Mr. Aziz, the brother-in-law is in stable condition.
This murder appears to be one more in the series of murders of Ahmadis, where religion is made to justify the grisly act. The police, in their usual way, minimized the gravity of the incident by telling the press that it was a robbery bid. It was indeed an odd time and place to commit a robbery. Also, the robbers took away nothing but life. It is learnt that subsequently the police arrested the killers who admitted the robbery. However, this high profile murder should be more carefully investigated further. Involvement of invisible but important instigators and supporters should not be conveniently ruled out.
Brigadier Iftikhar was 65. He left behind two sons and an old mother. He was a good man and a devout Ahmadi. His funeral was attended by hundreds of sympathizers.
Lahore; June 27, 2003: The Government of the Punjab (Education Department) issued a TOP PRIORITY, REGISTERED letter No. SO(A-II)1-27/01 on June 27, 2003. Its title is given as, LETTER RECEIVED FROM MOULVI FAQIR MOHAMMAD. The letter is rather grotesque and would be of great interest, now and in future, to anyone interested in Pakistan of early 21st Century. Its copy is placed as Annex to this Newsreport.
The background of this case is briefly stated. There are three private schools at Faisalabad that are owned and managed by Ahmadis. The schools enjoy good reputation. This makes mullahs and competitors jealous. They have jointly mounted a propaganda drive against these schools. The agitation is led by Mullah Faqir Mohammad who is a self-styled Information Secretary of the Khatame Nabuwwat Organization. It is on official record that this mullah is an evil-talker and a bully. Mr. Javed Qureshi, a Commissioner arrested him sometimes back under the Goonda Act (aimed at rascals). The mullah had to seek pardon for release. He is a past-master in making false representations. He has taken up this jihad against the three schools. The authorities found it convenient to harass the managers and educators of these schools. Eventually the government issued the above-mentioned letter. It deserves some comment:
Mardan; July 3, 2003: Ms. Nasreen Tah and her brother Ehsanullah of Ahmadi parentage reside in Mardan. Both are somewhat mentally retarded. On July 2, 2003 their neighbours accused them of burning some pages of the Holy Quran, while they were in the process of burning old magazines and periodicals.
The neighbours beat them up and informed the police who took them in custody. The local leadership of Jamaat Islami, a component of MMA, in an attempt to make some political and religious mileage out of the incident, helped organize a protest public meeting at the Pakistan Chowk. Some 200 persons attended. The crowd passed a resolution that the woman be given death punishment and all Ahmadis should be thrown out of the district. The authorities reportedly took effective measures to contain the protest.
It is, however, learnt that the brother and sister were beaten up by the police and then sent to a prison at Peshawar. There, despite their mental state, both were charged under a blasphemy clause PPC 295B, and formally arrested and put behind bars. They, if found guilty, may be imprisoned for life.
Chak 295 G.B. Beranwala, District Toba Tek Singh; July 6, 2003: The president of the local Ahmadiyya Community had a nameplate at the entrance of his residence. It also carried his creed, i.e. None is worthy of worship except Allah; Muhammad is His prophet. Mullas objected to that, although they have the same creed. They represented to the authorities. The police obediently sent an official who visited the residence and took away the name-place. When the aggrieved Ahmadi contacted a senior official, he told him that the removal order was backed by Islamabad.
Rajanpur: Last month, Mr. Ghulam Hussain, an Ahmadi of Rajanpur was booked under the religious clause PPC 295A on false accusations of blasphemous remarks against the Holy Prophet and the Quran. By applying PPC 295A, the accused could be prosecuted in an Anti-terrorism Special Court and almost summarily awarded 10 years imprisonment.
It appears that the police and court attitudes scared the victim to the bone, and he told the court that he was not Ahmadi. At this, the court released him on bail. Although it makes no legal sense as to why under the same clause an Ahmadi cannot be granted bail while a Muslim can be, it is obvious that the relief provided was a reward for reversion. The charge, however, has not be withdrawn against him; this will ensure his continuity as a Muslim. The Ulema often quote the Quran to support Islamic tolerance: There is no compulsion in religion, Alquran 2/256(257). Mullahs - great is their hypocrisy.
Rabwah; July 2, 2003: While through these monthly newsreports it has often been reported that mullahs indulge in slander and profanity, the severity of their statements has not been repeated verbatim in these reports as they were considered too painful to reproduce. This time, we have decided to report translation of parts of only one Friday sermon as sample for history and archives. It is not rare that mullah surpasses even this level of profanity.
On June 13, 2003 Maulvi Ghulam Mustafa stated the following in his Friday sermon at the Jame Masjid, Muslim Colony, Rabwah on a loudspeaker:
Mullah Allah Yar Arshad spoke on June 27, 2003 at the Bokhari Mosque Rabwah the same way as Mullah Ghulam Mustafa. It is relevant to mention that there is a police post at Rabwah, also a police station, and a Deputy Superintendent of Police is also stationed there. A judicial magistrate's court is held in this town. Rabwah is populated with more than its share of intelligence and security agents. They know, and surely record and report all that is blurted openly by the mullahs here. Pakistan Penal Code has many clauses that forbid Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. These clerics play with fire, but it is obviously a government policy to give them a free hand.
Ahmadiyya headquarters conveyed the above outrageous statement of Mulla Ghulam Mustafa to local authorities and sent a copy to everyone that matters in the Federation and the Province, with the following observation:
Hyderabad: Kotri is now actively targeted by Ahmadi-bashers. On June 25, 2003 an open-air meeting was held ostensibly in the name of Ghiyarveen Sharif. Mulla Zuhair acted as the stage secretary. He invited one Qari Muzaffar Hussain to address the audience on the subject of Qadianis. The Qari gave free reins to his extremist views and said all sorts of things about Ahmadis. He told the audience that Qadianis were Wajab-ul-Qatl (i.e. as per Sharia, they ought to be put to sword). According to him, the act would be rewarded with eternal paradise. He urged the crowd to implement social boycott of Ahmadis.
On July 11, 2003 an announcement was made through the loud-speaker of the Jame Mosque of Labour Colony. The announcer said: You people have not complied with the instructions given earlier regarding Qadianis; as such, another open-air meeting will be held on July 19 and Qari Muzaffar Hussain will address you again and will advise you on the implementation of previous instructions.
Ahmadis, who were living in peace with the residents, got worried and sent a representation to the Governor of Sind, with copy to all who are concerned with law and order in the province and the district.
It appears that the clerics plan to keep the anti-Ahmadiyya pot boiling while the country's internal situation remains politically sensitive. It fits in their overall strategy. In addition to the incidents mentioned above, anti-Ahmadiyya agitation was fanned at various locations. A few of these are mentioned below:
Sargodha: Mullah Akram Toofani availed of the 12th Rabiul Awwal (birthday of the Holy Prophet) congregation at Qainchi Mor to urge the crowd to implement a social boycott of Ahmadis.
Gujranwala: Followers of Pir Golarwi indulged in slander and diatribes against the Holy Founder of Ahmadiyya Community, at the occasion of the birthday of the Holy Prophet.
Faisalabad: Activists distributed anti-Ahmadiyya pamphlets blaming Ahmadis of (1) informing the US of whereabouts of Aimal Kansi, resulting in his arrest, (2) information regarding Taliban leading to their capture, (3) unrest against the government and (4) rumor mongering. The Khatame Nabuwwat Organization called bad names to the founder of Ahmadiyyat, on 12 Rabiul Awwal. The speakers spoke little on the life and personality of the Holy Prophet; instead they agitated the crowd against Ahmadis and told them to have nothing to do with them.
Goth G.M. Cheema, District Mirpur Khas: Khatme Nabuwwat activists and some school teaches are active in anti-Ahmadiyya agitation.
July 2, 2003: Mr. Hafizur Rahman, a leading journalist wrote a candid column in the daily DAWN, Lahore of July 2, 2003. Its title is The minorities in our midst. An extract from his essay is reproduced below: