It is thirty-five years since Mr. Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto violated the injunction of the founding father of Pakistan that the state would not interfere in matters of faith or religion, and proceeded to amend the constitution to declare Ahmadis ‘Not-Muslims’. Ten years later General Zia promulgated Ordinance XX that made it a punishable offence for Ahmadis to practice the religion of Islam. This opened the flood gate of tyranny and persecution against this community. This gate has remained open ever since although numerous military and democratic regimes have come and gone during the past quarter of a century.
Pakistan has suffered greatly at the hands of the mulla during the past decade. The present democratic regime is literally at war with extremist elements. However, it is yet to realize that extremism and sectarianism are evil in all their forms. The federal government has not even hinted that it will repeal the unjust laws specific to Ahmadis. The provincial governments, notably in the Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have gone out of their way to show that they are in league with the mulla in his anti-Ahmadiyya campaign.
The government of the Punjab, which is nearly bankrupt, spent public money to sponsor and hold a Khatme Nabuwwat (End of Prophethood) conference at the Royal Mosque in Lahore on April 11, 2009. The authorities invited numerous mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat party, who were from the same league as Chaudhri Iqbal whose statement was reported in the press as: To dispatch a Qadiani to hell is the religious duty of every Muslim – Chaudhri Muhammad Iqbal, President Khatme Nabuwwat. (The daily Ausaf, Lahore, July 25, 2009)
The behaviour of the government of Azad Kashmir was just as unfortunate. The president and the prime minister of AJ&K attended a conference in Bagh where almost all the speakers indulged in anti-Ahmadiyya rhetoric. The participants resolved and urged the government leaders: “Qadiani centres of apostasy (mosques) should be destroyed without delay. Resolution at the End of Prophethood Conference” (The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Islamabad; May 11, 2009).
Thus how can these political leaders fight extremism and protect democracy?
The tacit support of the authorities for Islamist clerics resulted this year in the murder of numerous Ahmadis for their faith, a number of attempted murders, abductions, destruction and desecration of Ahmadiyya places of worship, arrests, registration of police cases of whole groups of Ahmadis on fabricated blasphemy and other religion-based accusations, harassment and economic privations etc. Thus tyranny prevailed in almost all spheres of public and civic life. Politicians who now occupy positions of power and privilege and are basking under the sunshine of democracy have made sure that Ahmadis remain deprived of their human rights. Ahmadis do not even have a councilor to represent them in the local government of their own town – Rabwah. This is the consequence of a deliberate policy of tempering with election rules, devised jointly by the mulla and the rulers. Initially the government introduced Joint Electorate as urged by the international community, but then added a religion column to the voters’ application form, thereby allowing Ahmadis to register as voters only if they agree to accept themselves as non-Muslims; this is not acceptable to Ahmadis.
This report does not include all that happens to Ahmadis of Pakistan in their own homeland. It however briefly places on record most of the major events. It is essential that human rights concerns remain aware of the plight of Ahmadis in Pakistan. This report serves that purpose.
An abstract of the events of the year is provided in chapter 18, while important statistics and information are made available in Annex VIII.
2. Three Incidents
Most of the incidents reported in this document have a background and other details that should be placed on record. However space is a limiting factor. So we have chosen only three incidents and described the essential details as a sample to convey the impact of various arrests, attacks, trials, deprivations etc.
2a. Four school children and an adult booked under the blasphemy law that carries death penalty
Kot Sultan, District Layyah (Punjab): The police charged four school-going Ahmadi children aged 14 – 18 and an adult on a false charge of blasphemy, under section PPC 295-C on January 28, 2009 with FIR 46/09 at police station Kot Sultan. The accused children are Muhammad Irfan, Tahir Imran, Tahir Mahmud and Naseeb Ahmad. Mr. Mubashir Ahmad, an adult is also on the list of accused. Although the complaint was made by one, Liaquat Ali, the fabricated accusation was pushed by Shahbaz, a school teacher, and one N.E. Kulachi who belongs to the religious group Jamaat-ud-Daawa, banned by the UN for promoting terrorism. Iqbal Hussain Shah, a political bully with PML (N) links played the leading role in precipitation of this ugly event.
The police arrested the accused without establishing a credible prima facie case. They charged them without evidence and before proper investigation. The applied blasphemy clause carries only death penalty. According to the relevant law (section 156-A), an officer of the rank of superintendent of police is required to investigate blasphemy cases. As this law was deliberately worded to make it ineffective, it provides no relief to those falsely accused, as happened in this case, and often before. This law is essentially mala fide like the blasphemy law. It is a hoax.
According to the accusation, graffiti defiling the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was found on the toilet walls of a local mosque. It must have been undertaken by the four boys under instructions from Mr. Mubashir Ahmad, speculated the accuser. The complainant provided no credible evidence or eye-witness. The police recorded eight statements, all from the accuser’s party and none of them saw the accused writing the graffiti on the toilet walls. In fact, the accusation is false and smacks of conspiracy. It is material to this case that the local leadership who were aware of the reality did not support the charge. These included the Imam of the concerned mosque, the village-head and the Naib Nazim. The accuser, Liaquat Ali, himself reported no personal incriminating evidence, and delved mostly into hearsay. The FIR mentioned: “We all suspect that …”
The children were immediately arrested after the registration of the FIR, prior to any investigation. Inspector Khalid Rauf told AHRC (Asian Human Rights Commission) that “the gravity of the case against Islam justified arresting the children first. He said the police do not know of any substantial evidence that links the four students with the crime.” Unbelievable but true, that no police official saw what, if anything, defiling was written on the toilet walls. According to the AHRC “Family members were told (by the district police officer) that the police were under pressure from the fundamentalists to act against the children.”
They were later shifted to the D.G. Khan Jail (a far off place from their home town) on 4th February. Their near relatives were not allowed to meet them for some days.
“Four Ahmadi children charged with blasphemy have been sent to Dera Ghazi Khan Central Jail. Houses of the Qadiani community are besieged”, the Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Layyah, Pervez Tareen told the Frontier Post, “I have sent the children on judicial remand and would continue with the investigation.” However, he said that he could not give a time-frame for the conclusion of the investigation.
That made it very difficult for the parents to see their children for the much-needed parental support. The school administration, rather callously, expelled one boy, Muhammad Irfan from the school. The others were due to sit their Matriculation examination. They had to prepare for and sit their exams in prison. It was discovered later that the four children were being kept in one cell and the adult Mr. Mubashir Ahmad who could have been a pillar of support to them was incarcerated in another. Apart from a fortnightly meeting, they were not allowed to meet and none of them was allowed to come out of the cell for daily respite as a routine facility. The prison administration was less than sympathetic. They flaunted the ‘Blasphemy’ accusation when requested to allow a visit (Mulaqat) or a facility allowed under the rules. There were no fans. Conditions were very unhygienic. Mr. Mubashir Ahmad’s health was fragile; he is asthmatic. Muhammad Irfan, one of the boys, had a fever for weeks. He grew very weak and pale. Nothing except rudimentary medical care was available in the prison. This was worrisome for his parents. None of the accused had any previous experience of being involved in a police case. The children were at risk of long-term damage to their mental and physical health. The state kept them in prison simply because it found that more convenient.
These children were kept in unacceptable and inhumane conditions, while they were innocent, and the charges against them were false. They suffered at the hands of extremists while the Punjab Government decided to be soft against the agitators and harsh on the innocent. In the meantime those, who seriously threatened law and order and disturbed communal peace remained free and content, gloating at their easy victory over the authorities in forcing them to incarcerate Ahmadi children sans evidence.
The mulla, despite the arrests, continued to make threatening speeches, distributed leaflets and instigated the masses. Large processions were taken out and loot was attempted. Ahmadis had to shift their women and children to safer locations, but their men stayed at home to ensure self-defence. They also faced a social boycott.
For weeks the anti-Ahmadiyya lobby had been fermenting agitation. In the blasphemy accusation they found a convenient weapon with which to strike. Simultaneously, they threatened bloodshed, arson and processions. This provided an excuse to the police to register the case and make immediate arrests. It makes no sense that the police arrest innocent persons to forestall a threat to law and order. This amounts to playing in the hands of religious extremists.
It is noteworthy that the two men who were the prime-movers of the false accusation belonged to the extremist religious body, Jamaat-ud-Da‘wa (JD) banned by the UN for promoting terrorism. The Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, the cover organization of mullas who promote their national and international political agenda these days in the garb of End of Prophethood, strove hard to raise communal tensions in the weeks following the incident. Saqlain Shah, the local MNA (PML-N) provided political support for the agitation. Sarwat Nadeem, a provincial minister of Balochistan, came all the way from Quetta to share the political spoils of a tense communal situation. The rabble-rousers, the self-styled Ghulaman-e-Rasul Punjab issued a leaflet with the following demand: “… The arrested Qadianis should be given death sentence forthwith. The Imam of the local mosque of Chak No. 172 should be immediately arrested and those who are in favor of overlooking the incident and dropping the case should be interrogated. If the local administration, the DPO and senior officials do not take action against the Imam, the people, motivated by religious zeal, will have to take action by themselves against the Imam”.
The Daily Times of January 30, 2009 reported: “Saqlain Shah, an MNA from Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, denied his uncle had pressured police. But he said representatives of the Ahmadiyya community should have visited his uncle’s residence for the matter to be resolved in line with local traditions, instead of denying the charges. He also said that Ahmadis had first lodged cases against local Muslims (for violating the Loud Speakers Act and under the Maintenance of Public Order) after not being allowed to hold a religious meeting, and should now ‘face the truth’.” Although what the MNA said is opprobrious, it manifestly shows the political support the accusers had and the warlord attitude to an issue which is essentially one of law and order.
The BBC reported that according to the police no one saw the named boys writing the (blasphemous) words. “Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (was) alarmed over four children’s detention on blasphemy charges”, reported the Daily Times, Lahore of January 30, 2009. “Victimizing children with false accusations is the most condemnable use of the blasphemy law”, said the Ahmadiyya community spokesman. The AHRC urged “the government of President Asif Zardari to immediately release the illegally detained prisoners. Instead they should turn their attention to the dependence of Punjab Police on fundamentalist Islamic groups and the implementation of the rule of law in the province. …”
On February 3, an HRCP team visited Layyah to investigate. It noted that “the circumstantial evidence prima facie failed to prove the allegation against five people.” The team observed that “even in the FIR there is only suspicion of the involvement of the accused in the crime.” The HRCP team found five Ahmadi families consisting of around 40 people ‘in utter fear’. The wife of the accused man told the HRCP team that a local shopkeeper refused to sell her grocery and told her not to visit his shop because he feared that this might put his life and property at risk. District Police Officer Muhammad Azam did not meet the HRCP team. He also did not allow the team to interview the accused. (The daily Dawn, Lahore; February 4, 2009)
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan published its fact-finding report. Excerpts:
“The local Ahmadiyya community is facing a social boycott since the incident, especially by some members of the defunct Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), recently banned Jamaat ud Da’wa (JD), and Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat. ... The police remain mum on these protests because those waging them enjoy the support of Iqbal Hussain Shah, uncle of Pir Saqlain Shah, MNA of the constituency. …The Imam of the local mosque Maulvi Saeed told TNS that writing graffiti on toilet walls is a norm here. … Maulvi Saeed believes there is no eye witness of the incident. … Maulvi Saeed alleges he was forced by Shahbaz and his aids to remain absent from the scene when police was visiting the mosque where the incident took place. … According to him (the police SHO), Maulvi Kalachi (of JD) was the first person on whose complaint the FIR was registered. To the question why police was unable to handle the protestors, he expressed his helplessness. … District President PPP and Naib Nazim of the concerned Union Council Abdul Majeed Bhutta affirmed that the complainants are making a hill out of molehill. “In my personal view, it is overplayed.” … In 2004, an amendment was made in Criminal Procedural Code (CrPC) Section 295-C of the constitution according to which the police is bound to thoroughly investigate blasphemy accusations before leveling criminal charges. The aim of the amendment was to reduce the scope of the blasphemy laws which are still widely and frequently abused and often result in death penalties. But this did not happen in this case. … He (Dr Khalid Ranjha, former federal law minister) said people settle personal scores and give false testimony on these sensitive matters. He said if the state and police submit itself before propaganda, and allow mob to provoke the matter then there is no writ of the state and protection of citizens.”
In a press release on February 12, 2009, Ms Asma Jahangir, Chairperson of the HRCP declared: “The Commission demands a transparent and fair inquiry in this incident so that innocent persons do not become targets of injustice. The Commission further demands that the government must ensure the members of the Ahmadiyya faith do not feel insecure in that area and they are not harassed. The Commission appeals to the government to take appropriate steps to stop misuse of the blasphemy law.”
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), as early as January 30, 2009, issued a statement with the heading: Pakistan: Four children and one man have been arbitrarily arrested and charged with blasphemy at the request of Muslim radicals. It ended: The AHRC urges the government of President Asif Zardari to immediately release the illegally detained prisoners. Instead they should turn their attention to the dependence of Punjab Police on fundamentalist Islamic groups and the implementation of the rule of law in the province, including the amendment in the blasphemy law made by the parliament.
This incident sent a wave of anxiety in many world capitals. For instance, a number of US Congressmen wrote to the US State Department on the subject. In Europe, a question regarding this incident was tabled in the European Union Council and Commission by a Swedish MEP. The Canadian High Commission carried out its own inquiry of the case and the High Commissioner wrote a letter to the Governor of Punjab conveying his concern. The Hong Kong-based AHRC put the question bluntly: “At this juncture the AHRC would like to question who Pakistan police are meant to serve: a few civilian religious groups with little regard for the law, and an agenda of violent persecution? Or do they serve the rule of law and the people of Pakistan? Their actions and admissions in this case point to the former.” The accused later made an appeal to the relevant office of the United Nations.
On April 8, 2009 Mr. Masood Ahmad, Advocate sent a Fax message to the President of Pakistan (Mr. Asif Zardari) with a copy to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chief Minister Punjab (Mian Shahbaz Sharif) and other concerned federal and provincial authorities requesting the release of the accused. None acknowledged the receipt of the letter.
The prestigious daily Dawn wrote in its editorial of March 4, 2009:
“The obscurantists must be tackled head on if we are to entertain any hope of redemption. If the state resorts to negotiating with militants from a position of weakness, what we will get is a disaster, across the board. The politicians need to wake-up, bury the hatchet in the national good and rout the real enemy.”
The Daily Times of January 30, 2009 quoted religious scholar Javed Ghamdi as, “the children were safer in police custody.” The learned scholar should have considered that there are other ways available to the state to protect innocent children than arresting them on charges that carry the death penalty. The police action seriously violated Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The children remained behind bars for months. Every time they appeared before a court, the police requested an extension in Judicial Remand which the courts granted. The accused thought that this was perhaps to let the extremists cool down.
Approximately four months after his taking over this case for inquiry the SP Investigation rendered his report. He took 113 days to do that as opposed to two weeks allowed under rules. However he was bold enough to conclude that: “The complainant party has failed to produce any substantial and weighty evidence in support of the FIR.” Despite this find, the authorities indicted the accused and followed up the case.
Eventually the plea for release on bail had to be taken up at session court level. Mr. Sadaqat Ullah Niazi, the Additional Session Judge Layyah, however decided to refuse the plea on June 12, 2009, despite the police finding that there was no evidence to support the prosecution story.
The FIR and the follow-up police investigation documents show that, 1) The FIR was registered on the basis of hearsay; 2) There are no witnesses, no proof that implicates the accused in this fabricated case; 3) The statements of available witnesses do not support a charge under the blasphemy clause; 4) The police report concluded that the prosecution had no evidence to support this case. So, why the indiction, and why the refusal of the bail?
Is it not incredible, that the state attorney, in these circumstances, recommended to the judge that the children’s plea for bail should be rejected? The state did not even have a case to ask for Judicial Remands during the four months.
The children continued to suffer in prison for a crime they did not commit. They had to endure the hardships of a Pakistani prison in extreme hot weather, even though they had not been tried and found guilty. Obviously the state continues to sustain and nourish extremism, despite its own suffering and agony at the hand of extremists.
At last these four Ahmadi children and one adult who had been imprisoned for nearly six months were granted bail on July 7, 2009 despite the state attorney’s opposition. They had to wait for 6 more days before they could breathe the air of freedom.
Justice Pervez Inayat of the High Court Bench at Multan granted the bail on condition of fiscal guarantee of Rs. 200,000/- being paid per person. This is a big amount for a school-going boy, living in a remote village.
During the hearing the Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Mr. Pervez Tareen made it clear that there was no evidence connecting any of the accused with the alleged crime. The same finding was offered earlier to the Sessions Judge who still decided to reject the plea for bail. It was highly improper on the part of the state attorney to oppose the bail in the sessions court after that finding.
Ordinarily, once the bail is granted by a judge, efforts are made by the near and dear ones of the accused to have him released the same day. Despite all efforts by the supporters of these five Ahmadi accused, their release was delayed far beyond normal. Although the High Court accepted the bail on July 7, the ‘decision papers’ had some error, so a correct copy became available on July 10. It was presented the very next day to Mr. Niazi the Additional Sessions Judge Layyah who, for reasons best known to him, did not sign them despite repeated reminders. The designated official thus left for D.G. Khan without the release orders for the five. The Additional Sessions Judge signed the papers late in the afternoon. The District Judge thereafter was requested to nominate a special messenger (the accused’s parents offered to pay for his travel expenses etc.) but he refused the plea. The next day was a holiday. So the release was further delayed, and the children could not be set free till July 13. How unsympathetic and unrepentant!
As the accused children are at risk, they were not taken to their village after release. The parents took them elsewhere so as to be with them without exposure to possible attack.
The children had suffered greatly during these months. It was all avoidable. The involved clerics, the politicians, the police, the administration, the lower judiciary, all played their part in hurting the innocent children. They used religion to promote their unworthy interests.
The state has not dropped the charges. The accused still face a trial. The sword of 295-C is still hanging on their heads. They are still appearing before the courts. Usually such cases take too long to come to any conclusion. After setting free they are still bound to face their trial, for how long one does not know. If declared ‘guilty’, they could be hanged. It is not at all difficult here to rent witnesses (as many as required) in support of a fictitious religious cause.
The op-ed in the Wall Street Journal of May 21, 2009 deserves serious consideration: “The Taliban cannot defeat Pakistan militarily. The Taliban will win because what they want is already being implemented in Pakistan”. If the present state is not de-facto a ‘theocracy’, what else is? Mr. Jinnah, the founding father had asserted that Pakistan will not be a theocratic state.
The authorities have learnt no lesson from Swat, Bajaur and Waziristan. Now they are committing the same mistake in the Punjab; the depth of their imprudence is unfathomable.
The trial of the innocent five continues in Multan and the accused have to present themselves in the court frequently. Despite the lack of evidence and witnesses, the state has taken on the ignoble role of prosecutor.
2b. Extremism and sectarianism thrive on governmental support
Lahore; April 11, 2009: A Khatme Nabuwwat (End of Prophethood) conference was held at the central Badshahi Mosque on April 11, 2009 in Lahore. This mosque is managed by the government of the Punjab; its Khatib (the chief cleric) is appointed officially by the Auqaf Department. This historic mosque is maintained at a huge expense by the public exchequer. The central theme of the conference was Ahmadiyyat. Extremist demands like the imposition of Shariah, support of the Swat deal etc, were also made by the speakers. Maulana Hamid Saeed Kazmi, the Federal Minister of Religious Affairs addressed the conference, as did the provincial Minister of Auqaf. The main banner displayed unabashedly that the conference was the handiwork of Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat which is a sectarian anti-Ahmadiyya organization, led primarily by Deobandi and Wahabi ulama. A huge bill-board displayed that this conference was sponsored by the Government of the Punjab.
The daily Jang, Lahore, of April 12, 2009 reported the statements of the clerics in some detail. Excerpts:
* The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan should be restored along with the (Anti-Ahmadiyya) 1974 amendment regarding the End of Prophethood.
* The Shariah should be implemented in order to eradicate Qadianiat.
* We are ready for total destruction of Qadianis in the country.
* Every last drop of blood should be shed for the sake of ‘End of Prophethood’.
* Qadianism has neither come to an end nor has it been weakened. Qadianis want to destroy the Muslims of the world.
* At present Muslims are pitted against the Infidel; all Muslims should unite to fight the Kufr (The world of Disbelief).
* Israel, India and the U.S. are jointly committed to erase Pakistan from the world map.
* The government should happily implement the agreements made with the free tribes (of FATA) and should stop the massacre undertaken by American drones in these areas.
* A criminal case should be registered against all the perpetrators of the Red Mosque tragedy, including Pervez Musharraf, and they should be dispatched accordingly.
* Pakistan’s future lies in Nizam Adl (implemented in Swat for a few days). … The U.S. does not support a ‘solution’ to the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat. The Swat agreement should be implemented, and that system should be imposed all over the country.
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore of April 12, 2009 and other Urdu newspapers reported the various ‘resolutions’ passed at the conference and demands made by the gathering. Excerpts:
* The massacre resulting from the American drone attacks should be put to stop.
* The anti-Qadiani law and the Blasphemy law should be vigorously implemented.
* A criminal case should be registered against all involved in the Lal Masjid tragedy including Pervez Musharraf, and they should be dispatched accordingly.
* All the ulama should devote at least one Friday sermon every month to the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat.
* Vote of thanks to the Government of the Punjab and its Auqaf Department for their patronage and support.
The following statements were also made at the conference:
> So long as even one Mirzai is alive, this (battle) flag will remain flying. Mulla Ajmal Khan
> We shall break their (Ahmadis’) necks. We shall break their legs… . Qazi Arshad Al-Hussaini.
> Qadianis rebel against the Constitutions of Pakistan. They should be tried for treason. Maulvi Fazlur Rahman of JUI
> Five hundred Qadianis are receiving training in the Israeli Army. They are being trained to kill the fidels of Khatme Nabuwwat. It is for you to decide whether they kill us or we kill them. Mulla Abdul Haq, the Central Amir
> I have come here to represent the Federal Government. The Federal Minister of Religious Affairs
> The slogan ‘Countless curses on Mirzaiat’ was raised many times.
> As long as even one ‘Khadim’ is alive, the US will be put to an end. (Janaza nikal kar rahain gai). The US will get dismembered. The Black thought that the Maulvi will get scared; no, we are not afraid of this ghost. Qari Zawwar Bahadur of JUP
> Hundred and eighty million people of this country are subjected to tyranny, but the people of Swat have suffered double the tyranny; they are being denied the Shariah. Maulvi Zahid ur Rashidi
> If Article 63 of the Constitution was sincerely implemented, the Parliament would comprise entirely of the Ulama. Maulvi Abdul Ghafoor Haidari of JUI
The following information is also material and relevant to the conference:
* Propaganda hoardings for the conference were set up by the Auqaf Department. One of these carried the exhortation: “Friendship with Mirzais is tantamount to rebellion against Huzur SAW (The Holy Prophet Muhammad).” The ruling Peoples Party also put up a huge bill-board with its tricolor and a statement of Ms Benazir Bhutto affirming religious discrimination against Ahmadis.
* An effigy of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community was burnt at the opening of the conference.
* A large number of madrassah students were transported to the conference site.
* The mullas urged a boycott of Ahmadi-owned businesses and companies, like Shezan drinks etc. However the clerics were treated with Shezan fruit juices by the management, and they consumed them with relish.
* A mulla proposed that the minarets of all Ahmadiyya mosques should be demolished, and a ban be imposed on all ‘Qadiani’ activities in Rabwah.
* A number of invited speakers were members of organizations banned for terrorism e.g. Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi, Alam Tariq, etc.
* There was a stall installed on the footpath outside the Atiq Stadium by workers of the notorious Sipah Sahabah (SSP), a banned organization.
* A cassettes and CD stall was set up in a Shehzor truck (Regd. No. LES 2407) in the name of Maulana Masud Azhar who had to be released by Indian authorities on demand of hijackers of an Indian passenger aircraft in Afghanistan. Books, stickers, badges, rings and Jihadi cassettes were available at this stall for sale/distribution.
* Red caps in memory of Maulvi Abdur Rashid Ghazi (of Lal Masjid, Islamabad) were also on sale.
* Approximately 200 policemen were employed to provide security at the conference.
* A mulla demanded that Ahmadis should be removed from all key posts; also, they should be eliminated from armed forces.
* 150 stalls were set up. Provocative stickers were pasted on them.
* A derogatory sketch of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community was displayed in the background of the central stage.
* The Badshahi Mosque was profusely illuminated for the occasion at public expense.
* A great deal of publicity was given to the conference in other cities and people were urged to travel to Lahore and participate in it.
* Special articles against Ahmadiyyat were written and published in the Urdu press for the occasion, e.g. in the dailies Jang, Khabrain, Pakistan, Jinnah, Ausaf, etc.
* One of the banners carried portraits of Mulla Ataulla Shah Bokhari (Ahrari), Mufti Mahmud (JUI) and Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto (PPP).
PML (Nawaz) is at the helm in the Punjab.
It is interesting to note that, though the conference was held in the name of religion, almost all the speakers at the occasion were clerics who are deeply involved in politics and grubby affairs. The following addressed the crowd: Allah Wasaya, Zawwar Bahadur (JUP), Ilyas Chinioti (PML-N), Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi (SSP), Alam Tariq (SSP), Abdul Karim Nadeem, Riaz Swati, Zulfiquar Khosa (PML-N), Fazlur Rahman (JUI), Munawwar Hasan (JI), Sajid Mir (Jamiat Ahle Hadith), Hamid Saeed Kazmi, Ehsanuddin Qureshi, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad (JUI), Samiul Haq (JUI-S), Ajmal Qadri, Zahid ur Rashdi, Sarfraz Naeemi, Ahmad Ali Siraj, Zubair Ahmad Zaheer, Saifullah Khalid (Ahrar), Abdur Razzaq Sikandar, Rafi Usmani, Taqi Usmani, Israr Ahmad (Tanzeem Islami), Khalil ullah Najmi, Aziz ur Rahman Jalandhry (Ahrar), Hanif Jalandhry (Wafaq-ul-Madaris), Abdur Rahman Ashrafi, Fazlur Rahim, Saleemullah Awaisi, Rauf Farooqui, Aziz Ahmad, Amjad Khan, Bilal Mir, Saifuddin Saif, Aziz ur Rahman Hazarvi, Arif Sialwi, Maqbul Ansari, Rashid Mian, Mahmud Mian, Muhammad Hasan, Mian Afzal, Naeem ur Rahman Tahir, Abdul Haq Bashir, Hafiz Abu Bakr, Salimullah Khan (Tanzeemat Madaris) etc.
It was announced that the next such conference would be held in Islamabad.
In short, the speakers at this officially sponsored conference, held in the name of a religious belief, urged the violation of human rights,spoke against freedom of religion, promoted sectarian strife, indulged in controversial national and international politics and propagated hatred and violence.
Is it not incredible that the government which is facing severe problems of internal security from extremist and sectarian clerics should itself sponsor, arrange and fund a conference where speakers promote the extremists’ agenda to tens of thousand of participants? And this happened at Lahore. The New York Times reported on the fragile situation in Punjab:
“I do not think a lot of people understand the gravity of the issue”, said a senior police official in Punjab. “If you want to destabilize Pakistan, you have to destabilize Punjab”.
NYT report from the daily Dawn of April 15, 2009
The Government of the Punjab appears to be making the same mistake that it made in 1953, and came to great harm at the hand of the mulla.
Note: Pictures showing 1) the sponsorship of the conference by the Auqaf Department, and 2) The involvement of the ruling Peoples Party (Hate promoting slogans were inscribed on the bill-boards.) are placed at Annex IV.
2c. A heartrending story – innocent Ahmadi tortured by state agencies
This story is a personal account of an innocent man who suffered torture at the hand of state agents. The inflicted torture was the cutting edge of a joint effort by corrupt clerics, inefficient police, mindless administration, sadistic agencies and heartless politicians. It is a tale of suffering of Mr. Rashid Iqbal, an Ahmadi resident of Kunri, District Mirpur Khas, Sindh. There is some background to this incident, which deserves a brief mention at the beginning.
Kunri has been a hotbed of anti-Ahmadiyya agitation for some time. Ahmadis kept the administration and the police informed of the situation. However, the political leadership in Pakistan handles the mulla with great tenderness, regardless of consequences. The district authorities therefore echo that sentiment and approach, and generally support the clergy, or neglect and disregard their criminal activities. This attitude prevails at Kunri.
Here the mullas have a dispute with local Ahmadis over a plot of land and construction of a mosque over it. Ahmadis had approached the authorities for justice; this was not acceptable to the mullas. They conspired to implicate Ahmadis in a fabricated case of blasphemy. In September last year, they accused Rana Khalil Ahmad of writing an objectionable letter to a mulla, and accused Mr. Rashid Iqbal of writing something blasphemous on a road track. The police blithely booked the two under the dreaded blasphemy law PPC 295-C, the anti-terrorism law PPC 295-A and ATA-9. The cases received no serious investigation by any senior police officer as required by the rules. The two men who were bread-winners of their families were arrested and were exposed to awful consequences of these false accusations.
This story is of Mr. Rashid Iqbal who is 34 years old, married and has two children, 5 and 3 years old. He also supports his father who is over 85.
In order to cut it short, we mention below only essential details as narrated by Mr. Iqbal – in his words translated in English.
“On December 4, 2008 I was waiting at the railway station Hyderabad to board a train for Faisalabad. At about 13:30 three men in plain clothes approached me and my nephew who was with me, told me that they belonged to agencies and took us both to a four-wheel drive vehicle outside the station. They pushed us inside the vehicle, blindfolded us and handcuffed us behind the back. They took my mobile phone, three SIM cards, Rs. 950 in cash, a bottle of perfume, and a tin of talcum powder. After about 20 minutes’ drive they arrived at a location unknown to me. There, they noted down my particulars and put me in shackles. … After some time I requested for some relief, told them that I was innocent, and pleaded that they take off the band over my eyes and place the handcuffs in front rather than my back which was very hurtful, they did that. … I offered them to let me free on promise to make myself available in the court, and offered them Rs. 20,000 for this favour. They, however, responded that this money was too little. “Raise it to five lacs (500,000) and we will drop you wherever you like,” they said. However, no money was given or taken. … I noticed a plaque in the room on which MI 4 was written. They asked me about the exact nature of our religious beliefs, to which I replied that there was hardly any difference; “you people are awaiting the advent of a Mahdi, while we believe that the advent has already taken place.” … After the meal, they blindfolded me again. At about 8 p.m. they uncovered my eyes, opened the handcuffs and the shackles. I told them again that I was entirely innocent and knew nothing of the alleged blasphemy. …However they sent for the electric-shock machine and subjected me to shocks. Then they turned me naked and beat me up with a leather whip. They insisted that I admit to acting jointly with two others in committing the blasphemy. I kept on reciting the Kalima (the Islamic creed) till I went unconscious under torture. When I recovered they got themselves a belt used in thresher machines and hit me with it repeatedly. “This ugly looking man (manhus shakal wala) is a member of a fighter organization; he is not going to admit without (this treatment),” one of them said. I told them that I am only an ordinary citizen who makes a living by grinding spices and supplying to the retailers in the town. However, they inflicted upon me still more electric shocks, and slapped me repeatedly. They did the same to my nephew (who was not even an accused in the fabricated FIR). He told them that the issue was nothing except the community plot over which Ayub and his colleagues (the accusers) had got Ahmadis implicated in this false case. Thereafter they blindfolded me again. I was then driven elsewhere and delivered to some other group after two or three hours’ drive.
“I was now finding it very difficult to walk, after the torture. They took me to a room where they opened the handcuffs and took off the band over my eyes. They turned me naked and made me lie down on the floor. One of those tormentors sat astride me and clasped my head in between his knees, while two others took positions on my left and right. They hit me repeatedly on my back and calves of my legs. I went unconscious with pain, and they brought me back to consciousness by a drink and some pills; and then hit me again and again. They said, ‘We are ISI men; we have come all the way from Islamabad; admit your crime.” They were accusing me and some other Ahmadis to having turned to blasphemy in order to precipitate a Hindu-Muslim riot. It was all Greek to me; so I denied that. Then they turned vicious. They introduced chilies in my anus. They opened my two legs and one of them sat on my neck and threatened me with loss of manhood (na mard). I told them again of my innocence, and finally asked them in desperation to shoot me dead. They took me out of the room and fired a shot close to my ear. In fact at that stage I could no longer bear the hurt of the torture of ‘opening the legs’, so I agreed to own up all the false accusations. I was made to sign a number of blank sheets, put my thumb and finger prints on them, admitted to planning a ‘Hindu-Muslim riot’, paying Rs. 5000/- to Sultan Chandio for drawing the ‘sketches’ in the presence of Khalid at his shop, threatened Sultan with death for non-compliance, writing blasphemy on the road track etc – all rubbish, of course. They urged me to implicate Ahmadiyya leadership in providing the Rs. 5000, and mention Nasir Wahla and Majeed Zahid (local Community leaders), but I refused to do that. They wanted me to state that Tariq Mota and Nasir Wahla (Ahmadis) had telephoned me to write that writing, and the taxi on which we went to Umar Kot to post the letter (allegedly written by Rana Khalil) belonged to Zahid son of Habib.
“Then they presented me blindfolded to their officer. He interrogated me further. He asked me, “How much are you paid monthly by your community?” “It is we who subscribe regularly to the community; we do not receive money from our Jamaat”, I told him. He had my eye-band removed, and then made a video. They took some still shots, too. Then I was blindfolded again, was handcuffed in front and driven to a lock-up somewhere. There, I enquired about the time. It was 11 p.m. on 5 December 2008. It was a police station. An A.S.I. provided me with some food and pain-relieving pills. The next day this inspector said to me, “Look here, I have not slapped you even once. All I want from you is to tell the judge that you were arrested at 5 p.m. on 5 December in Kunri. If you tell the judge that you were picked up in Hyderabad and were tortured, I will have you on 15 days’ remand and deliver you back to the ISI”. Then I was taken to an Anti-terrorism court. … (Days later) when I could see the Judge I told him that I was tortured and showed him torture marks on my body. The judge sent me for the medical check up and I requested the doctor to be truthful in his medical report. … Those who took my cash and belongings at the time of my arrest have not delivered those back to me.
“I am now happy to be eventually on bail and with my family once again. I am however afraid whenever I go out in the open. If I die, please do look after my wife and children, and please take care of my elderly father.”
This is how the state wastes its time, resources and energy on worthless tasks assigned by the mulla. It is no surprise that it ends up with problems like those in Swat, Waziristan and Gojra.
3. Ahmadis murdered - for their faith
Subsequent to the murder of an Ahmadi at Multan in August 2009, the Ahmadiyya headquarters at Rabwah issued a press release that included the following statement: “Murderous attacks on Ahmadis take place as a result of deliberate plans of religious anarchists. They are the instigators of sectarian extremism. One hundred and two Ahmadis have been murdered for their faith since the promulgation of Ahmadi-specific law of 1984. No action is taken by the authorities despite our repeated reminders to the government. Consequently, such incidents keep on recurring, and are on the rise. ... If the government pays no attention to such faith-based murders, it is its citizens who will (eventually) suffer the consequences.”
Since the promulgation of Ordinance XX in 1984, 105 Ahmadis have been murdered for their faith. Eleven were killed in 2009. Killing of Ahmadis is not related to the general law and order situation in Pakistan. Ahmadis have long suffered in the country since its creation and more so since the promulgation of Ordinance XX in 1984. These are targeted killings planned and organised by the anti-Ahmadiyya leadership. The few who were arrested subsequently claimed to have committed the murder as an act of religious merit.
Ahmadi shot dead for his faith
Kotri, Sindh; January 19, 2009: Mr. Saeed Ahmad was assassinated by unknown persons at Kotri on January 19, 2009. He was fifty-five. He had no personal enmity with anyone. He returned home one evening from his job. At the entrance of his house, a man standing nearby shot him in the head. The attacker fled after the attack. Mr. Ahmad died on the spot. An FIR was recorded against unknown persons, but no arrest has yet been made.
He was a pious man who was at peace with himself and his environment. He had a wife and four children. Three of his children are college-going. This family migrated from Sakrand to Kotri in 1990. He was buried in the Ahmadiyya graveyard in Kot Gondal, District Hyderabad.
Kotri has been the scene of intensive anti-Ahmadiyya sectarian agitation for sometime. The police and the judiciary has always acted with hostility towards Ahmadis, and failed to provide them with protection. The administration and the police have to share the responsibility for the loss of this innocent life.
An Ahmadi killed for his faith
Karachi, February 26, 2009: Mr. Mubashir Ahmad of R-99A, Rizwan Society, KDA Scheme No. 33, Karachi was shot to death by opponents of the community on 20th February 2009. He was 42. According to the details, on the day of the incident, Mr. Ahmad was returning home on bicycle on completion of his work in Steel Rolling Mill situated on Mangho Pir Road Karachi. When he reached near a madrassah, two men appeared, fired at him and fled away. He was grievously injured; that resulted in loss of great deal of blood. He was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in a critical state, where he died later. He expired before his close relatives could reach him.
Mr. Ahmad was a harmless and simple man by nature. He had no personal vendetta against anyone. He left behind a wife and three children. He faced religious prejudice at his work-place for years. He received threats to his life, and faced social boycott off and on.
Targeted killing of an Ahmadi in Multan for his faith
Multan; August 6, 2009: Rana Ata-ul-Karim fell to assassins’ bullets at his home on August 6, 2009 at about 10 a.m. He was 36. He left behind a widow, a son aged 9 and two daughters, four and three years old.
Rana Karim was a well-known Ahmadi in the neighborhood. He had a master’s degree in agriculture and was in the business of production and distribution of poultry feeds and medicines. In the preceding few days of his killing unknown persons were seen moving around his residence in a mysterious way. He became careful and took some precautions. On the day of the incident when he went out, three armed men entered his house, shut his family in one room, and waited for his return. His wife pleaded the intruders to take away whatever they wanted, but they took nothing except life. As soon as Rana Karim entered his home, they fired at him. He was hit three times. One bullet hit his neck and damaged his windpipe, the other hit close to his ear while the third hit low and damaged his kidney. He died on the spot.
Multan is headquarters of an anti-Ahmadi organization. Extremist elements are well-known to the police. The Ahmadiyya spokesman, through a press release, requested higher authorities to take notice and immediate action.
Brutal murder of two Ahmadi doctors in Multan
Multan, March 14, 2009: Horrific murder of an Ahmadi couple, both doctors, was committed at their residence in Wapda Colony, Multan, on the afternoon of March 14, 2009. Both were tortured and suffocated by the assailants. The deceased Dr Shiraz Ahmad Bajwa was 37, while his wife Dr Noreen Bajwa was 29.
On the day of the incident the couple returned home at about 2:45 p.m. They resided in Wapda Colony which otherwise is a well- protected residential area, gated community. About an hour later, their maid reportedly found them murdered, and informed the security staff of the incident.
The body of Dr Shiraz Bajwa was found lying in the bedroom, hands tied behind his back, mouth gagged, blindfolded, and with visible marks of strangulation. The body of Dr Noreen Bajwa was found in the living room, hands tied behind her back, mouth gagged, blind folded and bleeding from the nose.
Dr Shiraz was an eye-specialist who had worked at many hospitals including the Fazle Umar Hospital at Rabwah, a charitable institution of Ahmadiyya Community. Dr Noreen worked at a children’s hospital. Both of them had excellent academic and professional careers and enjoyed good reputation. Both were popular among their colleagues. Although they had been receiving threats for some time for being Ahmadi, neither of them ever reacted to the provocation.
The tragedy is heightened further by the fact that Bajwas were expecting their first child.
Nothing was stolen from their home. All cash, jewelry and other valuables belonging to the couple remained untouched. The assailants were blinded apparently by hate and malice to commit this senseless act.
Multan is a headquarters town of an anti-Ahmadi organization. They make no secret of their ill-will and hatred on sectarian grounds. It is also the centre of intense anti-Ahmadi propaganda and provocative publications. Last year they mounted a major effort to deprive Ahmadis of their prayer centre. The administration and the police responded with great care and feebleness to their challenge to Ahmadis’ right to worship.
Authorities issued a warning to all concerned that sectarian and militant elements had prepared a long hit-list of Ahmadiyya locations and personalities. These attacks had picked up in frequency and gravity during the preceding months. Thus all available evidence clearly demonstrates that this was a case of targeted murder. Both of the deceased were killed because they were Ahmadis.
The police arrested three men in October who admitted to the murders of Dr. Shiraz Bajwa, his wife Dr. Noreen and Rana Ataul Karim, Ahmadis of Multan. Mr. Karim was murdered in August 2009.These murders were committed in March 2009 and August 2009 respectively. In Pakistan, an admission to the police can sometimes be disputable. The accused normally disown such admissions in the court.
Arrest of a murderer here is no guarantee that he will be punished for his crime. Often the police do a bad job in presenting adequate and credible evidence to the court. Also, it is not rare that for a crime committed under religious motivation, a judge may consider it rather pious to be lenient to the indicted criminal. For example on October 7, 2005 a group of religious terrorists opened fire on Ahmadis in a mosque in Mong, District Mandi Bahauddin, where they were offering their morning prayers in congregation. The attack resulted in 8 Ahmadis dead and 20 injured. The police eventually arrested the culprits who had committed not only this crime but some others as well. The administration was confident of the guilt of the accused. However the trial judge of the anti-terrorism court acquitted them of the charge and set them free. In another incident two mullas murdered an Ahmadi in a Faisalabad bazaar in broad daylight on November 14, 2002. Subsequent to the arrest they proudly claimed that by dispatching the Ahmadi to hell they had performed only their religious duty. The trial judge, in his own wisdom, acquitted the accused who had held the victim firmly while the other stabbed him, and sentenced the one who wielded the knife to death. Later, on appeal, the High Court, in unprecedented way, reduced the death sentence of the murderer of the Ahmadi to 7 years’ imprisonment. The victim’s family, in protest, appealed to the Supreme Court who, in a summary way, dismissed the appeal and maintained the reduced sentence of the religiously-motivated convicted murderer.
Another Ahmadi killed for his faith
Faisalabad; May 29, 2009: Another member of the Ahmadiyya Community lost his life in a senseless attack in Faisalabad. Mian Laiq Ahmad (54), a well known Ahmadi trader died on May 29 after being brutally attacked the previous evening. He was the 5th Ahmadi to be murdered in 2009 for his faith.
On May 28 evening the deceased was returning home in ‘Peoples Colony’, when he saw a parked Toyota Corolla blocking the road outside his home. As Mr. Ahmad neared his home he slowed down when unknown persons jumped out of the Toyota and ran towards his car. It seems that at this point Mr. Ahmad tried to reverse his car but as he did, he was shot in the head. At that point the attackers got closer to Mr. Ahmad and fired repeatedly at him. He was hit in the stomach and arms. The assailants then fled the scene.
Mr. Ahmad was immediately taken to the local hospital and later transferred to the Allied Hospital but was unable to recover. He passed away at 11.30 a.m. the following day. Mr. Ahmad is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.
Anti-Ahmadiyya conferences continue to be held on a regular basis (all over Pakistan, and in particular within the Punjab). In these conferences audience are told that it is their duty to kill Ahmadis, so the audience are led to believe that the bloodshed of innocent Ahmadis is something that will be greatly rewarded. It is worth noting that one such Khatme Nabuwwat Conference was held in the neighbourhood where the deceased lived, only a day before the attack. The conference was addressed by mullas: Muhammad Usman Shakir, Muhammad Ayub Siddiqui, Khalid Mahmud Azamabadi and Abdul Hafeez Tabassum (The daily Aman; Faisalabad, May 28, 2009).
Faisalabad is a hub of Wahabi activism. Politically, the PML (N) is strong here. Authorities maintain a permissive attitude towards anti-Ahmadiyya agitation in this industrial city. This metropolis has claimed a number of Ahmadis’ lives in the past. The criminals and religious fanatics are known to the police.
Two Ahmadis gunned down in Quetta
Quetta; June 24, 2009: Two Ahmadis, Mr. Khalid Rasheed and Mr. Zafar Iqbal were shot dead by unknown person on the night of June 24, 2009.
As he routinely did, Mr. Rasheed drove his colleague Mr. Iqbal to his home. He stayed with Mr. Iqbal for about half an hour. As he was leaving, the two men were fired at.
Mr. Rasheed left behind a widow who is a doctor, two young daughters and a son.
Mr. Zafar Iqbal is survived by his widow and three sons who are all students. At the time of the attack, Mr. Iqbal’s brother Mr. Mubarak Ahmad was also by his side. The assassin fired two shots at him also, but missed. Mr. Iqbal’s brother-in-law Mr. Waseem Ahmad was martyred in Quetta four years ago.
Mr. Zafar Iqbal was a practicing Ahmadi. He had received threatening phone calls.
Another Ahmadi murdered for his faith
Uch Sharif; September 26, 2009: Mr. Muhammad Azam Farooqi was murdered because of his faith on September 26, 2009 in the presence of his wife and daughter. He was returning home on his motorcycle from a family wedding at 8:30 p.m. when two unknown persons brandishing a firearm forced him to stop. In the muddle Mr. Farooqi, his wife and daughter fell from the motorcycle. The assailants pointed a gun at him. Mr. Farooqi told them to take whatever they wanted and leave him and his family alone, but as he said this, one of them shot him in the temple. He died on the spot. The assailants took nothing else and fled the scene. It was a targeted killing; he was killed only for being an Ahmadi. Mr. Farooqi was in the medical profession. He was a helpful man, and was popular in the area. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
The Supreme Head of Ahmadiyya Community mentioned his martyrdom in his Friday sermon, and said:
"The opponents of our Jamaat may murder a few of our members; they may loot Ahmadis of their wealth; they may destroy our buildings; they may stop us constructing mosques, but they will never weaken our faith. …
“The members of the Jamaat worldwide need to focus on prayers. Because the way the situation is developing it seems that Ahmadis, particularly in Pakistan, are going to face increased cruelty and hardship. Our ignorant opponents do not realise that their such actions are not harming our community, but in fact are harming the country and society at large."
An Ahmadi murdered in Balochistan
Quetta; October 11, 2009: Mr. Zulfiquar Mansur’s body was found outside the suburbs of the city on October 11. He had been shot three times, including in the eye. He had been abducted a month earlier. He was 35 years old.
He left his home in his car on September 11, 2009 when armed persons abducted him. These criminals used the same car they had used earlier to abduct another Ahmadi. They contacted the family subsequently and demanded 150 million rupees. They mentioned the ‘Qadianism’ of the victim often in their talk. Their original demand was, of course, beyond the capacity of the family. Intermittent negotiations went on in the following weeks. Eventually, mutually agreed demands were met. However, the abductors still killed Mr. Mansur.
More than a year ago, they murdered Mr. Mansur’s uncle, Mr. Abbas Ahmad in Quetta in April 2008. This year in June, Mr. Khalid Rashid, another relative of Mr. Mansur was murdered in the same city. Quetta has quite a history of anti-Ahmadi violence. As early as 1948, Major Mahmud Ahmad, an army doctor, murdered here was the first Ahmadi to be murdered for his faith in Pakistan. The authorities did not charge anyone for the act and took almost no action against the mullas who had openly incited the mob to undertake the criminal assault. This attitude has prevailed ever since. Ahmadiyya mosque in Quetta was sealed by authorities in 1986 on demand of Muslim clerics. The district authorities of Balochistan expelled Ahmadis from their homes in subsequent years. The same religious elements, with which the authorities cooperated to suppress Ahmadis, have now turned against the state; they assassinated a provincial minister a few days earlier. The state, however, continues to nourish its links with Ulama Karam.
Mr. Mansur is survived by his old mother, a widow and two sons of school-going age.
Murder of another Ahmadi in Sindh
Sanghar, Sindh; November 26, 2009: Rana Saleem Ahmad, the Deputy Amir of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Sanghar was shot dead by unknown assailants in the evening outside the Ahmadiyya mosque. He is the 11th Ahmadi killed for his faith in this year alone.
He was closing the mosque gate after the sunset prayers when someone shot him from close quarters with a pistol, and the bullet hit him in the nose and came out from the back of his head. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital where he was declared dead in the emergency room. He was 51.
Rana Saleem was an educator. He was the proprietor and manager of the ‘New Light Academy’ which is reputed for its high standard of education for children. Approximately a thousand children are enrolled in this academy.
Rana Saleem was a practicing Ahmadi and had served the community in various positions for a long time. He was married, and is survived by his widow and three teenage children.
4. Murder attempts on Ahmadis
Attempts at murder are nearly as incriminating for the attacker as a murder accomplished. It is only by the grace of God that the target survives. Such attempts however cause as much fear and sense of insecurity in the community as a murder. The number of cases in this chapter indicate that the long list of Ahmadi martyrs in Pakistan could have been twice as long if God had not intervened.
Murder attempt on Ahmadi religious teacher
Chak 543, district Vehari; February 25, 2009: Mr. Muhammad Iqbal Abid, an Ahmadi religious teacher was fired at by unknown masked men, when he was waiting for a bus at Adda Faujian Wala in the forenoon of February 25. He received four bullet wounds, but luckily survived.
Mr. Abid went to Chak 543 to participate in a community program. He stayed there for the night. The next morning they escorted him to the bus stop, 3 kilometers away from the village. There the attack took place. The locals were of the opinion that this group could be the same who shot dead an Ahmadi official Mr. Chattha three months earlier in the same district. The police inactivity encouraged them to continue with their deadly attacks.
Mr. Abid was taken to the hospital immediately. He made the statement to the police for the FIR. Later, the community friends moved him to Burewala for further medical care and treatment.
Bid to slaughter an Ahmadi
Chakwal, May 21, 2009: Two madrassah students carried out a murderous attack on Mr. Mubashir Ahmad Tahir, an Ahmadi college lecturer. They tried to cut his throat and stabbed him in his chest and arm injuring him grievously.
According to a press report two Pathan students of the local madrassah at Imdadiya Masjid, Rawalpindi Road, Chakwal entered the residence of Professor Mubashir Ahmad Tahir of the Government Post-graduate College and attempted to cut his throat (the daily Jang, May 22, 2009). As they entered the house they told him: “You are a Qadiani, therefore we have come to kill you”. One of them shot at him with a pistol but missed. Then they took out knives and attacked him. This resulted in serious injuries to his neck, chest and arm. Hearing the noise his neighbors arrived at the scene. The assailants came out and declared that the professor had beaten them, and then they fled. One of the neighbours followed them on his motor cycle and apprehended one of them, while the other escaped. The one who was caught is reportedly from Malakand. However, according to the daily Jang, he is from Khyber Agency of FATA. Mr. Tahir was taken to a local hospital, thereafter he was referred to the GHQ Hospital in Rawalpindi. They used five bottles of blood for transfusion. An FIR was later registered with the police.
The professor had been residing in Chakwal for 10 years. He had been receiving threats on his cell-phone for sometime, so he changed his phone number. That provided him some relief. However the religious extremists then decided to act. The man under arrest confirmed that they intended to kill the professor for his faith.
The daily Jang reported: “This attempt to cut the victim’s throat has caused fear and alarm in the population of the entire area.”
The spokesman of the Ahmadiyya Community stated in a press release: “It is becoming almost normal to attack the lives and properties of Ahmadis in the name of religion. A violent anti-Ahmadiyya movement is surging throughout the country. … Anti-Ahmadiyya conferences have been held at various locations in the Punjab where death edicts are passed against Ahmadis and a message of hatred and malice is propagated openly. … This has resulted in murders of Ahmadi doctors, notables and social workers… .” He urged the government to take serious notice of this incident and punish the guilty persons in accordance with law. He asked the authorities to take appropriate steps to put a stop to the mischief of extremists.
Ahmadi escapes a murder attempt
Karachi; September 12, 2009: Twenty-nine years old Mr. Luqman Ahmad Gondal s/o Mr. Nasir Ahmad Gondal (president of the local Ahmadiyya community) closely escaped an attempt on his life. He departed from his house in the morning for his job. The bus of Abbot Laboratories picks him up daily at a short distance from his home. As he made his way up to his regular pick up point, two men on a motorcycle approached him from behind and fired at him. The bullet pierced his hip. He was taken to a government hospital where the doctors simply administered the wound and bandaged it. However, afterwards he was taken to a private hospital where eleven stitches were required to seal his wound. The police registered an FIR. Mr. Luqman had no personal quarrel with anyone. He was targeted only for his faith.
Attack on Ahmadi lawyer
Gujranwala; May 04, 2009: Mr. Riasat Ali Bajwa, advocate was fired at by unknown attackers when he arrived at his office in the morning. He was hit in his legs and back. He got stable after an extensive surgical operation. He was threatened on phone for some days and pursued before this attack.
Narrow escape from a lethal attempt
Kunri, Sindh; August 12, 2009: Mr. Javed Ahmad had a narrow escape from an attempt on his life. He received a phone call from 0302-3666975. The caller posed himself as an Ahmadi and asked to meet him. Javed told him that he was about to depart for Talhi, a nearby town. The caller said that he would shortly arrive at his residence.
On hearing the sound of motor-bike Javed opened the door assuming that the caller had come. That visitor however surprised him and fired a shot at his door. It missed Javed who immediately took cover. The assailants fled the scene. They could not be identified. The murder attempt was reported to the police who could have easily caught the culprits by tracing the telephone number, but they didn’t.
Attack in Peshawar
Peshawar; February 7, 2009: Mr. Muhammad Ayaz, a 20-years old son of a former President of the district Ahmadiyya community became the target of an attack by unknown attackers. They shot him in the legs but he survived this attack after proper medication.
Murderous attack on an Ahmadi doctor
Lahore; November 25, 2009: Dr Pervaiz Zareef of Bhati Gate, Lahore escaped an attempt on his life on 25th November, 2009. He was preparing to close his clinic at about 11:00 p.m. when two motorcyclists approached his clinic. One of them entered the clinic and fired three bullets at him. The doctor took shelter behind a table. The first bullet broke the glass of the table and two others pierced through it and scraped him. Fortunately, he received a mild injury. A broken piece of glass hit his nose. The assailant also fired at his brother Mr. Amjad, who was at the pharmacy counter. It missed him and hit the wall. People gathered there on hearing the noise. Dr Zareef telephoned the emergency police. The police arrived at the scene and registered an FIR.
Doctor Zareef has a good reputation in the area. The mulla of the local mosque had spoken provocatively against him in his sermons. This could be the result of his instigation.
A savage attempt on an Ahmadi doctor
Peshawar; January 19, 2009: A gang of armed men tried to abduct an Ahmadi doctor Mr. Mansoor Ahmad at Bazid Khail, Peshawar on January 19, 2009. He was at his clinic when they arrived. They came in three vehicles. All of them were wearing long shalwar kameez and were wrapped in sheets. They had long hair and beards and looked like the Taliban of the Afridi clan. They grabbed the doctor and dragged him to their car. In the scuffle they injured him by hitting him on his head with a Kalashnikov butt. The doctor’s brother heard of this and fired on the attackers from his house that is adjacent to the clinic. The ensuing firefight injured two of them. One of them fell down on the ground. The abductors let go Mr. Mansoor Ahmad and helped their colleague. They succeeded in making good their escape along with their injured companions.
Dr. Mansoor Ahmad had six stitches in his head, and was discharged from the hospital. His cousin who works in the clinic received a bullet injury in his back and was hospitalized.
Mr. Farhan Khan, who owns a plumbing shop next to the clinic tried to help the doctor during the raid. He was shot dead by the attackers. He was 35 years old and had 6 children.
Mr. Mansoor Ahmad’s is the only influential Ahmadi family in Bazid Khail. The attack could not destabilize them, and their morale is still high. The local authorities provided some security to the family by posting a few policemen who built a bunker in front of Mr. Mansoor’s house.
The locals also protested against this attempt.
Grave threat to another Ahmadi doctor
Nabisar Road; March 4, 2009: Mr. Naseer Ahmad Zahid is a homeopathic doctor (DHMS), who is a resident of Nabisar Road. He has a clinic close to his house, where he serves the locals. He received threats on his cell-phone that told him to quit Qadianiat or leave the area.
His two sons were studying in a public school in Mirpur Khas and lived in the hostel. They also received letters that threatened them with serious harm. A letter to the doctor is translated below:
Doctor Naseer Ahmad
Take this small note seriously; do not take it as a hollow threat. We know everything about you. Your two sons are studying in Public School Mir Pur Khas. Cooperate with us otherwise we’ll abduct your children. Your house is in Scheme 2, and you have a show room. If you don’t agree then leave Nabisar Road.
Hurry to cooperate with us.
Don’t take it as a hollow threat.
Two suspects came to his clinic two days after the martyrdom of Mr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqi of Mirpur Khas in September 2008. Dr. Zahid had gone to attend Dr Mannan’s funeral ceremony. On the third day they visited again, but he was away at Nawab Shah to condole the martyrdom of another prominent Ahmadi, Saith Muhammad Yousuf. Dr Zahid uses a spare air-conditioned room as a clinic. On both occasions, the potential felons came straight to this room without asking permission, and not finding him there returned in haste. The staff tried to ask them the purpose of their visit but they did not reply.
On the night of March 1, 2009 a man approached the door of his clinic at about 00:40. He demanded loudly that the door be opened, posing that he wanted to get his blood pressure checked. The staff, not recognizing him, told him that the doctor was not available. Dr. Zahid had a heart by-pass operation a few months earlier. The visitor hit the door and forcibly opened it. He intruded inside and was harsh with the staff, used invectives, and insisted that the doctor be called. He pulled the assistant outside and took out a pistol. Luckily a woman patient was admitted that night and her relatives were also present in the clinic. They came out hearing the loud voices. Outside, they saw a black Toyota 2-OD car. The visitor addressed the persons in the car in Pushto language, and they came out carrying Kalashnikov rifles, while one remained in the driving seat. After a brief exchange in Sindhi the three intruders departed hurriedly.
It is reasonable to assume that Dr. Zahid is lucky to have survived these attempts; otherwise there is high probability that he would have been on the list of Ahmadi martyrs.
5. Prisoners of conscience
It is an unfortunate practice in Pakistan that an FIR can be registered against any body even when the evidence against the accused is flimsy. This procedure assists the mulla and the police in having Ahmadis arrested for the violation of Ahmadi-specific law, the blasphemy law and other laws based on religion. Once detained by the police, the accused are at the mercy of the courts who take their own time to grant or not to grant bail. For example, in a case of alleged blasphemy at Mianwali, four Ahmadis suffered incarceration for over four years before the Supreme Court granted the bail after these bail applications were rejected by lower courts and high court in the Punjab. Eventually the trial judge acquitted them of the charge and admonished the complainant for using religion in support of his personal vendetta. There remain a number of Ahmadis who are in prison as a result of fabricated accusations based on faith.
Arrests as a result of blatant misuse of Anti-Ahmadiyya laws
Sillanwali, Sargodha; March 4, 2009: A police case vides FIR 96/09 was registered on March 4, 2009 against fifteen Ahmadis at Sillanwali police station in District Sargodha, Punjab. The Ahmadis were charged under Section 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code which is specifically an anti-Ahmadiyya piece of legislation. The accused were charged with having a place of worship, “Which they call a Mosque and use to offer Friday prayers and Eid prayers therein”. Furthermore, they were charged with ‘posing’ as Muslims under the aforementioned Penal Code. Three persons, Mr. Aziz Ahmad, Mr. Muhammad Ashraf and Mr. Khizar Hayat were arrested and police raids were conducted to arrest the remaining persons.
The background to this incident is that an Ahmadi in Sillanwali, Mr. Khan Muhammad owns few shops adjacent to the Ahmadiyya centre, Baitul Zikr. A non-Ahmadi desired to hire these shops; however the owner refused this request for his own reasons. Thereafter the non-Ahmadi met with a local mulla, and they conspired to fabricate a story in order to register a case against the local Ahmadis. The complainant in this case is a cleric, Maulvi Mushtaq.
These discriminatory laws are a tool for religious extremists whose only wish is to deny Ahmadis the right to practice their religion peacefully. The community tried hard to secure the release of the three Ahmadis and have the charges dropped. At first step the local judge refused to accept the plea for bail. On 12th March an appeal for the bail was lodged in the Sessions Court at Sargodha. On 28th March the three detainees were released on bail.
The police called both the parties for interrogation on April 8. Mullas accused the Ahmadis of preaching to Muslims. The officer asked the complainant to point out the guilty party. The complainant pointed towards two Ahmadis. The police officer asked him the names of those two Ahmadis, the complainant had no answer except that he would tell their names later. Mullas presented some Ahmadiyya books to support this claim. They presented a magazine on which it was written, “I shall carry thy message to the corners of the earth”. They derived from it that preaching is an integral part of Ahmadiyyat. They presented a picture of an entrance to an Ahmadi’s house, on which it was written Mashallah. They said, “Look, they (Ahmadis) claim that God is theirs, while they have no right to claim God”. The mullas said that it hurt them when Ahmadis observed prayers, recited the Kalima, offered the Friday prayers and recited the Holy Quran. When they noticed that they had failed to make a prima facia case, they presented a man, Ghulam Abbas, who joined the Ahmadiyya community a year ago, but deserted later. He said that Qadianis had preached to him a year ago.
The police was then quick to register another case basing on a year earlier complaint by Ghulam Abbas and proceeded to arrest four Ahmadis. A case has been registered against them under 298-C with FIR No. 201/09 at P.S. Silanwali on April 28, 2009 over an incident dated May 25, 2008. Six Ahmadis of Silanwali were implicated in this new case. They were accused of preaching. They are Mr. Hafeezullah, Mr. Ismatullah, Mr. Noor Muhammad, Mr. Tariq Ahmad, Mr. Inayatullah and Mr. Ahmad Hayat – the local Ahmadiyya religious teacher. The first four were arrested by the police. Their bail was confirmed on May 4, 2009.
The accused have now to face prosecution in courts for a long time.
Headmaster arrested under Ahmadi-specific law PPC 298-C
Kharian, District Gujrat; May 13, 2009: The police registered a case under PPC 298-C against an Ahmadi, Mr. Mubashir Ahmad at Kharian with FIR 197/09 on May 13, 2009. Mr. Ahmad is headmaster of a government high school. The police arrested him. He is old and suffering from diabetes.
The complainant accused Mr. Ahmad of misguiding the students quoting references from the Quran and Hadith, although he had been advised to desist from it. “Also, he took out Quranic texts and chapters from a school library and sent these to the complainant’s home; action should therefore be taken,” says the FIR. This, of course is not the whole truth.
Mr. Mubashir Ahmad was appointed the headmaster of this school a short while earlier. Mr. Muhammad Anwar, the complainant, who was already working as a teacher at the same school, had a personal vendetta against Mr. Ahmad. The new headmaster, in his efforts to improve the school, discovered that one of the school cupboards was used by Mr. Anwar for his own personal needs. The headmaster asked him to vacate it, but Anwar did not comply. After repeated failed attempts the headmaster took out the contents of the cupboard, that included some holy texts and delivered these with due care to the residence of Mr. Anwar, who felt offended and consulted a mulla. Accompanied by some clerics, he went to the police station and got an FIR registered.
It is obvious that people continue to use the Ahmadi-specific laws to settle their personal grievances. These laws are commonly used to harass and persecute Ahmadis. The police register these cases with no regard to the circumstances and facts of the complaint and proceed with making unjustified arrests. This is blatant tyranny.
Arbitrary arrest of an Ahmadi
Badomalhi, district Narowal; September 29, 2009: Two Ahmadis, Mr. Javed Ahmad Malhi and Mr. Tahir Hameed have been falsely booked under Ahmadi-specific PPC 298-C at Police Station Badomalhi on September 29, 2009 with FIR 110/09 on a fabricated accusation. Mr. Mahli was arrested immediately.
The applicant Imran Faraz Butt accused him in the FIR of coming to his shop, beating him, and threatening him with grave consequences in case he did not fill in the form for initiation into the Jamaat Ahmadiyya etc. The complaint is obviously ridiculous and false.
The reality is that the applicant had business dealings with the accused. Butt borrowed some stock from the Pepsi agency of the accused. When the accused asked him for the payment, he refused to pay, and called his friends for assistance. After the incident the applicant went to nearby mosques, and started a propaganda campaign against the Ahmadiyya community. The next day he went to the police station along with a procession and had the case registered.
It is routine to use anti-Ahmadiyya laws to settle personal scores. This invites immediate attention of the authorities. The central Ahmadiyya office at Rabwah brought it to the notice of all concerned.
Children became victims of the blasphemy law
Kot Sultan, District Layyah (Punjab): The police charged four school-going Ahmadi children aged 14 – 18 and an adult on a false charge of blasphemy, under section PPC 295-C on January 28, 2009 with FIR 46/09 at police station Kot Sultan and arrested them. Details are available in chapter 2a.
Ahmadis in prison for years
1. Mr. Muhammad Iqbal was imprisoned for life in a fabricated case of blasphemy. He was arrested in March 2004, and is currently incarcerated in the Central Jail, Faisalabad. An appeal was filed with the Lahore High Court against the decision of the Sessions Court. It is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 89/2005. He is now in the sixth year of his imprisonment. He awaits a hearing from the high court.
2. Three Ahmadis; Mr. Basharat, Mr. Nasir Ahmad and Mr. Muhammad Idrees along with 7 others of Chak Sikandar were arrested in September 2003 on a false charge of murdering a cleric. The police, after due investigation found no evidence against the accused. Yet they faced a ‘complaint trial’ for a crime they did not commit. Based on the unreliable testimony of the two alleged ‘eye-witnesses’ (who were discredited in court), seven of the accused were acquitted, but on the same evidence these three innocent Ahmadis were sentenced to death. They are being held on death row at a prison in Jehlum, while their appeal lies with the Lahore High Court. They are now in the seventh year of their incarceration. Their appeal to the Lahore High Court is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 616/2005 dated 26 April 2005.
3. Dr. Muhammad Asghar was arrested on a fabricated charge of blasphemy in June 2008. The judge rejected his plea for bail. The police investigation found him innocent. Subsequently his plea for bail was rejected by the High Court – and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has directed his expeditious trial which is now in progress. See the details of this case in Chapter 8.
6. Ahmadiyya mosques under attack
Those who drafted the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX were mindful of the importance of places of worship for Ahmadis, so Ahmadiyya mosques received a special mention in the law. Subsequently Ahmadis were forbidden from calling their mosques a ‘Masjid’.
The opponents of Ahmadiyyat are relentless in their drive against Ahmadiyya mosques and those who worship in them. To-date they have demolished 22 mosques, had 28 sealed by the authorities, set 11 on fire, occupied 14 by force and obstructed the construction of many more. There have been numerous cases of attacks on worshippers that have resulted in deaths and injuries. This evil campaign goes on often with the support of the administration and the judiciary.
Grenade attack on an Ahmadiyya mosque
Sialkot; February 11, 2009: Some miscreant threw a grenade inside the Ahmadiyya mosque in Sialkot. Fortunately there were only a few worshipers in the mosque at the time as this was not the regular time of a congregational prayer, so only one elderly man was injured. The noise of the explosion spread far. The police arrived and cordoned off the area.
Ahmadis were lucky to get away lightly this time. The attack could have resulted in numerous casualties in different circumstances. Similar attacks on Ahmadis in previous years resulted in loss of many lives and injuries to dozens.
Destruction of an Ahmadiyya mosque
Klaswala, district Sialkot; October 27, 2009: A gang of religious extremists, comprising approximately 50 men attacked an Ahmadiyya mosque in the village of Kalaswala at 11p.m. on October 27 and destroyed it. The mosque was not in use and was kept locked.
The attack was reported to the DSP in writing who marked it to the SHO for a follow-up.
The incident is indicative of the freedoms such people continue to enjoy in the Punjab.
No freedom of worship for Ahmadis
Kot Muhammad Yar, District Chiniot: Ahmadis were using a room in this village for prayers and Friday congregations. As and when their women joined in the worship, they would hang a curtain for partition. As the space was getting short for the worshippers, Ahmadis decided to build another room in the prayer center.
As the walls of the new room reached waist high, the police arrived. They told Ahmadis to stop the construction and report to the police station in the evening.
When the Ahmadis arrived at the police station they found the mullas already seated there. There, the SHO asked Ahmadis the purpose of their construction. The Ahmadi delegation told him frankly that if Muslims had a right to build a mosque, Christians their church and Sikhs their Gurdawara, Ahmadis also had a right to build a place of worship for themselves. The SHO did not agree, and told them to seek governmental approval for it. He knew that it was not needed, and if they ask for it Ahmadis will not get it.
Later the SHO told Ahmadis that the mulla will not let them build a room for worship. He volunteered to have the construction material removed under his own supervision. He told Ahmadis to stop praying altogether in the room as before. That was the end of even the minimal possibility of worship that existed before.
The vernacular press joined the monkey chorus, as usual.
Denial of freedom of worship in district Khanewal
Mian Channu, District Khanewal: The police intervened blatantly to deny freedom of worship to Ahmadis in Chak No. 128/15-L.
As mullas agitate over construction of Ahmadiyya mosques and are always supported by the authorities in their unworthy acts, Ahmadis tend to build their mosques sans minarets, or they assemble in halls and enclosed spaces for worship. Ahmadis of the above mentioned village accordingly decided to build a house for their religious teacher next to a hall where they could gather for religious get-togethers. In these villages, there is no legal requirement to have the construction plans approved by the authorities.
Local Ahmadis proceeded with the purchase of the construction material. In response to an unjustified complaint by a few religious bigots, the police SHO sent for the Ahmadis and accused them of building a Masjid (mosque). They showed him the construction plan and explained that they were not constructing a Masjid. The next day again they were told to report to the police station.
Eventually the SHO agreed to let the Ahmadis proceed with the construction work. In fact, no permission was needed, but the Pakistani police tend to use the law to suit their whims. But there was more to follow.
The next day a sub-inspector of police arrived early in the day and ordered that the construction work be stopped, and the management should report to the DSP. When they met him, the DSP told them that they may not undertake any construction without the permission of the authorities. He told them, in violation of the law, to stop the work. He was told that the plot of land belonged to an Ahmadi, the construction plan was not that of a mosque, so the objection was not valid. The DSP was harsh with them, accused them of lying – and sent them away.
The next day the DSP sent for them again and directed the SHO to obtain a written undertaking from Ahmadis that they will refrain from construction. Ahmadis told him that as they had stopped the work there was no need to give written statements. The DSP told them that they may not leave the place unless they make the required statement in writing.
Faced with this ugly situation, Ahmadis gave in writing that they would continue construction work only with the authorities’ permission.
What does a citizen do when those who are supposed to uphold the law, insist on violating it? Whither human rights and freedom of religion!
Extremist mullas disturb peace near Rabwah over Ahmadiyya mosque
Ahmad Nagar, District Chiniot: Mullas, based in Rabwah and Chiniot, whose sole duty is to target Ahmadis in Rabwah and its environs have targeted an Ahmadiyya mosque in nearby Ahmad Nagar to disturb the peace of the area. This mosque has a background history that also reflects very negatively on the human rights situation of Ahmadis in Pakistan.
Almost a quarter of a century ago an Ahmadi, Rana Vali Muhammad, built a one-room mosque in his own land in sector Nurpur of Ahmad Nagar. The mosque served as a place of worship for approximately two dozen Ahmadis of the neighborhood. As the facility was located near a public route, occasionally a non-Ahmadi would also come and offer his prayers there. To this, Ahmadis never objected; they do not object to anyone who uses an Ahmadiyya mosque for worship of one God.
In 2003, the mosque needed essential repairs and improvements. Ahmadis undertook that. At that occasion mulla Ghulam Mustafa who is an agitator based in Muslim Colony, four kilometers away, arrived and claimed the mosque on the grounds that as Muslim travelers and locals have also used the mosque, it now belonged to them. He sought police intervention, as he was sure of state support in a religious issue, however unworthy.
The police official asked for the land deed. The Ahmadi owner showed it to him, and proved to him that the location and the building had always belonged to him and still belonged to him in official papers and in fact. At this, most unjustly, the police official ordered the mosque to be sealed ‘temporarily on account of law and order problem’. The mosque has remained locked for the last six years, and Ahmadis of the neighborhood have remained deprived of their place of worship. Now the mulla is agitating to have the mosque reopened for only Non-Ahmadis.
The mullas hoisted banners with demands to that effect. They scheduled a conference in Ahmad Nagar on July 22, 2009 to agitate for that. The vernacular press as usual gave the helping hand (the daily Jang, Lahore of July 19, 2009). Mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat organization, Allah Yar Arshad, Yamin Gauhar, Mugheerah, Ghulam Mustafa, Masood Sarwari etc led this agitation. Ahmadis reported the situation to the police.
Mulla Allah Yar Arshad is in the IVth Schedule and a ‘history sheeter’ in police record for his criminal conduct. He arrived in Ahmad Nagar on July 22 accompanied by half a dozen of his own type, and attempted to precipitate a brawl. The police arrived at the scene to maintain order.
As their agitation increased, the Ahmadiyya Headquarters at Rabwah had to consequently issue a general letter informing the relevant authorities of the issue and the situation. Having explained the background of this gross violation of Ahmadis’ freedom of faith, the letter mentioned:
“… Brutishly, the opponents have given a call to all the locals to come forth on 14th August, proceed to Mohallah Nurpur (in Ahmad Nagar) and occupy the mosque. (Their poster is attached). Earlier they had given a similar call for July 22, 2009, which was aborted on account of timely action by the administration.
There is risk of great provocation and violence in the present circumstances. The opposition’s activities expose their plan to achieve their objectives through sectarian riots in the area. In our opinion, this plan is a link in the chain of incidents of Gojra and Gujranwala etc that has resulted in extreme violence and loss of life. This issue deserves immediate attention and action; otherwise we might have a great catastrophe on our hands. We hope that you will uphold justice. I shall be greatly obliged.
This report is forwarded to you for urgent action to uphold the law.
Saleem ud Din
Director of Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar), District Jhang”
The daily Pakistan of August 21, 2009 published a news item regarding the mosque whose essential elements are translated below:
The DPO should fulfill his promise to hand over the Muslim mosque of Noor Colony Ahmad Nagar. Demand the Ulama of Chiniot.
The Ulama Karam and local elders had waged a long and persistent drive to acquire the mosque, and had finally called a protest on Friday, the 14th August. However, the district authorities, like the DCO held negotiations with Ulama Karam and asked them to cancel the protest in return for promises and assurances that the mosque would be released before Ramadan.
The mulla is not always truthful, and the administration often looks for an easy way out that may not be fair. What is really happening, we do not know.
Ahmadis are maintaining their calm, even though extremist mullas are indulging in provocations. The authorities are shy to deliver the justice, ‘in the interest of law and order’.
A mulla and the Prime Minister
The daily Ausaf, Lahore of July 29, 2009 printed a story whose translation is rendered below. Ausaf’s reporter has quoted mulla Allah Yar Arshad in his report; however, as both this mulla and this newspaper are not known for high morals, the level of authenticity of the published report remains at best uncertain. The press report:
Qadiani place of worship: The Prime Minister orders a report on the sealed mosque belonging to Muslims.
The Prime Minister appreciated Maulana Arshad’s act of bringing the issue to his notice and said that this proved the Maulana’s loyalty to Islam.
Chiniot (Tehsil correspondent): Mr. Yusuf Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has taken notice of the issue of the construction of a Qadiani place of worship in Nazabad, Chiniot, and the sealing of a Muslim mosque in Nurpur Colony, Ahmad Nagar, and has asked for a report. He mentioned this in an official meeting with Maulana Allah Yar Arshad, leader of the Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat. The Prime Minister appreciated Maulana Arshad for pointing out this issue and stated that by this timely action of informing him about this case the Maulana has proved his loyalty to Islam and Pakistan. The Prime Minister will have a joint meeting with Maulana Arshad in Islamabad at his first convenience (sic).
Perhaps the PM is unaware that this mulla is registered in the IVth Schedule and is a ‘history sheeter’ in police record for his criminal conduct over a long period.
Gross violation of Ahmadis’ freedom of religious practice
The daily Ummat, Karachi of April 20, 2009 published two news items describing the mullas’ demand to close down Ahmadiyya prayer centers in Mirpur Khas, Sindh. Headlines:
Preaching of Qadianiat undertaken openly in Mirpur Khas. Innocent people are invited to homes, dined and then turned into apostates. Religious groups demand immediate action.
It was learnt that some individuals of Mirpur Khas, urged by mullas, submitted an application to the DPO demanding closure of all the prayer centers of Ahmadis in Mirpur Khas. Mullas threatened that if those centers were not closed down unpleasant incidents might happen, and they would themselves undertake the duty of shutting them down. Owners of the two houses which were used as prayer centers were called to the police station in Satellite Town on April 25, 2009, and were compelled to give in writing that no Ahmadi would come to their houses to observe prayer.
Pakistan is signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but the state permits even its low-level officials to violate the basic right of freedom of religion of its Ahmadi citizens.
Restoration of an Ahmadiyya mosque
Chak 5, District Badin, Sindh: In May 2008, a magistrate ordered the sealing of an Ahmadiyya mosque in this village in pursuance of a demand from sectarian mullas of the Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat. The magistrate apparently acted as an agent of the clerics rather than an official of a state that is signatory to international covenants on human rights. His action was most unjust.
Four months ago the Ilaqa Magistrate told Ahmadis that if they cover up the minaret and the niche, he will allow the mosque to be opened.
Accordingly, the magistrate ordered the opening of the mosque on November 19, 2009. Ahmadis offered their congregational Friday prayers in that mosque the next day.
This mosque remained sealed for one year, five months and 22 days. All this time the Ahmadis of the village were denied their place of worship. Is it why Pakistan was created? The founding father is reported to have said on August 11, 1947:
“You are free, free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan…”
The question is, if the mosque can be open now, why was it sealed in the first instance – why could it not be opened within one week of the decision? The administration and the government of Sindh should think about this. No one, more so in Pakistan, has ever missed being accountable; history takes its own course and its roller-coaster flattens repeatedly all the pitfalls of wrongdoings.
It should be placed on record that the magistrate’s revised decision is also arbitrary and unjust in that the law does not specify that Ahmadiyya places of worship should not have a minaret and a niche. All over the country there are hundreds of Ahmadiyya mosques that have minarets and niches.
7. Tyranny and prosecution continue
Persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan is a form of tyranny as the state is deeply involved in it through legislation. Although the country’s constitution was amended for this 35 years ago and additions were made in the penal code 25 years ago, there has been no let-up in their implementation by the state and the extremist elements of the society. These laws are implemented persistently by the administration, the police and the judiciary. Although persecution affects Ahmadis in all spheres of civic and public life, only police cases and their prosecution is mentioned in this chapter.
Since the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX, 3738 Ahmadis have faced charges in various courts excluding the whole population of Rabwah. The entire population of Rabwah has been booked twice under the Ahmadis-specific PPC 298-C.
Particulars of police cases registered in 2009 are tabulated in Annex I.
Ahmadi lady teacher booked under section triable under Anti-terrorism Act
Jodhala, District Sialkot; March 5, 2009: Ms Bushra Naheed, a teacher at Government Girls High School, Jodhala was booked with FIR No. 71/09 at police station Badiana on March 5, 2009 under PPC 295-A, a clause cognizable under the Anti-Terrorism Act. If declared guilty, she could be imprisoned for 10 years.
According to the accuser, Haleeman Bibi, Ms Naheed allegedly asked two sweepers to dunk Haleeman in a gutter to wash away her sins. This remark, even if true, was not acted upon. Haleeman, however, got in contact with mullas, and reported the matter to the police and the school administration. The police booked the accused under the inapplicable PPC 295-A. The Education Officer found it convenient to suspend the teacher from her job.
This is yet another case, where an Ahmadi has been persecuted by both the authorities and mullas. Obviously the political leadership has not impressed sufficiently upon the bureaucracy to keep the mulla away from manipulating state institutions in support of extremist and sectarian elements, or, the officials understand the official policy to be lukewarm to the problem of religious extremism. Whatever the reason, Ahmadis remain exposed to the tyranny of the state through the mulla.
It is the irony and perfidy of official conduct that the Anti-terrorism Act is used as a tool to terrorize innocent citizens. The judiciary has a long way to go from its newly earned ‘freedom’ to persuade the administration to be a partner in providing justice to the people, especially those persecuted.
Ahmadi prayer-leader booked
Rabwah; October 23, 2009: In an act of blatant discrimination, the police booked Mr. M. A. Naeem for violation of the Amplifier Act 3. Mr. Naeem had recited the Friday sermon that lasted only 10 minutes. The police, that was accompanied by a local mulla, Ghulam Mustafa, found nothing objectionable in the sermon, but held that the accused’s voice was audible loudly in the street.
The FIR mentions that the police entered the Ahmadiyya place of worship; the accused stopped the sermon and joined the worshippers so he could not be apprehended, and the police took in possession the amplifying equipment. All this is fabrication. In fact, the police did not enter the mosque; Mr. Naeem continued the sermon from the Mimber; and the police did not take the equipment in its charge either.
Although it is possible that the sermon was audible in the adjacent street of the mosque, the police are well aware that Non-Ahmadi clerics use their mosque amplifiers that carry their voices kilometers away. The fact that the police were accompanied by a rabid cleric is ample proof that the police acted on behalf of the mulla. Obviously, the Rabwah police have no instructions yet from their superiors to shun the mulla – on the contrary, perhaps the opposite is still the order of the day.
Fifteen Ahmadis charged under Ahmadi-specific law
Sillanwali, Sargodha; March 4, 2009: A police case vides FIR 96/09 was registered on March 4, 2009 against fifteen Ahmadis at Sillanwali police station in District Sargodha, Punjab. Although the complainant had a personal grievance against an Ahmadi, the Ahmadis were charged under Section 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code which is specifically an anti-Ahmadiyya piece of legislation. Three arrests were made. Details of this case can be seen in chapter 5.
Criminal case registered under law specific to Ahmadis
Silanwali, Sargodha; April 28, 2009: A case has been registered against six Ahmadis under PPC 298-C with FIR No. 201/09 at P.S. Silanwali on April 28, 2009 over a year-old incident dated May 25, 2008. They were accused of preaching. They are Mr. Hafeezullah, Mr. Ismatullah, Mr. Noor Muhammad, Mr. Tariq Ahmad, Mr. Inayatullah and Mr. Ahmad Hayat – the local Ahmadiyya religious teacher. The first four were arrested by the police. Details of this case are available in chapter 5.
Another Ahmadi charged under PPCs 298-B, C
Rabwah; March 4, 2009: An FIR was registered against Muhammad Nawaz at the City Police Station Chiniot on March 4, 2009 under PPCs 298-B,C. He was accused of preaching to a man named Muhammad Latif. If declared ‘guilty’, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz could be imprisoned for three years.
A criminal case registered under Ahmadi-specific law PPC 298-C
Kharian, District Gujrat; May 13, 2009: The police registered a case under PPC 298-C against an Ahmadi, Mr. Mubashir Ahmad at Kharian with FIR 197/09 on May 13, 2009. Mr. Ahmad is headmaster of a government high school. The complainant is a teacher at his school who had a personal grievance against his boss. The police arrested the Ahmadi headmaster. He is old and suffering from diabetes. Details are available in chapter 5.
Two Ahmadis booked, one arrested
Badomalhi, district Narowal; September 29, 2009: Two Ahmadis, Mr. Javed Ahmad Malhi and Mr. Tahir Hameed were booked under Ahmadi-specific PPC 298-C at Police Station Badomalhi on September 29, 2009 with FIR 110/09 on a fabricated accusation. Mr. Mahli was arrested immediately. Details of the case are available in chapter 5.
32 Ahmadis booked under blasphemy laws
Lathianwala, Chak 194, district Faisalabad: The police registered a fabricated case against 32 Ahmadis under the dreaded blasphemy law PPC 295-C, anti Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C, anti-terrorism clause PPC 295-A and other clauses PPC 506 and 109, on July 25, 2009 with FIR 486/09 in Police Station Khurarianwala. Months later PPC 295-C was removed. If declared guilty, the accused could be imprisoned for 10 years. Details are available in chapter 10.
Children: victims of the blasphemy law
Kot Sultan, District Layyah (Punjab): The police charged four school-going Ahmadi children aged 14 – 18 and an adult on a false charge of blasphemy, under section PPC 295-C on January 28, 2009 with FIR 46/09 at police station Kot Sultan. Details are available in chapter 2a.
Prolonged prosecution comes to end
A fifteen years old case under PPC 295-A has come to an end – at last.
Nine Ahmadis of Pattoki were charged for putting up a banner in their street regarding the fulfillment of a prophecy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) regarding solar and lunar eclipses on the given dates in support of the Mahdias. The case was registered by the police, on February 23, 1994. Two of the accused died during the course of the prosecution, while six fled and sought shelter in foreign countries. Only one accused, Mr. Abdul Mujeeb continued to face a trial. At last, on 15 December, 2009 the Judicial Magistrate acquitted him.
It is worth noting that the administration and the police in the country charged nine persons for putting up a banner that a prophecy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was fulfilled a hundred years ago. The state prosecuted all the nine accused, pursued the case for 15 years only to find that the judge was neither convinced nor impressed by the charges. What a criminal waste of public resources!
8. Enormity of the blasphemy law
The Pakistani blasphemy law has been widely criticized by human rights groups. Its worst victims are Ahmadis even though they are the least likely to commit blasphemy. The Supreme Court remarked in a written judgment in 1993 to the effect that an Ahmadi who shows any commitment to the Kalima (Islamic creed) defiles “the name of the Holy Prophet”. Accordingly, whatever Ahmadis do in pursuit of their religious (Islamic) practice the police and judiciary assume it ‘blasphemy’. A magistrate once awarded six months’ imprisonment to an Ahmadi for saying Assalamo Alaikum. The mulla and the police sometimes act together to implicate many Ahmadis in fabricated blasphemy cases. On July 25 this year they booked 32 Ahmadis at Police Station Khurarianwala on a charge of blasphemy. The latest legal position is that death is the only punishment for blasphemy under PPC 295-C. It took the 32 Ahmadi accused four months of immense effort to have the PPC 295-C removed from their charge sheet.
32 Ahmadis booked under blasphemy laws
Lathianwala, Chak 194, District Faisalabad: The police registered a fabricated case against 32 Ahmadis under the dreaded blasphemy law PPC 295-C, anti Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C, anti-terrorism clause PPC 295-A and other laws PPC 506 and 109, on July 25, 2009 with FIR 486/09 in Police Station Khurarianwala. If indicted and declared guilty, the accused could have been hanged. Details are available in chapter 10.
Application of the Blasphemy law!
Ghazi Khan, District Mir Pur Khas, Sindh: An Ahmadi was driving his tractor trolley (used by farmers) when he inadvertently touched a roadside signboard. The sign board was damaged, as a result. Unfortunately, the board had a Quranic verse written on it. Here was a welcome opportunity for the mulla to make mischief. He hurried to the police station for a follow-up.
At the police station a few mullas, along with a few other people demanded that a case be registered against the Ahmadi under the blasphemy law. The police visited the site and sent for the Ahmadi driver and owner of the vehicle to explain. They let them off after initial investigation.
The mulla however threatened agitation and processions and demanded registration of a case of blasphemy. The situation remained tense for sometime.
Children became victims of the blasphemy law
Kot Sultan, District Layyah (Punjab): The police charged four school-going Ahmadi children aged 14 – 18 and an adult on a false charge of blasphemy, under section PPC 295-C on January 28, 2009 with FIR 46/09 at police station Kot Sultan. Details are available in chapter 2a.
Update on the fabricated criminal cases registered against Ahmadis for blasphemy
a. Dr. Muhammad Asghar was arrested on a trumped up charge of blasphemy in June 2008. The judge rejected his plea for bail. The police investigation found him innocent. Subsequently his plea for bail was rejected by the High Court. On April 2, 2009 a Supreme Court judge (Lahore Bench) also rejected his plea for bail and ordered that the case be decided within a month. The Chief Justice LHC sent his case to the District and Session Judge Lahore for follow up, who nominated an Additional Session Judge to hold the trial. The accused allegedly tore off an End of the Prophethood poster from a wall. He has been in prison for eighteen months. Due to severe hostility in Nankana Sahib the case was requested to be shifted to any other place. This plea was granted by the LHC and the case was shifted to Lahore. After sometime the opponent party pleaded that the initial complaint and the case should be heard at one place. LHC again shifted the case back to Nankana Sahib, responding to the opponent party’s appeal.
Another plea for his bail was lodged in Lahore High Court, which was again rejected by the court on November 11, 2009. Dr. Asghar, an old man of fragile health, is undergoing all this prosecution and incarceration for a long time now despite his innocence.
It was learnt at the end of the year that, at last, his plea for bail was granted by the Supreme Court; however he was still behind bars on December 31. He will face prosecution, nevertheless.
According to one opinion, extremism and sectarianism pose serious internal threat to Pakistan’s security. But it is also true that our preferred management style is to wait for crises to assume critical mass before we even notice it. Dr. Asghar’s case shows that even after having noticed the threat, the authorities choose to look the other way.
b. Mr. Rashid Iqbal was falsely accused of blasphemy for allegedly writing something blasphemous on the road in September 2008. He was arrested and refused bail. An anti-terrorism clause was also applied in his FIR. The victim applied to the Anti-terrorism Court that the case was not fit for hearing in that court; however the court rejected his application. The Sindh High Court was then to decide whether the application of this clause was valid. The case came up for hearing in SHC on April 22, 2009, however it was postponed indefinitely. In the meantime the Anti-terrorism court has given 9th May as the date of the trial. He had to move to Karachi due to severe hostility in his hometown. His prosecution is still under process.
c. Rana Khalil Ahmad, another elderly gentlemen, is facing a charge of blasphemy for allegedly writing a letter to a cleric. The rest of the case is as in B above. His prosecution is still under process.
d. Mr. Muhammad Iqbal was imprisoned for life in a fabricated case of blasphemy. He was arrested in March 2004, and is currently incarcerated in the Central Jail, Faisalabad. An appeal has been filed with the Lahore High Court against the decision of the Sessions Court. It is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 89/2005. He is now in the sixth year of his imprisonment.
‘Death only punishment for blasphemy’
Islamabad, April 21: According to a press report (the Dawn of April 22, 2009) the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against a Federal Shariat Court (FSC) ruling that death is the only punishment that the Islamic law provides for blasphemy.
The appeal was filed by Bishop Dani L. Tasleem 18 years ago after the FSC gave the judgment in exercise of its powers to determine if the existing laws conformed to Shariah.
Deputy Attorney-General Agha Tariq Mehmood who represented the federal government told the Dawn that the petition was dismissed because it was not pursued by the appellant. Reports suggest that the petitioner is not alive.
“The issue is of tremendous importance for the people of Pakistan in the sense that the FSC judgment which remained suspended for quite some time will now be implemented,” a constitutional expert told the Dawn.
In fact, the Holy Qur’an condemns blasphemy and defilement of innocent people but ordains no punishment, death or imprisonment, for this offence. The government should have sensed the gravity of the case and itself appealed to the Appellate Bench against the verdict of the FSC.
9. Abduction of Ahmadis for their faith
Abduction of Ahmadis is also on the action list of anti-Ahmadi leadership. Abductions may be undertaken for murder, a show of strength, harassment or ransom. The abduction of Mr. Zulfiqar Mansur in Quetta in October this year contained all these elements, and culminated in his murder. It is strange that these clerics who claim to be pious, allow themselves the worst of crimes in the name of religion.
Abduction for a more serious crime
Nabisar Road, District Umar Kot, Sindh: Qamar Ahmad, an Ahmadi was confronted by two men in the vicinity of his home at about 21:30 on March 16, 2009. They forced him into their vehicle, blindfolded him and drove him out a few kilometers. There they told him to telephone Dr Naseer Ahmad, the local Ahmadiyya community president, to immediately come out of his house as a bomb had been placed therein. Qamar told them that he did not have his phone number. Then they told him to telephone Salam, who is the head of the local Ahmadiyya Youth Association, to come there to help him as he was stranded because of an accident. Qamar told them that he did not have his phone number either. Then they told him to phone his own brother and tell him to come there immediately otherwise they would kill him.
Qamar telephoned his brother accordingly, however nobody came. They tied his hands and feet, tortured him and left him on the roadside. Much later, four Ahmadi youth arrived at the location and found him there lying unconscious. He had a rope around his neck. They took him to the hospital. Two days later he was allowed to go home.
The abduction was reported to the police. They registered an FIR. However, their half-hearted investigation proved futile. Mr. Qamar Ahmad is 26. He is married and father of a daughter. He owns some land that he cultivates for a living.
Abduction of an Ahmadi community official
Peshawar; April 1, 2009: Mr. Bashir Ahmad Advocate, President of the local Ahmadiyya community, Achini Payan, near Peshawar was abducted at about 08:30. He, accompanied by his son, was driving to the courts when a gang stopped them, and forcibly took away Mr. Bashir Ahmad. They left behind his son and car. They fired in the air at the time of the incident. It was reported to police. No trace of him has yet been found to date.
Another Ahmadi abducted
Faisalabad; May 9, 2009: Mr. Rashid Karim S/O Dr. Fazl Karim, a local well-known Ahmadi in Faisalabad, was abducted while returning from his pharmacy at 10:30 P.M. He was on his motor cycle when two assailants also on motor cycles stopped him on Jail Road and tried to overpower him. Meanwhile a white car appeared at the scene, he was forcibly taken into it, and was driven away. This was witnessed by a nearby shop-keeper. The abductors contacted his family on phone a few weeks later. They referred to his faith often during his confinement. They urged him to leave Ahmadiyyat and demanded a heavy ransom for his freedom. It was arranged. They released him after five months.
Abducted and killed
Quetta; October 11, 2009: Mr. Zulfiqar Mansur was abducted, kept in confinement for a month and murdered savagely. Details are available in chapter 3.
10. The duet of the state and the mulla
The mulla had always desired state support in his drive against Ahmadis. He eventually got his wish in 1974 when Mr. Bhutto co-opted him to support his shaky regime and amended the Constitution to declare Ahmadis Non-Muslim. Then General Zia took this a step further in 1984 with the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX. Since then suppression of the Ahmadiyya community has been adopted as state policy. Although the state has suffered greatly for its policy of collusion with the mulla, while the two have now indulged in mortal clash in some parts of the country, still the former has taken no steps to undo the joint anti-Ahmadiyya policy. In fact, some provincial leaders have unabashedly reconfirmed their support for the mulla, as is apparent from some of the stories in this chapter.
An updated summary of cases and outrages is provided in Annex II. Laws specific to Ahmadis and the so-called blasphemy laws are given in Annex III.
Azad Kashmir government persists in maintaining sectarian drive in league with extremists
Muzaffarabad: The Central Police Office of the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir issued an ‘office circular’ to all its officials to ensure that the law regarding the ‘End of Prophethood’ be vigorously implemented. This circular was issued in response to a recent order from the AJ&K government that refers to an Act passed in 1985 (during the era of General Zia). It is rather odd that the Azad Kashmir government of Prime Minister Sardar Yaqub found time to pursue a Resolution of dubious worth, passed a quarter of a century ago. It was only a few weeks earlier that his predecessor lost his job on charges that included having friendly relations with extremist mullas like Pir Atiq-ur-Rahman. A sectarian and extremist agenda should not have been a priority for his government. Does the Azad Kashmir government really wish to be seen promoting sectarianism when Indian Kashmir is ruled on secular lines?
English translation of the Central Police Office is placed below, while copy of the original Urdu is placed as Annex V to this report:
From: Central Police Office
Azad Government of Jammu and Kashmir State, Muzaffarabad
1-3: Deputy Inspectors General, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Poonch (Rawalakot) Regions
4,5: SSPs Districts Muzaffarabad and Mirpur
6-11: SPs District Nilam, Bagh, Rawlakot, Sadhnoti, Kotli, Bhimbar
No: 11-6100/CPO/Reader/2009 Dated: March 5, 2009
Subject: Action on the Resolution Act passed concerning the Dogma of End of Prophethood and Suppression of Qadianiat
The case referred to in the subject above is forwarded to you with reference to Letter No. MQ/Qanun Sazi/93-174/2009 dated 28 February 2009 of the Department of Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights along with the received Amendment Act VIII of 1985 (copies enclosed). You are to ensure implementation of the current law in its true spirit.
Enclosures: 4 Pages
Assistant Inspector General of Police (Legal)
Central Police Office, Muzaffarabad
One may recall that in June 2008 the police and District Government of Kotli grossly violated Ahmadis’ human rights and freedom of religion. This was the leading story in the News Report for June 2008, under the following headlines:
Enormity committed by the authorities in Azad Kashmir
Ahmadiyya place of worship blasted to rubble
Criminal cases under Ahmadi-specific laws registered
Ahmadis disallowed to bid for an official contract, on account of their faith
Unabashed tyranny sweeps District Kotli
Interestingly, this police order followed the directive of the Department of Justice and Human Rights. Is this kind of justice and human rights that the governments of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan offer to the rest of Kashmiris in their struggle to create a new polity in Jammu and Kashmir?
Mullas convene in a grand meeting presided over by the Chief Minister, and formally and jointly stress sectarian hatred and prejudice while condemning extremism conditionally
Lahore; July 1, 2009: According to a huge advertisement, covering more than one third of a page of some national vernacular dailies, the Government of the Punjab conveyed to the public that a special meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, the Khadim Punjab, on July 1, 2009, in which illustrious Ulama Karam (the respected ulama) of various denominations participated, and issued a Joint Declaration.
The declaration mentioned that suicide attacks are un-Islamic and are in the forbidden (haram) category. They declared that those who shed the blood of innocent Muslims should be held accountable (as if the Islam of these mullas permits shedding blood of innocent Non-Muslims. Ed.)
The Joint Declaration is long and reflects mostly the government policy. The participant mullas however found the government a willing partner in incorporating deplorable exceptions in the Declaration (like the ‘innocent Muslims’, mentioned above). Also, in the concluding sentence at the end it mentions: “The Ulama Karam jointly held that suicide attacks and all acts of terrorism inside Pakistan are anti-Islam, Pakistan and humanity.” (Emphasis added). Obviously, the ‘Ulama Karam’ are not sure that acts of terrorism outside Pakistan are un-Islamic. However, the most significant and deplorable part of the Declaration is its Clause 2 which met official approval in this meeting that was ostensibly held to promote peace in Pakistan. It states:
“Faith in the Prophethood of Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen Muhammad (PBUH) and love, obedience and association with him is the basis of our religious identity, collective life and national solidarity. Unfailing certainty in his end of prophethood (Khatme Nabuwwat) is an integral part of our faith. It is our religious duty to safeguard the honour of the Prophethood (PBUH). Anyone who is guilty, directly or indirectly, openly or by implication, of even minor insolence to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is an infidel (Kafir), apostate (Murtad) and must be put to death (Wajib-ul-Qatl).”
The meticulous detail and wording of this clause has now provided the ulama with ample license to demand and promote bloodshed and violence - and the government of the Punjab had conceded that. They paid from public funds not only for the meeting but also spent a huge amount on its advertisement in press. If the government had held the meeting initially to promote peace, the mulla succeeded in co-opting it for greater violence and blood in future.
The meeting demanded action against murderers of Maulana Sarfraz Naeemi, and inter alia against those who indoctrinated the killer. From a reading of the Clause 2 of the Declaration mentioned above, it is obvious that participants of this meeting were of the category who undertake such indoctrination.
The ‘excellent names’ (Asma-e-grami) of the participating ‘respected ulama’ (Ulama Karam) as advertised were the following:
1. Maulana Hanif Jalandhri 2. Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahim
3. Maulana Amjad Khan 4. Maulana Zahid-ur-Rashdi
5. Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri 6. Syed Mahfuz Mashhadi
7. Syed Mahfuz Safdar Shah 8. Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Sialvi
9. Mr. Mahmud H Sheikh Hashmi 10. Maulana Muhammad Sharif Rizvi
11. Maulana Rashid Mian 12. Maulana Abdur Rauf Rabbani
The Internet shows that this official meeting and its Declaration attracted a great deal of unfavorable comment from international human rights activists - individuals and organizations. A section of this huge ad in the press is reproduced at Annex VI.
Attack on Ahmadiyya graveyard. Arson and violence undertaken by miscreants
Pir Mahal, District Toba Tek Singh: The following incident occurred on June 7, 2009.
Tehsil Municipal Administration Kamaliya had allocated a plot of land in 1988 as an Ahmadiyya graveyard. Ahmadis have buried their dead there ever since.
In order to ensure the security of the graveyard the local Ahmadiyya community decided to build a boundry wall around it. For selfish reasons, a neighbor Iftikhar Ali, proprietor of Madni Estate Agency did not like it. He is head of a Qabza group; 11 criminal cases of different nature are on record against him at the Police Station Sadar Pir Mahal.
On June 7, 2009, Iftikhar Ali, leading a gang of approximately 6o armed men attacked the graveyard and demolished the newly-built periphery wall. They set fire to a tractor-trolley and a generator at the site. They fired in the air and threw stones at Ahmadis present there. The demolished wall was approximately 400 feet in length. The damage done was approximately worth a million rupees. Iftikahr Ali wanted a 15-feet wide passage through the graveyard for personal reasons. As Ahmadis were not in a position to give up this land, Ali gave the situation a religious twist to take what was not his. He approached clerics and the local press for support. They made statements prejudicial to the Ahmadiyya community. False accusations were hurled against Ahmadis.
It is worth noting that a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference was subsequently held at the residence of this charlatan, Iftikhar Ali on June 28. It was attended by mulla Ilyas Chinioti, a PML(N) MPA from distant Chiniot. According to a three-column report in the daily Ausaf on June 30, it was stated in the conference, inter alia:
1. Lovers of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) are ready to die for his honour.
2. Qadianis will have to recant and start living according to Islam.
3. Qadianis’ sole object is to accomplish the aims of the British through inculcating the love of the Mammon, extricating the love of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and emptying hearts of the faith.
4. We will put a stop to the wretched Qadiani activities all over the world.
The Khatme Nabuwwat Movement, the PML(N)’s MPA, the daily Ausaf, Iftikhar Ali of the Pir Mahal Qabza group and the riot at the Ahmadiyya graveyard were inextricably linked. They intended to precipitate a dangerous communal situation.
Higher authorities were informed by Ahmadis of the explosive situation.
Believe it or not, the Tehsil Municipal Administration Kamaliya cancelled its notification for the Ahmadiyya graveyard on June 9, 2009, citing the threat to law and order as a reason. (The monthly, Jehdi-Haq for July 2009)
Governance had rarely reached that low in Pakistan.
Questionable conduct of the Punjab government
Lahore: During the year 2009, numerous incidents occurred in the Punjab that had a direct or indirect bearing on the Ahmadiyya issue. Here we mention only three of those where the provincial government was directly involved, and offer a comment in the interest of all concerned. These incidents are,1)Holding of a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference in the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore by the Auqaf Department, 2) Banning the Ulama’s entry in various districts of the Punjab, and 3) An announcement of the Mutahiddah Ulama Board through the Auqaf Department of the Government of the Punjab.
In the recent month of Muharram, the government took note of the serious threat to communal harmony and thereby to law and order in the province, and issued orders to ban a large number of ‘Ulama Karam’ to enter the province or to move from one district to another. Most of these ulama who were directed to stay put in their own residential districts were forbidden to address public gatherings (zuban bandi). All this was done to maintain peace and order, and was accepted by all concerned as an essential administrative measure. A few headlines from the press regarding this order are recorded below.
Punjab bans entry of 190 clerics from other provinces.
The Daily Times, Lahore; December 26, 2009
Yom Ashur: 20 ulama recommended for detention.
105 ulama made to sign bond of good conduct in sectarian issues.
The daily Waqt, Lahore; December 24, 2009
151 Ulama’s entry banned in Faisalabad
The daily News; Lahore, December 12, 2009
46 Ulama banned to enter (District) Chiniot
The daily Jang; Lahore, December 16, 2009
30 Ulama Karam and Zakir’s entry forbidden in District Toba. Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Sajid Naqvi and Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi also banned. Restrictions imposed for 3 months.
The daily Pakistan; Lahore, December 9, 2009
In the last week of December, the Department of Auqaf arranged a Joint Announcement (Mushtarka Elamia) by the Mutahiddah Ulama Board and had it published in the press as a paid public ad. It was entitled, Do not give up your own beliefs (and) Do not infringe upon the beliefs of others (Apne maslak ko na choro Kisi aur ke maslak ko na chero). This announcement was drafted in a meeting chaired by ‘Khadim Pubjab’ Mian Shahbaz Sharif on December 13, 2009. The announcement expressed heartfelt pain and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in suicide bombings in Moon Market Lahore, Multan Cantt, Parade Line Rawalpindi and Khosa Market DG Khan etc. The announcement formulated a Code of Conduct (Zabita Akhlaq) and had it published. One of the items of the code read (translation): Islam also teaches regard for the People of the Book (Ahle kitab) and Non-Muslims. Therefore the Ulama should lay special stress on tolerance (rawadari) and unity, and should abstain fully from mutual incriminating edicts (fatwa bazi) etc.
However, earlier this year the same Auqaf Department sponsored, held and funded a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference at Lahore on April 11, 2009. It invited a large number of ulama including many of those who are now banned to enter other districts or are forbidden to speak at public meetings. The venue was decorated with banners that supported the Swat Deal (with Mulla Fazlullah), the imposition of Shariah etc. The speakers upheld the so-called Nizam-e-Adal. One of them said: “We are ready for total destruction of Qadianis in the country.” Another said: “Every last drop of blood should be shed for the sake of End of Prophethood”. One of the resolutions passed at the conference was: All the ulama should devote at least one Friday sermon every month to the issue of Khatme Nabuwwat. An effigy of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community was burnt at the opening of the conference.
With these kinds of gatherings taking place with official support, the government of the Punjab should not be surprised with incidents like the bombings in Moon Market, Multan Cantt, Parade Line and Khosa Market. The pious announcement of the Mutahiddah Ulama Board could not dissuade the bomber and his backers from the attack on a Muharram procession in Karachi that resulted in 45 deaths, burning of 2500 shops, attacks on vehicle, police stations and banks etc, loss of Rs. 30 billion and 10,000 jobs.
The Quran, in its great wisdom, sets forth parables:
“Dost thou not see how God sets forth a parable of a good word? It is like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches reach into heavens. It brings forth its fruit at all times by the command of its Lord. And God sets forth parables for men that they may be reminded.
And the case of an evil word is like that of an evil tree, which is uprooted from above the earth and has no stability.” Al-Qur’an, Surah Ibrahim
The ruling elite of Azad Kashmir indulge in unbecoming sectarianism
There is a lesson not only for all Pakistanis but also for the whole world in the recent traumatic events of Swat and South Waziristan, that religious extremism and sectarianism are fatal for peace and harmony in society. However, the rulers of Azad Kashmir have come to the opposite conclusion; they appear to think that these evils are highly desirable for their people and polity. In April this year the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Assembly of Azad Kashmir attended a conference in Bagh, and spoke against Ahmadiyyat. Perhaps they were forwarding someone else’s agenda.
According to the press reports, these leaders along with their fellows attended a conference at Bagh on April 29, 2009. The conference was apparently held in memory of Sardar Muhammad Ayub, a former speaker of Azad Kashmir Assembly, who sponsored a resolution in the Assembly that declared Ahmadis to be Non-Muslims. However this event was simultaneously termed a Khatme Nabuwwat Conference as conveyed by the daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Islamabad of April 30, 2009 in its banner headline: Qadiani centres of apostasy should be destroyed forthwith. Resolution of the Yaume Khatme Nabuwwat Conference (End of Prophethood Day Conference)
The same newspaper reported in its story that Sardar Yaqub Khan, the PM said: “The object of celebrating the anniversary of Sardar Mohammad Ayub Khan’s death is to convey to the Muslims of the whole world that the first voice that was raised to counter the mischief of Qadianis was from Bagh in Azad Kashmir; this eventually culminated in the form of a law.” Raja Zulqarnain the president of the territory, said: “The services of Major Ayub (Rtd) in eradication of Qadianiat will be remembered for ever. … It will be an honour for me to attend his anniversary here every year.” He further stated that (in those days) “Mirzais were a major power in Pakistan and they held the entire establishment in their grip….” The president however came to the conclusion that, “We are under attack now from all over; we are passing through the most difficult time in our history. We shall have to fight through the situation by setting aside our subsidiary differences.” Shah Ghulam Qadir the speaker of the Assembly stated that, “His (Sardar Ayub’s) crowning achievement was to have Mirzais declared a Non-Muslim minority; this will be remembered forever in history.” (The daily Ausaf, April 30, 2009)
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt placed on record the following demands made in the Conference:
1. Khatme Nabuwwat Day should be celebrated officially every year on April 29 in memory of Major Muhammad Ayub. The day should officially be declared a national holiday.
2. The government should allot a piece of land to the Tehrik Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, where a Khatme Nabuwwat Islamic University should be built with donations.
3. The anti-Qadiani law of 1984 and the Resolution of 1973 should be implemented.
4. Qadianis of Azad Kashmir should be registered as Non-Muslims and identified as such (in I.D. cards).
5. Khatme Nabuwwat should be made a part of the national curriculum.
6. Qadiani centres of apostasy that look like mosques should be destroyed forthwith.
7. The daily Alfazl, the (Ahmadiyya) TV channel and all the Qadiani literature should be banned in Azad Kashmir.
8. Qadianis in government service should be listed and the list should be made public.
(Note: All these indecent and questionable demands were made in the presence of state dignitaries – of course, with their nod.)
In his speech, the Prime Minister accused his predecessors of:
1. Wasting 6 billion rupees of the Asian Development Bank through graft and ‘commissions’.
2. Consuming 220 million rupees in the Kohala Dhir Kot Raod project however they did not spend even 22 rupees on the work.
3. Consuming 60 million rupees in the Bagh scrap (Malbah) scandal etc.
The confident Prime Minister made a hopeful prediction, “Those who seek to oust me will be disappointed. Allah who installed me as the prime minister might appoint me life-time prime minister in response.”
(Report complied from the dailies Nawa-i-Waqt, Ausaf, Khabrain, Jammu wa Kashmir of April 30 and May 1, 2009)
Allah did not make Sardar Yaqub a lifetime prime minister; instead removed him only a few months later – in October 2009.
The police join extremists to impose mass persecution on Ahmadis in District Faisalabad
Lathianwala, Chak 194, District Faisalabad: The police registered a fabricated case against 32 Ahmadis under the dreaded blasphemy law PPC 295-C, anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C, anti-terrorism clause PPC 295-A and other laws PPC 506 and 109, on July 25, 2009 with FIR 486/09 in Police Station Khurarianwala. If declared guilty, the accused could be hanged.
According to the FIR the accusing party blamed Ahmadis inter alia of posing as Muslims, using Islamic epithets, praising God, thanking Him, displaying the Kalima (Islamic creed), writing Mashallah (by the will and grace of God) on their residences etc. This hurt the feelings of Muslims, according to the report; these writings defile the beliefs of Ahle Sunnat (Brelvis) and they feel threatened, etc.
Obviously, the FIR and the agitation is fabricated and artificially created and nourished in bad faith. The police most wrongfully registered the case. This exposes all the named 32 Ahmadis to arrest and prosecution. The case and the treatment of the Ahmadi school children of Layyah is an indicator of what the state and society can do to its citizens who face spurious charge of blasphemy.
Having registered this case against 32 Ahmadis in the most unjust manner, the police took further despicable action.
A police contingent comprising over two hundred men arrived Lathianwala on the morning of August 10, 2009. They stormed the Ahmadiyya mosque and homes of Ahmadi villagers and removed holy inscriptions. The frightful operation went on for almost eight hours. The sacrilege was led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police. While the Ahmadiyya delegation waited upon senior police officials in Faisalabad for a meeting, they had already given orders to undertake this despicable operation. It is reasonable to assume that the District and Range officers had been given the green light from Lahore, the provincial capital. The police used chisels, cement, paint etc to commit act of shameful sacrilege, and they removed every Arabic inscription they could find on the Ahmadiyya mosque and houses. Representatives of the media took photographs of the police action. A video was later made available on the internet and was uploaded on Youtube under the title of, “Acts of Blasphemy by Pakistani Authorities." The 8-minute video* is worth watching, although greatly distasteful and disturbing for anyone who is sensitive about freedom of religion. An Ahmadi in New Zealand who saw the video, commented in his e-mail to all concerned:
“After watching this heart-rending incident which was executed by the Pakistan authorities namely the police, last Monday the 10th of August 2009, which I have just received, my heart melts in agony.
…Our attitude will be simply – peace and prayer. It is ‘Love for all and Hatred for none’ that we will practice, no matter how strong your passions may be (sic).”
It is relevant to mention that only 10 days earlier another religious community had been severely traumatized in nearby Gojra where seven Christians were killed and their houses burnt after false accusation of blasphemy. The politicians and police seem not to have learnt any lesson from events in Gojra, and persist in appeasing the religious extremists and bigots.
The mulla, however, persisted in mischief. A number of clerics railed against the Ahmadis of Lathianwala in their Friday sermons. The religious leadership was busy in instituting further agitation. The Sunni Tehrik, a politico-religious sectarian party sent a group of armed mischief-mongers to Lathianwala on 24th September. They parked their vehicle in front of the entrance of an Ahmadi’s home. Ahmadi children came out and touched the vehicle. At this the visitors started making noise as to why the children even touched their vehicle. They shouted threats, moved over to the bazaar, collected some local colleagues who brought along fire-arms. These gangsters started firing at Ahmadis. Ahmadi youth also fired in self-defence. At this the attackers retreated. In this exchange, three Ahmadi young men received minor injuries.
The police came to know of the developments and arrived at the scene. At this the attackers fled. The police and senior officials stayed on late into the night. The police SHO refused to register a case based upon the injuries to the Ahmadi youth. The next day, at the orders of the Superintendent of Police Jaranwala, the SHO registered a case against 24 men of each party under an anti-terrorism clause. This is a bizarre way to be non-partisan and just.
Kotli, Azad Kashmir, revisited for discrimination on the basis of religion
Kotli: In 2008, the authorities at Kotli withheld the award of a business contract to an Ahmadi on the basis of his faith, and conveyed to him their decision in writing (News Report for June 2008). Despite the change of the Prime Minister, the discrimination on the basis of religion continued.
At Kotli, an Ahmadi’s companies provided medicines, rations and general stores to the District Hospital. This had been going on for more than 20 years. In 2008, although these firms offered bids that were the most attractive, the authorities disqualified them for their association with ‘Firqa Ahmadiyya’. This also resulted in difficulties in recovering the arrears from the hospital. Six hundred thousand rupees were outstanding with the hospital.
Again the hospital ordered some medicines, and the company delivered them on May 19. However, the Medical Superintendent lost courage and refused to take the delivery on account of ‘pressure’ from various quarters. He issued a circular, No. 1534-37/MS/09 dated May 19, 2009, indicating cancellation of the previous tenders “for unavoidable reasons”, and conveyed that tenders would be called afresh.
Attack through state on freedom of worship
Raipur, District Sialkot: Drafters of the Ordinance XX, law specific to Ahmadis, targeted Ahmadiyya mosques in particular. They were of the opinion that an attack on Ahmadis’ places of worship would be one of the most effective ways to repress Ahmadiyyat. Accordingly, since the promulgation of the said ordinance, miscreants, with the support of authorities, have demolished 21 Ahmadi mosques, set 11 on fire, forcibly occupied 14 and barred construction of forty more. By hook or by crook the system deprives Ahmadis of their places of worship. In village Raipur, the Ahmadiyya mosque is built on a community plot designated as Shamlat Deh. The adjacent plot is used as a graveyard for non-Ahmadis. The care-taker of the graveyard applied to the Revenue Department to claim the plot of the Ahmadiyya mosque. The department conveniently granted him the claim. So, Ahmadis appealed to the court, who issued a stay order.
The care-taker thereafter had a criminal case registered against 7 Ahmadis. The defendants hurriedly approached a magistrate to seek bail before arrest, which was granted.
There is no shortage of officials who seek an easy entry into paradise by serving the cause of their religion. The staff of Police Station Sabz Pir acted accordingly. They moved Article 145 to have the mosque sealed under the pretext that it was a ‘risk to law and order’.
Freedom of religion has strange interpretation in the land of the pure. The police consider it their right to close down the places of worship of ‘others’.
Unlawful detention and torture of innocent Ahmadi by Rawalpindi police
Rawalpindi: Rawalpindi is often referred to as the twin city of Islamabad. The police here share the Federal Government’s lack of concern for the human rights of Ahmadis, or may be, they take their cue from the capital of the Punjab, from where they receive their orders.
Malik Ghulam Mustafa, an Ahmadi, lives in the neighborhood of Muslim Town. He faced harassment from local extremist elements. He used to drive a taxi, but had to stop doing so in the face of this opposition. He decided to start a general store business along with his two sons Irfan Ahmad and Adnan Ahmad. In August, someone abducted the maid of a non-Ahmadi family residing in the same plaza. They wrongfully accused Irfan and Adnan of involvement in the crime. The police arrested Irfan Ahmad and kept him in detention for eight days. When presented in the court, the parents of the girl told the court that they did not suspect Irfan’s hand in the case; so he was released.
After some days the police took away Irfan Ahmad once again. On this occasion he was beaten up also. He had fever in the preceding days. His parents and relatives were greatly upset. They wrote to the Supreme Head of the Community for prayers.
The police violate constitutional provisions on religious freedom
Kot Muhammad Yar, Chiniot: In serious violation of his charter of duties the SHO Police Station Chiniot City, Sheikh Tahir, ordered Ahmadis of Kot Muhammad Yar to stop their Friday worship. In fact his duty is to facilitate worship, not to obstruct it in league with mullas.
The SHO sent for the Ahmadi seniors of the village and told them to give a written undertaking on a Stamp Paper that they would not offer their Friday congregational prayers. He threatened them with a fine of Rs. 500,000 and registration of criminal cases. Ahmadis told him that they will not forego their right to worship and will convey him their intentions after consultation.
Ahmadi leaders advised the local community to ask the SHO to give his orders in writing.
This village is also inhabited by a Pakhtun community who has a Taliban mentality. Their children have been throwing stones at Ahmadis’ homes. Perhaps the conspiracy is to create a law and order situation, and register unwarranted criminal cases against Ahmadis in collusion with the police.
It is relevant to mention that Chiniot is now a district headquarters town. It is located only 5 miles east of Rabwah.
Another outrage by the police
Tatle Aali, district Gujranwala: Tatle Aali is inhabited by a small Ahmadiyya community of a dozen households. In October this year the Khatme Nabuwwat organization’s agitators raised the level of communal agitation in the village, and co-opted the police to make life difficult for the Ahmadis.
The police SHO sent for the two parties, and readily accepted the untenable logic of non-Ahmadis that as Ahmadis offer their prayers the same way as they, they should be barred from offering congregational prayers. The SHO told the Ahmadi delegation that if they did not agree with that, they should get a verdict from the court; till then no congregational prayers would be allowed to Ahmadis. While Pakistan is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it allows its police to act in clear violation of its provisions.
As a result, there was police presence in the village the next Friday, and they ensured that Ahmadis did not congregate for their Friday prayers.
The question is: is the District Police Officer not aware what his SHOs are doing? Should they not receive some training in upholding human rights and freedom of religion and belief, to which Pakistan is committed through international covenants?
A telltale story from the press
Tando Adam, Sindh: The daily Jang, Lahore of November 8, 2009 published the following story:
Tando Adam: The chief of Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat (MTKN) Sindh’s gunman’s rifle stolen
Tando Adam (PR): The rifle of the official guard of Allama Ahmad Mian Hamadi was stolen from the guard room. Hearing this, all the office bearers and followers of the Majlis arrived at the office of the MTKN. They said that they had repeatedly warned the authorities that the security provided to Allama Hamadi was nominal and inadequate; it should be increased, but the administration failed to co-operate, and the tragedy happened. The leaders warned the administration that it will be held responsible if Allama Hamadi suffers any harm to his person or property. They demanded that the conspiring elements who have requested that the Allama’s security guard may be withdrawn, should be required to appear for the investigation in the loss of the gun.
In view of the fact that Hamadi, an extremist mulla, is known to have been active in sectarian strife for years, the following is apparent from the press release of the MTKN:
* He is provided a regular armed guard at the public’s expense.
* He even has a guardroom for security personnel.
* His office has asked for more security personnel (although it is he who promotes murder in the name of religion).
* Some people have suggested that he needs hardly any security.
* The loss of the official rifle certainly calls for a thorough investigation; Hamadi and his staff should be interrogated, as it is they who stand to benefit from the theft.
The authorities continued regard for the extremist and sectarian mullas is noteworthy and incomprehensible.
The reality of some ‘Ulama Karam’
Taba Tek Singh: The government of Punjab has forbidden 30 Ulama and Zakirs from entering the district of Toba Tek Singh in view of the threat to peace during the month of Muharam. The list includes among others, Maulana Fazlur Rahman. Most of these clerics are regular participants in anti-Ahmadiyya conferences held every year in Rabwah. It is fair to ask that if these clerics are a threat to peace in Toba Tek Singh, why are they allowed to gather in district Chiniot (at Rabwah) to endanger the peace there. Also, at higher political stage, how come that a person like Maulvi Fazlur Rahman, who is a threat to social and religious peace in the Punjab, was nominated to the second highest post in the parliament of the country i.e. Leader of the Opposition. Obviously, the national policy at the top is confused or self-serving. These mullas deserve not only to be kept away from the people of Toba Tek Singh, but also from the people of Pakistan. Below we produce a translation of the press report published in the daily Waqt, Lahore of December 9, 2009:
30 Ulama and Zakirs’ entry banned in Toba Tek Singh. Maulana Fazlur Rahman included.
Toba Tek Singh (On line): The provincial government of the Punjab has forbidden the entry of 30 Ulama and Zakirs in district Toba Tek Singh in order to ensure peace and security during the month of Muharram-ul-Haram. These include Maulana Fazlur Rahman chief of the JUI, Alama Sajid Naqvi a leader of Tehrik Jafria, Maulana Muhamamd Ahmad Ludhianwi of the banned Tanzim Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat and others of various sects. Others who face this ban include Hafiz Abdul Alim Yazdani, Maulanas Bahadur Ali Saif, Shabir Hussain, Abdul Khaliq Rehmani, Dr Khadim Hussain Dhilon, Maulana Muhammad Alam Tariq, Sahibzadah Zahid Mahmud Qasimi, Maulana Aurangzeb, Qari Abdul Hayy Abid, Maulana Abdus Sattar Taunsvi, Maulana Muhammad Tayyab Tahir Farooqui, Allama Zahid ur Rashidi, Syed Ataul Moheman Bokhari, Syed Abdul Majeed Nadeem, Maulanas Abdul Tawwab Achhravi, Muhammad Rafiq Jami, Allah Wasaya, Khalifa Abdul Qayyum, Maulana Abdul Ghafur Jhangvi, Prof. Saeed Ahmad Asad, Zakirs Fazal Abbas, Anwar Ali, Safdar Hussain Sial, Ghulam Hussain Najfi, Gulfam Hussain Hashmi, Munawwar Abbas Alavi and Khaliq Asadi.
Note: The majority of the Ulama mentioned above are regular speakers in conferences held in Rabwah.
11. Business and Jobs
Ahmadis have a reputation of being hard working, honest and educated people. As such, in the nascent years of Pakistan they did well in business, services and employment. The clerics, who led the anti-Ahmadiyya agitation, targeted them in this sector as well. They found willing co-operation in the public sector from officials. As such, Ahmadi intake reduced to a trickle in government jobs. Those who were already in service hit a glass ceiling. Many of them were encouraged to resign.
In the business sector, the mulla agitated and urged the bazaar and public to boycott Ahmadi businesses. They issued fatwas that all dealings with Ahmadis were haram. At times they arranged attacks on Ahmadi-owned businesses. A persistent campaign goes on against some leading products produced by Ahmadi manufacturers e.g. Shezan.
All this precipitated a great deal of hardship for Ahmadis in general, and Ahmadi businessmen in particular. The drive, however, goes on unabated, as will be assessed from some of the incidents that happened this year.
Rocket attack on an industrial plant owned by Ahmadi
Mandi Bahauddin: Shah Taj Sugar Mills at Mandi Bahauddin is a major industrial unit in the district. Its owner is an Ahmadiyya business family. It provides jobs to hundreds of people on the plant; it buys cane from farming families whose members are in thousands. Some criminals, most probably under religious motivation, carried out a rocket attack on its main production plant. Anti-Ahmadi extremists have always openly mentioned this industry’s proprietors in their public list of the targets for a boycott.
Apparently the rockets were fired from a distance of approximately one kilometer. Three of these fell within the parameters of the mills and exploded, while the fourth failed to explode. It appears that they had targeted the main boiler. Had one of these rockets found its target the explosion of the boiler would have resulted in extensive loss of life. The police registered the case.
Although the details of the investigation and finding are not known, it was learnt that a criminal gang, motivated by religious zeal was operating in the area, and was targeting Ahmadiyya properties and persons. Members of this gang visited the FATA for acquiring explosives and weapons, but operated out of safe havens in districts Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin, Gujranwala etc. They had plans to attack Dr Raja Masud who was an eye-witness to the attack on Ahmadi worshipper at the Mong mosque in 2005 that resulted in eight deaths and 20 injured. Members of this gang were arrested by the police subsequently, but an Anti-terrorism judge declared them ‘Not-guilty’ and set them free. That group was reportedly active against these targets.
This was a major escalation in anti-Ahmadiyya violence.
Stupefying fallout of favorable mention of Ahmadiyya leader on radio
Faisalabad: The following report published in the daily Ausaf on June 9, 2009 is an interesting piece that is reflective of the society and governance in Pakistan. It is reproduced below:
The compere of the Faisalabad Radio Station is fired for preaching Mirzaiat
Aqsa Iqbal was dismissed after finding her guilty subsequent to inquiry
Those who claim Prophecy after the Holy Prophet are Kafir and Dajjal – Director Rana Akram
Chenab Nagar (Special correspondent): Subsequent to the publication of a story in the daily Ausaf, the respected Ulama (Ulama Karam) protested, and the uncouth compere Aqsa Iqbal was dismissed from Radio Corporation. Maulana Allah Yar Arshad, a leader of Khatme Nabuwwat movement met Rana Muhammad Akram, the Director, Noorullah Qadri and Shabbir Hussain of the Radio Station. There the Director informed him that senior officials had taken the most serious notice of Aqsa Iqbal’s action and having established her error, have fired her from her job. He said: “No Qadiani is employed at the Faisalabad Radio Station. Our entire staff comprises true Muslims. One cannot imagine any kind of Prophethood after Hadrat Muhammad’s ‘end of prophethood’. Anyone who claims to be Prophet after him is Kafir (infidel), Dajjal (anti-Christ), and all his followers are outside the pale of Islam.” At this Maulana Allah Yar Arshad told him that he admired his commitment to faith and expected him to hold such black sheep accountable.
Ahmadis under threat all over the Punjab
Lahore; February 18, 2009: The Daily Express, Lahore in its issue of February 18, 2009 reported the following:
Danger of attack on 365 religious centers of Qadianis in Punjab.
43 business enterprises could also be targeted. Orders for strict security.
Bahawalpur (Express Reporter): Investigation Branch of the Punjab has issued a letter to all the RPOs, CPOs and DPOs of the province in which it is said that according to intelligence reports terrorists are planning to attack 365 religious centers of Qadianis in the province. There are 69 such centers in Jhang. Sargodha 54, Faisalabad 28, Sialkot 22, Gujrat 21, Gujranwala 18, Rawalpindi 11, Lahore 10, Toba Tek Singh 10, and some more in other cities. There are 43 major business enterprises and Qadiani companies in the province. Therefore, strict security measures for their places of worship and business enterprises should be taken immediately.
Legal notice to scuttle Ahmadi’s business
Sahiwal: Mr. Altaf Ahmad, an Ahmadi owns a gift shop in Sahiwal. He lives with his family in the upper storey of his store. He sells different types of gift items including decorated inscriptions of Quranic verses and Islamic symbols. He was sent a legal notice by Abdul Hakeem who is an activist of the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat organization. He sent this notice through Noor Muhammad Sial, Advocate in June 2009. The notice stated, inter alia:
‘As your sign board displays Islamic terminology and your shop stocks inscriptions of Islamic terms and Quranic verses, it injures the feelings of general Muslims. It may provoke them to disturb the peace. You are obviously violating the law and you deserve harsh punishment. You are directed to remove all such items from your shop within eight days, otherwise legal action will be taken against you.’
Mr. Ahmad was greatly disturbed by the notice. His non-Ahmadi friends told him that his shop had been discussed in the Khatme-Nabuwwat Conference held in Chicha Watni, a nearby town. The speakers agitated the audience against his business and his person. Needless to say, Mr. Ahmad was most worried.
Denial of promotion to an Ahmadi for his faith
Lahore High Court declares it illegal
Lahore: The daily The News International of February 15, 2009 reported the case of an Ahmadi in government service, whose department denied him career advancement on account of his faith. The text of the report is produced below. Although the discrimination to which the Ahmadi was exposed is not expressly stated in detail, the report is indicative of the prejudice and partiality suffered by Ahmadis in public service. The news report:
Denial of promotion on basis of religion illegal: LHC
Justice Mian Saqib Nisar of the Lahore High Court on Saturday accepted the petition of Shaukat Ali Wahla of the Sargodha Auqaf Department and declared as illegal the recalling of his promotion as an officer on the basis of being an Ahmadi.
The petitioner was promoted as superintendent in BPS-16 and his promotion was subsequently recalled on August 6, 1996, on the grounds that the Punjab Waqf Properties Ordinance did not permit promotion of a non-Muslim as an officer.
Wahla challenged the order before the high court, which held that the petitioner was condemned unheard. After disposal of the petition, the department recalled the impugned order.
Later, the Auqaf department allowed the petitioner move over on May 21, 2001, from BS-16 to 17, granting him selection grade on the same date. But again on October 10, 2001, he was issued a notice that his promotion as superintendent was illegal and it was recalled on January 29, 2002.
Wahla again challenged the order before the high court, which accepted his petition on October 13, 2004, and held that discrimination on the basis of religion was against Article 27(1) of the Constitution.
The Auqaf department challenged the order before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which remanded the case to the high court on October 12, 2006. The case came up for hearing before Justice Saqib Nisar who declared that the recalling order was illegal.
All Ahmadi teachers fired: This story is described in chapter 12.
12. Problems in the field of Education
The anti-Ahmadiyya lobby gave high priority to hurt Ahmadis in the field of education, after getting them declared not-Muslims. Ahmadis were the most educated community in Pakistan. Proportionately they were prominent in the faculty and student population of institutions of higher education. But after 1984, the government and the mulla hit them hard in various ways. Ahmadi lecturers were posted away to distant locations and were not allowed to teach. Ahmadi principals and headmasters were replaced. Ahmadi students were deprived of admission in professional colleges. They were refused accommodation in hostels. They suffered attacks by extremist elements on campuses.
All this was undertaken with the help of student wings of religio-political parties. Organisations like Islami Jamiat Talaba and Anjuman Talaba Islam played a despicable role in maintaining a turbulent environment in educational institutions for Ahmadis. Both men and women were targeted. The authorities became willing instruments in permitting and promoting this discrimination. This tide is showing no sign of ebbing. Last year, through a co-ordinated move, the mulla, the students, the staff and the college administration of the Punjab Medical College Faisalabad rusticated all the male and female Ahmadi students from the college.
Prejudice beyond limit
An Ahmadi teacher of a private school ‘Qurban High School’ in Lahore died in January 2009. She was a popular teacher in the school. Her coffin was brought to the school for last respects, and later she was buried with due honour. This reverence rankled with some sectarian teachers. They, assisted by a mulla, told the principal who is also the owner of the school to read out a statement in an assembly of students. This statement contained slander and used abusive language against the Ahmadiyya community and its founder. The Principal refused to comply. At this, some rowdies attacked the school office and damaged its furniture and fittings. Ahmadi teachers and the principal had to be rescued from the trouble spot.
The mulla then added a few more demands and threats to his list. The school administration, already under pressure, conceded to fire all the Ahmadi teachers working in the school in February 2009.
With little support from the authorities, the society is in a state of siege at the hands of clerics. The authorities fail to realize that continuous hold on power cannot be realized by bowing down to injustice.
Communal tension in the National Textile University – Faisalabad
Faisalabad; February 2009: A campaign was launched by religious bigots against Ahmadis in the National Textile University Faisalabad at the turn of the year. It included distribution of sectarian literature, hate speeches by mullas in the university mosque, and pasting provocative stickers. They held a conference in the university mosque on 17th February, 2009 after the evening prayer. Four hundred students were among the participants. The mullas made abusive and slanderous speeches against Ahmadis. As a result of this conference an environment of hate and prejudice prevailed in the University. Two Ahmadi male students and three female students had to be shifted outside the hostel. Subsequent to this an Ahmadi delegation met the Superintendent of Police (Operations) of Faisalabad and conveyed him all this information and their concern, in writing. Audio recordings of speeches and copies of the distributed literature were also provided to the official. He promised to look into the case. Subsequently Ahmadi students were shifted back to the hostel on 22nd February, 2009. They faced a social boycott there, but the situation became under control.
Faisalabad is the same city where in June 2008; the management of the Punjab Medical College committed the grave wrong of expulsion of all their Ahmadi students from the college and the hostel. It took months to pacify the situation and reverse the wicked and unjust action.
Extremism manifests itself in a university campus
Faisalabad: As if events at the Punjab Medical College in 2008 were not a sufficient eye-opener, the authorities of the state-owned Engineering and Technology University allowed another crisis to occur on their campus.
Mr. Adnan Asif, an Ahmadi, is a lecturer/ lab engineer at the university. Two former students of this university, Waqas and Sajid, visited the campus, went to various class rooms and delivered addresses against Ahmadiyyat. They urged the students to implement a social boycott of all Ahmadi students and lecturers. The university administration responded only after the damage had been done. Their hate campaign was quite successful. As a result, the students in general wanted not to be taught by an Ahmadi lecturer.
Thereafter the Campus Coordinator advised the students that they had been misguided. However, he was not forceful or convincing enough; the students did not agree with him. The Coordinator then timidly took the easy course. He asked Mr. Asif to resign. This was, of course, not acceptable to the latter who replied that it is the writ of the administration that should prevail in the University and not that of the students. Also that, he would not opt to set a precedence that Ahmadi lecturers should resign in the face of student protests. The Coordinator then asked him not to come to the campus for a month while still on pay. Mr. Asif did not agree to this either. At this, the Coordinator told him not to enter any class-room; he will nominate other lecturers to take the classes instead.
Mr. Asif felt very concerned, as he was filling the post on ad-hoc basis. He was expecting to get confirmed soon.
Obviously, the state has failed to learn a lesson from the happenings in the North West, and is woefully slow in adopting a wholesome counter-extremism policy.
Sectarianism in women’s hostel and college
Faisalabad; July 2009: Miss Baslah Ahmad, an Ahmadi student of Government College University, residing in the Para-Medical Girls Hostel, near Company Bagh, in Faisalabad reported extensive prejudice and sectarian hostility against her in the hostel. It showed the corroding effect on society of the highly provocative leaflets and folders issued by various Khatme Nabuwwat organizations and distributed freely in educational institutions.
Briefly, Miss Ahmad had been living in that hostel for two years in company of non-Ahmadi girls, and the stay had been smooth and friendly all along – till two months earlier. In April this year a pamphlet titled: Who is Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani? was delivered to the hostel, and Baslah’s room-mates confronted her with that provocative and incendiary material. Baslah tried to avoid the provocation but the agitated colleagues persisted. The incident spread the fire of hatred further in the next few days, and became an issue of which the administration took notice. Fortunately the administration did not join the agitation; it tried to calm the agitators. The girls, however, on their own, told Baslah not to join them at the dining table, and imposed a social boycott on her. The boycott, however, remained only partly effective, as some of the girls privately supported Baslah. Some elements that thrive upon discord and mischief proceeded to suggest that Baslah had committed ‘blasphemy’. They also referred to the last year’s events of the Punjab Medical College.
This incident is an example how sectarianism gets foothold in educational institutions and hostels. A lenient attitude of the administration towards agents-provocateurs encourages them to spread the mischief. Agitational sectarianism leads to religious extremism that leads conveniently to terrorism. This is how educated women are found among those who put on suicide belts.
Agitation in an academic institution
Mirpur Khas; January 2009: There is a Government Elementary College (Men) at Mirpur Khas, Sindh. It appears that sectarian and extremists elements have tightened their grip over this institution. The principal of the college is an Ahmadi. The murder of Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqui, the president of the District Ahmadiyya Community has provided an opportunity for extreme right-wing teachers to accentuate agitation against Ahmadis. Some of these lecturers, apparently guided by leaders of politico-religious parties drafted an application to authorities, and had it signed by the staff members. The application urged the authorities to enforce constitutional and legal provisions against Ahmadis. They demanded that Ahmadis not use terms like Salam, Insha Allah, Bismillah, etc, and threatened that, “otherwise…., we can proceed further to safeguard the faith of Muslims”. They asked for a permanent solution (Mustaqil hal) of the issue.
It is rather fateful that having experienced the impact and consequences of extremists’ policy and practice, the educated section of the society allows itself to be misguided by religious bigots.
Vernacular press adds fuel to fire
The daily Ausaf took up the task of depriving Ahmadis higher education in the field of medicine as a project, and deputed a staff reporter to fabricate a report. It is described in chapter 16a.
13. Burial problems
Since the 19th century Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis have been buried in common public graveyards. Non-Ahmadis and their Ulama rarely made it an issue. However the situation has changed since the anti-Ahmadiyya amendment to the Constitution and the promulgation of Ordinance XX – in practice, but not in law.
After declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslim, the government did not allocate separate burial grounds to Ahmadis at most places. As such it was only incumbent upon the authorities to allow and facilitate Ahmadi burials in common graveyards. However, they do not do so, and every time a mulla raises his voice, the magistrates and the police find it convenient to tell the Ahmadis to bury their dead elsewhere.
A death in the family normally is a very distressing occasion for the family. When the burial itself becomes a major problem it causes tremendous stress and strain for the bereaved relatives. Its impact is immense. However such incidents keep on recurring and continue to traumatize Ahmadi families. Since 1984, twenty-eight Ahmadi dead have been exhumed and 47 denied burial in common graveyards.
At some locations the authorities have allocated separate land to Ahmadis, but the way they act subsequently is apparent from the incident at Pir Mahal described in this chapter 10.
Grave of an Ahmadi dug open
Chak 53 Janubi, Sargodha; April 9, 2009: An Ahmadi died on March 27, 2009. The next day he was buried in the public graveyard. His other brother an Ahmadi is also buried in there.
Some sectarian elements gathered after the burial and demanded the disinterment of the deceased. Later, they applied to the nearby police station for disinterment. Relatives of the deceased requested the Commissioner to intervene in their favour but the pressure from clerics kept mounting. The Magistrate expressed his helplessness in the face of the agitation and ordered removal of the dead body. On April 9, the disinterment took place in the presence of the magistrate. The coffin was moved to a distant town for reburial.
An un-nerving burial problem
Chak 287/GB, District Toba Tek Singh: Mr. Shah’s Ahmadi daughter-in-law expired on January 5, 2009. He had a grave dug up for her burial in the graveyard that is in common use of locals since 1876. During the night, instigated by some seniors, a few people refilled the empty grave with earth. The next day, the village elders refused to help, so Ahmadis went to the District headquarters where the DCO did not bother to read their application, instead directed them to see the DPO (District Police Officer). When they contacted his office, they were told by the clerk that the DPO was aware of the problem, but was not in a position to help. So the delegation returned to the village and buried the girl in their farm.
A few days later another Ahmadi died in the same village. His wife and children are not Ahmadis. The mulla announced that Ahmadis may not offer his funeral prayers, see the dead man’s face at the occasion of last rites, and participate in his burial. In the evening they conveyed a threat to Ahmadis that they would dig out all the dead Ahmadis from the graveyard. This disturbed Ahmadis greatly. They wrote applications to the authorities. At this the mulla calmed down a bit and directed his flock not to indulge in any disinterment. Some of the locals sympathized with Ahmadis because of this despicable behaviour.
Burial in public graveyard is denied
Thehri, District Sargodha; May 14, 2009: District Sargodha was the scene of another grave sectarian incident. On this occasion an Ahmadi family was denied the right to bury a loved one in the public graveyard of Thehri village.
Ms. Bibi died at about 2 p.m. on May 14, 2009. Ahmadis had always been buried in the public graveyard prior to her death. This time when Ahmadis dug up a grave to bury Ms. Bibi, the mullas agitated. They sent a van-load of religious bigots and boys to the site. They told Ahmadis to stop further work on the grave, and insisted that they would not allow an Ahmadi burial there.
They informed the police of their intentions and told them to support their plans. The police arrived at the scene and, in league with the mulla, told the Ahmadis not to commit a burial to the graveyard. The Ahmadis had no choice but to comply with the police’s orders. They took the dead body to another village and buried it there. The police remained with them until the end of the burial to ensure that the mulla’s will prevailed.
Denial of appropriate final rites to an Ahmadi dead
Moro, District Naushero Feroz (Sindh): Mr. Nasir Khan, an Ahmadi elder died in his village in the first week of February. He was a practicing Ahmadi. Some of his children are Ahmadis while some are not. At the occasion of his death, the local mulla created a great deal of fuss and imposed a ban on Ahmadis to give him an Ahmadiyya burial.
The deceased’s Ahmadi sons and friends were told that they were not permitted to offer his funeral prayers, nor were they allowed to participate in his burial. The mulla threatened violence if his command was not carried out.
Ahmadis decided to forego their rights and stay well clear of the mischief. However, it is a pity that Ahmadi children of an Ahmadi dead could not give him an Ahmadiyya burial. The mulla’s will prevails as the state leaves him unbridled.
Burial problem contrived
Chak 565/GB; District Faisalabad: An Ahmadi woman died in the Chak on 16 April 2009. She was buried in the Ahmadiyya graveyard. However, there was more to follow when a few days later the police told her relatives to report to the police post at 4 P.M. on April 25.
A delegation of Ahmadis went to the police post and told the inspector that Ahmadis had buried their dead in that graveyard during the past 100 years. The graveyards of the two communities were distinctly separate.
The opponents however took their plea to the Area Magistrate who heard the case on 27 April. He ordered the police SHO and the Patwari (revenue clerk) to visit the site and submit a report.
Ahmadis presented copy of the land record to the officials.
Bavewali 232/RB, district Faisalabad; August 2, 2009: An Ahmadi, Mr. M. Afzal died here on August 2, 2009. Preparations for his burial were being carried out when the Imam of the local mosque threatened on the loudspeaker that the burial of Muhammad Afzal would not be allowed in a Muslim graveyard nor would any Muslim observe his funeral prayer. This graveyard is not exclusive to any sect; 15 Ahmadis’ graves are already situated here. The police intervened and reprimanded the mulla for his announcement, and assured security to the Ahmadis. However, by the time the dead body was about to be taken to the graveyard, a hostile crowd had gathered there. The police thereafter wilted, and advised caution to Ahmadis. Ahmadi elders then decided to take the body to another village for burial.
Chak No. 426/GB, district Toba Tek Singh; September 7, 2009: Mrs. Abdul Majeed died on September 6, 2009. A grave was prepared in the common graveyard the following day for her burial. Some miscreants arrived at the scene and opposed the burial. The authorities and the elders of the locality intervened, and allocated a separate plot for the burial of Ahmadi dead. A grave was dug up there, and the burial took place.
Khurpa, district Sialkot: September 12, 2009: Mr. Rahmat Ali, an 80 year old Ahmadi, died here, and a grave was prepared for him in the common graveyard. Some miscreants and extremists gathered there to oppose and stop his burial. The DSP Pasroor arrived at the scene. He advised Ahmadis to bury him at another location, and he undertook that the graveyard would be divided in the next few days after which the dead body could be shifted back. Ahmadis decided to take the coffin to a nearby village, but a non-Ahmadi friend offered a piece of his own land where the burial then took place.
14. Anti-Ahmadiyya open-air conferences
Khatme Nabuwwat conferences have become quite a show-piece, and they reflect the state of decline of the Pakistani society in religious, social, governmental and political spheres. Here the mulla and, indirectly, the state show their true colours in violating all decency and universal norms. Human rights, freedom of religion and belief, religious tolerance etc are trampled upon openly and vigorously. Politics is practiced in the name of religion, and the state looks the other way; in fact it participates to show its solidarity with the mulla. Unwittingly (or perhaps not) the authorities join in these gatherings that openly promote extremism and sectarianism which invariably lead to terrorism. The federal Minister of Tourism and Senior Superintendent of Police, Faisalabad are on record to have not only participated in these conferences but also addressed the crowd.
A Khatme Nabuwwat Conference in Rabwah
Rabwah; 15 and 16 October 2009: Mullas of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction were allowed and facilitated again by authorities to hold a major conference in Rabwah, the Ahmadiyya headquarters town where non-Ahmadi population is less than five percent. Numerous such conferences are permitted here every year. This is particularly noteworthy in view of the fact that Ahmadis are not allowed to hold their traditional annual conference in their own town. This is discrimination, practiced unabashedly.
The following report, compiled mostly from the vernacular press reports from the dailies Jang, Nawa-i-Waqt, Ausaf and Jinnah of 16 and 17 October, 2009, Lahore clearly supports the introductory remarks to this chapter.
In this report we shall not report the profuse insults, diatribes and abuses hurled at the Ahmadiyya Community and its respected religious leaders. The mulla does that at every available opportunity, and the authorities do not hold him accountable under the law of the land, PPC 295-A. It is rather strange that these clerics who cry hoarse in defence of the blasphemy law, indulge in slander against others, with no qualms. In fact, in this particular conference, although held in the name of End of Prophethood, they placed the Blasphemy issue (Namus Rasalat and Tauheen Rasalat) on the agenda and made it the theme – obviously as a propaganda tool.
It is a norm at these conferences that the mulla on the stage, with microphone in front, blurts out whatever he wishes with no regard to morality and decency. For instance the following was conveyed at this occasion:
* No one can amend the Quranic and Divine decision to award sentence of death to blasphemers of the Prophet. (Note: The Quran makes no mention of this decision. Ed.)
* The Blasphemy laws are not a product of a passing need; these are permanent essentials; and they assure protection to minorities.
* Maulana Abdul Qayyum Haqqani stated that the eradication of the evil of apostasy is essential for the preservation of Islam.
* Maulana Abdul Wahab Jallandhry said that Jihad will continue against traitors to the cause of Khatme Nabuwwat.
* We shall wipe off from the face of earth those who wish to amend the Blasphemy law.
* Those who demand an end to the blasphemy laws are traitors to the national ideology, and are enemies of Pakistan.
* Qadianis occupying high posts are busy in disgusting conspiracies to deprive Pakistan of its nuclear capability.
* Foreign intelligence agencies are providing Qadianis with tens of million (karoron) of pounds and dollars to impose emergency in Pakistan and spread unrest in the country.
* Mufti Saeed Ahmad Jalalpuri said that Qadianis occupying key posts in the country are deliberately involved in robbing the state, thereby rendering the dear country bankrupt in the field of economy, religion and geography (sic).
* To anyone who commits blasphemy, we shall award the punishment ourselves without having to go to a court.
* Every household is now going to produce a Ghazi Ilm Din Shaheed.
One can draw one’s conclusions from the above exhortations made in public.
The organizers and the speakers kept an eye on their national and international political agenda, and availed of the stage of ‘end of prophethood’ to say the following that had nothing to do with the theme of the conference:
> Why land is being sold out to Americans, in Islamabad?
> Kerry-Lugar Bill is a Qadiani conspiracy.
> Resolution: (This conference) demands of rulers that drone attacks be disallowed over tribal areas, and the Kerry-Lugar Bill be rejected.
> The conference expressed great concern and reservations over the extension of the US embassy, Kerry-Lugar Bill, presence of Black Water, drone attacks, (electric) load shedding and inflation.
Only a wily and foxy group of clerics can relate all the above to the theme of end of prophethood.
The mullas came up with a list of demands, as usual. This list is never ending; more than half a century ago they started with a list of 22 demands against Ahmadis; all these have been accepted by the state, however they keep on adding to this list with the passage of time. Hell is reputed to be a bottomless pit. Excerpts:
o Lessons and readings on the dogma of ‘end of prophethood’ should be added to school syllabi so that the young generation should be fully conscious of safeguarding the ‘end of prophethood’ and the ‘honour of prophethood’ (Namus Rasalat).
o The declarations (official permissions) of all Qadiani dailies and periodicals should be cancelled.
o Qadianis continue to visit the holy places in Saudi Arabia, posing as Muslims. This assembly demands of the government that in order to deny Qadianis’ access to the Holy Shrines, column of religion should be added to the computerized national identity cards. (Note: Pakistani passports already carry this entry; this demand is a guileful way to demand the same entry in I.D. Cards to facilitate discrimination within Pakistan. Ed.)
o All entry forms to educational institutions should bear, in addition to the column of religion, a statement on the importance and weightiness of the dogma of the ‘end of prophethood’ and also a sworn certification (by the applicant) on the apostasy (kufr wa irtidad) of Mirza Qadiani.
o The Chief Justice should take suo moto notice of illegal activities of Qadianis all over the country. The government should not reopen the settled case of Arabic madrassahs (Madaras al Arabia); these madrassahs are the fortresses of Islam and cradles of peace.
Whither human rights and freedom of religion and belief! All the above was said and demanded in a conference attended by a federal minister.
Following is also relevant and of interest, from the conference:
* According to the daily Ausaf, volunteers in uniform had taken their positions in fortifications (morcha zan the).
* Security duties were performed by the students of Jamia Dar ul Quran and Jamia Obeidia, Faisalabad, and personnel trained by Maulana Muhammad Akram Toofani (of Sargodha).
* One of the speakers at the conference was mulla Alam Tariq, member of a banned organization and brother of the firebrand Mulla Azam Tariq (now dead).
* The vernacular press dutifully played its corrupt role. The daily Jang published (gratis) messages from various mullas on the occasion: Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Maulana Fazl ur Rahman, Maulvi Abdur Razzaq Sikandar and Khawja Khan Muhammad. It also printed an article by Mufti Khalid Mahmud on October 15, 2009, which fanned the fire of communal hatred. The daily Nawa-i-Waqt fired the opening shot on October 14 by publishing an article by Jamal Nizami introducing the conference. Nizami wrote: (This) “Khatme Nabuwwat conference should be a war cry (tabl-e-jang) against the anti-Khatme Nabuwwat character of this government and against the tongues that oppose Khatme Nabuwwat.”
* The first session of the conference was presided over by a mulla called Akram Toofani. He was not named Toofani by his parents; he adopted this name himself; it means a ‘typhoon’. Consider!
* The attendance at the conference was 4000-5000.
Maulvi Ata-ur-Rahman the Federal Minister of Tourism attended the conference. The press reported his statement: Qadianis are using a number of political personalities as pawns to cover up their disbelief and apostasy (kufr o irtidad).
The Ahmadiyya community of Rabwah, in the light of the past experience, had to stay vigilant against any possible foray by these unwelcome guests. The mischief of the participating mullas, however, affected and motivated not only the participants but millions of readers of the vernacular press who published daily reports on the proceeding of the conference. The evil of their propaganda will have a bearing not only on Ahmadis, but also on the Pakistani public who are fed this fodder of obscurantism. The effect of this diet now manifests itself every day all over the country in the form of bomb blasts.
Khatme Nabuwwat Conference with political agenda
Chichawatni: It is a matter of routine with mullas to fully avail of government’s deliberate negligence, and promote their political interests behind the curtain of End of Prophethood. They hold such conferences, and being very fond of publicity they get the proceedings published in the vernacular press. This way, they expose their mundane and unbecoming designs, but considering their eventual interests, they are not shy of such an exposure. The daily Aman, Faisalabad of October 29, 2009 reported on such a Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Chichawatni. We produce below the headlines and excerpts from the text:
Qadiani group is active in anti-Pakistan conspiracies – Maulana Alam Tariq
The on-going operation in Waziristan is not anti-terrorist; it promotes further the American terrorism.
The US is receding after its defeat in Afghanistan; now it is using Pakistan as cannon fodder.
Maulana Iftikhar Ahmad Haqqani, Qari Ehsanullah Farooqi, Syed Suleman Gilanil, Maulana Kalimulla and other leaders address the Shuhada Khatme Nabuwwat Conference.
Chichawatni (correspondent): Under the auspices of Tehrik Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, in memory of the martyrs of Khatme Nabuwwat Sahiwal, Qari Bashir Ahmad Habib and Azhar Rafiq, the speakers at the ‘Khatme Nabuwwat Conference’ said that Qadiani group is playing its part in dangerous conspiracies against the beloved country (Watne Aziz)….
Abdul Latif Cheema said that events prove that the on-going operation in Waziristan is not against terror but it is being carried out to promote further the American terrorism. Under the cover of terrorists, it is innocent people, children and women who are being slaughtered. He said that now the US is withdrawing having lost the war in Afghanistan, it is using Pakistan as cannon fodder (eindhan). He further stated that Qadiani Mission in Israel lies in ambush against our nuclear assets. … Maulana Muhammad Alam Tariq said that religious institutions and parties are the guardians of the country’s ideological and geographical frontiers; those who accuse them of extremism etc are loyal to and represent the world of infidels (Alam e kufr).…
Speakers at this conference, held under the management of Maulana Abdus Sattar and Qari Manzur Ahmad Tahir of Jame Masjid Noor High Street Sahiwal, as also organized by Qari Saeed s/o the martyr, Qari Atiq-ur-Rahman and Qari Bashir Ahmad, included:
Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema secretary general of Majlis Ahrar Islam Pakistan, Maulana Muhammad Alam Tariq a distinguished cleric, Maulana Iftikhar Ahmad Haqqani the secretary general of JUI (Punjab), Qari Ehsanullah Farooqui of Karachi, Syed Suleman Gilani, Maulana Kalimulla Rashidi, Maulana Shahid Imran Aarifi, Maulana Manzur Ahmad Qasim and others.
From the press reports it appears that hardly anything was said in the conference on the subject of ‘end of prophethood’. The speeches were restricted to Waziristan, the US and terrorism.
Press report on a Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Rabwah
Rabwah; September 7, 2009: Opponents of Ahmadiyyat were permitted to hold a conference at Rabwah despite a request from the Ahmadiyya head office that there was no justification for such a conference at Rabwah, organized by non-resident mullas. As expected, the speakers made provocative speeches full of hate and fabrications. Below we reproduce extracts from a press report published in the daily Nawa-i-Waqt of Lahore on September 9, 2009 (translation):
“The tragedy at Gojra is the work of Qadianis. Their activities should be banned, demand Ulama in the Khatme Nabuwwat Conference.
We shall defend the national ideological and physical frontiers with our lives. We shall not tolerate any change in the blasphemy law.
Sharia penalty for apostasy (death) should be imposed, and a column of religion should be added in the national identity card. Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi, Ilyas Chinioti, Maulana Alam Tariq and others addressed the conference. Various resolutions were passed.
Chiniot (correspondent): The 22nd Annual International Khatme Nabuwwat Conference held under the auspices of the International Khatme Nabuwwat came to an end in the small hours of the morning, having lasted all night…. The ulama said that Jews and Hindus were following their agenda of the break-up of Pakistan. Their agents should be mindful that so long as the ulama are there, none can dare do that…. Muslims can tolerate a lot but not defiling the Quran and the name of their Prophet. A number of resolutions were passed at the conference whereby it was accepted that Qadianis were busy conspiring against Islam and Pakistan. A ban should be imposed on their activities…. The Government Jamia Nusrat Girls College should be renamed Jamia Syedah Aisha Siddiqa, and Nusrat Girls High School Chenab Nagar should be renamed Jamia Syedah Fatimah-tul-Zohra…. A column of religion should be added to the computerized national identity card or the colour of Muslims’ card should be different so as to ensure distinctive religious identity in accordance with the constitution and law. Qadianis are busy buying land around Chenab Nagar at hundred times the (normal) cost so as to establish a state like Israel. The authorities should take note of this conspiracy. Penalty of (death for) apostasy should be imposed as recommended by the Islamic Ideology Council. The conference severely condemned the American drone attacks. …” etc.
The conference was addressed by Maulana Muhammad Ahmad, leader of an organization banned for terrorist activities, and by Maulana Alam Tariq who is a brother of the fire-brand mulla Azam Tariq who was also leader of a banned religious body that was responsible for a large number of targeted killings in the sectarian strife of the past.
As if this conference was not enough, the clerics declared they would again hold conference next month in Rabwah.
Khatme Nabuwwat Conference in Sahiwal
Sahiwal: An all-parties Khatme Nabuwwat convention was held in the central Jame Mosque under the auspices of Mutahida Tahrik-e-Khatme Nabuwwat Rabta Committee, Sahiwal Division. This conference inflamed anti-Ahmadiyya sentiments and promoted the clerics’ national as well as international political agenda. Some highlights are quoted below from the daily Pakistan; May 8, 2009:
* The U.S. and Pakistani rulers should stop shedding blood in the name of Sufi Muhammad. Stop derogating Islam. Syed Ataul Muhaiman Bukhari
* Qadianis are distancing the Muslims from their passion for Jihad and are responsible for Islamic disunity.
* Qadianis are responsible for all disorder in the country.
* There is a grave need of Qadianis’ political and societal annihilation.
* Qadiani conspiracies backing terrorism will be confronted at all costs –Mulla Ilyas Chinioti
* Some influential circles are trying to undo the blasphemy laws and the laws safeguarding the Khatme Nabuwwat.
* Our peaceful movement will continue till the effective imposition of the punishment for apostasy as per Sharia (Death) and firing of Qadianis from key posts. Mulla Ilyas Chinioti
A rabid conference at the outskirts of Rabwah
Ahmad Nagar; March 23, 2009: A Seerat-un-Nabi (SAW) Conference was held in Ahmad Nagar. The conference was dominated by speeches against Ahmadiyyat. The organisers took a pledge from the audience to socially boycott Ahmadis, and encouraged them to register police cases against them if they say ‘Assalamo Alaikum’. They demanded the administration to handover the sealed Ahmadiyya mosque to them; “Otherwise we would occupy it ourselves”, they threatened.
The mulla demanded that the Kalima (Islamic creed), Quranic verses and other writings should be removed from the walls of Ahmadiyya mosque in Ahmad Nagar. They announced a plan to take out a procession to that end. Mulla Ilyas Chinioti and others hurled threats against Ahmadi officials by name. Mulla Allah Yar Arshad severely criticized the security arrangements in Rabwah and the holding of a consultative meeting in Rabwah of Ahmadi delegates.
A sectarian conference at Faisalabad
Faisalabad; April 5, 2009: A Khatme Nabuwwat conference was held in Faisalabad. It was advertised through posters, pamphlets, ads and short messages on mobile phones. Approximately 6,000 attended it; most of them were madrassah students. Some of these students came from other districts. On account of the inclement weather, the stage secretary took a pledge from the audience that they would not leave the conference and remain seated in case it rained. However, at about midnight when it started raining almost half the audience stood up to depart. The administration closed the exit gates. The sound system collapsed. People quarreled with the gate keepers and jumped over the wall. Interestingly the mullas who had taken pledges from the audience quickly took shelter under the tables and later got in to their vehicles to avoid getting soaked. The whole thing was a shambles. This conference was attended by Maulavi Khan Muhammad, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad (JUI), Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Ajmal Qadri, Mufti Zia Madni, Allah Wasaya, Ilyas Chinioti, Saleemullah Khan, Ahmad Mubarak the SSP Operations and others. Ahmad Mubarak, SSP Operations addressed the conference, however, as a police official his participation in such a conference was highly improper and unbecoming.
Anti-Ahmadi conference at Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi; March 30, 2009: A Khatme Nabuwwat convention was held at Jamia Islamia, a Deobandi madrassah at Kashmir Road, Sadr, Rawalpindi on March 30. The chief guest was mulla Allah Wasaya. Mufti Saeed ur Rahman presided over the session. The speaker spoke freely against Ahmadiyyat and stressed the need for a major drive against it. He urged participation in the conference at Badshahi Mosque at Lahore on April 11. It was mentioned that the anti-Qadiani activity at Bhaun (District Chakwal) is proceeding at the desired pace. They urged that the Friday sermon on April 3, be devoted to the Qadianis in all the Deobandi mosques in District Rawalpindi. Major Deobandi mosques in Rawalpindi are located at the following locations: Ar-Rahman Mosque, Banni; Jamia Masjid Islamia, Sadr; Amir Muavia Masjid, Kohati Bazaar; Jame Masjid, Akal Garh; Jame Masjid, Asghar Mal Chowk.
A letter from Ahmadiyya head office on holding a Khatme Nabuwwat conference at Rabwah
Director Public Affairs, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Rabwah addressed the following letter to various authorities of the Punjab and the Federation (translation):
Assalamo Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarkatoh
I draw your kind attention to an important and sensitive issue.
According to the press reports, opponents of the Ahmadiyya community have scheduled a Khatme Nabuwwat conference at Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) on September 7, 2009. It is significant to note that the said conference is being held in the holy month of Ramadan.
Ninety-five percent of the population of Chenab Nagar (Rabwah) is Ahmadi, and they are not allowed to hold their annual conferences and educational functions and events in this town. However, their opponents are entirely free to transport outsiders to Rabwah and hold conferences, take out processions, abuse Ahmadi elders on loud-speakers, make provocative moves and create law and order problems through their rallies. Now, once again, a conference is scheduled on September 7. This is likely to pose a threat to the peace of the town. As in the past, this year again it is likely that the participants will be from organizations that are officially banned (for terrorism). These people come out in the town in groups, move about in residential areas, and make provocative gestures near Ahmadiyya places of worship. There is likelihood of an unpleasant incident in the town on account of the said conference.
In the above-mentioned circumstances it would be appropriate not to permit the holding of this conference or provide it official patronage. In case the permission is granted, the participants should be restricted to use only the main roads and routes. They should be told not to misbehave with women, not to indulge in provocative slogans or indiscriminate use of sound amplifiers. Speeches that incite hatred and communal discord, thereby posing a threat to law and order should be prohibited.
In case of an untoward incident the organizers and the authorities will be responsible.
Last year, an identical request was made to you but unfortunately it proved futile.
We hope that you will now take appropriate steps to maintain law and order in the town.
This is an issue of sensitive nature, and deserves immediate attention.
Saleem ud Din
Director Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar), District Chiniot
The conference was permitted nevertheless.
Communal tension in Azad Kashmir
A political mulla, Pir Atiq-ur-Rahman has apparently decided to use the ‘Qadiani card’ to promote his political career. He is fairly influential and claims close links with the top leadership of the territory.
The Pir’s campaign in the name of Khatme Nabuwwat is essentially political, sectarian, agitational and even violent. His tactics include intimidating the government through this religious issue. He agitates the common man in his hate speeches against Ahmadiyyat. He hopes to gain political mileage with crutches such as the ‘protection of the end of prophethood’- an oft-tried tool by numerous political tricksters.
The authorities in Azad Kashmir initially responded obligingly to his pressure tactics, and indulged in wanton violations of Ahmadis’ human rights (see News Report June 2008). This brought a bad name to the government of Azad Kashmir and Pakistan. It seems the government decided to recant, and took some damage control measures.
The Pir thereafter made another attempt at holding Khatme Nabuwwat conferences at various locations e.g. Kotli, Goi, Tatta Pani etc. The yellow vernacular press, as usual, offered plenty of space to the Pir and his acolytes. Newspapers like Nawa-i-Waqt, Ausaf, Khabrain etc spared two, even three-column space to publish disinformation as well information regarding these conferences, etc. Extracts:
We shall not accept any ban on Khatme Nabuwwat Conference.
Among all the anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan forces the most dangerous are Qadianis. In the garb of Islam they are busy in uprooting Islam and Pakistan.
The daily Khabrain, Islamabad; June 26, 2009
Disclosure of heavy amounts donated by the Jewish lobby to blasphemy undertaken by Christian and Qadiani
The Jewish Lobby provided 5 billion rupees to non-Muslims to precipitate sectarian riots in Pakistan. Qaisar Ayub and Shahzad Saleem launched blaspheming website with support of the Jewish lobby who assured them protection.
We shall not accept any ban on the Khatme Nabuwwat Conference -Yasin Gilani
The daily Ausaf, Islamabad; June 26, 2009
The English raised Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani in a major conspiracy. There can be no compromise on the issue of End of Prophethood. … We shall respond to the call of Pir Atiq ur Rahman and shall spare no sacrifice to that end. The Khatme Nabuwwat Conference shall be held.
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Islamabad; June 26, 2009
The administration and police officials of Kotli said, “ We have appealed to Pir Atiq ur Rahman that the circumstances are not favorable, the (proximity of ) Control Line is relevant, so please do not hold the Khatme Nabuwwat Conference at Goi.
The daily Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad; June 26, 2009
Auspiciously, the authorities did not allow the holding of the conference. It must have taken some effort. However, the monster has grown in size, only because the Pir was seen often in company of the local prime minister.
Recently, with the change of government, the Pir has been elevated to become a minister.
Digree Ghumnan, District Sialkot; November 10, 2009: Mullas held an anti-Ahmadiyya conference in Digree Ghumnan. Mulla Shafiq Dogar, who is a resident of Pasroor and an active opponent of the community, attended the gathering and spoke against Ahmadiyyat and its holy founder for an hour. These speeches were relayed by loudspeakers to the whole village. The event posed a threat to the local Ahmadis. They had to take appropriate precautions and remained vigilant in case anything happened.
Khatme Nabuwwat conference held under auspices of the Punjab government
The provincial government of the Punjab organised a Khatme Nabuwwat conference at the central Badshahi Mosque, Lahore on April 11, 2009. All the expenses were borne by the state. Its proceedings were no different than those reported above. A somewhat detailed account of this conference is available in chapter 2b.
15. The plight of Rabwah
Rabwah is the centre of Ahmadis in Pakistan. More than 95% of its population is Ahmadi. The anti-Ahmadiyya lobby listed Rabwah as a major target in its drive. Their main efforts were in depriving Ahmadis from participating in the local government of the town. In this they succeeded. For decades not a single Ahmadi has been permitted to be a member of the town council. Ahmadis do not have even the right to vote, as they can enlist only as non-Muslims on the electoral roll, according to the rules. As a result, the elected town council is entirely non-representative. Its attitude towards and handling of Rabwah’s problems is callous and criminally negligent.
In this chapter we enter mostly independent press reports that reflect candidly on the plight of Rabwah.
No town water for residents of Rabwah
Rabwah: The daily Aman, Faisalabad of January 4, 2009 published a story on the plight of residents of Rabwah, and gave the following headlines.
* The residents of Chenab Nagar are deprived of clean drinking water for the last one month.
* People are wandering about carrying vessels in search of water.
* Thirsty children recorded their protest in front of the office of the Chief Officer but he did not care. No plumber is appointed in Chenab Nagar.
* TMA Chiniot has enrolled a plumber and half a dozen staff for water works in Chenab Nagar. The tube-well supervisors are also working in Chiniot instead of Chenab Nagar.
* Substandard water pipes are now worn out, hundreds of millions (sic) of water is being wasted in the nearby fields, and the incompetent technical staff is unable to do repairs.
Stone blasting continues in the ‘Red Area’ of Rabwah hills
The daily Jang of January 13, 2009 published the following report regarding the digging out of stone from the declared ‘Red Area’ of Chenab Nagar and the consequent plight of the people.
Chenab Nagar (Staff Reporter): Stone blasting continues even after the authorities have declared this area as the ‘Red Area’. Many houses in Muhallah Darul Yuman have been damaged as heavy flying stones struck them as a result of blasting. Walls of many houses collapsed and a number of people lost their lives. Many have been rendered disabled and many a mountain laborers have died. Despite all this, illegal blasting goes on blatantly. It is noteworthy that this digging of stones continues despite declaration of these hills as ‘Red Area’ by the Department of Minerals.
Corruption in the Town Council of Rabwah
Rabwah: The daily Ausaf of February 25, 2009 published a news item regarding the Rabwah town council which was sent in by its ‘Special Representative.’ Its English translation is produced below:
Chenab Nagar: The office of Town Council Chenab Nagar has become a centre of corruption. Fraud amounting to millions in official records.
Millions of rupees drawn fraudulently from the treasury cause heavy losses.
Employees have occupied residential plots worth billions.
They have filled their pockets in the name of taxes and ‘Plans Approval.’
Chenab Nagar (Special Reporter): The Town Council of Chenab Nagar has become a house of corruption; alleged fraud of billions of rupees disclosed. Ch. Ahmad Yousuf, well-known literary and social activist of the town claimed this in his letters sent to the Chief Minister, the Secretary Local Government, the Commissioner Faisalabad and the DCO Jhang Mr. Asad Islam Mahni. As per details, he disclosed, along with proofs, corruption amounting to millions of rupees in official records in collaboration with Azmat Qadeer Waiya of TMA Chiniot. He asserted that the employees of the 4th grade up to high ranks indulge in unrestricted loot of citizens. Consequently the treasury has suffered a loss of millions through official irregularities and rackets. Ch. Ahmad Yousuf exposed the bogus receipt books used in this fraud. Employees of the council have illegally occupied plots worth billions of rupees. Ninety percent of the commercial plots in Chenab Nagar have been converted from residential with collaboration of the Council officials and employees. The staff has filled their pockets by blackmailing the citizens in the name of ‘plans approval’ fees and other taxes. Ch. Ahmad Yousuf has demanded immediate action from the higher authorities.
Rabwah allowed to be targeted
Anti-Ahmadiyya gatherings were held and processions taken out in the garb of Eid Milad, 12 Rabiul Awwal with the permission of authorities on March 10, 2009. Three major processions were taken out. Mullas addressed the participants and used, as usual, the most foul language against the Ahmadiyya community and its leaders. They demanded that:
1. Shariah penalty for Apostasy (death) should be enforced.
2. Ahmadiyya periodicals should be banned.
3. The Ahmadiyya TV channel MTA should be banned in Pakistan.
4. Ahmadis should be removed from key posts.
(Note: Some years ago the Chief Minister of the Punjab, in reply to a question in the Provincial Assembly, said: “Only 12 Ahmadis were given appointments, as clerks and peons only, during 13 years period commencing from July 1977 to the end of November 1983.”)
5. The dogma of End of Prophethood should be made a part of state school syllabus.
6. Qadianis’ places of worship should be made to look different than mosques.
7. The anti-Ahmadi Ordinance should be enforced with great vigilance.
The next day a van that was transporting 27 Rabwah girls from their colleges in Chiniot was attacked by a group of mullas near the Muslim Colony. They pelted stones and bricks at the van. The incident was reported to the police who took no action.
A few days earlier, on March 6, Ms. Amatul Bari from Germany visited the local grave yard, Bahishti Maqbarah for Divine supplication. While there, some religious lunatic targeted her with a brick from the boundary wall on the side of Masjid Bukhari where mulla Allah Yar Arshad has his office. The lady was injured. The incident was reported to the police who simply filed it. This is not the first occasion that the miscreants have attacked the graveyard and its visitors. When the source of mischief is so apparent, it is odd that the police should find it difficult to enforce law.
Rabwah is mentioned again in the press
The daily Jang, Lahore in its issue of March 23, 2009 entered the following report:
Most of Chenab Nagar remained sans water on the International Day of Water
Chenab Nagar: (Correspondent) The town council attributed it all to the electric load-shedding. The major project of supply of water to the needy is pending completion. This entire project was extended at a cost of millions; the concerned departments have kept the residents of Chenab Nagar deprived of water. In summer months, the need increases four fold, but for the last many years, residents here have to fret for drops of water. They either have to buy water (from private sources) or consume the brackish water.
Rabwah faces threat of terrorism
Rabwah: In the middle of April, Rabwah faced credible threat from terrorists, and the whole town was put on alert. Educational institutions were closed down and security was tightened in mosques etc. The daily Ausaf of April 14 reported this as below:
Chenab Nagar: Four suspected terrorists arrested. Man seeking an edict in favour of suicide attack escaped.
Four individuals posing as knife-sharpeners arrested following a report from citizens.
They carried thousands in cash, three SIMs each, cell-phones. They are residents of Butgram and can speak Pashto, Urdu and Punjabi. A young man entered the quarters of Maulana Allah Yar Arshad. He sought edict concerning blowing up Qadiani center….
The accused fled on arrival of the residents. City is gripped with fear and tension. Suicide attacks are not permissible in Islam – Maulana Allah Yar.
The community elders advised the residents to be vigilant against acts of terrorism. Friday congregational prayers since then are held in each residential area rather than in the central mosque.
Press report on very poor municipal services in Rabwah
The daily Ausaf, Lahore published the following story on Rabwah in its issue of May 31, 2009:
A report is sought over Ausaf report on the deplorable state of Chenab Nagar.
No drinking water, substandard sewage system, worn out roads, negligence of TMA.
Heaps of filth stink, and filth depots help in breeding poisonous mosquitoes, flies and other insects.
Chenab Nagar: (Staff reporter) In a special letter, senior officials of the Punjab government have asked for a report from a local intelligence agency over a report in the daily Ausaf, Lahore regarding deplorable state of the Chenab Nagar town, and discriminatory behavior of the TMA Chiniot towards it. It is learnt through confidential sources that the news published in the said newspaper regarding the non-availability of water due to the incompetence of water-works officials, and the toils of citizens in searching for water is factual. Roads and streets are in poor condition and clearing of the sewage lines is unsatisfactory. Roads and streets have long since fallen into disrepair, and ditches abound due to the lack of repairs and negligence of the TMA. Heaps of filth in the city stink and reflect on the inefficiency of the sanitary inspector and his department. These filth depots are now perfect breeding grounds for poisonous mosquitoes, flies and other insects. In fact large amounts of money have been allocated by the District Council Jhang and Tehsil Council Chiniot for welfare projects and relief from the said sufferings of (Chenab Nagar) citizens who pay their taxes hundred percent. It is also noteworthy that Anwar Saeed TMO and a few of his close associates were transferred on charges of corruption spread over six years. Everyone praised the Chief Minister Punjab for this step. Only God knows why they have been reinstated again in the same posts. Public representatives and notable citizens have demanded immediate removal of Anwar Saeed TMO and his five ‘friends’.
Rabwah in the crosshair of terrorists
Multan; June 19, 2009: The daily Aman, Faisalabad published the following story on June 19, 2009:
Plan thwarted to bomb Qadianis’ place of worship in Chiniot, accused held
Hashim, one of the accused, has been arrested in Multan. He is allegedly a resident of Rahim Yar Khan.
The attackers planned to hit the place of worship with a truck loaded with explosives. Security tightened for places of worship of the minority community.
Multan/Islamabad (Bureau Report): National security agencies have arrested a man belonging to a banned organization, thus defusing a plan to destroy a place of worship of the minority community in Rabwah, in vicinity of Chiniot. According to security sources, a man named Hashim has been arrested in Multan. He is a resident of Rahim Yar Khan. The other suspect managed to escape. Law enforcement agencies are carrying out raids to arrest him. The sources have intimated that Hashim and his colleague had been carrying out reconnaissance of the minority’s place of worship for many days using a motor cycle for the purpose. According to their plan they were to ram the house of worship with a truck loaded with explosives to be obtained at Jhang. The sources told ‘On-line’ that the two young men belonged to a banned organization which is now divided in two groups. The mastermind of this organization is now in South Waziristan. The sources have conveyed that after aborting this plan the authorities have ordered stricter measures to further tighten the security of minorities’ places of worship, in particular churches, temples, gurudwaras.
The civic situation in Rabwah
Here is a report published in the daily Jang, September 14, 2009, (translation):
Some streets of Chenab Nagar are still Kachi (unmetalled).
The drinking water project is facing delays. Citizens have to do with insufficient supplies.
Illegal blasting of stones continues. Many incapacitated; numerous roofs collapsed.
Chenab Nagar (report: Rana Nadeem): The problems of Chenab Nagar, Sub Tehsil, on the western side of river Chenab, are alarming due to increase in population. These call for the attention of the authorities. The streets of Darul Aloom Gharbi which is near the degree college are still not paved and become water logged and boggy on rainy days. This breeds swarms of mosquitoes. The Chenab bridge, which cost millions to build, is dilapidated and is now at the mercy of contractors. The primary school in Darul Sadar is without a periphery wall, and its children sit in open air classrooms. The Degree College and Talim ul Islam High School are almost in ruins. The Public Health Department started a drinking water project, with a one year completion time. It cost fifty-four million rupees, but is still incomplete after a lapse of three years. The residents have to bring water from far-off places to drink.
The state of sanitation is very poor (in the town). There is a risk of spread of an epidemic on account of heaps of filth. The Sahiwal Road remains in poor state of repair due to political wrangling. The filtration plant suffers from lack of care. Green scum has stuck on the tiles of its walls. The damaged taps are permanently shut; no repairs are undertaken. The absence of street lights is resulting in increase in street crime at night. Young unqualified rickshaw drivers are responsible for many road accidents. They stop wherever they want, and cause havoc to traffic and pedestrians. Illegal encroachments have reached the railway track. The sewage system is nominal. Gutters and drain lines were constructed with help from the citizens. The council workers leave the filth by the side of the drain lines; it falls back into the drain and pollutes the streets and houses. Citizens have requested the DCO Chiniot to have some pity on these helpless citizens (of Rabwah), so that they may also avail the basic amenities of life.
Roads of Rabwah – in ruin
The daily Express, Faisalabad of October 25, 2009 filed the following story:
Roads of Chenab Nagar are in ruins; cause frequent accidents.
Not a penny has been spent on the construction and repair of roads for the last 15 years. People demand immediate notice.
Chenab Nagar (Express correspondent): Not a penny has been spent on the roads in Chenab Nagar during the last 15 years. As a result, all roads of the town are in ruins. The College Road, Aqsa Road, Rajeki Road, Ghordor Road, Basti Eesaiyan Road, Sahiwal Road and other roads have all become dilapidated. The main Aqsa Road of the town on which all governmental offices, banks and shopping centres are situated, likewise the College Road on which the boys’ college and high school are situated as also offices of eight major departments, are dotted with craters. Drivers trying to avoid them hit other vehicles. Several individuals have been hurt and have lost their limbs in such accidents. Hundreds of complaints have proved futile. The Human Rights Committee and other social organizations of the town have demanded the district administration to take immediate notice.
Neglect at the PTCL office – Rabwah
The daily Din, October 6, 2009 Lahore reported the following concerning the quality of service in Rabwah of the denationalized telephone company PTCL:
Chenab Nagar: Negligence of PTCL; customers face difficulties; strong protest from the people
There are 700 DSL connections in Chenab Nagar, but no operator is available to install and maintain them.
Chenab Nagar (correspondent): Customers of the broadband face tremendous difficulties due to the PTCL’s departmental carelessness. According to the details 700 DSL connections have been provided in Chenab Nagar but no operator is available to install and maintain them. 300 devices for new connections have been distributed, but many of them have not been installed yet. The customers are tired of repeated visits to the PTCL office. They are given the phone number of the Director Broadband and are told that the task is beyond their local capacity. Hakeem Munawar Ahmad, a customer said that he has developed blood pressure due to his repeated visits to that office. Students are also affected badly due to PTCL’s inefficiency. There is none to attend to the malfunctioning old connections as well. Customers of PTCL have demanded that higher officials appoint a DSL operator immediately to resolve the people’s problems.
Local government’s failure in Rabwah
The Daily Express, Faisalabad published the following story on November 4, 2009 highlighting the local government’s neglect of problems faced by citizens of Rabwah:
* Excess of stray dogs in the streets of Chenab Nagar. A threat to citizens.
* Small school-going children have stopped going to school due to fear of dogs. Several men visit hospital due to dog-bites.
Chenab Nagar (Special Correspondent): Packs of stray dogs in the streets of Chenab Nagar are posing a great threat to the public. Small school-going children have stopped going to schools on foot due to the fear of these dogs; this is a big problem for parents. Affected people blame the municipality for this problem. Repeated pleas to the municipality have proved futile. The hospital administration has confirmed more than a dozen cases of dog-bites recently. The post of chief officer has been lying vacant at the municipality for the last three months. His functions are performed by the sub-engineer or by the accountant on an ad-hoc basis. The affected people question how those who cannot perform even their own duties well, can undertake additional duties? The president of the Human Rights Committee of Chenab Nagar, Mr. Ghulam Mustafa Khan has demanded from the DCO Chiniot that a competent officer should be posted in the municipality of Chenab Nagar. At present solving the long-outstanding public problems is a far cry; none is at hand to pay heed to the day-to-day problems of the residents.
An aggressive incursion in Rabwah and its follow up
Rabwah: An incident occured in Rabwah in the month of August this year which was not mentioned in the monthly News Report. It has left a trail that is loaded with mischief. The incident is mentioned below.
Two non-Ahmadi youth of the Muslim Colony (a colony established by authorities for non-Ahmadis on Rabwah land forcibly occupied by the government) were roaming around on a motor cycle near the Fazle Umar Hospital, Rabwah on August 7, 2009. An Ahmadi youth on duty at the location noted down the registration number of their vehicle. They took exception to this and were rough with him. They also called their friends on their mobile phone to come to where they were. One of them slapped an Ahmadi on his face; this resulted in a brawl. By this time some senior Ahmadis arrived and disengaged the two parties. The intruders misbehaved with them too.
The police came to know of this and sent for the two parties in the evening. Ahmadis presented themselves while the others did not turn up. At about 1:30 a.m. the police registered a case against 7 named and 3 unknown Ahmadis with FIR 364/09 under various sections of the PPC. The next day Ahmadi community officials complained to higher police officials who promised to look into the case. The FIR has since remained open, however.
The trouble-makers belong to the Niazi family of the Muslim Colony. On November 22 two of them came to the bazaar in Rabwah and insulted Mr. Abdus Samad, one of the Ahmadis accused in the FIR. Again they initiated a fight in which Mr. Muhammad Azam, an Ahmadi was hurt. A report was made to the police along with his medical certificate. The intruders fabricated a story and made their own report to the police.
There is a growing concern about such people coming over to Rabwah and fomenting trouble and disturbing the peace. They could be used as tools for some major incident by the crafty mullas of the Muslim Colony and other resident mullas whose main occupation is to create problems for the Ahmadi residents of this town.
Acts of persecution of Ahmadis that are not covered elsewhere in another chapter are mentioned here. The negative role of the vernacular press in communal relations is mentioned first. The situation at Lahore is described under a separate sub-heading, while hostile activities elsewhere all over Pakistan are grouped together. Human Rights reports by NGOs and USCIRF on the Ahmadiyya situation are also placed on record here. Threats are a common weapon in the armoury of the mulla; some of these are placed here on record. At the end of the chapter a mention is made regarding some statements by political leaders that have a relevance to the Ahmadiyya issue.
a. The vernacular press and Ahmadis
Ahmadis’ human rights and the national Urdu press
Rabwah: The Press Section of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya issued its annual report (2008) on “Anti-Ahmadiyya news published by the Urdu newspapers”. It gives facts and figures, and makes interesting reading.
The survey was restricted to only the major Urdu national dailies. During the year 2008, it remained a routine with the Urdu papers to print anti-Ahmadiyya statements and hate-promoting news in bold headlines. However, no paper had the courage to print the occasional Ahmadiyya explanation. In year 2007, nine hundred and seventy four such news items appeared in the press, but in 2008 it went up to one thousand and thirty three items. Almost all of these were prejudiced, hate-promoting and false propaganda. The daily Nawa-i-Waqt (Editor: Majeed Nizami) led this band by printing 465 news, while in 2007 it printed 235 news against Ahmadiyyat. The daily Jang stood second (founded by Mir Khalil ur Rehman), and the Daily Express was at close third.
Mullas are in the habit of making provocative statements. These are published without any verification. As a result, common folk get agitated and inflict physical and costly harm upon Ahmadis. As a result of such provocation and hateful propaganda six Ahmadis were murdered last year for their faith, while eleven have been murdered this year (2009).
A few of these headlines whose photocopies have been printed in that report are translated below for the information of our readers:
Qadianis are not loyal to the country, nation and Islam. ‘Sajid Mir’
The daily Jang, Lahore; May 27, 2008
Qadianis are enemies of Islam and Pakistan. Shadabi Raza, Mufti M. Sadeeq
The Daily Express, Lahore; June 2, 2008
Our drive will continue till the end of Qadianiat. (Aalami Khatme-e-Nabuwwat Conference)
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; September 9, 2008
The centenary celebration of Qadianiat is a conspiracy to destroy the peace of the country - Ulema
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; May 24, 2008
Qadianis are involved in the publication of blasphemous cartoons. Abu Bakr Madni
The Daily Express, Lahore; April 17, 2008
Cases should be registered against Qadiani students of the PMC
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; June 30, 2008
600 Qadianis of Pakistan recruited in Israeli Army
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; October 16, 2008
And many more.
Conduct of the daily Jang, the leading vernacular paper
September 7, 2009: The daily Jang has adopted anti-Ahmadiyya policy to promote its sales and to curry favour with the clerics. It issues a special edition annually on September 7 to celebrate the day when through an amendment to the constitution, Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims by Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto in 1974.
Editors and column-writers of this daily never tire of preaching morality to others. However, when it comes to political mullas, the paper spares all its space to support them in curbing religious freedom of others and making shameful demands. For instance this time an essay written by Mufti Khalid Mahmud unabashedly recommends death for the so-called apostasy, ban on propagation of dissenting religious opinion, imprisonment for use of epithets forbidden by the state, forcible take over of places of worship of ‘heretics’, usurpation of their property etc. This so-called ‘free press’ uses its freedom to curb universal human rights and freedom of others. This it does despite the state’s declared policy to disown and discredit communalism. The Jang defiles the dictates of social and governmental consensus that spreading communal hatred is evil.
The daily Jang is edited by Abid Abdullah, and its Chief Executive (Editor) is Mir Shakil ur Rahman.
Open incitement to murder
We produce below the translation of a press report, sic, from the daily Ausaf, Lahore July 25, 2009:
No room for Qadianis in the Muslim Ummah - Chaudhry Iqbal
Haveli Lakkha (correspondent): “There is no room for Qadianis in the Muslim Ummah; it is a religious duty of every Muslim to dispatch a Qadiani to hell,” this view was expressed by Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal President International Khatme-e-Nabuwwat in a corner meeting held to prepare for Ramadan-ul-Mubarak. He said: “Qadianism is a cancer and a mischief. Leave alone boycotting them, a Qadiani should not be allowed to reside in a Muslim area. However, if such a situation does arise, it is the duty of every Muslim to dispatch them to hell and thus win an honored place in the court of Allah and His prophet (P.B.U.H.). Mr. Bhutto’s achievement of declaring the Qadiani non-Muslims is an expiation for all his shortcomings.”
Chaudhry Iqbal instigated the Muslims to murder Ahmadis living in their neighborhood. If the government is serious about maintaining communal place, it should have prosecuted Iqbal for committing a crime under section PPC 115.
It is noteworthy that irresponsible vernacular dailies like the Ausaf provide publicity space to such extremist views. This also amounts to abetment of the crime.
Press reports on defiling of an Ahmadiyya graveyard – an interesting and portentous comparison
The story of demolition of the boundary wall of the Ahmadiyya graveyard in Pir Mahal has been mentioned earlier in this report in chapter 10. The English as well as the vernacular press reported this story. A brief comparative study is worthwhile.
The daily Dawn, Lahore of June 9, 2009 filed the following story from its correspondent in Toba Tek Singh:
Sectarian strife hits the dead
Toba Tek Singh, June 8: Pir Mahal has been simmering with sectarian clashes since Sunday night when some religious zealots demolished the wall of a graveyard of Jamaat Ahmadiyya sect. The police have not taken any action against the attackers.
Labor Party Pakistan District Secretary Tariq Mahmud told a press conference here on Monday the attackers also set on fire a tractor trolley and damaged a generator and a water tank at the site.
Mahmud says one acre was allotted to the sect for their graveyard in 1988 by the government and there were two graves at the site. According to him, some qabza groups wanted a 15-foot wide passage across the graveyard. When the graveyard management refused to meet their demand, they instigated ulema on sectarian grounds who led a crowd to attack the site.
Jamaat Ahle-i-Sunnah leader Maulana Akbar Rizvi claimed that allotment of the land in the heart of the city to the sect was a conspiracy to create law and order and “religious youth” just became out of control and demolished the wall. He demanded the cancellation of the allotment, saying there was a fake grave in the graveyard.
A police official confirmed the incident, saying any action on the part of police would fan the sectarian strife.
The daily Ausaf, Lahore of June 10, 2009 reported the same incident but in the following headlines and text:
Pir Mahal: Qadiani occupation of land in the garb of graveyard. Citizens in utmost protest, demolished the boundary wall.
Qadianis built a boundary wall overnight around the 8 canal land opposite Jinnah Colony. They intend building a religious center under the cover of a graveyard.
Qadianis are not allowed to build a place of worship nor can they indulge in religious activities. The land should be retrieved and those responsible should be punished. Ulama
(Excerpts): Pir Mahal (correspondent): Qadianis occupied land worth millions in front of a Muslim neighborhood, in the garb of a graveyard. Hundred of lovers of Khatme Nabuwwat raided the place and demolished the boundary wall. ... A great Jalsa was held in protest in the Jame Masjid, Ghallah Mandi. ... (The speakers said) Construction of a religious center, in the garb of graveyard, is a conspiracy to destroy the peace in Pir Mahal. …The 1973 constitution is explicit that Qadianis are non-Muslim, and they can neither build a place of worship nor indulge in religious activities close to a Muslim neighborhood (sic). …
The daily Jang of June 10, 2009 reported the same incident under the following headline: Protest in Pir Mahal against Qadianis’ occupation of state land
A reading of the above reports describes essentials of the incident. One can also gather the role played by and the style of the national vernacular press in general on controversial issues. A future historian will not fail to hold the Pakistani vernacular press responsible for its share in the present day corruption and decay in Pakistani society.
It will also be noticed that while the authorities support the mulla whenever he agitates against the burial of an Ahmadi in a public graveyard, they also take no action when the mulla obstructs the management of a separate graveyard for Ahmadis. Does the government want Ahmadi dead to remain unburied? The government policy concerning Ahmadis and its inhumane implementation in the country is perhaps unmatched by any other state in recent times.
Another sample from the vernacular press
The vernacular press, with some rare exceptions, has played a very negative role for over half a century in the victimization of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan. It has propagated hostile false news, promoted sectarian strife, prompted its shallow readership to blatantly violate Ahmadis’ human rights and urged the state to do all that it can to persecute this harmless religious community. The Urdu press finds it convenient to routinely give space to any petty mulla to declare: Qadianis are enemies of Islam and Pakistan. Some leading dailies can boast more than two anti-Ahmadiyya news items per day. Most of them print special editions on anti-Ahmadiyya theme on any excuse. In April they highlighted this theme at the occasion of the conference in the Badshahi Mosque and also on the death anniversary of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, whom one of these papers called the ‘Mujahid’ of the End of Prophethood (The daily Pakistan of April 4, 2009), while another unabashedly declared that “It was shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto who drove the last nail in the coffin of Qadianiat”. (The daily Jinnah of April 4, 2009)
One of these dailies is the daily Ausaf in Lahore (Chief Editor: Mehtab Khan; Editor: Mohsin Bilal Khan). It tasked one of its staff reporters to fabricate a story regarding Ahmadi students in medical colleges, and came up with three ‘news’ items under a three-column headline on May 9, 2009. The following is the brief account of it. First, the headline:
Qadianis are enemies of Islam. They should not be admitted in medical colleges. Students
The Ausaf attributed all three stories to a ‘lady reporter’, without mentioning her name. The malicious view given in the main headline is attributed to ‘students’ although the Ausaf’s record provides ample evidence that this is also its own opinion. This ‘lady reporter’ is said to have visited the medical colleges at Lahore but her opening salvo was again a willful fabrication: “The students of medical colleges express extreme anger (intihai ghamo ghussai ka izhar) over the discreet transfer of Qadiani students who had been expelled from the Faisalabad Medical College.” Obviously the Ausaf aims at reopening the Faisalabad issue of 2008. Who, other than the extremist and sectarian clerics’ lobby, is it working for?
The lady reporter lamented: “Although the Muslim students come from high class families they are unaware of these people who defile the Prophethood (Qadianis) (sic)”. It is obvious that the objective of the Ausaf was to reignite a sectarian issue like the one that took place in Punjab Medical College at Faisalabad. The Ausaf took numerous photographs at this occasion and printed 10 of these along with the story. This is reproduced below in facsimile.
It is relevant to mention that only t
It is relevant to mention that only two days earlier, on May 7, 2009, this newspaper published a story under a three-column headline in which it reported that the issue of Ahmadi students of the Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad had been completely suppressed (daba diya gia) by ‘hidden powers in utmost secrecy’. The Ausaf disclosed the names of all the Ahmadi students, their roll numbers, their home addresses and their new locations.
Pakistan is facing a mortal threat from forces of obscurantism and extremism. Who energizes these forces? Some of them occupy offices of such newspapers. Let this come on the record.
Sindhi press tows the line of Urdu press
A Sindhi paper Dalat-Awaz published from Mithi, district Tharparkar, Sindh apparently has decided to follow the lead provided by the Urdu Press in matters of religion. In its issue of July 25, 2009 it took up in a big way the case of Ahmadiyya and Christian activism in that region. While it is true that Christian and Ahmadi NGOs are providing much-needed commendable social and medical services in the area, the paper gave it entirely a religious colour and indulged in accusations that the two groups are involved in conversion efforts by hook or crook. It would be much better for Dalat-Awaz to urge other NGOs to excel the competitors in providing help and services to the area’s poor, rather than agitate the illiterate and excitable masses over the faith of the helpers.
b. Lahore – a center of anti-Ahmadiyya extremism
Mention in dispatches
The capital of the Punjab remained a hotbed of sectarian hatred and religious extremism. The following reports were made in the months of April, May and August 2009 in the Monthly News Reports:
In April 2009
i. The Imam of the mosque in Gulistan Colony spreads hate against Ahmadis. He prepares the youth for Jihad and takes pledges from them that they will sacrifice their lives in the fight against Ahmadiyyat. Hate-promoting stickers and literature originate here and are distributed all over Lahore.
ii. In Township, stickers are pasted on walls and doors of residential buildings especially where Ahmadis reside. These stickers contain slanderous language against Ahmadis. This campaign is undertaken by ‘Shuban-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat’. They also do wall-chalking, and boldly write their phone numbers. This also goes on in Guldasht, Town Do Gaij, Northern Cantt and Model Town neighborhoods.
iii. A man named Afzal owns a bakery in Rachna Town. He is very active in promoting hate against Ahmadis. He makes madrassah students use abusive language against Ahmadis. A few months ago he came to an Ahmadi’s medical store and beat him up there.
iv. The mosque in Karim Park, Ravi Road has also become a center of slanderous and abusive speeches against Ahmadis. The mulla uses diatribes and bad language that hurts badly. The same is done in a mosque in front of the gate of the Engineering University.
Punjab has a reputation for being relatively tolerant and open-minded. Upsurge in extremism since the Partition is on account of the official support to the proponents of obscurantism and bigotry.
In May 2009
If religious extremism has been recognized as the biggest evil afflicting this country, one would expect that the government would move immediately and effectively to control and eradicate this evil from the provincial capitals. However, the government of Punjab thinks otherwise; it organized a major End of Prophethood conference at the Badshahi Mosque last month (News Report for April 2009 refers). The Wall Street Journal was right to comment:
“The Taliban cannot defeat Pakistan militarily. The Taliban will win because what they want is already being implemented by Pakistan.”
(The Wall Street Journal; May 21, 2009)
Sectarian groups are well aware of the government policy, they move and act freely in neighborhoods of Lahore to propagate anti-Ahmadiyya hatred. The organizers of the Shuban-e-Khatme Nabuwwat are in the forefront of this agitation and they openly give their cell-phone numbers on their publicity leaflets, stickers, posters etc. These are: 0300-4900673; 0321-4571912; 0333-4398770; 0333-4221287.
The Shubane-Khatme Nabuwwat generally undertakes the following in their hate campaign:
a. They stick provocative stickers on the gates and doors of Ahmadi-owned homes, apartments, businesses etc.
b. They do wall-chalking in abusive language.
c. Mullas hold Milad etc. and use these occasions to spread hatred against Ahmadis.
d. Mullas urge their flock in Friday sermons to undertake Jihad against Qadianis. They call upon worshippers to implement a social boycott against Ahmadis.
e. At times they commit violence. etc.
The most affected neighborhoods in Lahore are: Township, Cantonment (North), Model Town, Rachna Town, Bhati Gate, Karim Park at Ravi Road, Engineering University, Factory Area in Shahdarah etc.
In August 2009
Hostilities in Lahore continue to rise. Model Town, Town-ship and Green Town are worst affected. Anti-Ahmadiyya activities include distribution of hostile inflammatory pamphlets, stickers and the pasting of posters on walls. In addition, opponents try to involve Ahmadi youth in discussion and dispute. At such occasions they avail services of some mulla and indulge in foul language against the founder of Ahmadiyyat. Ahmadi youth are showing patience before this abuse in order to maintain the peace.
A spiteful pamphlet
Lahore: Brelvis are reputed to be less noxious than some other sects in the prevalent sectarian strife. However, two of their centers have decided to enter the fray and have produced a pamphlet publicizing a virulent anti-Ahmadiyya fatwa issued by Ala Hadrat Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan. Although Raza Khan was known for the severity of his fatwas against his opponents, the producers of this pamphlet were apparently not satisfied by their mentor’s sweeping statement, and added to the fatwa.
The pamphlet calls Ahmadis Murtad (apostates) and Munafiq (hypocrites). It calls their founder Wajib-ul-Qatl (one who must be killed). It imposes a total social boycott of all Ahmadis. “A so-called Muslim who considers that Ahmadis are Mazlum (oppressed) because of the imposed boycott is also a Kafir (infidel)”, according to Raza Khan. The pamphlet urges Muslims not to befriend an Ahmadi, not share a meal with them, not use Ahmadiyya products like Shezan (fruit juices etc), stay away from their social occasions and not invite them either, etc. It maliciously quotes out of context and amended excerpts from Ahmadiyya publications.
The pamphlet was circulated in Bahawal Nagar (South Punjab). The producers of this anti-social, rabidly communal publication boldly gave their addresses at the bottom of the pamphlets, as follows:
* Sheran-e-Islam (The lions of Islam): Gamtala Rd, Mohallah Naqsha Lasani Nagar, Shakargarh
* Sheran-e-Islam: Jame Masjid Hanafia Faruquia, Gulistan Colony, Mustafa Abad, Lahore
Bigotry and threats
Lahore: Syed Farrukh Hafeez, an Ahmadi young man in ‘Township’, Lahore had a very unpleasant experience with religious bigots in the month of July.
Syed Hafeez had lived in that area for the last 20 years. It was a peaceful neighborhood till five years ago. In his opinion, sectarianism has raised its ugly head there in the recent years with the inflow of Pakhtuns and Taliban in the Punjab. Khatme Nabuwwat organizations have recruited these elements to increase their clout, and now indulge in worrisome aggressive anti-Ahmadiyya activities.
These people photographed his house and prepared a video. They collected information about him and his family.
In mid July Syed Hafeez went to the local bazaar to buy a motor cycle. After the deal, he handed over his national identity card to the shop-keeper for the vehicle’s registration, and the latter asked him to collect the motor-cycle in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, when he went to the shop, he was confronted by a gang of rowdies. The shop-keeper, having come to know he was an Ahmadi, had collected those bigots to provoke him. Syed Hafeez had to keep his calm in the face of the abuse and provocation hurled at him. He was told, inter alia:
“You have Masha Allah and a Quranic verse written on your house. Have it removed tonight; otherwise you will face the consequences. No Mirzai is allowed to write a Quranic verse. You people are apostates; and you very well know the penalty of apostasy. We killed the son of Abdus Sattar (Phattey Wala) and beat up his father, and you people could do nothing to us. The Khatme Nabuwwat agitations are already underway. We are only waiting for the announcement of Nifaz-e-Shariat. Our Mujahids are all ready. Rivers of blood will flow. ... You and your family should recant within two days; otherwise it will not be good for you.”
The crowd grew bigger and more menacing. The shopkeeper returned his money, saying, “We piss on your money; our piss is holy (pak) and your money is unclean (pleed).” Syed Hafeez came out feeling harassed. He saved himself by keeping his cool. On reaching home, he reported the incident to the community elders.
A fortnight later, his cousin saw a youth photographing his house. When challenged, the visitor ran to the building’s corner where a bearded motor cyclist was waiting for him. The two fled in a hurry. They obviously had come with criminal intent. The same evening Syed Hafeez’s four nephews who are of a young age were intercepted by a group of three youth who told them that they knew their residential address. The children picked up pace and entered their prayer center. On their return they related the encounter to their parents, who were much disturbed by the incident. They wrote to the Supreme Head of the Community and requested for his prayers.
A Khatme Nabuwwat conference sponsored by the Government of the Punjab
This conference was held on April 11, 2009 in the Badshahi Masjid, Lahore. A detailed report is given in chapter 2b.
Declaration from a meeting of ulama, presided by the Chief Minister
This important report is available in chapter 10.
Lahore becomes a centre of anti-Ahmadiyya activism
Lahore: Encouraged by the tacit but explicit policy of the provincial government and the federal government, the mullas have become very active in their anti-Ahmadiyya activities. Incidents have occurred in various neighborhoods of Lahore since the new government took over after the February 2008 election. Here we report incidents that happened in Model Town and Green Town areas of the provincial capital.
Office-holders of the Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Model Town wrote an application to the Chief Secretary of Punjab in which they conveyed that at the Ahmadi place of worship Bait un Noor in Model Town Ahmadis preach, distribute literature, post armed guards at the time of Friday prayers and use loud speaker. Ahmadis also offer Eid Prayers in the adjacent ground “thereby violating PPC 298-B and C, so action should be taken against them”. This was the mullas’ demand.
At this the administration ordered an inquiry by a Deputy District Officer. He wrote in his report that Ahmadis have a mosque in Model Town where they offer their prayers in the traditional way of Fiqh Hanafia; they do not preach, nor do they distribute literature; they post armed guards on Fridays for self-defence, they use loudspeakers in low volume, and their neighbors have no objection to that.
Despite the above report the authorities prevented Ahmadis from holding the Eid prayers in the ground where they had been congregating annually for this purpose for years. They had no option but to pray inside the building. However mullas arrived in Model Town in numbers shouting slogans and abuse at Ahmadis and declared their own intentions to offer their prayers in the ground. The police prohibited them from doing so, and registered a case against them. Some of these miscreants had come all the way from Sargodha, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi like mullas Akram Toofani (cyclone), Afan Farooqui and Shiraz Bhatti. However, no arrests were made.
The clerics, in view of the police report favourable to Ahmadis, applied to the Sessions Judge, Lahore to order the police to register a case under Ahmadi-specific laws PPC 298-B and C against seven named Ahmadi notables. The judge was happy to oblige the mulla, and ordered the police to register a case.
The Daily Times of Lahore reported in its issue of September 29, 2009 that the Green Town (Lahore) Police was “set to launch an operation to remove verses of the Holy Quran from more than 20 shops of Ahmadiyya community on College Road, Township, on the complaint of local traders.”
The above-mentioned incidents show a clear trend of state-supported lack of tolerance, curbing of religious freedom, and tyranny against a peaceful community. The Taliban are not isolated in Fata; they have spread into the heart of the plains of the Punjab and enjoy support of plenipotentiaries.
c. Hostile activities all over Pakistan
A noteworthy circular
Rabwah: Director of Public Affairs (Nazir Amur Aama) of the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah issued a letter for information of all concerned, on the communal drive and agitation against Ahmadis in Pakistan, and the conspiracy behind it. Its English translation is produced below.
Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Ph: 047-6212459 Fax 047-6215459 E-mail: email@example.com
We hope that all is well with you.
World Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat published the attached calendar for year 2009 (not attached here) which carries provocative writings against Ahmadis. It carries a slogan: The only cure for Qadianis: Al Jihad Al Jihad. It motivates general public to undertake murder of Ahmadis. Also, Markaz Sarajia Lahore is systematically distributing several hate-promoting pamphlets against Ahmadis throughout the country. Photocopies of the titles of some of these are attached.
Recent attacks on Ahmadis and hostile activities against them is the result of a conspiracy of these sectarian elements and social anarchists who promote murder and violence in the name of religion and play pivotal role in provoking communal hatred in the society.
It is unfortunate that in this critical situation the negative role for print and electronic media is encouraging the extremist elements. However, decent people look down upon these savage developments. These extremist and terrorist elements undertake violence against a harmless group in the name of religion; thereby they harm the country. This kind of literature plays an important role in this regard.
Since 1984 when Ahmadi-specific laws were enforced, 95 Ahmadis have fallen victim to religious hatred and extremism. Edicts of Ahmadis’ murder are routinely issued. Such murders and murder attempts continue in the new year.
Despite prohibition, the publication of the attached provocative literature that promotes violence calls for appropriate action by authorities without further delay.
Saleem ud Din
Director of Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Jhang
We reproduce here the addresses of the two sources who have boldly and unabashedly given them on the hate promoting literature:
1) Markaz Sirajija
Street 4, Akram park, Ghalib Market
Gulberg III, Lahore.
2) World Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Council
Jame Masjid Hanafia Faruqia
Gulistan Colony, Mustafa Abad
Assault on two Ahmadis for their faith
Nankana, August 7, 2009: Mr. Ghulam Mujtaba, an accountant at the Nusrat Jehan Academy, Rabwah, went to see his aunt in Nankana Sahib. The next day he went out to buy some food with his cousin, Nadeem. Some of the shops displayed plastic plates with the inscription: “Admission of Qadianis is forbidden” etc.
They entered a shop which also displayed this notice, but they did not see it. A boy there recognized Nadeem and cried out, “A Mirzai has come. Do not sell him anything.” Nadeem reacted, “Who are you to interfere when the shopkeeper has no objection?” The boy called his friends on a cell phone and shortly thereafter a number of them arrived at the scene. They beat up and injured the two Ahmadi youth. Some decent people present there interfered, so that they could get away from the location. Nadeem received stitches to his head. Ahmadi elders decided not to report the incident to the police, so as to let the situation cool down. It was learnt, however, that the other party approached the police for further support.
Nankana is a hotbed of anti-Ahmadiyya violence. Ahmadis’ homes were set on fire there a few years ago.
Tense situation in Multan
December 2009: Multan has been a centre of anti-Ahmadiyya activities for quite some time. Three Ahmadis were murdered in 2009 in this city alone. The affected families shifted to the Gulgasht Colony of the city, however the mulla persists in his drive against them. Ahmadi residents there are now living in fear and feel exposed to great harm all the time.
We mention here some incidents.
Some miscreants forced entry into the house of an Ahmadi office-bearer after the dawn prayer and waved a pistol at him.
A mulla came to the Ahmadiyya prayer centre in Gulgasht and tried to get some information about the centre and the community. When contacted, the ISI confirmed that he was wanted by the police. Bounty on his head is fixed at half a million rupees. He had been a member of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba and also of the Tahrik-e-Khatme Nabuwwat.
Murderers of three Ahmadis have been arrested by the police. They disclosed that they planned to blow up the Ahmadiyya prayer centre in Gulgasht Colony with dynamite. They would have undertaken it had they not been arrested. They declared their intention not to spare even Ahmadi children after their release.
A heavy police contingent arrived in the prayer centre under the command of a DSP. They remained there till dusk. They were in contact with their SP. They told Ahmadis that according to intelligence reports there was likelihood of an attack on the prayer centre by a vehicle loaded with explosives. They told Ahmadis to put up a barrier of sand and cement blocks around the prayer centre. An iron fence was placed around the mosque that night.
Several suspects have been arrested from the students’ hostel located near the Ahmadiyya prayer centre.
Miscreants come to the court where killers of Ahmadis are undergoing a trial. They attempt to harass witnesses.
An unknown person visited an Ahmadi office-bearer’s home and asked for information from the family’s maid regarding his timings and movements.
These incidents and others have precipitated a great deal of fear in the Ahmadi residents of the area. The stress and strain of the prevailing circumstances are most severe.
Villainy of a resident mulla in Rabwah
Rabwah; July 2009: Mr. Mahmud Ahmad Gondal, Ahmadi proprietor of Gondal Banquet Hall, sent a written complaint to the police SHO against Mulla Allah Yar Arshad.
According to the complaint, the mulla telephoned Mr. Gondal, spoke to him in foul and threatening language and told him to shut down his business or face action. As the Banquet Hall is close to the mulla’s residence, he threatened that any Ahmadi passing in that street in car or on motor cycle will be killed. The mulla warned him against reporting the incident to the police. According to the complaint, a few days later, the mulla’s acolytes attacked a guest’s car, stoned it and chased the guest to the Hall.
Mr. Gondal requested the SHO to register a case against the mulla, and provide security to the complainant against the bully.
Religious extremism promoted through a training course
Chiniot: According to a press report in the daily Aman, Faisalabad of June 18, 2009, an anti-Ahmadi and anti-Christian course was held by the Majlis Ahrar Islam in Jamia Masjid Ahrar Chenab Nagar. While there is nothing wrong in teaching a religion, extremism is being promoted in this guise by the mulla. The following press report (based on the press release of the organizers of the course) openly and unabashedly concedes this (translated from Urdu):
Course on Qadianism and Christianity completed in Jamia Masjid Ahrar, Chenab Nagar Qadianiat is a cancer; it is the duty of all Muslims to exterminate it.
Martyrdom of Maulana Sarfraz Naeemi is extremely painful. Ataul Mohaiman
Chiniot (correspondent): The course on Qadianiat and Christianity held by the Majlis Ahrar Islam came to an end at the Jame Masjid Ahrar, Chenab Nagar. Students, lawyers and ulama participated in the course. Syed Ata-ul-Mohaiman, an Ahrar leader addressing the closing ceremony said, “Qadianiat is a cancer; it is the duty of all Muslims to exterminate it.” He expressed his sorrow over the ever increasing terrorist activities in the country. The hurt caused by the martyrdom of Maulana Sarfraz Naeemi is beyond description. The operation in Swat is the ultimate submission to American (designs). Terrorism and suicidal attacks are part of the anti-Muslim policy of global imperialism. Maulana Mushtaq Ahmad said, “ A Khatme Nabuwwat course for students and lawyers during the vacation period is indeed laudable. Such courses are needed to understand the enemy’s tactics in the ever-changing global scene and these should be held all over the country. Muslims should understand the nature of Prophethood and the End of Prophethood. This course is held every year so that the anti-Khatme Nabuwwat elements and the enemies of the Islamic faith may not be able to deceive the Muslims.
Religious extremists active in Okara
Okara: Anti-Ahmadi elements launched an organized effort to promote sectarian hatred in Okara and other towns of this district. Hate literature was distributed in various bazaars. Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat organization displayed hate banners in the Mandi Ahmad Abad, with writings such as:
* The worst infidels in the whole world are the Qadianis.
* Anyone who trades with Qadianis is also an infidel (Kafir).
* One who is friendly to a Qadiani is an enemy of the Master (p.b.u.h.) etc.
Extremist leaders met the local shop-keepers in person and exhorted them to boycott Ahmadi businessmen.
Ahmadis felt very disturbed by the rise in hateful activities. They met the police SHO who appeared rather heedless.
Concerns about a provocative pamphlet
Rabwah: A highly provocative pamphlet, naming “Qadianion ka ta‘aruf” (Introduction of Qadianis) has been distributed widely in the district of Khanewal and its suburbs. The central office of Ahmadiyya community took notice and brought it to the notice of various authorities. Translation of this letter is given below:
Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Ph: 047-6212459 Fax 047-6215459 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope that you are well.
A highly provocative pamphlet “Qadianion ka ta‘aruf” (Introduction of Qadianis) is attached (not included here). It has been widely distributed in district Khanewal and its suburbs. It bears provocative writings against Ahmadis. It carries writings out-of-context which are presented in a harmful way to motivate general public to target Ahmadis.
It is worth noting that the allegations against Ahmadis are false. All Ahmadis, by the grace of God, revere all the prophets of God and have the highest respect and veneration for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and could never think of committing such blasphemy. All decent citizens condemn such offensive actions, but there are still fanatic groups who are using the sacred name of religion to promote sectarian hatred. They refer to such anti-Ahmadi actions as their ‘holy duty’. There is a high risk of an unpleasant occurrence as a result of this incitement.
109 Ahmadis have been killed since the promulgation of the Anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance in 1984. This year alone 14 Ahmadis have been killed for their faith, while several others escaped from murder attempts.
The present sensitive situation in the country requires that these elements be handled firmly. Unfortunately repeated reminders to the government have not triggered any effective action by authorities.
This is dispatched for appropriate action by the authorities without further delay.
Saleem ud Din
Director of Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Jhang
Jamiat Ahle Hadith promotes sectarian strife
A hand-bill, distributed widely in District Layyah in March, unabashedly attacked the Ahmadiyya community and promoted communal hatred and agitation. It was published with the approval of the Nazim Taba Talif of the Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith Pakistan, and is distributed by the propaganda section of the District Layyah branch. Layyah is the district where for a few weeks an intensive anti-Ahmadiyya agitation was undertaken and four Ahmadi school children were arrested on trumped up charge of blasphemy.
The hand bill is full of slander and false accusations. It quotes agitators likes Shorash Kashmiri and Ehsan Ilahi Zaheer to support the oft-repeated fabrication that the holy founder of Ahmadiyyat was planted by the British. The language of the pamphlet is provocative.
The author claims credit for Ahle Hadith mullas of the 19th century that they were the first to declare the founder of Ahmadiyyat as Kafir. It mentions: “Leaders and members of Ahle Hadith, under the guidance of the Respected Amir, Professor Sajid Mir, are ever exerting themselves in battle against false ideas and dictatorial powers. The respected Amir has declared Year 2008 as the year of End of Prophethood.”
Ahle Hadith organizations in Pakistan are reputed to get financial support from Saudi Arabia.
Hostility in Umar Kot, Sindh
Umerkot; March 5, 2009: A number of Ahmadis have been murdered in Sindh in during the year for their faith. However, it is learnt that many more are on the hit-list. An Ahmadi was informed by a non-Ahmadi friend that after the murder of Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddique, the president of the district community of Mir Pur Khas, two more names inter alia are on the local hit-list:
1. Mr. Nasir Ahmad Wahla, President of the Umar Kot District community
2. Dr. Naseer Ahmad Zahid, local president of the community in Nabisar Road, Umar Kot
The informer is a member of a local anti-Ahmadi organization.
Propaganda against the Ahmadiyya community in Okara
Okara; March 8, 2009: Hate propaganda against the community intensified in Okara this month. As a result, communal tensions appeared in Mandi Ahmadabad and Chak 36/2L. Mullas came over from Lahore, made hateful speeches against the community in close vicinity of business owned by an Ahmadi, Mr. Ikram Ahmad. He has an electrical shop at the bus stop of 36/2L. They also made hate speeches in the assembly of a local school and urged non-Ahmadis to boycott Ahmadis. The local people thereafter boycotted this Ahmadi family. In Mandi Ahmadabad some shopkeepers told Ahmadis in writing not to come to their shops. Ahmadis reported the situation to the authorities.
Hostile activities in Khushab
Khushab, March 16, 2009: Hostile activities against the Ahmadiyya community in Khushab increased during the first quarter. A community official reported that non-Ahmadis had planned a procession against Ahmadis in Chak No. 39-DB, which was to be led by maulavis. The mullas could not arrive on time, so their plans to take out a procession did not materialize.
Rana Rafiq Ahmad, an Ahmadi received threats on his cell-phone from some unknown person. He received these threats from phone no. 0302-5601443. The caller threatened him that as he had been preaching, he should leave Khushab forthwith.
On the evening of 15th March a Nabuwwat Conference was held in the main mosque of Mittha Tawana in Khushab district. Some mullas came from Karachi to participate in it. Mullas Abu Bakr Madni and Orang Zaib Farooqi were prominent among the speakers who addressed the audience. At the occasion of 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal, speeches were made against Ahmadis and anti-Ahmadiyya literature was distributed in several parts of Khushab.
Extremism is promoted in Chiniot, now a district headquarters in central Punjab
Chiniot: According to press reports an important square ‘Tehsil Chowk’ in Chiniot has been formally renamed as ‘Khatme Nabuwwat Chowk’ by the Tehsil Council. (The daily Waqt, April 26, 2009 and the daily Aman April 25, 2009)
The renaming was proposed by Syed Nurul Hasan Shah, the opposition leader, and was readily approved unanimously by the Council with Mr. Shahid Hamid in the chair and Syed Zulfiquar Ali Shah (the Tehsil Nazim) attending. Obviously the move was suggested by some mulla, and all councilors found it politically convenient to accept the recommendation.
According to a press report, the renaming was hailed by numerous mullas in their Friday sermons: these included mullas Ilyas Chinioti, Abdul Waris, Ayub Chinioti, Muhammad Idrees, Qari Yamin Gauhar, Allah Yar Arshad, Shabbir Usmani, Ghulam Mustafa etc. all known for their sectarian activism. Some of them had been detained by the police in the past for creating law and order problems.
‘Tehsil Chowk’ was called as such, because the location was close to the Tehsil offices. It made sense to the public. One may however wonder what has a road crossing to do with the dogma of End of Prophethood. The councilors lack the courage of debating any measure which is proposed in the name of religion. They mistakenly feel no need to learn from the nation’s collective experience in Swat. These councilors may admit in the words of Walter Kelly: We have met the enemy and it is us.
Mullas on a probing mission in Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi, August 7, 2009: Mr. Rashid Ahmad Sanori and his sons received an unpleasant visit from three mullas.
Mr. Sanori and his two sons have lived for many years in the Akal Garh neighborhood of Rawalpindi. They run a retail store and a homeopathy clinic there and enjoy good reputation in the neighborhood.
On August 7, 2009 three mullas came to their store late in the evening and objected to the Islamic calendar, chart and stickers there. Their behaviour was curt, body language unfriendly and words threatening. They had the material removed and taken away threatening, “If you do that again, we’ll treat you differently.” It was learnt that after the visit they went to a nearby mosque, and then called on the cleric of the congregational mosque of Akal Garh.
The incident caused great concern in the family. Mr. Sanori reported it to the local community elders. They advised him to report the details of the incident to the authorities. This was done.
Sargodha - benevolent attitude of authorities towards extremism
Sargodha: District Sargodha received mention in monthly reports quite regularly. The police here not only tolerate, but often supports religious bigots in their anti-Ahmadiyya drive, not realizing that the mulla may one day be beyond even their control.
For instance, a mulla Allah Wasaya visited Chak 38 South to preside over a Khatme Nabuwwat open-air meeting. An anti-Ahmadiyya poem was read out initially. Thereafter three mullas, Abdur Rahim, Muhammad Rizwan and then the chairman Allah Wasaya addressed the crowd. They used highly provocative and injurious language against Ahmadis. The audience were made to shout hateful slogans. Although the administration refused the use of loudspeakers in the Jalsa, mullas shouted themselves hoarse in promoting extremism and sectarianism. Three bus-loads of people were brought over from elsewhere. A few motor-cycle riders carried the banners of Khatme Nabuwwat.
The authorities permit all this despite all the bad news from the FATA.
Hostile activities at other locations in AJ&K
Mirpur is an important city in Azad Kashmir. A few reports from there during June this year:
* Anti-Ahmadiyya leaflets were distributed in Mirpur Engineering University.
* Mr. Tahir Ahmad, Ahmadi, owner of a marble factory was threatened of harm, on telephone.
* Mr. Ashraf, an Ahmadi, is a teacher at Kurdah Town. He was targeted by local agitators for his faith. They met the headmaster and urged him to take some action against him.
* Tariq Ahmad, a young man worked in a tailoring shop. His boss asked him to recite the Kalima, which he did. At this the boss slapped him on the face. Tariq quit the job after this. A few days later the boss met him and apologized; his son had fallen ill and was diagnosed as suffering from blood cancer. The boss thought that his ordeal had its roots in his maltreatment of Tariq Ahmad.
At Rawla Kot:
Pir Atiq ur Rahman presided over a joint meeting of Jamiat Ulama Jammu and Kashmir and Jamaat Ahle Sunnat. Its proceedings were reported in a three-column report by the daily Ausaf, Islamabad of July 1, 2009. Excerpts:
* Qadianis are enemies of Islam, Pakistan and the Freedom Movement; they can live here only as non-Muslim minority. They will not be permitted to practice Islam.
* The speakers strongly condemned those people who support Qadianis. These people are not worth even a penny.
* Qadianis’ slaves (Zar kharid) should stop supporting them or be prepared for their doom.
* A great Paigham-e-Mustafa (The message of Muhammad p.b.u.h.) Conference will be held on August 13 at Rawala Kot, the home of Mujahedeen and fighters against infidels (Ghazis).
* Participating clerics included: Mufti-e-Kashmir Muhammad Hussain, Hayat Khan Qadri, Nazir H Shah Gilani, Abdul Aziz Abbasi of Majlis Amal Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, A Qayyum Faruqi, Wajahat Gardezi, Dr Quddus, Aslam Zafar, Ghulam Yasin Gilani, Sardar Khadim Hussain, Mahbub Hayat Qadri, Imtiaz Siddiqui, Jabbar Shah, Zubair Naqshbandi, Haji Siddique, Tanveer Hussain, Israel Khan, Khalil Qadri, Shafiq Ahmad, Qari Hanif, Syed Gardezi, Rahim Dad and Altaf Hussain etc.
Organized opposition and agitation became rife in Azad Kashmir in the second quarter of 2009, in Bhimbar area particularly. Organizations banned officially for their terrorist activities changed their names and took a leading role in the anti-Ahmadiyya drive. They distributed provocative literature, issued fatwas of death, and assaulted Ahmadis, damaged their businesses while authorities shirked from providing security to the victims.
The extremist elements enjoy support from some political heavy weights.
Ahmadiyya headquarters reported the situation to the authorities and requested relief.
It would be appropriate to quote from the hate literature that is being distributed, to provide an insight into this campaign of hate. Excerpt (translated from Urdu):
It is highly regrettable that the group of damned apostates who should have been put to the sword, and the party of heretics who should have been hanged, these thieves of the End of Prophethood who should have been tossed in blood and dust, who should have been cut to pieces, continue to be a part of our social fabric in Azad Kashmir Kotli, Mirpur, Bhimbar, Muzaffarabad, Pakistan and through out the world of Islam.
It further states:
Read it yourself, and pass it on to others as well. This literature is published fortnightly.
The distributors gave their contact address:
MUJAHID TAHAFFUZ KHATME NABUWWAT: 0301-6187674
These groups are obviously free to operate openly, and are quite safe from the authorities who only pay lip service to opposition to extremism and sectarianism.
A letter was issued by the Central Police Office to all the senior police officers of AJ&K on the subject of “ …Suppression of Ahmadiyyat” wherein they were directed “to ensure implementation of the current law in true spirit.” This story is described in essential detail in chapter 10.
An imploring letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan – worthy of record
Faisalabad: The President of the Ahmadiyya community of Ganga Pur recently wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. In it he described the state of governance in the area and the plight of the Ahmadiyya community during the current democratic regime. It is worth placing on record. The original is in fluent Urdu; its English translation is attempted below:
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Plea for action according to law
With great respect I admit that the steps taken by the Government to eradicate terrorism, extremism and sectarianism are commendable. Not only the citizens are victims of these evils, these are also ugly spots on the bright face of our beloved homeland. This ignominy has eclipsed its beauty. One such situation is presented to you, as our capacity to bear with it has run out. We, the loyal and peaceful citizens of this country, are victims of religious extremism and sectarian terrorism, and are living in agony for the last 20 years. Local administration was contacted several times, but in vain. The situation is as follows:
1. There is a stop, called ‘Zafarwal’, at Chak 562/GB Tehsil Jaranwala, District Faisalabad, in between Nankana Sahib and Bachiana. There is a railway station here and a bus stop too. People travel from here to Nankana Sahib, Bachiana and Jaranwala by rail, bus, wagon, tonga and rikshaw.
2. There are several Ahmadiyya communities in the area of Chak No. 562/GB e.g. Chak No. 565/GB, 563/GB, 559/GB, 571/GB, 591/GB Ganga Pur, Kot Dial Das, Nankana City and Jaranwala city etc.
3. Ahmadi men, women and children are neither allowed to embark nor disembark from Zafarwal. They are not even allowed to wait there for the transport. The restriction applies equally to guest women, aged people, children, as well as male and female students. If Ahmadis wait there, embark or disembark from there mistakenly or under compulsion, they become targets of invective and even violence. They are forcibly taken off the vehicle. Some vigilantes sit there and check the buses for Ahmadi passengers. If one is found they take him off and terrorize him.
4. Ahmadis are not allowed to transport their vegetables to the market from there.
5. School-going Ahmadi children are also not safe in the nearby villages. They are beaten up if they have to pass from there, for example to appear in an examination. Contemptuous and discriminatory treatment is meted out to Ahmadi students in Boys High School Chak 562 and Boys Middle School Chak 563 Bage Mahal. They are daily hampered from going to school, beaten up and insulted. Some schools of Nankana are also following this example. A number of Ahmadi boys and girls, victims of such violence in the name of religion and fearful of their safety have discontinued education.
6. Passersby of Chak No. 562/GB and Zafarwal have been attacked and deprived of their valuables.
7. Residents of the above mentioned villages have to pass by Zafarwal and Chak No. 562/GB to go elsewhere. Ahmadi men and women suffer insult, and are exposed to risk at these locations. Consequently they are scared of passing through here. They go home remembering God, praying in silence.
8. Religious hatred is propagated regularly in the nearby villages, and people are instigated against Ahmadis. This practice has worsened recently.
9. Ahmadis are not allowed to sell their vegetables in the markets of Nankana and Bachiana. Some vigilantes sit on the way to harass, threaten and even loot Ahmadis. Their threats are forbidding.
10. Such incidents happen almost every day, and the administration has always been duly informed. However, no action is taken nor any legal steps are taken. Sometimes Ahmadis can not even reach the threshold of administration and justice because they are blocked in the way by the opponents.
Respected sir! We Ahmadis are a peace loving people. We believe in religious tolerance and avoid all sorts of mischief and disorder. In the above mentioned situation you are requested to kindly take appropriate legal and administrative action. We offer the following suggestions for your kind consideration:
i. Security and peace should be appropriately provided to Ahmadis.
ii. At least two responsible and efficient policemen should be posted in Chak 562, especially at Zafarwal, permanently. They should act against those who interfere with travelling public. They should be on duty from 8:00 A.M. to 10 P.M. They should tell the people the purpose of their posting.
iii. It is proposed that two such constables should also be appointed from Nankana Sahib. This duty may be shared between the staff of Nankana Sahib and Jaranwala for 15 days each. In case of an incident, they should report it to their respective police stations for action so as to prevent mischief and breach of peace in the area.
We hope that legal and administrative action will be taken promptly and appropriately.
Rao Mubashir Ahmad Khan
Amir Halqa Jamaat Ahmadiyya
Chak No. 591/GB, Ganga Pur
Tehsil Jaranwala, District Faisalabad
It was decent on the part of the Public Grievances Wing of PM Secretariat (Public) to acknowledge the receipt of this application and to ask the concerned officials for a report by 15 May, 2009.
Anti-Ahmadiyya activities at various locations
Apart from the incidents mentioned above, mulla elsewhere kept up sectarian activities. Reports received from a few other towns, in the month of March alone, are summarized below:
Hafizabad (Punjab): Mr. Muhammad Ashraf, an Ahmadi teacher of Chak Chattha was contacted by the local police inspector in March and advised to take greater care of his personal security. A few days later, officials of the secret police met him and told him to remain vigilant and take care as there was significant threat to his life. A few hours later, agents of a federal agency contacted him and repeated the same warning. A few days later an official of the Special Police collected essential information about Mr. Ashraf. This activity was welcome on the part of the police and agencies, but it is for consideration that effective action against the source of threat would surely have been more useful and consequential. It is not far-fetched to suggest that the source is known to the authorities.
Mr. Ashraf’s family was under great stress. He took leave from his job for some days to avoid public appearances.
Islamabad: Mr. Sajid Qamar, an Ahmadi has a tailoring shop in Islamabad. In his absence, his helper took out Mr. Qamar’s book, written by the founder of the community, from his draws and started reading it. At that time a customer, with the appearance of a mulla, entered the shop and noticed the book. He made further inquiries about the proprietor of the shop, and returned later with two more of his colleagues. These three behaved most rudely towards Mr. Qamar and threatened further ‘suitable’ action. Mr. Qamar got worried, and informed his father who advised him to remain calm and turn to prayers.
Chak No.5, district Nankana: A mulla Badi uz Zaman of Marh Blochan made it a routine to come to this Chak and maintain a sectarian anti-Ahmadi drive. His foul and fiery language disturbed the peace of the village. Some of the locals supported him. He urged the villagers to implement a social boycott of Ahmadis.
Okara: Okara city was also affected by the ongoing sectarian drive. They targeted schools, colleges and business centers for distribution of provocative literature and leaflets. Ahmadi community officials received threats on telephone. Authorities were informed of these incidents.
In February, photo of a local Ahmadi leader was found in possession of a Khatme Nabuwwat organization worker. It was learnt that they had a collection of such photos. The DPO Okara was formally informed. He promised action and reportedly one person was detained for investigation. The result of the inquiry is not known.
Ahmadis were urged to remain on guard and look after their personal security.
Nabisar Road, District Umar Kot: In addition to the repeated attempts against the life of the president of the local Ahmadi community, and abduction of an Ahmadi youth, the extremist elements held a large open-air conference against the Ahmadiyya community during March. The speakers used plenty of foul language against the community and agitated the participants greatly with sectarian propaganda. The already tense communal situation worsened.
Bahawalpur: Vigilantes of the local Khatme Nabuwwat organization undertook widespread distribution of a booklet “Ishq-e-Mustafa aur Hamari Zummadari” i.e. Love of the Holy prophet and Our Responsibility. The tract was published by the Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, address: Huzuri Bagh Road Multan; phone: 061-4583486 and 061-4514122.
The tract was addressed on its title page as: A message worthy of consideration by the crazies and moths of the Glorious Mentor, Khataman Nabiyyeen (P.B.U.H.). It was distributed in homes, major markets and general stores. It disturbed the sectarian peace of the town that is an important center in the southern Punjab that receives repeated mention as the next hotbed of terrorists.
The daily Dawn of June 28, 2008: In a high level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by COAS among others, “The participants were unanimous in concluding that terrorism and extremism are the greatest challenge to Pakistan’s national security.” If that is so, the producers and distributors of the hate-promoting pamphlets like the one mentioned above deserve to be disciplined. Mere press statements, and no action, are a recipe for steady loss of state authority.
Karachi: Non-Ahmadis took out a procession at the occasion of Eid Milad on March 9 in An-Noor Society. When the procession arrived in front of the Ahmadiyya place of worship, they indulged in shouting provocative slogans. A night before they undertook anti-Ahmadiyya wall-chalking at the same location.
Sargodha: Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat organized a Tahaffuz Namus Rasalat Rally i.e. rally to protect the honour of the Prophet, on March 23, 2009. These people indulged in intensive anti-Ahmadiyya slogan-raising, and made fiery speeches. They callously promoted sectarian hatred and strife in the fair name of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Fifty-five years ago, the prestigious and historical Report of the Court of Inquiry constituted under the Punjab Act of 1954 to enquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953 brought on record the police assessment of the conduct of anti-Ahmadi elements: “Their outward object is to denounce Ahmadis, their Khalifa and Sir Zafrullah Khan but their inward object is to create disorder and lawlessness in our country.” That Report should be read by the present-day political leaders and government officials; they will find it greatly useful in tackling the current problems in Pakistan. It was published early this year again by the Nia Zamana Publications and is available in the market. In fact this Report should be on the list of Required Readings in the Civil Service Academy.
Khanewal: A three-day Khatme Nabuwwat Conference was held on 25-27 March in this city. Anti-Ahmadiyya banners were put up. The speakers made hateful speeches full of slander. They distributed abusive literature, and the participants shouted slogans.
Layyah: In the month of April 2009 the opponents distributed anti-Ahmadiyya literature to maintain sectarian tensions alive in Layyah district. This is where two months earlier they agitated to get four Ahmadi school children booked on false charge of blasphemy.
District Narowal: The mulla organized distribution of anti-Ahmadiyya literature in the town of Zafarwal. The Pamphlets were titled:
1. Qadianiat ke bhianik roop i.e. Deadly appearances of Ahmadiyyat
2. Kash ham bhi bedar hon i.e. May we wake up too.
Multan: A Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat Conference was held in Multan in March. The mullas made provocative speeches and distributed hate literature at the occasion. This is the city where only a few days earlier an Ahmadi couple was brutally murdered.
Anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda went on throughout the country. Reports of some incidents of September only are reported below:
Dhani Deu, Chak 332/J.B; District Toba Tek Singh: Some religious activists are tried to disturb the law and order situation by instigating people against the Ahmadiyya community in the area. It was learnt that the mulla incharge of the local madrassah, committee members of the local Ahl-e-Sunnah mosque and a few others belonging to Sipah-e-Sahaba (a banned organization) were behind these activities.
In the village, there is a private elementary school owned by an Ahmadi. His opponents asked the students to procure them some Ahmadiyya pamphlets so they could use them to fabricate a complaint to the police for preaching. They urged the parents of some students to make a statement that their children are preached Ahmadiyyat at the school. This situation disturbed the school proprietor who was also the president of the local Ahmadiyya community. According to him the situation was getting serious by the day and might result in some unpleasant incident.
Bhaun, District Chakwal: Anti-Ahmadiyya activities were rampant in Bhaun too. Provocative pamphlets were distributed here openly after the Eid prayer on September 21, 2009. It contained baseless newspaper accusations that Qadianis are not loyal to the country; 600 Qadianis are being trained in the Israeli army; and Qadianis helped the Indian army in the war against Pakistan. The pamphlet urged total boycott of Ahmadi businesses in the town. It mentioned their names as well. It bore no address.
Ahmadiyya community has lived peacefully in the area for the past 50 years. The new situation was brought to the notice of local authorities.
Shah Maskeen, District Sheikhupura: The Ahmadiyya community here faced a total boycott in the past which lasted more than two years, from September 1974 to December 1976. Now again the communal temperature rose. Khatme Nabuwwat agitators distributed leaflets and did wall-chalking against the community. The local Ahmadiyya community felt concerned about its security, and took precautions to avoid any nasty incident.
Barali, District Kotli, Azad Kashmir: The situation was tense here for Ahmadis for a long time. Non-Ahmadis held here nominally a Milad conference in the local mosque on September 10, 2009, but their anti-Ahmadiyya intentions were no secret. Authorities were informed accordingly, well before the date. The police arrived there at the start of the conference, and stayed till the end. Mullas used abusive language against the community and its holy founder. They told Ahmadis to live like a non-Muslim minority, not to pray and not build any mosques etc. They used abusive language in the presence of the police and administration. The conference disturbed social peace of the locality.
Khuda Abad, District Badin: In this area anti-Ahmadiyya activities persisted, and small towns and villages have now been affected. Khuda Abad is a small town in district Badin, Sindh. It is home to a madrassah. They held a conference there, in which people were instigated against the Ahmadiyya community. Pamphlets containing corrupted and out-of-context writings of the founder of the community were distributed in bulk. It was written on the pamphlets that one who photo-copied it and distributed it further would get great reward from God.
Karachi; November 12, 2009: An unknown man wearing dark brown clothes came to the Ahmadiyya Hall at about 4 p.m. and started abusing the founder of the Ahmadiyya community. The Hall is used by Ahmadis as a place of worship. Some neighbours took the initiative to calm him down, and took him away. Ten minutes later he returned and went away on his motorcycle, while still shouting abuse. Ahmadis felt concerned over this incident. They posted additional personnel on guard duty to ensure security.
A question on significant increase in anti-Ahmadi activities
The following report was made in the Monthly News Report for March 2009; it poses an important question:
“This monthly report, like the previous reports shows a significant increase in recent months in criminal attacks on Ahmadis and violations of their human rights. These attacks have resulted in murders, injuries, attacks on Ahmadiyya properties, registration of police cases, arrests, denials of bail etc. However, all this is no surprise, as it was planned as such and declared in public, in print media.
“The daily Pakistan, Lahore of October 14, 2008 published a news item under a three-column headline, reporting the schedule of a multi-party anti-Ahmadiyya planning meeting at Lahore on October 19, 2008. The story mentioned that the meeting had been called by a. Zahid ur Rashidi of Pakistan Sharia Council, b. Mulla Ilyas Chinioti, the Amir of International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement, and c. Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema of Majlis Ahrar Islam. The invitees were: Jamiat Ulama Islam, Jamaat Islami, the banned Millat Islamia (former SSP), Jamiat Ulama Pakistan, Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Jamaat Al-Da’wa Pakistan (the banned Lashkar Taiba), Khaksar Tehrik, Pakistan Shariat Council, International Khatme Nabuwwat Movement and Majlis Ahrar Islam.
“It may be noted that:
* Parties that are officially banned for their terrorist activities were also invited.
* All the invited groups favour the Taliban and the on-going militancy.
* All the invited groups thrive on sectarian activities and do not shun violence.
* Almost all are funded from dubious sources.
“All the above is public knowledge; its details are better known to the federal and provincial governments. The organizers’ names are printed in the newspapers. The planned meeting has borne its bitter fruit month after month. This and earlier monthly reports list the criminal anti-Ahmadi activities in essential detail. If the authorities genuinely believe that extremism and sectarianism is an existential threat to the country, why do they not take action against these known perpetrators of harm? Why some of the authorities become a party to and a tool in their nefarious drive?”
Taliban active against Ahmadis in Multan
Multan: A group claiming to be ‘Taliban, Group No. 15, Multan sent a threatening letter to Mr. Munawwar Ahmad, the president of the district Ahmadiyya community, in April. It is translated below:
“You are a non-Muslim Qadiani. You are converting Muslim children in your school into Qadianis. We have received many complaints against you. If you wish to stay alive, shut down your school and go abroad, otherwise we will be forced to act. Shahid Mahmud, your colleague, despite being a Muslim is helping you. If he does not desist from that, he will also be dispatched to the Hereafter.”
Taliban Group 15, Multan
Mr. Munawwar reported the threat to the police. They provided some police presence at his school. Mr. Munawwar had to take steps to improve his personal security.
In addition to the above, these ‘Taliban’ targeted three Ahmadis, Messrs Junaid Waqas, Murid Hussain and Naveed Ahmad. They threatened them repeatedly with harm. A few days later they hit Junaid Waqas on his neck with an iron pipe and fled away on a motor-cycle. Mr. Murid Hussain had to move to Lodhran in the face of these threats. Naveed Ahmad was also threatened through telephone calls.
Threat to a community office-bearer
Haripur (NWFP): Mr. Zulfiquar Ahmad, the District Amir of Haripur, Hazara received a threatening letter in January. It conveyed that:
“You people indulge in anti-Islam activities. This results in people distancing themselves from Islam. If you care for your life, children and property, pay up five million immediately. Close down the Noor Mosque. Stop misguiding the people. This should be undertaken within 10 days. Two of our men Maulvis Mansur and Fazal Jan will wait for you and the money at Camp No.12. If you do not comply, you will be our guest.”
After due consultation, the Amir decided to close down the Ahmadiyya Center and shift his residence temporarily.
Threat to an elderly Ahmadi
Sargodha: Mr. Shahzad Ahmad Waraich received a threatening letter from self-styled Taliban Pakistan (Punjab). Its translation is given below:
“Infidel (Kafir), Infidel Mirzais Infidel. This is your first and last warning. If you want to save your home and business from destruction, and would like yourself and your children to stay alive then convert to Deobandi Islam within a month. Otherwise you will yourself be responsible for your extermination. Taliban Pakistan (Punjab)”.
During this year incidents of abduction of Ahmadis and threats to their persons increased visibly. To provide security to every citizen in the country is the primary duty of a government.
Threat at Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi: A group claiming to belong to the Lashkar Jhangvi, an organization banned for its involvement in terrorism, sent threats to Ahmadis in the Rawalpindi area in April. Khawja Abdul Quddus and Mr. Mahmud Chughtai received threatening messages on their cell phones. Mr. Kamran Minhas of Scheme III received the following letter by post, (Translation):
“It has been confirmed that you are a Qadiani, and are involved in the spreading of Qadianism in Pakistan. You force poor Muslims to convert, and are therefore an enemy of our faith. Do not forget that you can not escape our wrath. We are watching you all the time. Wait for your death.
From: Lashkar Jhangvi”
Bigotry and threats in Lahore
Syed Farrukh Hafeez, an Ahmadi young man in ‘Township’ Lahore had a rough handling at Lahore and was given two days to comply with the demands of religious extremists. The story is given under sub-heading, e. Lahore – a center of anti-Ahmadiyya extremism
e. Reports of NGOs
Asian Human Rights Commission takes notice of Ahmadiyya plight in Pakistan
Lahore: AHRC took serious notice of worsening Ahmadis’ human rights situation in the country, and expressed its condemnation of specified incidents. A report published in the Daily Times of March 20, 2009 is reproduced below verbatim:
AHRC condemns arbitrary arrests of Ahmadis
Commission references recent events of murdered couple, arrested men
Lahore: The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Thursday condemned the ease with which a member of the Ahmadi sect could be arbitrarily arrested, based on hearsay evidence from an openly biased party.
Referencing two recent events in which an Ahmadi couple was found murdered and 15 men were arrested for gathering at a place of worship that resembles a mosque, the AHRC said these events highlighted the intense discrimination experienced by most minorities in Pakistan. It noted that it was very easy to file cases of blasphemy against most minorities.
In the first cases, the AHRC noted, 15 prominent Ahmadi men in Sillanwali tehsil, Sargodha district, were charged under Section 298C of the Pakistan Penal Code, an amendment that applies only to Ahmadis and carries up to three years in jail. Three of the men have been detained so far and denied bail by a local judge. The amendment to Section 298 claims that Ahmadis should not pose as Muslims, call themselves Muslim, “or in any manner whatsoever outrage the religious feelings of Muslims”.
According to the AHRC, the 15 men in Sargodha can expect little help from the police. Rather than allowing this discrimination and violent persecution to continue, the commission added, the government must recognize the right to life of every Pakistani, and start protecting and compensating those it has helped to make vulnerable through such amendments as Section 298C. In the second incident reference by the AHRC, a prominent Ahmadi couple was found murdered in their apartment in Wapda Colony, Multan Rd, approximately three months after they started to receive anonymous death threats. The threats warned them against practicing their religion, but their family advised them against taking the case to the police, claiming this would make them more vulnerable. The family is currently fearful about following through with the murder case.
According to the commission, more than a (!) Ahmadis are estimated to be in Pakistan's jails on charges of blasphemy, which carries the death penalty. It claims that many of these convictions are a part of personal vendettas or land disputes. The commission also points out that over the past 24 years, at least 100 Ahmadis have been lynched and murdered; 18 of them doctors.
Amnesty International’s statement on the blasphemy laws
Below are excerpts from Amnesty International’s statement regarding the blasphemy laws in Pakistan.
PAKISTAN: Government should take concrete action to amend or abolish the blasphemy laws within a year.
As Pakistan marks Minorities Day, Amnesty International calls on the government to take meaningful action to protect religious minorities which have increasingly been the target of religiously-motivated attacks and persecution.
The rise in attacks against religious minorities comes against a backdrop – and in tandem – with rising religious extremism in the country. Amnesty International is concerned at the discrimination, harassment and attacks against all religious minorities, including Ahmadis, Christians, Shiite, Sikhs and Hindus, that are widespread in Pakistan.
Amnesty International welcomes Prime Minister Gilani’s announcement that the government would set up a committee to review and improve laws detrimental to religious harmony. The Prime Minister’s statement comes in the wake of the Gojra attack which flared up over allegations of blasphemy. Though not explicitly stating which laws would be reviewed, his statement alluded to the country’s blasphemy laws introduced in 1982 and 1986 by military leader Zia-ul-Haq in attempt to use Islam to promote popular appeal for his military regime.
The blasphemy laws, while purporting to protect Islam and religious sensitivities of the Muslim majority, are vaguely formulated and arbitrarily enforced by the police and judiciary in a way which amounts to harassment and persecution of religious minorities. In January this year, five Ahmadis, including one minor (sic), were detained on spurious charges of blasphemy in the Layyah district, with no evidence or witnesses to support the charges against them.
Amnesty International urges the government of Pakistan to amend or abolish the blasphemy laws, particularly section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code which carries a mandatory death penalty for anyone found guilty of blasphemy. The organization calls on the Pakistan government to guarantee the human rights of minorities laid down in the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, notably Article 18 which provides that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
US Commission on International Religious Freedom indicts Pakistan
The daily Dawn of May 5, 2009 reported in brief from the USCIRF Annual Report 2009 issued recently. Excerpts:
Washington, May 4: Pakistan is one of the 13 countries named by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom in which the persecution of minorities is common and condoned or supported by the government. The year 2009 “has seen the largely unchecked growth in the power and reach of religiously motivated extremist groups whose members are engaged in violence in Pakistan and abroad, with Pakistan authorities ceding effective control to armed insurgents espousing a radical Islam ideology,” the Annual Report 2009 of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom stated.
“Today, the threat to religious freedom or belief in Pakistan has measurably and demonstrably increased,” she said, “and therefore we renew our recommendation that Pakistan be named a CPC.”
The USCIRF made the following recommendations for US policy towards Pakistan, inter alia:
The US government should urge the government of Pakistan to inter alia;
* Decriminalize blasphemy and, in the interim period until that action is taken, implement procedural changes to the blasphemy laws that will reduce and ultimately end their abuse; and ensure that those who are accused of blasphemy and their defenders are given adequate protection, including by investigating death threats and other actions carried out by militants and that full due process is followed;
* Prioritize the prevention of religiously motivated and sectarian violence and the punishment for its perpetrators, including by:
* … investigating acts of religiously motivated and sectarian violence and punishing perpetrators in a timely manner and
* rescind the laws targeting Ahmadis, which effectively criminalize the public practice of their faith and violate their right to freedom of religion guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights; and
* confront and work to address the consequences of the political alliances maintained by past military dominated governments with Islamist parties, which afforded an excessive amount of influence to these groups, and which, in turn, had a strong negative impact on religious freedom in Pakistan.
* set national text book and curriculum standards that actively promote tolerance towards all religions, and establish appropriate review and enforce mechanisms to guarantee that such standards are being met in government (public) schools; and … .
Quotable quote from an independent source on Ahmadiyya human rights
The monthly Herald, Karachi of August 2009 published an interview of Mr. Iqbal Haider, a leading human rights activist in Pakistan. Its excerpts are reproduced below:
It’s shocking that three percent non-Muslims can make 97 percent of Muslims feel insecure.
Iqbal Haider, Co-chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and senior Supreme Court lawyer
“The most discriminatory piece of legislation against non-Muslims is the Constitution of Pakistan that makes it mandatory for the president to be Muslim. …
As law minister, I conducted a survey about blasphemy cases and found out that with some minor exceptions all these cases were motivated by personal enmity, prejudices and local rivalries. …
The societal discrimination they face deprives them of equality of opportunity which is a basic requirement for a democracy. Ahmadis are the worst victims of such discrimination and deprivation, mainly because they refuse to regard themselves as non-Muslims whereas the state and the society are unwilling to let them have any rights, let alone the freedom to practice their religion.
Pakistan, in fact, has the most oppressive laws when it comes to Ahmadis and the suspicion runs so deep that even the non-Ahmadis – if and when they want to run in an election or when they apply for their identity papers – have to submit affidavits that they are not Ahmadis and that they firmly believe in the finality of the Prophethood of Mohammad (pbuh). No such laws exist anywhere else in the world. …
A law prohibits them (Ahmadis) from calling themselves Muslims or pretending, portraying and presenting themselves as Muslims. They are forbidden from reciting the Kalima, they are not allowed to read the Holy Quran and they cannot call their places of worship mosques. They cannot even use certain names for themselves that may allow them to be regarded as Muslims. This is the most extreme form of discrimination which exists nowhere else. …
But the worst example of such discrimination shows up in the way those accused of blasphemy are treated. Many of them are murdered by the policemen who are supposed to protect them as undertrial prisoners. Others face openly hostile religious fanatics during their trials. Apparently, the courts cannot check aggressive gesturing and abusive language against the accused because the fanatics intimidate the courts through show of strength. The authorities never have the courage to control, contain or arrest such aggressive, extremist and religious militants.”
The monthly Herald, August 2009
The full text of the interview is available in Annex VII.
A great speech by the US President
Mr. Barak Obama addressed the Muslim world from Cairo on June 4, 2006. It was a great speech. While the entire speech deserves to be placed on record, we reproduce here only those excerpts that are directly relevant to human rights issues:
> The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.
> Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists. They have killed in many countries.
> The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim countries, the sooner we will all be safer.
> And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments - provided they govern with respect for all their people.
> The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom.
> Freedom of religion is central to the ability of people to live together.
> We cannot disguise hostility toward any religion behind the pretense of liberalism.
f. Diverse reports
A TV program mentions the Ahmadiyya situation in Pakistan
September 3, 2009: A TV channel Express News holds a weekly talk-show “Point Blank with Lucman” which is hosted by Mr. Mobashir Lucman. Lucman is known for discussing sensitive issues. On September 3, 2009 he invited three mullas, Jalil Naqvi a Shia, Amir ul Azim of Jamaat Islami and Tahir Mahmud Ashrafi, a Brelvi political cleric. Lucman took up the issue of Ahmadiyyat for about 10 minutes. It is rare that the electronic media mentions Ahmadiyyat; occasionally when it does, it provides an opportunity to the mulla to restate his aggressive and obscure position.
Lucman introduced the subject by showing a video of the incident of Lathianwala where the police undertook the sacrilege of defiling the Ahmadiyya mosque. The three participating mullas and viewers all over Pakistan saw how the state was involved in violating Ahmadis’ human rights and freedom of religion by removing the Kalima (Islamic creed) with a chisel and covering up other holy inscriptions with paint and cement from Ahmadis’ homes. The incident must have shocked most of the viewers but the penal of mullas was not impressed.
Lucman asked them: “These holy inscriptions are being broken up with hammer and chisel. This whole big tile, on which Allah and Masha Allah are written, fell down in the gutter below. Let me tell you that this place is a Masjid of Jamaat Ahmadiyya from which the Kalima is being defaced while the worshippers are (seen) offering prayers (Namaz). All the homes (that were shown) belong to Ahmadis. I do not belong to any sect, particularly Jamaat Ahmadiyya, but I do know that defiling the Kalima or Quranic verses (that is a sin), what should be done about this? Will you please tell me?”
At this Allama Naqvi, the Shia took the plea that as the constitution of Pakistan has declared Ahmadis non-Muslims they should forego their link with Islamic practices like other non-Muslims. The Allama conveniently forgot that the fatwas of the majority of the ulama on the Kufr of Shias are more numerous and more severe than against Ahmadis.
Tahir Ashrafi suggested that ‘Qadianis’ should have their own logo and Kalima as they believe in Mirza Qadiani. Ashrafi did not mention the fact that Brelvis have their own whole range of saints whom they are accused of worshipping.
But the most ludicrous of the three responses was from none other than the mulla representing Jamaat Islami, Amir ul Azim. He said, “What I say is on the basis of ‘copyright.’ As you cannot permit me to name my own (TV) channel as Express or name my own cola as Pepsi or Coca Cola, use and write their logos, and then say: let the people decide as to which one is real and which one is fake, which one is better and which is not good. Only Azim could have the audacity to compare the licenses for a TV channel or Coca Cola with the institution of a worldwide religion. Lucman should have offered to show him the ‘license’ for the Express News and demanded from him the license that the Jamaat Islami has got from Allah to appropriate all the copyrights of Islam.
One wishes that Lucman would also invite an Ahmadi to join his program; however there is the great risk that the Blasphemy law and laws specific to Ahmadis would be invoked against any participating Ahmadi.
A profile in courage
London: Mr. Altaf Hussain, the Quaid of MQM, now residing in London talked about Ahmadis in Pakistan in a television interview. It was reported in the Daily Express of September 9, 2009. Excerpts (translation):
I do not want an Islamic Republic; I want a Peoples Republic of Pakistan where everyone should be free to live in accordance with his faith. I do not want a Pakistan of pretended mullas and politicians. … In 1988 when we won seats in the National Assembly, I toured the entire country. I noticed that the country was occupied by thieves and robbers and looters of national wealth. If a petty official takes bribe he is sent to prison, but the feudal lords who take loans worth trillions, get these remitted and excused….
The MQM is the only party whose leader issued a message of condolence on the demise of the Qadiani Amir, Mirza Tahir Beg (sic). A number of daily papers wrote editorials that I had committed Kufr. Well, I am going to commit the Kufr again, let anyone who wishes to, issue a fatwa. Qadianis who live in Pakistan should have full freedom to live in accordance with their faith and belief. It is their right. Qadianis, like other minorities, should have complete freedom to propagate their dogma. I have read Ahmadiyya literature. Their Kalima (Islamic creed) is the same as ours. They also believe in the Finality of Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The first Nobel Prize laureate of Pakistan, Dr Abdus Salam was an Ahmadi. It would be most unjust of us not to accept that. When the MQM comes to power, I will request the authorities to let me establish a (big) compound where I shall build a mosque, a Gurdawara (for Sikhs), a (Hindu) temple, a church and also an Ahmadiyya mosque. All of them will worship in their own way at their own timings in that compound. …
Religion has nothing to do with politics. Whenever you bring in religion, you will get nowhere. I say, do not hate (on the basis of) how one worships. Do not distribute tickets for heaven and hell; everyone worships (the same) God.
Amendment proposed to blasphemy laws and anti-Ahmadiyya laws
Lahore: It is perhaps the first time since 1984 that an important official tribunal has proposed revision of blasphemy laws, anti-Ahmadiyya laws and a few other sections of the penal code related to religion. The tribunal headed by Mr. Iqbal Hameedur Rahman, a high court judge, inquiring into the tragedy at Gojra, in which 7 Christians died, included these recommendations in its report and urged the government to do the needful on ‘war footing’. Excerpts from a report published in the Daily Times of December 7, 2009 are produced below:
Gojra report proposes amending blasphemy laws
Tribunal calls for immediate action against those responsible – Calls for capacity building of law-enforcement agencies – Identifies factors that led to riots
Faisalabad: An inquiry report on riots in Gojra in August proposes amendments to the blasphemy laws.
An inquiry tribunal – headed by Lahore High Court Judge Iqbal Hameedur Rehman and tasked with looking into the tragedy that killed seven people – also warned the government on Sunday that “the Gojra tragedy must be taken seriously and the needful (should) be done on war-footing without further loss of time.”
The inquiry tribunal notes in the report that the country is already facing grave challenges in the form of terrorism and militancy – which, in addition to destroying the economy, have “disfigured our national image all over the world… we cannot afford any other menace, (such as) sectarian disputes.” It says efforts to control such unrest must begin immediately.
The 258-page report recommends action “without any discrimination against those responsible for commission and omission.”
The report also proposes amendments to Pakistan Penal Code sections 295, 295-A, 295-B, 295-C, 296, 297, 298, 298-A, 298-B, 298-C, anti-blasphemy laws, relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Police Order 2002….
The tribunal reached the conclusion that the riots were a result of the “inability of law-enforcement agencies to assess the gravity of the situation, inadequate precautionary and preventive measures taken by law-enforcement agencies, a luke-warm stance by the Toba Tek Singh DPO, the failure of intelligence agencies in providing prompt and correct information, a defective security plan, the irresponsible behaviour of the administration, the complete failure of police while discharging their duties, the non-enforcement of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, omissions to take steps under sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC, the lack of a decision to invoke the Punjab Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) 1960 – which amounts to letting the miscreants loose to wreak havoc during the course of the riots – and several other factors.” APP
The Maulana’s demand and offer!
Islamabad; September 30, 2009: According to a press report Maulana Fazlur Rahman of JUI(F) offered to mediate talks between the government and Taliban. As he is active in promoting the violation of Ahmadi human rights, we record and report below extracts from this press report (translation):
Maulana Fazl ur Rahman informed the media of his successful talks with the Prime Minister of Pakistan and stated that the government had promised to accept the demands of JUI(F) and has formed an 8-member committee to implement through legislation the recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology. “As such we have delayed our decision to quit the government,” he said. He expressed the hope that these negotiations would not prove as futile as the government’s promises in the past. Maulana Fazl ur Rahman said that the legislation of CII recommendations is only a few days away. He further stated that the prime minister had issued instructions to the ministries of interior and foreign affairs to make a fresh policy in light of the Joint Resolution of the National Assembly passed in-camera regarding national security. In reply to a question, Maulana Fazl ur Rahman offered that he could act as an arbitrator in negotiations between the government and the Taliban…. He said, “We intend to confront American intervention.”
The daily Jang, September 30, 2009
It is relevant to mention that the CII has recommended, inter alia, the penalty of death for apostasy. The JUI(F) and JI members of the National Assembly proposed a draft bill on apostasy with the Assembly in May 2007. There are strong indications that this mulla is trying to push the bill for which there is no support in the Holy Quran.
His offer of ‘arbitration’ betrays his close links with the Taliban who continue to kill innocent civilians by the droves within Pakistan and across the border.
Questionable statements of federal ministers
Islamabad: Two federal ministers, Mr. Babar Awan Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Mr. Ghulam Ahmad Bilour the Railway Minister made public statements involving Ahmadis. These statements were taken note of by political and intellectual circles and the media who took the two to task for their own reasons for what they said.
Mr. Awan was accused of corruption amounting to tens of millions in the Punjab Bank scandal. (Sheikh Haris statement before the Accountability Court reported in the daily Awaz; Lahore, December 3, 2009.)
The daily Ausaf, Lahore of November 27, 2009 reported a statement by the minister’s spokesman as: “Qadiani lobby has launched a campaign of accusations and conspiracy against Dr Babar Awan, the Federal Minister of Parliamentary Affairs for his firm stand (seesa palai diwar ki tareh dat janey ki wajah se) against the proposals to change the name of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the repeal of the Blasphemy law. However, Dr Babar Awan, as a true lover of the Propeht (Aashiq rasul) and a Pakistani can sacrifice his life for the honour of the Prophet but will not let the plans of evil forces to bear fruit.”
The spokesman of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat denied the charge and called it an unwarranted accusation (Daily Express; Nov 27, 2009).
The daily Aajkal published an op-ed Turkish by Aasif Mahmud dated Nov 27, 2009 on this issue. Excerpts:
“If Babar Awan’s stand is correct, then the Ahmadi lobby is really busy in his character-assassination, or it might be that the Dr. wants to hide behind a holy visage so that he cannot be accused of corruption, and in case that happens, it can be dismissed as Qadiani propaganda.
“The Dr. has never mentioned in the past that Ahmadis are active against him. However, soon after an accused tells the Supreme Court of his corruption amounting to tens of millions, the Dr. remembers this Ahmadiyya conspiracy?
“Politics based on religion are not uncommon, but the present trend is very dangerous. It is only an attempt to hide from the corruption charge, behind the curtain of religion. This amounts to asking the people to defend a man without inquiry as a part of their religious sentiment. Political norm, however, dictates that if one is accused of corruption, he should not cover himself in the garb of sanctity, but should face the charge.”
The case of Mr. Bilour is of lessen consequence, although he too aroused religious prejudice to support his opinion regarding the day of Eid-ul-Fitr. He differed with the Ruet Hilal Committee’s decision on the sighting of the moon and stated in public that those who celebrated Eid on the day decided by the Committee were doing so “along with people of Rabwah.”
The minister was taken to task by the media and the mulla, for their own reasons and logic. The minister had to make a public apology and said that his remark was only a taunt (tanzia).
It is indeed surprising that these well-placed politicians should handle their serious political and personal problems by such questionable means.
A conspiracy and malicious drive against the Ahmadiyya community
Lahore: Express TV aired an interview of one Abdur Rahman in its program Point Blank (Anchor: Lucman Mubashir) on December 21, 2009. In the video Abdur Rahman appeared to be grievously injured. He stated that he was a great-grand son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas (the founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat) and a son of Mirza Nasir Ahmad (Khalifatul Masih III). He said that he had converted to Islam in 1999, and since then the community had viciously turned against him. He also made the accusation that while he was on his way to Ganga Ram Hospital, he was picked up by Ahmadis, beaten up severely and thrown by the roadside in a critical state, wherefrom he was recovered by some men of a nearby madrassah that belongs to Allama Zaheer. To this statement the anchorperson added that Muslims would powerfully support and protect all those who converted to Islam, etc.
Abdur Rahman’s statement was a lie and fabrication. He is neither the son of Hadrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad Khalifatul Masih III, nor the great-grand son of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The anchorperson and the TV channel became willing and knowingly partners to the conspiracy, and were guilty of agitating sectarianism loaded with mischief and dire consequences.
Mr. Saleem ud Din, the spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan issued a press release on this incident. It was published in the daily Alfazl of December 24, 2009. Its translation is given below:
The accusation of torture over conversion is baseless and is a conspiracy to spread agitation (Fitna) in the country against the Ahmadiyya Jamaat.
The statement of one Abdur Rahman, aired by a TV channel is ridiculous. Khalifatul Masih III had no son of this name.
Press Release by Mr. Saleem-ud-Din, Nazir Umur Aama, spokesman of the Jamaat Ahmadiyya.
Rabwah (PR): The interview of one Abdur Rahman, aired by a Pakistani TV channel Express News in its program Point Blank is ridiculous and riddled with lies. Why was such baseless and ridiculous news broadcast without due enquiry; as well as published in the daily Express without due inquiry. According to Mr. Saleem ud Din Nazir Umur Aama, the spokesman of Jamaat Ahmadiyya, this news and interview is fabricated and false, and is a conspiracy to spread unrest in the country against the Jamaat.
According to the spokesman it is surprising that Abdur Rahman claimed to be a great-grand son of Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community, and a son of Hadrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, the Khalifatul Masih III. Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the Jamaat, knows that Hadrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad the Khalifatul Masih III had three sons, Mirza Anas Ahmad, Mirza Farid Ahmad and Mirza Luqman Ahma; all three of whom are alive by the grace of God. Thus the claim of Abdur Rahman, and its transmission by the TV channel without prior confirmation from the concerned people is an open violation of journalistic ethics and sets a dreadful precedent. Abdur Rahman’s interview is self-contradictory; how come a responsible TV channel failed to notice this?
Mr. Saleem ud Din, the spokesman of Jamaat Ahmadiyya stated that Jamaat Ahmadiyya does not believe in any penalty for apostasy and strongly condemns those who propose punishment for this. Everyone is free to proclaim any belief that he or she considers to be true. History is a witness to the fact that converts to Ahmadiyyat have often suffered violence; while some have been put to death.
The spokesman further stated that Abdur Rahman’s statement appears to be a part of deeper conspiracy. The media should refrain from propagating something without due inquiry, as that may lead to unrest. In the present national situation, great care and a commitment to truth is needed.
Appropriate action by a federal bureau
Islamabad: Jamaat Ahmadiyya’s director of public affairs, sent a News Report for the month of October 2009 to the federal Ministry of Interior. The ministry took note of its contents and sent a copy to the Home Secretaries of the Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and AJ&K with a covering letter no. F. No. 2/1/2009-Poll.I (2) dated November 25, 2009 – a very appropriate follow-up indeed.
The covering letter urged the provinces: “It is requested that the contents of the enclosed News Report for the Month of October 2009 may be looked into and necessary action taken against the miscreants who are involved in the act of persecution of Ahmadis in your territorial jurisdictions and justice ensured to the aggrieved party (Ahmadis) and report furnished to this Ministry on priority basis.” The letter is signed by Mr. Abdul Rahman, the Section Officer. Its title is: Atrocities Against Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya. It was marked IMMEDIATE.
It will be fit and material to see the response from the provinces. Human Rights these days are an international obligation, and the trust and obligation to ensure their observation is primarily in the power of provincial authorities in Pakistan. Provinces in Pakistan never tire of asking for more autonomy from the federation; they should therefore do more to fulfill their human rights obligations. Jamaat Ahmadiyya will also report any visible improvement in the cases referred to in the federal letter. In the past, such letters have generally resulted in superficial action or none at all. How can Pakistan function satisfactorily if the provinces do not pay heed to federal co-ordination in matters of joint interest and responsibility?
The postal department and Ahmadiyyat
Lahore: Mr. Hamid Akhtar, a senior Urdu columnist wrote an interesting column in the Daily Express of Faisalabad on 27th August, 2009, based on his personal experience, and has drawn some conclusions. The column is titled, “Is knowledge really a legacy of the Mo’min (a true Muslim)?”
His opening remark is: “Knowledge is a legacy of a Mo’min: ‘If you have to go as far as China to acquire knowledge, do go.’ We have heard these proverbs and Ahadith (sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) throughout our lives, but in view of the restrictions on knowledge and anti-books attitude of this God-given state, it appears that within next few years we shall be completely devoid of knowledge.”
He describes his unpleasant experience in interesting detail. In brief, he received a letter on July 10, 2009 from the postal department informing him that a parcel addressed to him had been held back by the Customs Department who would send it to him subsequent to its clearance. Mr. Akhtar waited for the parcel for weeks but in vain. This got him worried about the parcel and its contents. On August 22 he approached the General Post Office, and thereafter the Customs section. He was told by the Superintendent of Customs that the parcel was nothing but a book written by the well-known Urdu writer, Pervez A. Parwzi in Canada; its title was Ahmadiyya Culture. He intimated that the book was in the literary style and would be released. He, however, regretted that it could not be handed over to Mr. Akhtar; it will be sent by post, as per rules. Mr. Akhtar waited for the book for the next four days, and having not received it proceeded to write this column.
Akhtar poses the following question to the authorities: “We have differences with Ahmadis, but are they not citizens of Pakistan? Firstly, it is ridiculous to mention citizenship when talking of books and knowledge. Even if a foreign book or one written by a non-Muslim is received in Pakistan and it differs with our beliefs and ideas, we should reply to it on the basis of our Ilm (knowledge). … It is unfortunate that we in the Muslim world are trying to safeguard Islam with the help of physical force and bomb blasts rather than with pen. … These people (clerics) are urging Muslims all over to lay down their lives in defense of Islam and confront the onslaught. This has only resulted in more deaths. It is about time that some of us should urge the people to live for Islam rather than die, even if that would not be fashionable.”
Corrigendum: The story regarding the Ramadan timetables in our annual report for 2008 (p.11) contains three errors on account of faulty entries and vague punctuation in the vernacular FIR, that should be corrected:
1. For ‘Qaisar jewelers’ read ‘Qamar Jewelers’.
2. Mr. Mudassar Ahmad, proprietor of Nayab Advertisers (not ‘Enterprises’ as given in the FIR) and Printers was also arrested and put behind bars for weeks, while he was not mentioned by name in the FIR.
3. For ‘Munir Ahmad Qaisar’, read ‘Munir Ahmad’.
17. From the press
This chapter includes headlines and op-eds from the press, which have a direct or indirect relevance to the human rights situation of Ahmadis in Pakistan. Statements of government and political leaders that should be placed on record, news concerning foreign countries and NGOs, activities of militant mullas, political developments and op-eds of long term value etc. are also included under appropriate sub-headings. For dearth of space, a substantial number of such news and op-eds had to be dropped, but these are available in the monthly News Reports.
a. Human rights situation
Brutal murder of Qadiani doctors, man and wife, at Multan
The daily Aajkal, Lahore; March 17, 2009
Madrassah students cut the throat of a Qadiani professor at Chakwal. Professor Mubashir Tahir severely injured. One of the accused is apprehended while the other fled. Fear and harassment grip the area.
The daily Jang, Rawalpindi; May 22, 2009
The shot at (Ahmadi) trader expired
The daily Jang, Lahore; May 29, 2009
Gunmen kill Ahmadi shop owner in Kotri
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 21, 2009
Four Ahmadi children charged with blasphemy
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 29, 2009
Grave scuttled of a Qadiani buried in Muslims’ graveyard
The daily Jinnah, Lahore; January 7, 2009
Mob tries to burn houses of Ahmadis in Layyah. HRCP alarmed over four children detention on blasphemy charges.
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 30, 2009
Ahmadi children sent to DG Khan Jail
The Daily Times, Lahore; Feb 7, 2009
Six rockets fired at Sugar Mill
The daily Nation, Lahore; Feb 14, 2009
(Note: This sugar mill at Mandi Bahauddin is owned by an Ahmadi)
MNA promoting violent protest against Ahmadis
The Daily Times, Lahore; Feb 17, 2009
Police registers criminal case against 32 Qadianis in (Chak) 194 R.B. The accused must be punished - (mulla) Nasir Naqshbandi
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; July 27, 2009
Silanwali: 11 Qadiani booked for objectionable activities
The daily Din, Lahore; March 6, 2009
Case registered against Qadiani lady teacher
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; March 9, 2009
Qadiani dead (disinterred and) buried in Chenab Nagar at the orders of the court.
The daily Jang, Lahore; April 11, 2009
Sargodha: Four accused of preaching Qadianiat arrested. Case registered.
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; April 04, 2009
Inquiry against the Qadiani principal initiated in response to protest by Tahrik-e-Tahafuze-Khatam Nabuwwat
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; Feb 2, 2009
Police couldn’t trace the culprits who attacked Qadiani place of worship at Sialkot
The daily Jinnah, Lahore; Feb 23, 2009
Ahmadiyya appeal for recovery of the Govt Talim ul Islam College is rejected (by a judge).
The daily Jang, Lahore; April 02, 2009
80 Acres of land recovered from Qadianis is handed over to Talim ul Islam College.
The occupation was undone by police on court’s order.
The Daily Express, Faisalabad; April 9, 2009
(Ahmadi) Headmaster arrested for spreading religious hatred. Inquiry to be held. Mr. Mobashir Ahmad, headmaster of the Government Talim ul Quran High School subjected teacher Anwar to torture. The District Education Officer orders (Ahmadi’s) suspension from job subsequent to popular demand.
(Note: These headlines are corrupted versions of the incident; however the arrest and suspension from the job are facts).
The daily Din, Lahore; May 15, 2009
Sectarian strife hits the (Ahmadi) dead
The daily Dawn, Lahore; June 9, 2009
37 non-muslims including 13 Qadianis converted to Islam in a ceremony at the mosque of Hanter Pura.
The daily Musawat; Lahore, September 3, 2009
Call to boycott Qadianis products
The daily News, Lahore; June 13, 2009
Six terrorists arrested in Sargodha
….They also planned to attack an Imambargah in Chiniot and a religious congregation in Rabwah.
The daily Dawn; Lahore, August 25, 2009
Attempt to build illegal Qadiani place of worship in Bhuwana aborted. Qadianis had attempted to build their place of worship and an office in the name of service to humanity.
Great agitation among ulama and Muslims. Police acted to stop the construction.
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, November 05, 2009
Negligence of officials blamed for Gojra riots
The daily Dawn; Lahore, August 3, 2009
Blasphemy claims three more victims (in Muridke factory)
The Daily Times; Lahore, August 5, 2009
Bado Malhi: Qadiani arrested for preaching Mirzaiat in the open. His companion fled. Javed Ahmad and Hameed Tahir were converting the poor and destitute by offering them financial support. The Sunni and Shia Ulama requested police intervention. Police raids continue to arrest the other accused.
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; October 1, 2009
Blasphemer gets death sentence (in Gojra)
The daily Dawn; Lahore, November 12, 2009
Blasphemer sentenced to life and fined Rs. 100,000 in Bahawal Nagar. The accused Zaman was under prosecution for the past one year in the Sessions Court for false claim to prophecy.
…At this occasion (of announcement of the judgment) thousands including the Ulama participated (sic).
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; October 1, 2009
Govt agrees to enforce Sharia in Malakand
FSC (Federal Shariat Court) to be the last court of appeal
President approves Sharia laws (In Swat)
The daily Dawn, Lahore; Feb 16, 2009
‘Death only punishment for blasphemy’ - Supreme Court
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 22, 2009
Tehsil Chowk at Chiniot is renamed as ‘Khatme Nabuwwat Chowk’
The daily Waqt, Lahore; April 26, 2009
SC grants bail to Maulana Aziz (of Lal Masjid)
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 16, 2009
Religious minorities report violence
Pakistan among top 10 most dangerous countries for minorities: MRGI Christians are being terrorized in Karachi as government fails to provide protection.
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; May 15, 2009
b. Statements on record
Pakistan fighting Taliban for its survival: Zardari
The Daily Times, Lahore; Feb 15, 2009
1973 Constitution to be restored in its true spirit, reiterates Gilani
The daily News, Lahore; June 25, 2009
Religion being used to further evil designs: Ulama Council
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 16, 2009
Pak to ensure equal rights for minorities (President Zardari)
The daily Nation; Lahore, August 11, 2009
General (Kiyani) says victory against terrorism and militancy will be achieved ‘at all costs.’
The Daily Times, Lahore; April 25, 2009
We do not have the right to rule if we cannot protect and provide justice to the minorities - Shahbaz Sharif
The Daily Times; Lahore, August 8, 2009
The clerics (of Ahle Sunnat parties) vowed to support the government and military in rooting out the Taliban from the country and unanimously declared Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Sufi Muhammad a ‘traitor of Islam’
The Daily Times, Lahore; May 07, 2009
‘Tehran Declaration’ pledges to combat extremism, drugs. Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan summit.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; May 25, 2009
(Indian) Deobandi ulema term all Taliban actions un-Islamic
The daily Dawn, Lahore; June 20, 2009
Taliban under fire at Raiwind congregation. Participants say Taliban straying off from right path by ‘butchering Muslims’.
The Daily Times; Lahore, November 16, 2009
Taliban Shariah is terrorism, says DG ISPR
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 23, 2009
Blasphemy law should be revised and its unfair application should be stopped. NA Standing Committee
The daily Din; Lahore, September 02, 2009
Qadianis are busy in conspiracies. The sword of PPC 295-C should continue to hang over the minorities’ heads – Mutahiddah Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; October 6, 2009
The daily Awaz, Lahore; April 17, 2009
Democracy is an invention of the English. Denial of Shariat-e-Mohammadi would be considered Rebellion. Women will not be appointed judges. Sufi Muhammad
The people should boycott American and Western products. They should also prepare for Jihad. Qazi (Hussain Ahmad)
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; January 12, 2009
JI amir predicts ‘big jihad’ against US
The daily Dawn, Lahore; May 11, 2009
Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith (MJAH) amir Prof Sajid Mir has stressed the need to unite the nation against the US instead of Taliban.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; May 11, 2009
The Swat operation is the ultimate in submission to American designs. Syed Ataul Mohaiman Bokhari.
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; June 18, 2009
The CIA planned the 9/11 - Liaquat Baloch (of JI)
The daily Waqt, Lahore; July 21, 2009
The country will face civil war, if the blasphemy law is abolished. Jamaat-e-Islami
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, September 18, 2009
Those who burn schools and other properties are not locals; they are American agents. Liaquat Baloch (of JI)
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; Feb 17, 2009
Gojra report proposes amending blasphemy laws. The report also proposes amendments to Pakistan Penal Code sections 295, 295A, 295B, 295C, 296, 297, 298, 298A, 298B, 298C, anti-blasphemy laws, relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and Police Order 2002.
The Daily Times; Lahore, December 7, 2009
Suicide attacks are Haram (forbidden category). Such attackers are outside the pale of Islam. Islamic Ideology Council
The daily Jinnah; Lahore, December 10, 2009
I consider democracy Kufr. Sufi Muhammad reached Kwaza Khaila
The daily Waqt, Lahore; Feb 19, 2009
8 million tribals are more patriotic than 160 million Pakistanis. Liaqat Baloch
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; Feb 17, 2009
Jihad should be waged against Qadianis and those who undertake drone attacks. (Mulla) Ilyas Chinioti
The daily Jinnah, Lahore; March 15, 2009
Qadianis should be removed from key-posts. If the rulers want national security, they should reject American hold. Khatme Nabuwwat Conference (at Chiniot)
Farid Ahmad Piracha (of JI) stated that Jamaat Islami fully supports the demands of Majlis Ahrar Islam and Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat to safeguard the dogma of the End of Prophethood.
The daily Nawa-e-Waqt, Lahore; March 12, 2009
Pakistanis as people are the greatest hypocrites in the world. Dr Israr
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; January 5, 2009
I shall sacrifice all for Sharif Brothers (Mulla) Ilyas Chinioti
The daily Jang, Lahore; March 02, 2009
(Afzal) Khan Lala (of ANP) was quite candid in declaring (to the HRCP) that Taliban phenomenon was created inside Pakistan by former interior minister Maj Gen Naseerullah Babar (of PPP) and at the time of its creation, Pakistanis, Saudis, Afghanis, the United Arab Emirates were backing it.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 4, 2009
Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman criticized the establishment for patronizing the militants for almost three decades. “We are now harvesting the crop we sowed three decades ago.”
The daily Dawn, Lahore; May 18, 2009
‘Pakistan facing threat of terrorism and extremism’ (The Chief Minister Punjab told the outgoing Australian High Commission)
The Frontier Post; May 27, 2009
CM (Punjab) pledges support to Sikh pilgrims
The daily Dawn; Lahore, November 7, 2009
Pakistan is a society of endless contradictions, says Jemima
The daily Dawn, Lahore; June 8, 2009
Nobody has the authority to forgive one accused of blasphemy. Justice Wajih-ud-Din (Rtd)
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; June 5, 2009
The security of minorities is an integral part of the faith. There is no question of amending the blasphemy law. Shujaat, Pervaiz Elahi
The daily Khabrain; Lahore, September 20, 2009
Fazl offers to mediate between govt and Taliban.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; October 5, 2009
Madrassahs of all denominations will be granted the status of a Board. The students would be (thus) eligible to join the Army and the Police. Rehman Malik (The Minister of Interior)
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; October 1, 2009
c. About Rabwah
Chenab Nagar: Incompetence of the local council rather criminal negligence. Heaps of filth proliferates all over the city. Stagnant water on the roads makes the life of citizens miserable, 36 sanitary workers are on VIP’s duty. Mirzais should embrace Islam at the earliest. (Abdul Ghafoor Rahmani)
The daily Aman, Lahore; Feb 6, 2009
Dilapidated roads are the fate of Chenab Nagar
The daily Jang, Lahore; Feb 15, 2009
Blasting of Chiniot and Chenab Nagar hills should be stopped. Chaudhri Boota
The daily Waqt, Lahore; March 15, 2009
(Rabwah): Government Nusrat Girls School building is crumbling. Students and teachers are at risk. Numerous accidents have occurred due to falling debris from roofs.
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; April 28, 2009
Chenab Nagar: No water in municipal pipelines for 10 days. People suffer, deprived of even drops. The needy move from door to door in intense heat with buckets in hand… The authorities urged to take notice.
The daily Din, Lahore; May 23, 2009
National security agencies have arrested an accused belonging to a banned organization thereby defusing a plan to destroy a place of worship of a minority community in Rabwah, in vicinity of Chiniot.
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; June 19, 2009
Street lights disappear. Chenab Nagar roads plunge in darkness. Only 6 bulbs glimmer on six main roads. Authorities urged to take immediate notice.
The daily Express, Faisalabad; October 7, 2009
Chenab Nagar: By disallowing a stop (here) of the Millat Express, the railway administration has displayed its spite.
- The town is of special worldwide importance for being centre of a religious sect.
- The Federal Minister should allow a two-minute stop here.
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, November 25, 2009
Office of the Town Council Chenab Nagar is a depot of corruption – Press report
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; Feb 25, 2009
Shariah penalty of death should be imposed to bury the mischief of Qadianism. Maulvi Faqir Mohammad
Rabwah was named Chenab Nagar on my instigation, and the Muslim Colony was built up over 50 acres of (Rabwah) land.
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; October 26, 2009
Chiniot gets district status
The daily Dawn, Lahore; Feb 3, 2009
d. Anti-Ahmadiyya rhetoric
All parties Jihad conference will be held today by world Pasban Khatme-Nabuwwat.
The daily Jang, Lahore; Feb 1, 2009
Qadiani hoard is deadly poison for the country - Alam Tariq
If the rulers had honestly implemented the 1974 Resolution, we would have gotten rid of Qadiyaniat. Ulama address the Conference (at Chiniot)
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; March 1, 2009
(Note: Mulla Alam Tariq is a leader of the banned SSP)
Qadianiat is attack of the Western Satan on Muslims. Farid Paracha (of JI)
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; April 11, 2009
There are only two options with Qadianis; convert to Islam or proclaim loyalty to the constitution like decent citizens. Maulana Alam Tariq
The daily Jang, Lahore; April 13, 2009
We have to invigorate the movement to enforce Shariah in the country; this will lead to the extinction of Qadianiat. Ulama
The daily Din, Lahore; April 13, 2009
Qadiani centres of apostasy (mosques) should be destroyed without delay. Resolution at the End of Prophethood Conference (at Bagh Azad Kashmir)
Services of Major Ayub (Rtd) in eradication of Qadianism will be remembered for ever. (Raja Zulqurnain , President Azad Kashmir)
The object of celebrating this anniversary is to send a message to Muslims that the first voice raised against Qadianiat was from Bagh. Sardar Yaqub (Prime Minister Azad Kashmir)
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Islamabad; May 11, 2009
To dispatch a Qadiani to hell is the religious duty of every Muslim - Chaudhri Muhammad Iqbal President International Khatme Nabuwwat (Haveli Lakkha)
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; July 25, 2009
End of course on Qadianiat and Christianity in Jamia Masjid Ahrar, Chenab Nagar
Qadianiat is cancer; it is the duty of all Muslims to exterminate it.
The Swat operation is the ultimate in submission to American designs. Syed Ataul Mohaiman Bokhari.
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; June 18, 2009
RAW and Qadianis are involved in the murder of Sarfraz Naeemi, the campaigner of unity of the Ummah - Ulamae Karam
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; June 16, 2009
The most dangerous among the anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan forces is the Qadiani gang. Secretary Majlis Amal Khatme Nabuwwat
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; June 26, 2009
Qadianis in league with Israel are following a plan to destroy Pakistani nuclear facilities by fomenting unrest in Pakistan.
Qadianis intend to destroy Pakistan with help of Israel. (Mulla Shadab Raza)
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; June 10, 2009
Qadianis, the enemies of Pakistan, wish to transfer (Pakistan’s) nuclear assets to the UN - Khatme Nabuwwat Conference (in London)
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; July 25, 2009
Qadiani places of worship should be disfigured to look unlike a mosque. Shariah penalty for apostasy (death) should be imposed. Tehrik Khatme Nabuwwat
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; October 28, 2009
Qadianis visiting India should not be allowed to return. (Mulla) Allah Yar Arshad
The daily Waqt; Lahore, December 21, 2009
Model Town: Qadianis have taken up Muslims’ mode of worship. Citizen in protest. Action must be taken. Alami Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, December 3, 2009
The country is faced with the conspiracy to push it into blood and fire. (Mulla) Qari Allah Yar Arshad
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; October 6, 2009
e. Foreign & NGOs
5 Ahmadis detained without proof of blasphemy: HRCP
The Daily Times, Lahore; Feb 13, 2009
AHRC condemns arbitrary arrests of Ahmadis. Commission reference recent events of murdered couple, arrested men.
The Daily Times, Lahore; March 17, 2009
Supporters in Gulf finance militants: US
The daily Dawn, Lahore; June 6, 2009
AI urges govt to amend or abolish blasphemy laws (within a year)
The daily Dawn; Lahore, August 12, 2009
Asma for abolishing blasphemy laws.
Taseer for repeal of the blasphemy law.
The daily Nation; Lahore, September 18, 2009
Excerpt from President Obama’s speech:
…And we must make it clear to every man, woman and child around the world who lives under the dark clouds of tyranny that America will speak out on behalf of their human rights, and tend to the light of freedom and justice and opportunity and respect for the dignity of all peoples. That is who we are. That is the source, the moral source, of America’s authority.
The United States will always seek to counter negative stereotypes of individuals based on their religion and will stand against discrimination and persecution.
Hillary Clinton quoted on subsbaptistpress.org; posted on October 29, 2009
Bangla Desh: Hizb-ut-Tehrir, an Islamist organization banned.
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; October 24, 2009
Burqa has no place in France, says Sarkozy
The daily Dawn, Lahore; June 23, 2009
Advani vows to build temple on Babri Mosque site.
The Daily Times, Lahore; April 21, 2009
Two Iranians stoned to death for adultery
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 12, 2009
5000 houses in Gaza reduced to rubble
The daily Dawn, Lahore; January 20, 2009
To offer the Quaid-i-Azam Award to Richard Boucher is an insult to 160 million people. Ejaz-ul-Haq (PML-Q)
The daily Aman, Lahore; January 8, 2009
Israel using phosphorus bombs over populated areas. At least 29 Palestinians were killed on the 16th day of a devastating Israeli offensive, taking the death toll to nearly 900 people. “Israel is getting close to achieving the goal it set for itself.” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his cabinet in Jerusalem.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; January 12, 2009
Taliban acceptable if they renounce Qaeda: Holbrooke (US special Envoy)
The Daily Times; Lahore, November 25, 2009
There is no place for Hijab observing women in France – Sarkozi
The daily Ausaf; Lahore, November 14, 2009
Swiss govt under fire over minaret referendum
The daily Dawn; Lahore, December 1, 2009
f. The militant mullas
Note: The suicide and bomb attacks by extremists are not mentioned here, except those of special import.
Terror incidents claimed 3,300 lives this year
The daily Dawn; Lahore, December 31, 2009
October 09: 270 dead in 14 terrorist attacks. Explosions continue.
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; October 29, 2009
In anti-militancy operations 1450 Pakistan army officers, men embraced shahadat (martyrdom)
The daily Frontier Post, Lahore; Feb 15, 2009
Multiple blasts rock Lahore
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 10, 2009
Bomber wreaks havoc at packed mosque. 60 worshippers dead; 100 wounded in Jamrud
The daily Nation; Lahore; March 28, 2009
Taliban shoot dead 14 abducted soldiers
The daily Nation, Lahore; March 9, 2009
3/3 assailants attack Lankan cricket team; kill 6 cops & one civilian in 25-minute gun battle.
The Daily Times, Lahore; March 4, 2009
Taliban blow up 17th century Sufi shrine in Peshawar
The Daily Times, Lahore; March 6, 2009
Bloodbath in Chakwal
Teenager blows himself up at Imam Bargah; 26 killed, over 40 injured.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 06, 2009
12 Children among 30 killed
Suicide bomber strikes at Friday prayers
The daily Dawn, Lahore; June 6, 2009
92 Killed in Peshawar market blast. Toll may rise as 217 injured.
The daily News, Lahore; October 29, 2009
The death toll in three days of (sectarian) clashes in Hangu climbed to 43.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; January 12, 2009
Karachi blast: Death toll rises to 45
2500 shops, vehicles, police stations, banks set on fire. Rs. 30 billion loss.
The daily Jang; Lahore, December 30, 2009
Two women teachers shot dead in Bajour
The daily Dawn; Lahore, November 5, 2009
Taliban did not slaughter us; they only chopped off our ears. The affected volunteer guards
According to the Taliban, a ‘fine’ means chopping off a part of human body.
The daily Jinnah, Lahore; January 15, 2009
Over 170 schools bombed, burned in Pakistan: UN
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 22, 2009
Boys college blown up in Bara
The Daily Times; Lahore, December 19, 2009
Flogging in Swat outrages nation. Video captures girl’s agony.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 04, 2009
Taliban shave men’s head for listening to music
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 27, 2009
Militants occupy another emerald mine in Swat valley
The daily News International, Lahore; April 02, 2009
Taliban vow to capture Islamabad
The daily Nations, Lahore; April 09, 2009
50 Sikh families are forced to evacuate for not paying ‘Jiziya’
The daily Ajkal, Lahore; May 01, 2009
Taliban capture Mangora. Demolish 3 schools and colleges; loot three banks.
The daily Ajkal, Lahore; May 05, 2009
Five hurt as police (IJT) students clash (in Lahore)
The daily Dawn, Lahore; July 29, 2009
PU (Punjab University) deans seek CM’s help against IJT (Islami Jamiat Talaba) ‘hooliganism’
The daily Dawn; Lahore, August 27, 2009
Investigators now believe that kidnapping for ransom formed the lion’s share of the TTP’s (Tehrik Taliban Pakistan) revenue generation.
Last year alone, the TTP kidnapped 70 people from the length and breadth of Pakistan, including places as far as Karachi and Lahore.
The daily Dawn; Lahore, August 19, 2009
Lal Masjid (in Islamabad) is still training militants?
The daily Dawn, Lahore; October 25, 2009
Suicide attack on D G Khan bus stand 9 months ago: J I leader, kin arrested
The daily News, Lahore; October 26, 2009
Students terrorized. All schools, colleges closed nationwide.
The Daily Times, Lahore; October 21, 2009
Official ban on 25 religious and charity organization. Sunni Tehrik under surveillance.
The daily Khabrain; Lahore, August 6, 2009
80,000 female students bear brunt of Taliban ban in Swat
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 17, 2009
Women forbidden to enter the Market (in Mingora)
Photo in the Daily Times, Lahore; January 12, 2009
Taliban impose sharia in Hangu (NWFP)
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 3, 2009
Taliban kill Polish engineer. Baloch Liberation Front own up abduction of UN official
The daily Waqt, Lahore; Feb 8, 2009
Taliban attack Masjid. 36 namazis killed as high-profile army officers targeted in Rawalpindi
The Daily Times; Lahore, December 5, 2009
Maulana Sufi Muhammad was a member of Jamaat Islami. Qazi Hussain Ahmad
The daily Musawat, Lahore; April 26, 2009
Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi appointed Convener of the banned Millat Islamia.
(Note: This mulla was invited to the officially organized Khatme Nabuwwat conference at Badshahi Mosque Lahore on April 11, to address the participants.)
The Daily Express, Lahore; May 27, 2009
140 Taliban killed in ‘full-scale’ Swat operation. One million have fled Malakand, says minister.
The Daily Times, Lahore; May 09, 2009
Head-money for Taliban. The government places ads in newspapers. The ad gives details of the awards. Fazlullah tops the list with Rs. 5 million for his head (Later increased to 50 million)
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; May 29, 2009
Maulana Allah Yar Arshad banned to enter Sindh for one month.
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; January 7, 2009
30 Ulama Karam and Zakir’s entry forbidden in District Toba. Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Sajid Naqvi and Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianwi also banned. Restriction imposed for 3 months.
The daily Pakistan; Lahore, December 9, 2009
Punjab bans entry of 190 clerics from other provinces.
The Daily Times, Lahore; December 26, 2009
276 Ulama and Zakirs face external and local restrictions in NWFP and Sindh
The daily Din; Lahore, December 16, 2009
The ban on Jamaat-ud-Daawa and other charities should be lifted. Demand in Istehkam Pakistan Convention organized by All Pakistan Ahle Hadith Conference
The convention was addressed by Sajid Mir, Abdur Rahman Ludhianwi, Liaquat Baloch, Zubair Zaheer, Zawwar Bahadur, Hameed ud Din Al-Mashriqui, Zahid ur Rashidi etc.
The daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore; January 19, 2009
Swat – towards a Wahabi state?
Op-ed in The News, Jan 19, 2009
Swat Taliban summon politicians to sharia court.
The Daily Times, Lahore; January 26, 2009
Operation Rahe Nejat: 589 terrorists killed, 79 troops martyred.
The daily Jinnah; Lahore, December 10, 2009
Talibanization: Beard declared mandatory for men in Swat. Girls’ school and factory destroyed. 11 killed in blast. Beastly conduct prevails. Terrorists hang a corpse on a tree. Two including a prayer-leader killed
The daily Aajkal, Lahore; January 23, 2009
Banned Jammatud Da’wa back into business?
Thousand carrying flags of banned outfit gather for rally in Lahore. Collect donations for Da’wa-linked trust. ‘Tehrik-e-Azadi-Kashmir’ adopted as the temporary new name.
The Daily Times, Lahore; Feb 6, 2009
Op-ed: It’s shocking ...
The societal discrimination they (minorities) face deprives them of equality of opportunity which is a basic requirement for a democracy. Ahmadis are the worst victims of such discrimination and deprivation, mainly because they refuse to regard themselves as non-Muslims whereas the state and the society are unwilling to let them have any rights, let alone the freedom to practice their religion.
Mr. Iqbal Haider in the monthly Herald, August 2009
Op-ed: Terror assets
Pakistan became a frontline state in the war on terror, but the Pukhtun intelligentsia thinks and this conception is shared by many others as well - that its “assets” had to be guarded as well, and hence Swat was made “haven” for some of them.
It is a pity that government of the day, by relying on the crutches of religion, failed to anticipate the outcome of their flawed approach. Sectarianism was inevitable when obscurantists were appeased and given a free rein to preach violence. The need of the hour is that the government cracks down forcefully on banned religious groups before their violence spills into neighbouring states and others compel us to act.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; January 28, 2009
Op-ed: Flogging of a young woman
The grainy footage of a 17-years old girl being publicly flogged in Swat has brought home for many the reality of the living hell that is today’s Pakistan…. The state has failed the people of Pakistan and stands guilty by association…. Some religious groups have condemned the incident, but the head of the Jamaat-i-Islami repeatedly evaded the issue in an interview with a television channel. He asked what is ‘so special’ about the girl’s flogging that it deserves so much hue and cry, conflating the incident with the completely unrelated issue of drone attacks.
The Editorial in the Dawn, Lahore; April 11, 2009
Op-ed: Mujahid Khatme Nabuwwat - Zulfiquar Ali
You people are making me declare Qadianis a non-Muslim minority, but I thereby see the hangman’s noose around my neck - attributed to Mr. Bhutto in a feature article by Mateen Khalid in the daily Pakistan, Lahore; April 04, 2009
Op-ed: The Taliban
The Taliban cannot defeat Pakistan militarily. The Taliban will win because what they want is already being implemented by Pakistan.
Op-ed in The Wall Street Journal; May 21, 2009
Op-ed: Sleeper cells
… (The) parliamentarians demanded the elimination of ‘sleeper cells’ in other parts of the country, a reference to the former jihadi and current sectarian organizations in Punjab and Sindh provinces which have become integral part of the terrorist network.
The Friday Times, Lahore; May 15, 2009
Op-ed: School texts
School texts spreading more extremism than seminaries - Report in the Guardian.
This strategy lays the blueprint for a fascist state the professor (Dr Mubarak Ali) said adding: The logical conclusion of this line of thinking (that this state was built on the basis of religion) is a very narrow definition of who a real Pakistani and real Muslim is. Once minorities are out of the picture, they turn on other sects.
He (Mr Afnan Khan, the author of report) said the policies of General Zia were continued by those who followed him, Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto and General Pervez Musharraf.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; May 19, 2009
Op-ed: Pakistan and its present crisis
… But no one bears more responsibility for a slow collective suicide than Pakistanis themselves. …
Says Rashid: “All of us go by conspiracy theories. We are all blaming somebody else for our mistakes. Why don’t we wake up and start blaming ourselves?”
“I no longer say that there is creeping Talibanisation in Pakistan,” he (Ahmed Rashid) warned. “It is a galloping Talibanisation.”
In the U.S. weekly Time; May 25, 2009
Oped: South Punjab and terrorism
What has come to the fore, however, more clearly than before is the reality of the involvement in terrorism of militias based in South Punjab…. South Punjab stretches from Jhang to Bahawalpur, dotted with madrassahs that private citizens from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait fund generously, thinking they are spreading the message of Islam.
The Daily Times, Lahore; June 19, 2009
Oped: In a letter to Sufi Muhammad… (from Dr Asrar)
…You are absolutely right in that the gravest Kufr (Un-Islam) and Shirk (polytheism) of the present age is the democracy of this era.
…The same is true for the state (Sultanat) of Pakistan. In principle and in constitution it is ‘Islamic’ but in practice it is Fasiq (sinful) and Fajir (fornicator, unchaste - Ferozsons).
….. If by the grace of Allah the Islamic Nizame Adl and the Sharia is imposed in Malakand in a special way, just like (the special status of) Tribal Areas in Pakistan or the status of Kashmir in the Indian Constitution, and by residing in full peace and harmony within Pakistan, its blessings will spread like the rays of the solar disc first in the NWFP, then in entire Pakistan and eventually in the whole world.
Dr Asrar Ahmad: Nida-i-Khilafat; Lahore; June 8, 2009
Op-ed: Not the business of the state
According to the original constitution as promulgated at noon on August 14, 1973 by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, we were equal citizens of the state, with equal rights. But this equality was done away with in 1974 by Bhutto’s second amendment to his constitution bending to the obscurantists and bigots, and an entire community was shorn of its rights and declared a minority.
Ardeshir Cowasjee in the daily Dawn; Lahore, August 23, 2009
Op-ed: Gojra accused
…But Gojra is a tragedy that calls for a zero-tolerance approach: the full extent of the law has to be applied to anyone who commited a crime of commission or omission. Let some of the suspects go punished and the message will be clear to violent bigots elsewhere; their crimes may also go unpunished. (sic) Logically, then another Gojra could only by a matter of time.
Editorial in the Dawn; December 16, 2009
Op-ed: Laws counter to religious harmony?
What does the Prime Minister want, after all!
The US and Europe have their own anti-Islam agenda. But what is the compulsion of our problem-ridden government that it is acting like puppet in the hands of the irreligious lobby through suggesting revision of the Blasphemy law in order to please a small minority, and the US and Europe.
They (the group in power) are the successors of Mr. Bhutto who secured salvation for himself by declaring the deniers of End of Prophethood as non-Muslims. The government should direct its ministers not make hurting statements that run counter to the sentiments of Muslims. The Christian Community, by opposing the PPC 295C should also not give the impression that it considers blasphemy as its right and is seeking restoration of that right through various excuses.
Editorial in The daily Nawa-i-Waqt of August 8, 2009
Oped: Death of blasphemy accused
The latest death has burdened the conscience of Pakistan with one more collective crime. The state, forewarned, has instead relied on its old reflex of looking away and letting an innocent man die.
The Daily Times; Lahore, September 17, 2009
Op-ed: Pak –Afghan destiny
The survival of Afghanistan and Pakistan is dependent on their cooperation with each other to eliminate militancy and extremism.
From review on book ‘Recovering the Frontier State…’ authored by Rasul Bakhsh Rais; in the Dawn supplement on September 06, 2009
No confidence motion against Sardar Atiq succeeds. Sardar Yaqub is elected the new prime minister of Azad Kashmir.
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; January 7, 2009
Shariah for Malakand as Zardari signs law. Sufi, Swat Taliban welcome move.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 14, 2009
Azad Kashmir (Sardar Yaqoob Khan) premier resigns.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; October 15, 2009
(Note: Sardar Yaqoob took over only a year earlier; he soon facilitated a Khatme Nabuwwat conference and declared therein: “Those who seek to ouster me as the prime minister will be disappointed. Allah who installed me as prime minister might appoint me life-time prime minister in response”. Ed.)
Rally held by thousands against the military operation and for promulgation of Shariah in Swat.
The daily Din, Lahore; Feb 14, 2008
NWFP CM signs Nizam-e-Adle Regulation Shariah law from 16th.
The daily Nation, Lahore; Mar 10, 2009
The Shariah of Taliban is not acceptable. Altaf Hussain
The daily Awaz, Lahore; April 14, 2009
Altaf blames NWFP Govt for Charsadda attack.
In a statement issued from London, he said the attack proved that the so-called peace agreement between the ANP government and barbaric Taliban was not for peace and security but for terrorism, murder and mayhem.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 16, 2009
Gilani restores CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry, sacked judges: March triumphs, Justice gets justice
Aitzaz and Nawaz end Long March: Sanaullah
Daily Times – Site Edition; March 16, 2009
Babar Awan has put us to shame by taking bribe. He should be punished for his criminal act. Lawyers. Babar Awan should resign in consequence of the discovery that his PhD is fake. N. League
The daily Jinnah; Lahore, December 7, 2009
Rally held by thousands against the military operation and for promulgation of Shariah in Swat.
The daily Din, Lahore; Feb 14, 2008
ANP has suggested ‘Peoples Democratic Pakistan’ new name for country.
MQM will support it. Farooq Sattar It is wrong. Haji Adeel.
The daily Khabrain; Lahore, November 20, 2009
Poll massively rigged (in Gilgit-Baltistan), allege MQM, PML(Q)
The daily Dawn; Lahore, November 16, 2009
NWFP may quit federation, warns Fazal
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 0, 2009
From SHO to IG. The entire police department works only through lies - Lahore High Court
The daily Jang, Lahore; June 25, 2009
Six cops among eight robbers arrested (at Lahore)
The daily Dawn, Lahore; Feb 15, 2009
(Two) Policemen indicted for (3-years-old) girl’s rape, murder
The daily Dawn; Lahore, August 19, 2009
50 Afghans found dead in truck container…. the police, who opened the container, found 50 bodies and 60 unconscious Afghans.
Talking to Dawn, one of the victims, Mulook Khan, said, “We wanted to go to Europe to escape joblessness and extreme poverty in many parts of Afghanistan.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; April 15, 2009
154 missing persons still untraced, AG informs SC
The daily Dawn; Lahore, November 24, 2009
List of 992 missing people issued (by Balochistan home department)
The daily Dawn; Lahore, December 3, 2009
Bhagwandas appointed FPSC chief
The daily Dawn; Lahore, November 26, 2009
BJP expels Jaswant (Singh)
The Daily Times; Lahore, August 20, 2009
The year 2009 was one of the worst for Ahmadis in Pakistan from a human rights perspective. Eleven Ahmadis were murdered for their faith. Since the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadiyya law in 1984, there was never a year when more than 11 Ahmadis were killed. Apart from this, numerous attempts have been made on the lives of Ahmadis by their opponents who felt encouraged by the jaundiced attitude of the authorities against Ahmadis.
The federal government maintained its posture as if in a continual denial of the human rights and freedom of religion of Ahmadis. The provincial governments, particularly in the Punjab and Azad Kashmir openly supported the mulla in his anti-Ahmadiyya campaign.
The government of the Punjab sponsored and held an ‘end of the prophethood conference’ at the Badshahi Mosque in the provincial capital city of Lahore on April 11, 2009. At the occasion they even burnt an effigy of the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya community. Clerics, one after another, unrestrainedly proposed the denial of religious freedom to Ahmadis and indulged in slander and abuse. The conference was paid for by public funds. The federal Minister of Religious Affairs also addressed the conference.
On July 1, 2009 Mr Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of the Punjab presided over a meeting of high ranking clerics on the issue of terrorism. They came up with a Declaration; in its clause 2 they declared: “Anyone who is guilty, directly or indirectly, openly or by implication, of even minor insolence to the Holy Prophet PBUH is an infidel (Kafir), apostate (Murtad) and must be put to death (Wajib-ul-Qatl).” They linked this statement in the text to the ‘end of prophethood’. The declaration was given wide publicity through an advertisement campaign in the vernacular press.
The Central Police Office of Azad Kashmir issued an office circular dated March 5, 2009 on the subject of: “… suppression of Ahmadiyyat” and directed all the senior police officers of the territory: “You are to ensure implementation of the current law in its true spirit.” A mulla Pir Atiqur Rahman who is known for his sectarian and extremist views has been appointed Minister of Auqaf (Religious Trusts) in the new government.
In District Layyah, five Ahmadis including four school-going children were arrested on a fabricated charge of blasphemy. They suffered in prison for almost six months before they were released on bail.
Thirty-two Ahmadis of Lathianwala were accused en-masse of blasphemy in a single case on July 25, 2009 with FIR 486/09 at Police Station Khurarianwala, Punjab. The authorities took four months to drop the fabricated charge of blasphemy. A heavy police contingent raided their mosque and homes on August 10, 2009 and removed all religious and Arabic inscriptions on their walls. Youtube displayed the video of the outrage under title: Acts of Blasphemy by Pakistani Authorities.
Seventy-four Ahmadis were booked during the year under anti-Ahmadiyya and religious laws on spurious grounds. These laws carry penalties of death and long-term imprisonments. A woman school teacher, Ms Bushra Naheed was booked on March 5, 2009 under section PPC 295-A, which is section of law that deals with deliberate and malicious act to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting the religion or religious beliefs. The charge is triable in an anti-terrorist court, and it is punishable for ten years imprisonment. The lady was only accused of speaking harshly to a woman worker.
Ahmadiyya mosques continued to be targeted throughout the year; one of these was destroyed by miscreants in Kalaswala while another was attacked by a grenade in Sialkot. Freedom of worship was denied to Ahmadis at Chiniot and Tatle Aali by police officials. A police party used chisels, cement and paint to remove all Arabic inscriptions from the Ahmadiyya mosque in Lathianwala, Punjab.
At Pir Mahal, District Toba Tek Singh mullas agitated, attacked and defiled an Ahmadiyya graveyard in June 2009. The local authorities, rather than taking action against the clerics, proceeded to cancel the allotment order of the graveyard land to Ahmadis.
The authorities and the provincial government are in league with the mulla in the Punjab. The administration of Qurban High School, Lahore, under pressure of clerics, fired all of their Ahmadi teachers. Ahmadis faced distressing problems at different locations to bury their dead. They experienced prejudice and discrimination in the education sector too. Mullas urged the people and the bazaar to boycott Ahmadis’ business. The vernacular press continued to fan the fire of sectarian hatred. While Lahore remained a hot spot in the Ahmadiyya context, the mulla and petty-minded officialdom kept Ahmadis under great pressure in the entire country.
The government took no action to undo the rules that are a bar to Ahmadis’ participation in elections at any level. Also, while the freedom of assembly and press is generally available to all sections of the society, the same is blatantly denied to Ahmadis.
An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal was not far out in its assessment: “The Taliban cannot defeat Pakistan militarily. The Taliban will win because what they want is already being implemented in Pakistan.”
(WSJ; May 21, 2009)
December 31, 2009
Particulars of Police Cases Registered on Religious grounds against Ahmadis during 2009
Names of Accused
M. Irfan, Tahir Imaran, Tahir Mahmud, Naseeb Ahmad, Mr. Mubashir Ahmad
Released on bail on 13-07-09
Ms. Bushra Naheed
Khan Muhammad, Abdul Aziz, Muhammad Ashraf, Zulfiqar, Khizar Hayat, Muhammad Nazr, Muhammad Ashraf, Ahmad Afzal, Mubashir Ahmad, Abdul Sattar, Muhammad Sarfraz, Muhammad Akbar, Abdul Ghafar, “Murabi Sahib”, “Mutwali Bait-ul-Zikr”
3 arrested but released on bail on 12/03/2009
Mr. M. Nawaz
Hafeez Ullah, Ismat Ullah, Noor Muhammad, Tariq Ahmad, Ahmad Hayat, Inyat Ullah
Mr. Mubashir Ahmad
Hamid Javid, Saeed Ahmad, Zahid, Fahd, Shahid, Tariq Munsoor, Mujeeb Ahmad, Waheed Ahmad, Naseer Ahmad, Ameer Ahmad, Tanvir Ahmad, Khalil Ahmad, Nasir Ahmad, Tariq, Mehmood, Muzamal, Majid, Shahbaz, Aziz Ahmad, Tofeeq, Naeem, Ata-ul-Aleem, Ata-ul-Karim, Ata-ul-Fahim, Nadeem, Majeed, Faryad, Bashir, Tahir, Basharat, Waheed, Javid
295-C, 298-C, 295-A, PPC 506,109
Malik Abdul Samad, Wajahat, Kashif, Ahmad Kamal, Ateeq Ahmad, Malik Habib, Zia and 3 unknown persons
337 L2, 337 A1, 337 F3, 356, 148, 149
Javed Ahmad, Tahir Hameed
M. A. Naeem
Amplifier Act 3
Penalties: PPCs 295C - Death; 295A, 10 years’ imprisonment
298B, 298C, 337 F3, 148, 149 - Three years’ imprisonment; 506, 295, 337L2, 337A1, 356 - Two years’ imprisonment
Updated Summary of the Police Cases
registered against Ahmadis in Pakistan
(From April 1984 to 31 Dec 2009)
Description of cases
Total number of cases
Number of Ahmadis booked displaying Kalima, i.e. “There is none worthy of worship except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”
Number of Ahmadis booked for calling Azan, call to prayers
Number of Ahmadis booked for ‘posing’ as Muslims
Number of Ahmadis booked for using Islamic epithets
Number of Ahmadis booked for offering prayers
Number of Ahmadis booked for preaching
Number of Ahmadis booked for celebrating Ahmadiyya Centenary in 1989
Number of Ahmadis booked for celebrating 100 years’ anniversary of the eclipses of Sun & Moon that occurred in 1894 as a sign for the Promised Mahdi, i.e. Founder of the Ahmadiyya Community
Number of Ahmadis booked for distributing a pamphlet ‘Ek Harf-e-Nasihana’ i.e. ‘A Word of Advice’ commenting upon anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX
Number of Ahmadis booked for distributing “Mubahala” pamphlet, i.e. A challenge thrown to the opponents for spiritual contest through prayers
Number of Ahmadis booked for allegedly burning the Holy Quran
Various other cases against Ahmadis on religious grounds
Number of Ahmadis charged under the “Blasphemy Law”, i.e. PPC 295-C
Former Supreme Head of the Community while living in London was charged in his absence in sixteen cases.
Present Supreme Head of the Community while living in London
The entire population of Rabwah i.e. Ahmadiyya headquarters in Pakistan was charged under section PPC 298-C on 15-12-1989, and again on June 8, 2008. (Population of Rabwah is more than sixty thousand)
A case against the entire Ahmadi population of Ahmadis in Kotli, was registered for taking up repairs and improvement in their mosque in 2008
Summary of other violations
* Number of Ahmadis killed from 1984 to 31 Dec 2009 105
* Number of attempts of murder upon Ahmadis till Dec 2009 120
* Number of Ahmadiyya mosques demolished 22
* Number of Ahmadiyya mosques sealed by the authorities 28
* Number of Ahmadiyya mosques set on fire 11
* Number of Ahmadiyya mosques forcibly occupied 14
* Number of Ahmadiyya mosques, construction of which
was barred by the authorities 41
* Ahmadis’ bodies exhumed after burial 28
* Burial of Ahmadis was denied in common cemetery 47
All kinds of meetings of Ahmadis in Rabwah, the Ahmadiyya headquarters in Pakistan, large or small have been under a ban since April 1984 after the promulgation of anti-Ahmadiyya ordinance. Even sports events organized by the Community have been prohibited by the authorities. In 2008, a championship scheduled by Pakistan Amateur Basketball Association was disallowed by the authorities.
Laws specific to Ahmadis, and the so-called blasphemy laws
I. PPC 298B. Misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles, etc; reserved for certain holy personages or places. (1) Any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name) who by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation:
a. refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a Caliph or companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as ‘Ameerul Mumineen’ ‘Khalifa-tul-Mumineen’, Khalifa’tul’Muslimeen’, ‘Sahaabi’ or Razi Allah Anho
b. refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as ‘Ummul Mumineen’
c. refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a member of the family (Ahle-bait) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as Ahle-bait; or
d. refers to, or names, or calls, his place of worship as ‘Masjid’:
shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
2. Any person of the Qadini group or Lahori group (who call themselves Ahmadis or by any other name) who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, refers to the mode or form of call to prayers followed by his faith as ‘Azan’ or recites Azan as used by the Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.
II. PPC 298C. Person of Quadiani group etc, calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith. Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name), who, directly or indirectly, poses himself as Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.”
The blasphemy laws
Injuring or defiling places of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class
Up to two years’ imprisonment or with fine or with both
Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs
Up to ten years’ imprisonment, or with fine, or with both
Defiling, etc. of Holy Quran
Imprisonment for life
Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet
Death and fine
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; (8) July 4, 2009
Suicide attacks are un-Islamic and are in the forbidden category (haram).
Those who shed the blood of innocent Muslims should be held accountable.
Consensus in the meeting attended by top respected Ulama (Karam).
On July 1, 2009 a special meeting was held under the chairmanship of Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, the Khadim Punjab, in which top respected Ulama of various denominations participated.
2. “Faith in the Prophethood of Khatam-an-Nabiyyeen Muhammad (PBUH) and love, obedience and association with him is the basis of our religious identity, collective life and national solidarity. Unfailing certainty in his end of prophethood (Khatme Nabuwwat) is an integral part of our faith. It is our religious duty to safeguard the honor of the Prophethood (PBUH). Anyone who is guilty, directly or indirectly, openly or by implication, of even minor insolence to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is an infidel (Kafir), apostate (Murtad) and must be put to death (Wajib-ul-Qatl).”
A Summary of the Persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan
Some statistics and information for January 1 – December 31, 2009
Ahmadis murdered for their faith
1 - Mr. Saeed Ahmad was killed in Kotri on Jan 19, 09.
2 - Mr. Mubashir Ahmad was shot dead on Feb 20, 09 in Karachi.
3,4 - Mr. Shiraz Bajwa and his wife Noreen Bajwa both doctors were brutally murdered on Mar 14, 09 in Multan.
5 - Mian Laiq Ahmad was killed in Faisalabad on May 29, 09.
6,7 - Two Ahmadis, Mr. Khalid Rasheed and Mr. Zafar Iqbal were shot dead on Jun 24, 09 in Quetta.
8 - Rana Ata-ul-Karim was murdered on Jul 06, 09 in Multan.
9 - Mr. M. Ahmad Farooqi was shot dead on Sep 26, 09 in Uch Sharif,Bahawalpur.
10 - Zulfiquar Mansur was murdered brutally on Sep 11, 09. He had been abducted a month earlier.
11 - Rana Saleem Ahmad, the Deputy Amir of Jamaat Ahmadiyya Sanghar was shot dead on Nov 26, 09.
Ahmadis behind bars
1. Mr. Muhammad Iqbal was imprisoned for life in a fabricated case of blasphemy. He was arrested in March 2004, and is currently incarcerated in the Central Jail, Faisalabad. An appeal has been filed with the Lahore High Court against the decision of the Sessions Court. It is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 89/2005. He is now in the sixth year of his imprisonment.
2. Three Ahmadis; Mr. Basharat, Mr. Nasir Ahmad and Mr. Muhammad Idrees along with 7 others of Chak Sikandar were arrested in September 2003 on a false charge of murdering a cleric. The police, after due investigation found no evidence against the accused. Yet they faced a ‘complaint trial’ for a crime they did not commit. Based on the unreliable testimony of the two alleged ‘eye-witnesses’ (who were discredited in court), seven of the accused were acquitted, but on the same evidence these three innocent Ahmadis were sentenced to death. They are being held on death row at a prison in Jehlum, while their appeal lies with the Lahore High Court. They are now in the seventh year of their incarceration. Their appeal to the Lahore High Court is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 616/2005 dated 26 April 2005.
3. Dr. Muhammad Asghar was arrested on a fabricated charge of blasphemy in June 2008. The judge rejected his plea for bail. The police investigation found him innocent. Subsequently his plea for bail was rejected by the High Court – and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has directed his expeditious trial which is now in progress. It is learnt that his plea for bail has now been accepted by the Supreme court, but he was still in prison on December 31.
Ahmadis who were made to face charges
* Thirty-seven Ahmadis were wrongfully booked under the dreaded blasphemy laws.
* Fifty-seven Ahmadis were charged under Ahmadi-specific laws.
* Ms. Bushra Naheed, an Ahmadi school teacher was falsely charged under PPC 295-A, triable in Anti-terrorism court. She is accused only of speaking harshly to a woman worker.
* An Ahmadiyya mosque was desecrated in Lathianwala; Kalima (Islamic Creed) and Islamic terminology written on the walls of the mosque as well as Ahmadis’ houses was covered with cement and paint by the police. A case was registered against 32 Ahmadis under 295-A, 295-C and 298-C, etc.
* A murder attempt was made on Mr. Muhammad Iqbal Abid, an Ahmadi religious teacher on February 25, 2009 at Vehari.
* An Ahmadi college lecturer, Mr. Mubashir Ahmad Tahir escaped death from murderers in Chakwal. He received serious injuries when they tried to behead him.
* An Ahmadi lawyer Mr. Riasat Ali Bajwa was attacked on May 4, 2009.
* Another Ahmadi Mr. Javed Ahmad escaped a murder attempt on August 12, 2009 in Kunri.
* Mr. Luqman Ahmad Gondal s/o Mr. Nasir Ahmad Gondal (president of the local Ahmadiyya community) closely escaped an attempt on his life on September 12, 2009.
* Mr. Muhammad Ayaz, 20-years old son of a former president of the district Ahmadiyya community became the target of an attack on his life on February 7, 2009.
* Dr Pervaiz Zareef of Bhati Gate, Lahore closely escaped an attempt on his life on November 25, 2009.
Abduction of Ahmadis
* Qamar Ahmad, an Ahmadi was abducted by two men in the vicinity of his home at about 21:30 on March 16, 2009. He was left unconscious on roadside.
* Mr. Bashir Ahmad Advocate, President of the local Ahmadiyya community, Achini Payan, near Peshawar was abducted on April 1, 2009. He has not been recovered yet.
* Mr. Rashid Karim, a well-known Ahmadi in Faisalabad, was abducted on May 9, 2009. He was released 5 months later after payment of heavy ransom.
* Mr. Zulfiquar Mansur was abducted at Quetta in September 2009. A month later his dead body was recovered from roadside in city’s suburbs.
* Four school-going children of 9th and 10th grade were falsely charged under PPC 295-C in Layyah; they remained incarcerated for about 6 months.
* An Ahmadiyya mosque was attacked with a grenade in Sialkot.
* A gang of religious extremists, comprising approximately 50 men attacked an Ahmadiyya mosque in the village of Kalaswala on October 27 and destroyed it.
* All Ahmadi teachers were fired from Qurban High School in Lahore under the pressure of mullas.
* Four rockets were launched against an Ahmadi-owned industrial plant in Feb 09.
* Anti-Ahmadiyya Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Conference was held in the Royal Mosque, Lahore under the auspices of the provincial government in April 2009.
* An Ahmadiyya graveyard was attacked and desecrated by rioters in Pir Mahal, Toba Tek Singh in June 09. Thereafter the authorities cancelled the land allotment order issued by them to Ahmadis 20 years ago.
* Two Ahmadis were assaulted for their faith on August 7, 2009 in Nankana.
* A Khatme Nabuwwat Conference was held in Rabwah by rabid mullas on 15, 16 October 2009. It is worth noting that Ahmadis, who are 95% of the Rabwah population, are not allowed to hold their gatherings and sports competitions in this town, while the authorities allow outsider mullas to hold conferences here, in which they use highly provocative language to injure the feelings of Ahmadi residents of Rabwah.
* SHO Police Station Chiniot City, ordered Ahmadis of Kot Muhammad Yar to stop their weekly Friday worship.
* Ahmadis of Tatle Aali, District Gujranwala were forbidden by the local police to congregate for prayers.