Monday, November 30, 2009

An Ahmadi Muslim teacher killed in Pakistan

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful
International Press and Media Desk
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat International
22 Deer Park, London, SW19 3TL
Tel / Fax (44) 020 8544 7613 Mobile (44) 077954 90682
LONDON, 30th November 2009


Mr Rana Salim of Sanghir District, Sindh was shot dead on 26 November 2009.

It is with great sadness that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat confirms that another member of its Jamaat, Mr Rana Salim of Sanghir District, Sindh was shot dead on 26 November 2009.

Mr Salim was walking out from the Baitul Hamd mosque after the evening prayers when he was shot at point blank range. He was rushed to hospital but died prior to arrival. The Asian Human Rights Commission confirmed that the local police did not arrive until very late and subsequently failed to file any proper report or conduct a proper investigation. Locals have confirmed that recently a number of Ahmadis in the area, including Mr Salim, had been receiving frequent threats. The police had been made aware of these threats but refused to take any action.

Mr Salim devoted his life to his passion for education. He and his wife ran the prestigious ‘New Life’ public school and they were routinely praised for providing an excellent standard of education. Indeed jealously at the high performance of the school is one of the reasons that local extremists had targeted Ahmadis in the recent past.

Regarding the continued attacks on Ahmadis in Pakistan, the Asian Human Rights Commission reported on 27 November 2009:
“The State consistently fails in its responsibility to protect them (Ahmadis), despite repeated claims by the current administration that it represents the best interests of minorities in the country. The impunity seen to be enjoyed by those who commit crimes against Ahmadis only further encourages discriminatory violence.”
Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, led the funeral prayer of the deceased in absentia on 27 November 2009. Prior to this he said:
“Mr Rana Salim ran the ‘New Life’ school in Sanghir District in which around 1000 students are currently enrolled. The standard of the school is very high… The deceased is survived by his wife, two daughters and one son. May God grant his family patience at this time and may He elevate the status of the deceased in heaven.”
End of Release

Press Secretary AMJ International, press at

Friday, November 27, 2009

PAKISTAN: Another Ahmadi academic is killed by Muslim fundamentalists

---Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong

Asian Human Rights Commission — Statement

PAKISTAN: Another Ahmadi academic is killed by Muslim fundamentalists

November 27, 2009

On November 26, 2009 Mr. Rana Salim, a well known educationalist of Sanghir district, Sindh province, was shot dead. Mr. Salim and his wife ran the prestigious New Life public school, credited by residents for the quality of its teaching.

As Mr. Rana was walking out from Baitul Hamd mosque after his evening payers, he was shot at point blank range and was rushed to hospital, but died on the way. The local police didn’t arrive until very late and have yet to start any investigation. District authorities have stated that the assailant cannot be identified and that therefore they cannot speculate on the cause of the murder.

However the administration of New Life Public School claims to have been frequently threatened by Muslim extremists and though the deceased had reported this, no actions had ever been taken by the authorities.

Fundamentalist groups are openly critical of the notoriously high performance of Ahmediya schools in Pakistan, since they consider the Ahmediya community — which they believe to be non Islamic community — a threat. In the past it has been left to local people to shield this particular school from small attacks.

Salim is the 106th Ahmadi to be murdered since 1986, when former military dictator General Zia ul Haq prohibited the religious sect from performing Islamic rituals and constructing mosques. During 2009 six Ahmadis have so far been murdered in target killings, and the state consistently fails in its responsibility to protect them, despite repeated claims by the current administration that it represents the best interests of minorities in the country. The impunity seen to be enjoyed by those who commit crimes against Ahmadis only encourages further discriminatory violence.

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

‘Qadiani lobby’ behind campaign against Babar: spokesman

This news has an interesting background. After arrest of Sheikh Afzal, one of the owner of Haris Steel, in famous Punjab Bank loan swindling case; submitted an Affidavit in Supreme Court of Pakistan in which he alleged that Dr. Babar Awan demanded Rs.35 million from him to put an end to the case. Instead of responding to allegations on appropriate forums with proof and argument he cowardly chose a back door by exploiting religious sentiment of public. Why a famous politician, top class lawyer and acting minister is crying about Qadiani lobby’s campaign against him? Why can’t he expose the actors or the persons behind the conspiracy? Is he too weak or innocent? If he is too weak to defend himself then God help Pakistani people. If he is innocent then why not approach the same forum where the charges were levelled? Unfortunately in Pakistan everyone who cannot defend their crimes or even allegations; try to take shelter behind veil of religion and dragging Qadiani/Ahmadiyyas in it is easiest way out. Ed.

The News - Internet Edition
Thursday, November 26, 2009,
Zil’Hajj 08, 1430 A.H
‘Qadiani lobby’ behind campaign against Babar: spokesman

Thursday, November 26, 2009

RAWALPINDI: A spokesman for Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and senior advocate Dr Babar Awan has alleged that the recent campaign against Mr Awan has been launched at the behest of “Qadiani lobby”, which considers him a hurdle in its nefarious designs.

In a press release, the spokesman said the minister strongly resisted a conspiracy to abolish Islamic clauses from the constitution and changing its name, besides becoming a strong barrier against a campaign for repealing “Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat” law (anti-blasphemy law). The efforts of Dr Awan on the one hand foiled the attempts of this lobby, but on the other hand boiled anger against him, which is evident from the accusations against him, he added. People know the background of Dr Babar Awan, he said and added that he had the honour of being “Wakeel-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwat” and “Aseer-e-Namus-e-Khatm-e-Rusul” in the past and considered it his lifetime achievement.

The spokesman said Dr Babar Awan was ready to respond to such charges in future and made it clear to his critics that he was ready to offer any sacrifice for the defence of Islamic status of the constitution and honour of the holy Prophet (PBUH) and such tactics could not deprive him of this honour.


Colleges, universities ‘to be made fronts against US’

The News - Internet Edition
Thursday, November 26, 2009,
Zil’Hajj 08, 1430 A.H
Colleges, universities ‘to be made fronts against US’

JI Amir urges students to play their role in safeguarding ideology of Pakistan

Thursday, November 26, 2009
Muhammad Anis


Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Syed Munawwar Hasan calling upon the students community to play their role in safeguarding ideology of Pakistan said colleges and universities of Pakistan would be converted into fronts against America to foil its conspiracies against the country.

JI central Amir was addressing a big anti-America rally, organised by Islami Jamiat-e-Taluba (IJT) in the federal capital on Wednesday.

The rally, which started from Melody Market, concluded at Parade Ground where it was addressed by JI and IJT leaders including IJT Nazim-e-Aala Attiqur Rehman, Mian Muhammad Aslam, Syed Muhammad Bilal and Shamsur Rehman Swati.

The charged students carrying placards and banners were raising slogans against American policies, Blackwaters’ presence in Islamabad and other cities, Kerry-Lugar Act and Pakistan government’s pro-America policies.

The traffic remained suspended for a couple of hours from Lal Masjid Chowk en route to Parade Ground and traffic police had to divert the vehicles to other routes. As the federal capital is passing through strict security measures, the Islamabad Police were not ready to take any risk, therefore, all link roads were also blocked for all kinds of traffic that created problems for commuters.

Munawwar Hasan recalled that the students were in forefront of Pakistan movement, the success of which was not possible without their participation. “The same role is required from them now,” he said.

He asked the government to introduce uniform education system and restore student unions in education institutions of the country.

Strongly criticising US interference in Pakistan, Munawwar Hasan maintained that he colleges and universities of Pakistan would be converted into fronts against America to foil conspiracies against the country.

On Balochistan package, JI top leader said the Baloch leadership had also categorically rejected the package. “If the government believes in Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) with India then why the same policy is not good for Baloch people and their leadership,” he said.

He warned that the United States and India were eying on natural resources of Balochistan while the Pakistan government has been ignoring grievances of people of the province.

He said that India was involved for unrest in Balochistan adding that JI would observe three-day protest from December 14 to 16 against Indian conspiracies against Pakistan.

He said India wanted its supremacy in the continent but the Muslims of Pakistan and Bangladesh would not accept Indian hegemony in the region.

Munawwar Hasan called upon the Pakistan government to call back its High Commissioner from Indian capital for India’s acts of terrorism in Balochistan and other parts of the country.

He said that Baloch leadership should have been taken into confidence before announcing the Balochistan package. “The government should have registered FIR against murderers of Akbar Bugti before announcing the package,” he said.

On NRO, JI Amir feared that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) would destroy all record against President Zardari and federal ministers as NAB was working under the Interior minister.

He said that Qadiani and secular lobbies were working against Islamic ideology of Pakistan.

JI Punjab Naib Amir Mian Muhammad Aslam demanded of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to fulfil his promise of holding elections of student unions in educational institutions.

He said the United States would fail in implementation of its policies and one day they would have to run away from the region.

IJT Nazim-e-Aala Attiqur Rehman said the students were being victimised and they were being expelled from institutions. He said the students had been deprived of student unions for the last 26 years saying the student fees have also been increased during tenure of democratic government.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monthly Newsreport - Ahmadiyya Persecution in Pakistan - October, 2009

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, 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 last week. 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.

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.

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 the 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 will no more 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 by November 3.

Ahmadi leaders have 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. The Khatme Nabuwwat organization’s agitators have raised the level of communal agitation in the village, and have 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 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 still another 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.

These Khatme Nabuwwat conferences have become quite a show-piece, and they reflect the decadent state 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 universally accepted 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, the state looks the other way; in fact it participates to show its solidarity with the mulla. This year Maulvi Ataur Rahman MNA, the Federal Minister of Tourism, the Federal Minister of Tourism came all the way from Islamabad to join and speak at the conference. 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 observation made above.

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:
  • 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).
  • The declarations (official permissions) of all Qadiani dailies and periodicals should be cancelled.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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.

Murderers arrested, but!

Multan: It is learnt that the police have arrested three men who have admitted to the murders of Dr. Shiraz Bajwah, his wife Dr. Noreen and Rana Ataul Karim, Ahmadis. 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 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.

Anti-Ahmadiyya activities at various locations

Anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda went on throughout the country during the month. Some incidents are reported below:

Dhani Deu, Chak 332/J.B; District Toba Tek Singh:

Some religious activists are trying to disturb the law and order situation by instigating people against the Ahmadiyya community in the area. It is 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) are behind these activities.

In the village, there is a private elementary school owned by an Ahmadi. His opponents have asked the students to procure them some Ahmadiyya pamphlets so they could use them to fabricate a complaint to the police for preaching. They have urged the parents of some students to make a statement that their children are preached Ahmadiyyat at the school. This situation has disturbed the school proprietor who is also the president of the local Ahmadiyya community. According to him the situation is getting serious by the day and might result in some unpleasant incident.

Bhaun, District Chakwal

Anti-Ahmadiyya activities are 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 has been brought to the notice of local authorities. Shah Maskeen, District Sheikhupura: The Ahmadiyya community here has faced a total boycott in the past which lasted more than two years, from September 1974 to December 1976. Now again the communal temperature is rising. Khatme Nabuwwat agitators have distributed leaflets and done wall-chalking against the community. The local Ahmadiyya community is concerned about its security, and has taken precautions to avoid any nasty incident.

Barali, District Kotli, Azad Kashmir

The situation has been 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 have persisted, and small towns and villages have 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-copies it and distributes it further will get great reward from God.

Update on Dr Muhammad Asghar's blasphemy case

Dr Asghar, an elderly Ahmadi, was arrested on a fabricated charge of blasphemy in June 2008. The judge rejected his plea for release on bail. The police investigation found him innocent. Subsequently his plea for bail has been rejected by the High Court and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has directed his expeditious trial which is now in progress.

According to the latest information, his latest date for appearance before the Sessions Court was October 20, 2009; however no proceedings took place on that date. The fresh date given is November 7, 2009.

Dr Asghar has been in prison now for almost a year and half for a crime he would never even consider committing. No bail, either. A queer system of justice!

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 was 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 hurt themselves and 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, 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.

Ahmadis behind bars
  1. Mr. Muhammad Iqbal was imprisoned for life in a fabricated case of blasphemy. He was arrested in September 2004, and is now incarcerated in the Central Jail, Faisalabad. An appeal lies 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. His appeal is under process these days.
  2. Three Ahmadis namely 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 murder of a cleric, alleged by opponents of the Jamaat. The police, after due investigation found no evidence against the accused. Yet these men still faced ‘complaint trial’ for a crime they did not commit. Based on the unreliable testimony of the two alleged eye-witnesses (who were proven false in the court) the court acquitted seven of the accused, but on the evidence of the same two liars the court sentenced these three innocent Ahmadis to death. They are being held in a 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 has been rejected by the High Court — and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has directed his expeditious trial which is now in progress.
From the Press

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

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; posted on October 29, 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

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

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

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

Bloodshed in the tribal areas is a result of Qadianis’ intervention. — Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; October 17, 2009

Residents of Chenab Nagar in grave protest over non-availability of drinking water. The Public Health Engineering (Department) started laying water pipes three years ago, but residents remain deprived of water.
The daily Jang, Lahore; October 28, 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: SDO WAPDA and staff indulge in robbing the people. Bill distributors deliver the bills one day before the last date. Fresh applicants for electric connection are required to bribe the staff.
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; October 29, 2009

Chiniot: Khatme Nabuwwat march, from Aziz Sharif valley to Chenab Nagar will be held on October 4. Thousands will participate in the Khatme Nabuwwat march with Khawaja Mahboob Ilahi in the lead.
The daily Khabrain, Lahore; October 1, 2009

92 Killed in Peshawar market blast. Toll may rise as 217 injured.
The daily News, Lahore; October 29, 2009

October 09: 270 dead in 14 terrorist attacks. Explosions continue.
The daily Aman, Faisalabad; October 29, 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

Lal Masjid (in Islamabad) is still training militants?
The daily Dawn, Lahore; October 25, 2009

Peshawar bleeds after suicide attack; 52 dead
The daily News, Lahore; October 5, 2009

Fazl offers to mediate between govt and Taliban.
The daily Dawn, Lahore; October 5, 2009

Madrassahs are the citadels of Islam; no power on earth can close them down. — Maulana Zahid-ur-Rashdi
The daily Ausaf, Lahore; October 27, 2009

Pro-Qadiani statements; protests all over the Punjab against Kerry-Luger Bill

…According to the details, the Jamaat Islami, Tehsil Muridke held a protest demonstration at the GT Road after the Friday prayers. The (JI) Amir of Muridke city, Syed Taed Manzoor said that the US is indulging in despicable attempts to subjugate Pakistan through drone attacks, introduction of agencies including the Black Water and the Kerry-Lugar Bill. …The Sunni Tehrik Hafizabad took out a rally from the Al Farooq Mosque (chanting) Khatme Nabuwwat Long Live and Death to Qadianis. They demonstrated in great strength. The participants raised slogans against Qadianis, Salman Taseer the Governor Punjab, Altaf Hussain the MQM leader, Aasma Jehangir and the government, and said that the Blasphemy law will be protected at all costs.
The daily Waqt, Lahore; October 3, 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

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

Bangla Desh: Hizb-ut-Tehrir, an Islamist organization banned.
The daily Pakistan, Lahore; October 24, 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.)


Rulers the only minority
(Note: A loaded heading of an article regarding a political truth about Pakistan)
Article by Javed Naqvi in the daily Dawn;October 15, 2009

Bring back Jinnah’s Pakistan

Had a large part of the Middle Eastern region and parts of South Asia been able to heed Jinnah’s words that religion, caste and creed “has nothing to do with the business of the state” the world may well have been in better shape today. It is possible that the extremism that has galloped away in these areas would not have taken root had various states not been allowed to force upon the world their dangerously distorted version of a religion.
Ardeshir Cowasjee in the daily Dawn, November 1, 2009

A state or fiefdom?

Also reported from Lahore is the high-handedness of police in warning the Ahmadi shopkeepers of Green Town to remove religious verses exhibited in their shops within two days. The police were obviously trying to create an alibi of themselves if the fanatics of the locality were to vandalize the Ahmadi shops or cause bodily harm to the owners. The police were thus encouraging crime rather than preventing it.

Ironically, crimes against women and minorities are showing up at their worst in a province where the chief minister is reputed to be tough both on criminals and delinquent officials. The recent murders of Christians in Gojra, Sambrial and other places call Shahbaz Sharif’s stern reputation into question. Murders of Ahmadis and the targeting of their places of worship have also taken place in Punjab.
Kunwar Idrees in the daily Dawn of October 11, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

KYRGYZSTAN: Legal status applications almost impossible

---Forum 18 News, Norway
13 November 2009

KYRGYZSTAN: Legal status applications almost impossible

By Mushfig Bayram, Forum 18 News Service

Although unregistered religious activity in Kyrgyzstan is now banned, against international human rights standards, religious communities also cannot gain legal status, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. However, two mosques do appear to have been registered. The State Commission for Religious Affairs (SCRA) says that religious communities must wait for the Regulations to apply a restrictive new Religion Law, which came into force in January 2009. SCRA officials told Forum 18 that “the Regulations have been prepared but not signed into force.” Meanwhile, SCRA officials have contradicted themselves on whether or not existing registered communities need to be re-registered. Officials claim to have made the text of the Regulations available for public discussion, although no-one who Forum 18 has spoken to – apart from officials – has seen the text. For the proposed controversial new Religious Education Law, officials claimed to have invited some named religious communities to a roundtable discussion, although the same religious communities told Forum 18 they were unaware of any invitation. Some Protestant churches have decided to protest at the restrictions in the Religion Law by refusing to apply for registration.

Although unregistered religious activity is now banned under the restrictive new Religion Law which came into force in January 2009, religious communities still cannot gain legal status, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. The State Commission for Religious Affairs (SCRA) says that religious communities must wait until the Regulations to apply the New Law are in place. SCRA officials told Forum 18 that “the Regulations have been prepared but not signed into force.” Meanwhile, SCRA officials have given Forum 18 contradictory information on whether or not existing officially registered communities will need to be re-registered.

Although the officials said that the text of the Regulations enacting the Law has been made available in, Kyrgyzstan’s state web portal, for public discussions for “more than a month,” Forum 18 could not find the text of the Regulations in the web portal. SCRA officials failed to respond to Forum 18’s request to receive the text of the Regulations.

Despite widespread protests by religious communities and human rights defenders, the controversial new Religion Law came into force on its official publication on 16 January. Officials have claimed that some provisions will be amended, but this has not happened (see F18News 27 May 2009

For several years before the new Law was adopted, registration applications were rejected as officials insisted communities wait for the new Law (see F18News 28 May 2009 Religious communities have also complained that the authorities are using extra-legal property Regulations as an excuse to avoid registering them (see F18News 21 August 2009).

A group of local Protestant churches have made a joint decision not to apply for re-registration even if they are required to do so, several Protestant leaders told Forum 18 in early November.

What will happen if communities won’t register or re-register?

Lack of registration now potentially has serious consequences. The Law’s Article 8 bans all unregistered activity and subjects it to prosecution (see F18News 5 November 2008

Communities of Protestant Christians, Hare Krishna devotees and Ahmadiya Muslims have all been ordered by the authorities to stop meeting for worship (see F18News 13 August 2009).

Asked what will happen to religious communities which are unable or do not want to register or re-register, Kumar Dushenbaev, the SCRA official in charge of registering religious communities, told Forum 18 on 28 October from Bishkek: “We will deal with them in accordance with the Law of Kyrgyzstan.” He would not specify what actions the state authorities would take.

Almost no religious organisations registered since Law’s adoption

Dushenbaev of the SCRA told Forum 18 that as of late October no new religious communities had been registered since the adoption of the new Religion Law. “We have not been registering new communities, because the Regulations to apply the law have not been signed into force,” he explained.

Even if religious communities could now submit applications, groups without registration face much tougher conditions which few can meet. For instance, Jehovah’s Witnesses and many Protestant churches complained to Forum 18 that they cannot gather the 200 adult citizen founding members now required before each congregation can apply for registration.

Hare Krishna devotees had told Forum 18 earlier in August that they are not even intending to “bother the authorities on anything soon in the near future” since they were “summoned and pressured” by the National Security Service (NSS) secret police when they applied for registration in earlier years (see F18News 13 August 2009).

However, Kubat Imarov, Assistant to Rahmatulla Egemberdiyev, Deputy Head of Kyrgyzstan’s State-backed Muslim Board, told Forum 18 on 13 November that two new mosques – Ismet-Kagyr and Agturpak – in Batken region’s Kadamjay district were registered by the SCRA two days earlier. He could not explain to Forum 18 how it was possible to register the mosques while non-Muslim communities have been told to wait until after the Regulations were enacted. Asked if the mosques had collected 200 signatures, he claimed: “This rule applies only to medreses not mosques.”

Is re-registration necessary?

Unlike in other countries of the region, Kyrgyzstan’s new Religion Law does not specifically demand re-registration for all religious communities. However, Article 30 point 3 of the new Law points out that “charters and other founding documents of religious organisations and missions are effective only in that part, which is not in contradiction to this Law.” Article 9 point 3 declares that “there shall be no norms in the charter of a religious organisation or mission contravening Kyrgyzstan’s Constitution or Law.” Officials had apparently hoped that this de facto re-registration demand would not be noticed (see F18News 5 November 2008

Kanybek Osmonaliev, Head of the SCRA, and his Deputy Kanatbek Murzakhalilov have given Forum 18 contradictory information on whether religious communities registered under the old Religion Law will need to re-register. In late October Osmonaliev assured Forum 18 that “there will be no re-registration since the law is not retroactive”.

However Murzakhalilov, giving his opinion of the Religion Law, told Forum 18 that religious communities which need to make changes to their charters in order to bring them into harmony with the Law will need to be re-registered. Murzakhalilov did not say whether all the registered communities will need to re-register.

Zainiddin Kurmanov, a Parliamentary Deputy who was one of the initiators of the new Religion Law, told Forum 18 on 13 November that religious communities whose charters are not in accordance with the Law “must necessarily” amend their charters, which, in its turn, “definitely” entails re-registration.

Forum 18 notes that Article 12 Part 1 of the Law on State Registration of Legal Persons and Branches (Representations), which came into force on 1 April 2009, specifies that religious organisations are among those that require re-registration if their statute is amended.

The authorities have in the past required registered religious communities to make changes to their charters to bring them in harmony with the Religion Law (see eg. F18News 13 August 2009). This in turn, in the opinion of many religious communities, will require re-registering the amended charters.

Commenting on the contradictory remarks from SCRA officials on whether or not re-registration will be necessary, Father Igor Dronov of the Russian Orthodox Church in Bishkek told Forum 18 on 11 November: “I tend to believe Osmonaliev since he is the Head of the State Commission.” He added that he believed that the Orthodox will not need to re-register as the law is not retroactive.

His view was echoed by Imarov of the Muslim Board, who told Forum 18 that already registered mosques will not need re-registration.

Jehovah’s Witnesses lawyer Mikhail Kokhanovsky told Forum 18 from Bishkek that his organisation will not need to re-register since “their charter is in harmony with the New Law”.

One Protestant leader from Bishkek, who asked not to be identified, explained to Forum 18 that “in fact all the communities will need to re-register since they will all need to make changes to their charters.” He gave the example that under the old Law 10 founding members were needed but the new Law requires having 200 founding members.

Murzakhalilov said that there will be no deadline for re-registration process. “It will not be a hassle though, we will re-register them no problem,” he claimed.

Decision to protest by not registering

Aleksandr Shumilin of the Baptist Union told Forum 18 on 4 November that “all the evangelical churches [of Kyrgyzstan] have made a unanimous decision not to apply for re-registration or register their new congregations.”

“First of all the Bible tells us to share the good news with all people,” Shumilin said giving the reasons for the decision. “Why should we agree with the new Law, which does not allow us to freely share the good news?” he asked. “Second of all to register our many un-registered congregations we need to give the names and personal data of 200 members as founders, which we will not do.”

Several Protestant leaders, including Bishop Alfred Eicholz of the Lutheran Church, confirmed the joint decision to Forum 18.

A Protestant leader from Bishkek told Forum 18 that the agreement between the group of Protestant churches was “achieved orally but if it is necessary all the churches will sign a written paper” of refusal to register or re-register.

“If the requirements of the New Law were feasible we should have no problems re-registering,” Bishop Eicholz told Forum 18. “But for instance notarising 200 signatures of church members and giving their personal data to the State Commission is not feasible.”

Have Regulations enacting Law been published?

Murzakhalilov, Deputy Head of the SCRA said that based on the new Law on By-Laws adopted in August, any Regulations to apply new Laws must be publicly discussed for a month before being signed. “So we prepared the Regulations to the new Religion Law and they were published in the state web portal for public comments,” he told Forum 18 on 11 November from Bishkek.

Asked if he could provide Forum 18 with the link to the text of the Regulations in the web portal or the text itself, Murzakhalilov responded: “It is there in the portal. I don’t understand how you cannot find it while everybody else can easily do so.” Despite a repeated request to the SCRA, Forum 18 has received no response.

Father Dronov of the Russian Orthodox Church, Bishop Eicholz of the Lutheran Church, and several other Protestant Church leaders have told Forum 18 that they have not seen the Regulations published nor have they received the text of the Regulations to make comments.

Bishop Eicholz told Forum 18 that he believes the Regulations are not even ready. “Although we have tried but have not been able to obtain the text of the Regulations from the State Commission so far,” he told Forum 18 on 12 November.

“The State Commission promised to publish the Regulations but until recently they had not done so,” Father Dronov told Forum 18.

“We have not seen those Regulations,” the leader of a Protestant Church in Bishkek, who wished to remain unnamed for fear of reprisals from the authorities, told Forum 18 on 11 November. “Even if they were published somewhere, it would be a formal step of the State Commission. Our voices will not be heard anyway.”

Told that many religious communities were not aware of the publication, Sharsheke Usenov, Head of the Legal Support Department of the SCRA, told Forum 18 on 11 November: “We have announced about it in the media and at press conferences.” Asked if he could even say when this was announced, he said, “I don’t remember now.”

This lack of openness mirrors a similar official attitude over the controversial proposed new Religious Education Law. Only some religious communities have been invited to discuss the draft text and religious communities were only given one week to submit comments. The SCRA has so far refused to allow the legal review it requested from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to be published (see F18News 6 November 2009

When will Regulations be signed?

None of the several SCRA officials Forum 18 talked to could say when the Regulations will be signed. “The State Commission itself is going through structural changes so I cannot tell you when it will happen,” Murzakhalilov explained.

However, Usenov said that the signing should take place soon. “I can’t say how soon it will happen though,” he told Forum 18. “The religious communities have had more than a month to respond, and it cannot be put on the back burner for long.” (END)


PK: State of Human Rights in 2008 - HRCP Report

State of Human Rights in 2008


HRCP Report TitleIn the context of human rights, 2008 was a year of opportunities and challenges. After the bleak human rights situation in 2007, it was believed that things could only get better, and in some areas they did as a civilian government emerged after nine years of dictatorship.

Though many of the expectations of a civilian set up were not fulfilled, significant steps were taken.

Pakistan signed or ratified three key UN human rights treaties, though steps for their implementation remained elusive. The new government initially thought of converting all death sentences into life imprisonment, but later on seemed to back paddle and introduced more laws punishable with death.

The elected government distinguished itself from the preceding dictatorship in allowing greater freedom of assembly, expression and movement. A new law on industrial relations freed the trade unions of some of the curbs imposed by the previous legislation.

In other areas, however, things remained as bad as they had earlier been.

Women continued to suffer more than the rest of the population at the hands of Taliban extremists, and on account of inhuman customs and traditions. Even unborn girls continued to pay for quarrels of their male relatives, and were married off to settle disputes.

The lot of victims of ‘enforced disappearances’ did not change. Citizens continued to face harassment by state agents and terrorists alike. At least 67 suicide attacks across Pakistan killed 973 people and injured 2,318. During the same period, at least 289 people were killed in police encounters.

The state’s keenness to hold talks with and give concessions to Taliban engaged in terrorizing civilians, blowing up government schools and butchering civilians and security personnel also remained unchanged. The use of military might remained the preferred option for dealing with militants in Balochistan, who demand greater control over the province’s resources.

Media’s concerns about curbs by the state diminished somewhat with the new government’s emergence, but the state failed to protect media persons against violence and threats from non-state actors.

Working for human rights generally remained a dangerous proposition. The extremist elements’ growth and threats to NGOs, lawyers, government officials and artists, were largely seen as a direct result of the authorities’ policy of appeasing them.

Legislation through the exercise of the President’s power to issue ordinances was not wholly given up by the civilian government. The government was slow in securing the people’s release from grinding poverty and unemployment with due seriousness.

There was a lack of urgency to address the problems of overcrowded prisons even by the country’s top leadership, which had until recently been imprisoned in the same jails.

In many areas, the state of affairs deteriorated considerably in 2008.

While election results of 2008 made it abundantly clear that the militants enjoyed very little support amongst the population, extremist militants’ sway and religious intolerance spread unchecked.

The government seemed to have lost control of vast areas to extremist militants. Its capacity to protect lives against terrorist attacks or other criminal acts suffered severe erosion in many areas. Government response to terrorism mostly comprised meaningless gestures of issuing alerts after suicide bombing, or announcing the number of suicide bombers believed to have entered various cities, speculating whether an explosion was a suicide bombing or not, and advising the harried citizens to look after themselves.

All evidence indicated that the prevailing militancy and large-scale internal displacement would be a long-term problem, but measures to deal with the challenges were largely inadequate or inappropriate. It is a measure of their desperation and lack of any semblance of security that hundreds of internally displaced families from Pakistan’s tribal areas fled to Afghanistan in search of safety.

The society’s descent into brutalisation was manifested in shocking incidents of mobs getting hold of suspected robbers and burning them alive.

Towards the end of 2008, the main political parties were on the verge of an encore of confrontational politics of the 1990s. The government seemed incapable of achieving consensus on crucial issues or imaginative solutions to the problems facing the country.

Lack of interest by the government in effectively addressing major human rights issues and the growing threat of extremism from non-state actors dampened hopes of 2009 being a better year in terms of human rights.

-- Najam U Din
Saira Ansari


Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Members of religious minorities were targeted because of their faith. At least three Ahmadis were killed in September after a popular television channel declared that killing Ahmadis was permissible under Islamic norms.
  • In Kurram tribal agency, clashes between members of Sunni and Shia sects led to over 1,000 deaths.
Administration of justice

Cases on religious grounds

The most shocking incident in the category of cases involving allegations of offences against religion concerned Jagdish Kumar, a Hindu Pakistani, who was lynched in a factory in Korangi, the industrial area of Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi.

Some of the workers at the factory alleged that the 22-year-old Jagdish had made some blasphemous remarks against the Holy Prophet (PBUH). A large mob dragged him to a room on the factory premises and bludgeoned him to death. The police did arrive while he was alive but was unable, or unwilling, to intervene.

Another version of the cause of murder was some young workers’ jealousy at Jagdish’s intimacy with a female fellow-worker belonging to a different faith.

At least two cases of offences against religion were decided during the year, both in Punjab.

Shafique, belonging to Sialkot, was awarded death penalty and life imprisonment, by the trial court. He was accused of defiling the Holy Quran and passing derogatory remarks against the Prophet (PBUH) and was tried under sections 295-C and 295-B of the PPC. The case was registered in 2006.

In the other case, Mumtaz Husain of Hafizabad was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.

Against Ahmedis

Two Ahmedis, Rana Khalil and Rashid Iqbal, both belonging to Kunri, Sindh, and three Ahmedis from Nankana Sahib in Punjab, were charged under section 295-C in new cases.

The 11 other new cases — 9 in Punjab, 2 in Sindh — against the Ahmedis were: (details undecipherable or missing from report).

Azad Kashmir
Three cases against the Ahmedis were instituted in Azad Kashmir. These were: (details undecipherable or missing from report).

Fundamental freedoms
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

… It is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order … wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality
Constitution of Pakistan

Subject to law, public order and morality (a) every citizen shall have the right to profess, practise and propagate his religion; and (b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.
Article 20

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 1

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 18

No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice.

No one shall be subject to discrimination by any state, institution, group of persons, or person on the grounds of religion or other belief.
UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of
Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief
Articles 1(2) and 2(1)

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan is guided by international human rights law, particularly while monitoring the human rights situation under freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Domestic legislation departs and at times is ambiguous regarding the principles of human rights on freedom of religion, belief and conscience.

The standard-setting norm on freedom of religion or belief was initially included in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. The Declaration recognised without exception the freedom of thought and conscience in matters of religion or belief. Freedom to change one’s religion or belief and the freedom to manifest a religion or belief in teaching and in practice was recognised as a right.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 1966, expanded on this right but a limitation provision was also added to make manifestation of these rights subject to laws that are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. Article 20 of the ICCPR obliges governments to prohibit by law, “any advocacy or national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”.

The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, 1981, is the most important global instrument regarding the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Although not binding, the 1981 Declaration implies an expectation of observance and has laid a solid ground for interpreting and evolving this right into a binding legal instrument of the United Nations in the future.

The 1981 Declaration follows the pattern of previous international norms on the subject by drawing a distinction between basic rights in the inner form – thought, conscience and belief – and the external manifestation of these e.g. worship, observance, practice and teaching. Only external manifestations can be limited.

Other UN instruments that also include provision for freedom of thought, conscience and religion are the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Geneva Conventions, CEDAW and the CRC.

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is partially recognised by the legal system of Pakistan. Article 20 of the Constitution guarantees right to profess, practise and propagate religion and grants every religious denomination and every sect the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions. These rights can be limited by law and “subject” to public order and morality. Article 21 ensures that no person shall be compelled to pay any special tax the proceeds of which may be spent on the propagation or maintenance of any religion other than his/her own. Article 22 guarantees that no person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instructions, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instructions, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his/her own. Religious institutions are prohibited from discriminating against any community in granting exemption or concession in relation to taxation. Unless so provided by law, no religious community or denomination can be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination. The Constitution prohibits denial of admission to any citizen in educational institutions receiving aid from public revenues on the basis of race, religion, caste or place of birth.

In 1988, no case law is reported under these Articles of the Constitution. Since 2005, a number of constitutional petitions were filed challenging building of a church, banning books on Christianity and appointment of a non-Muslim as judge to superior courts. The courts upheld the spirit of the Constitution and refused interference on the principle of non-discrimination. The Sindh High Court dismissed the plea that a non-Muslim could not be appointed as a judge as s/he may be required to interpret Sharia law. The courts emphasised that discrimination based on religion cannot be promoted. However, in the case of religious practices of Ahmadis the courts followed a contrary principle. The law prohibiting Ahmadis from using exclusive descriptions and titles like mosque or Azan while manifesting their religion was upheld on the principle that Ahmadis were obliged to honour the Constitution, which declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims.[1] From the constitutional declaration of defining Ahmadis as such it follows that all Muslim religious symbols are exclusive to them alone.

The Constitution of Pakistan defines citizens as “Muslims” or “Non-Muslims”. A Muslim is defined as a person who believes in the unity and oneness of God, in the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), and does not recognise as a prophet or religious reformer any person who claimed or claims to be a prophet after Muhammad (peace be upon him). Non-Muslims are those who are not Muslims and include Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Ahmadis. The Constitution, therefore, recognises all religions but decides the faith of any group that may believe itself to be Muslims.

Article 2 of the Constitution declares Islam as the State religion. The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on freedom of religion or belief as well as the UN Human Rights Committee have pointed out that an official or State religion in itself is not apposed to human rights. It could simply be symbolic because of historical reasons but emphasised that it must not be exploited at the expense of the rights of minorities. They have also cautioned that while in its Constitution a state may simply profess its adherence to a particular faith, yet some may see the mere profession of that faith as a form of discrimination against other ethnic or religious minorities. They have noted that it often becomes inevitable that the established religion or ideology guides the vision of society to the exclusion of others. The State religion of Pakistan is a driving force making Islam the preferred religion through laws and practices. For example Article 2(a) of the Constitution recognises principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as “enunciated by Islam”. It guarantees “adequate provisions” for the minorities to freely profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures.

A Federal Shariat Court hears appeals of certain convictions under criminal law and can declare any law repugnant to the injunctions of Islam. All eight judges of the court must be Muslims.

The Pakistan Penal Code prescribes penal sanctions for arousing communal unrest based on the premise of protecting public order.[2] Imprisonment for life is prescribed for “wilfully” defiling, damaging or desecrating a copy of the holy Quran. The death penalty is prescribed for anyone who “by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace by upon him). HRCP has documented several cases and found that there is a clear trend of exploiting these provisions by religious zealots.

There are penal sanctions for Ahmadis for misusing religious “epithets” reserved for Muslims. They are prohibited from describing or copying their call to prayer as “azan” or their place of worship as a “mosque”.

HRCP remains concerned at the high level of religious persecution by religious zealots and rising threats as well as violence perpetrated by religious militant groups. The authorities, by and large, remain unconcerned and law enforcement staff is most reluctant to take any action against religious groups or militants. While women and religious minorities bear the worst brunt of religious extremist groups, men and Muslims are not spared either. Artists, musicians and those affiliated with performing arts are at risk in all parts of the country but particularly vulnerable in the province of NWFP. Sectarian violence and victimisation under the blasphemy law continues. The Ahmadi community was targeted throughout but they saw worse times after a popular television station, in a talk show, declared that killing them was permissible under Islamic norms. This was followed by the killing of three Ahmadis in Sindh in the month of September. [See the chapter ‘Administration of Justice’]

An editorial comment in a daily referred to some of the causes of minority persecution. It mentioned instances of discrimination, such as the kidnapping of Christians, including two priests while they were offering prayers in Peshawar, suspension of around two dozen Ahmadi students from Punjab Medical College, and the dire plight of scheduled caste Hindus in Sindh. The writer said that the blame rested on several parties: liberal and secular politicians who, in order to appease the religious right in Pakistan, did not lift a finger to mainstream the minorities; elite minority leaders, co-opted time and again by both military and civilian rulers, who compromised the rights of the minority community which was largely poor and disadvantaged; and those who had joined the rule of former president Ziaul Haq, who was responsible for pushing the minorities to the margins by introducing discriminatory legislation and by promoting a curriculum which was demeaning for the minorities. (NE, Jun 27)

Reserved seats for minorities in parliament

The system of reserved seats for minorities and women introduced by President Musharraf in 2002 failed to fulfil the required objective of giving a political voice to minorities. The minorities’ representatives in the assemblies usually followed the line of the party that got them elected and not the interest of their communities.

In early February, the World Minorities’Alliance Convener, Mr. J. Salik, said the current system did not allow any minority person to contest elections independently on the minorities’ seat. He had challenged that process in the Supreme Court in 2002 but to date no hearing had been set. (N, Feb 6) A minority representative said: “When the Hasba Bill was approved in the NWFP, two persons elected by the MMA on reserved seats also voted for it. This instance showed that representatives of religious minorities elected on reserved seats were not free to pursue private agendas”. (DT, Feb 24)

Freedom of Religion


As in previous years, the spread of hatred against the Ahmadis continued. At least six Ahmadis were murdered because of their faith during 2008.

An anchorperson of a popular TV channel held a prime-hour discussion commemorating the 1974 amendment to the Constitution declaring Ahmadis as “not Muslims”. The programme ended with a verdict by a participating mufti, of an extremist school, that the Ahmadis deserved to be murdered for deviating from the view of the finality of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Neither the TV channel nor the anchorperson was chastised by the government for the virulent broadcast. Following the TV discussion, three Ahmadis were shot dead in early September – Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqui in Mirpurkhas, Seth Yusuf, a Nawabshah trader, and Sheikh Saeed at his pharmacy in Karachi. (D, Sep 21)

In Lahore in late May the International Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Movement (IKNM) announced a moot to be held at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal. IKMN Ameer MPA Maulana Ilyas Chinoti added the moot would mark a hundred years of successfully countering Qadiyaniat. (N, May 23)

In Faisalabad in early June, a mob of 300 college students barged into the rooms of Ahmadi students, beat them up and threw their belongings out of their rooms. The boarders also stole valuables from the Ahmadi students. The Punjab Medical College (PMC) through a notification rusticated 23 Ahmadi students on the report of the disciplinary committee. It was alleged that they were preaching and distributing Ahmadi literature. (DT, Sep 9) The students suffered harassment and interruption in their studies for months before they were allowed to resume their studies. In Shabqadar, Charsadda district, local clerics refused to lead the funeral prayers for a man believed to be an Ahmadi. The local clerics issued a fatwa (decree) that the deceased had become an Ahmadi and, therefore, no one would lead his funeral prayers. (DT, Sep 23)

  1. The blasphemy law was promulgated in 1985 and in 1990 the punishment under this law, which sought to penalise irreverence towards the Holy Quran and insulting the Holy Prophet (PBUH), was life imprisonment. In 1992, the government introduced death penalty for a person guilty of blasphemy. Immediate abolition of ‘blasphemy’ laws is needed as these provisions are often used against non-Muslims as well as Muslims to settle personal scores.
  2. School curriculum has to be sensitised toward non-Muslim Pakistanis so that children feel safe, secure and equal.
  3. The Ahmadis have been denied the benefit of the joint electorate system which was revived in 2002. The discrimination should be ended.
  4. The Commission on Minorities should be made functional by reinforcing its independent status and providing it with the necessary resources, human as well as financial.
Freedom of assembly

Every citizen shall have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order.
Constitution of Pakistan
Article 16

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 20(1)Freedom of Assembly

Ban on public gatherings

On May 26, the district authorities in Jhang imposed a ban on the centenary celebrations of Jamaat-e-Ahmadia in Rabwah after Muslim religious organisations and clerics pushed the authorities to do so.

Political participation

The state shall encourage local government institutions composed of elected representatives of the areas concerned and within such institutions special representation will be given to peasants, workers and women.
Constitution of Pakistan
Article 32

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 1

Challenges for women and minorities

The ECP compiled a separate electoral roll just for Ahmadis, distinguishing them from the list of all other eligible voters in the country. In addition to outright religious discrimination, a separate list for Ahmadis completely disregarded the spirit of the joint electorate, the Constitution of Pakistan, and the guarantee of international human rights. As had happened in previous elections, the Ahmadis chose not to participate in the elections.

Appendix - II
HRCP stands

Minorities / freedom of belief and religion

July 2: HRCP has expressed its serious concern at the authorities’ failure to redress the grievance of the unlawfully expelled Ahmadi students of the Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, and urged firm action against the trouble-makers. The rustication of 23 Ahmadi students early last month on the ground of their belief was apparently a case of extraordinary discrimination. HRCP therefore requested a senior member of its governing body to probe the matter. This inquiry shows that while rusticating the unfortunate students the college administration did not follow the rules prescribed for this extreme action; that the committee of teachers set up to examine the victims after the event included teachers who were in the body that had taken the decision to rusticate them; and that the few students who appeared before the investigating committee were unduly harassed and intimidated. There were also indications that some members of the faculty colluded with the Ahmadi-baiting trouble-makers. HRCP is therefore seriously apprehensive of justice being denied to the unlawfully expelled students. It calls upon the provincial and federal governments both to intervene immediately to protect the wronged students and deal firmly with hate-preachers and disrupters of peace because much more than the career of Ahmadi students is at stake.

  1. Article 260 (3) defines a “Muslim” and a “Non-Muslim”. A “Non-Muslim” is defined as a person who is not a Muslim and includes a “person belonging to the Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Budhist or Parsi community, a person of Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves “Ahmadis” or by any other name), or a Bahai and a person belonging to any of the scheduled castes”.
  2. Article 295 and 295-A

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