Saturday, May 30, 2009

Monthly Newsreport — April, 2009

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:
  • At present Muslims are pitted against the Infidel; all Muslims should unite to fight the Kufr (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 (now implemented in Swat). … 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 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.
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.o 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 conference is deeply concerned over the production of bed-sheets with blasphemous or dubious prints by Kamal Spinning Mills of Faisalabad and demands the government to direct all the mills to desist from manufacturing such controversial products.
The following statements were also made at the conference:
  • 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
  • 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… etc. — 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.
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 eagerly.
  • 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 (PMLN), 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 has recently 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.

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 has issued an ‘office circular’ to all its officials to ensure that the law regarding the dogma of ‘End of Prophethood’ be vigorously implemented. This circular has been issued in response to a recent order from the 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 finds time to pursue a Resolution of dubious worth, passed a quarter of a century ago. It is only a few weeks ago 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 be a priority for the new government. Does the Azad Kashmir government really wish to be seen promoting sectarianism when Indian Kashmir is ruled on secular lines?Copy of the original Central Police Office (Azad Kashmir) letter

English translation of the Central Police Office is placed below:

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,

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 Repression 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 of last year 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 follows 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?

'Death only punishment for blasphemy'

Islamabad, April 21: According to a press report (the Dawn of April 22, 2009) the Supreme Court has 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 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.

Update on the fabricated criminal cases registered against Ahmadis for blasphemy
  1. 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 also rejected his plea for bail and ordered that the case be decided within a month. The Chief Justice LHC has sent his case to the District and Session Judge Lahore for follow up, who will nominate 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 ten months. His plea for bail was rejected by the Supreme Court. 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.
  2. Mr. Rashid Iqbal has been 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 applied in his FIR. The victim applied to the Antiterrorism Court that the case was not fit for hearing in that court; however the court rejected his application. The Sindh High Court is now to decide whether the application of this clause is 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.
  3. 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 2 above.
  4. The four school children and adult arrested in Layyah three months ago remain incarcerated. There is no evidence, or witnesses against them. One of the accused boys has fallen ill. These innocent people remain in prison, while the Supreme Court recently decided that Death is the only punishment for blasphemy as held by the FSC.
Criminal case registered under law specific to Ahmadis

Silanwali, Sargodha; April 28, 2009: Six Ahmadis of Silanwali have been charged under PPC 298-C. They are 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, and they are now looking for the other two.

Silanwali is the same village where in the previous month 15 Ahmadis were charged under the same law for offering prayers in their own mosque. The police chief of District Sargodha apparently takes human rights very lightly and believes in maintaining peace by submission to the caprice of sectarian bullies.

Gross violence of Ahmadis' freedom of religious practice

The daily Ummat, Karachi of April 20, 2009 published two news items describing 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 is 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 are not closed down unpleasant incidents might happen, and they would themselves undertake the duty of shutting them down. Owners of the two houses which are 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.

Abduction of a female Ahmadi university student

Nabi Sar Road, District Umar Kot (Sindh); April 23, 2008: Mr. Naseer Ahmad Zahid is the president of the local Ahmadi community. For sometime he has been receiving threats from religious extremists. They have on one occasion even fired on his clinic. Mr. Zahid has been on guard for his personal security and has escaped harm till now. However, recently his daughter has been abducted.

Miss Faiza, Mr. Zahid’s daughter is a student at the Jamshoro University and lives in the hostel. On April 23, 2009 she left the hostel at about 5 p.m. to visit her uncle at Nawab Shah. The parents later learnt that she did not arrive at her destination. This caused them intense concern. Two days later someone called her parents on her cell phone and conveyed to them that the girl had been abducted. The caller told the father to thereby understand how powerful the opposition was, and told him to leave his home. The next day the felon called again and told Faiza’s father that this was the final warning. “Quit Nabi Sar Road within two days, we are releasing your daughter today,” the caller said. A few minutes later, Faiza called her father and told them that she had been dropped at an unknown location. The young lady was advised to hire a rickshaw and proceed to the hostel, which she did. She was then met at the hostel from where she was taken to the Ahmadiyya center in Hyderabad.

Miss Faiza told her father that when she came out of the hostel’s main gate on 23 April, she saw a taxi parked there. A women came out and beckoned to her. When she approached her, she and her colleague, a man, pushed her into the taxi and drove off. The man snatched her cell phone and after a drive of two to three hours took her to a three-room flat. Faiza and the woman were put up in one room, while the man took the other room. The man spoke in Sindhi, and the woman spoke Punjabi.

Both the abductors knew of the murders of Dr Siddiqui and Seth Yousuf (two prominent Ahmadis killed in September 2008). They bought food from a nearby restaurant. They did no physical harm to Faiza and told her that it was her father that they hated, and through her abduction they wanted him to understand how powerful they were. Two days later the man called her father on the cell-phone.

The incident shows how powerful these criminals have become. Religious extremists, mostly of the Deobandi and Wahabi school, have been active in anti-Ahmadiyya activities for some time in districts Mirpur Khas, Umar Kot, Sanghar, Dadu etc. These people are well-known to the police. However, owing to the inaction of the police these elements get the impression that they can get away with murder – literally.

The abduction of one’s daughter is one of the most frightful and shocking things that can happen to a person. The situation here is such that Mr. Zahid, in view of his past experience as an Ahmadi with the local administration, is reluctant to report the event to the police. He has to consider: Will it be of any use? Will it entail still more inconvenience and risk? He must surely be contemplating shifting to a far-off location despite the obvious difficulties.

It was a well-informed VVIP in Washington who recently described: “The Pakistani government as ‘extremely fragile’ which was unable to fulfill the basic needs of its people and that’s why it was unable “to gain the support and loyalty of its people.” The daily Dawn; May 1, 2009

Another Ahmadi student abducted

Bahawalpur; April 26, 2008: Mr. Zeeshan Muhammad Khan left home to appear at his F.A. examination at 11a.m. on April 23, 2009. He has not returned and no trace of him has yet been found. He is 19 years old. He is an intelligent and good boy. He has no quarrel with anybody. He studies in the Allama Iqbal Commerce College. When his principal was contacted, he conveyed that Zeeshan didn’t reach the college on April 23. The police have been approached by his parents, but an FIR has not been registered yet.

Update on the Layyah case
Four Ahmadi school children and an adult remain incarcerated thirteen weeks after arrest on a faux charge of blasphemy.
The applied penal clause carries nothing short of death penalty.
Authorities decide to persecute the innocent rather than confront the bullying mulla.
This case symbolizes the current poor governance by the provincial and federal governments.

The police registered an FIR against four school-going Ahmadi children and an adult on a false accusation of blasphemy and arrested them in the last week of January this year in District Layyah, Punjab. They were accused of writing the name ‘Muhammad’ on the toilet walls of the local mosque. Despite the fact that no incriminating evidence is available the accused are still behind bars more than 13 weeks after their arrest. They are being detained on ‘judicial remand’. On every court appearance the remand is extended by the judge on request of the police. It is not known when these innocents will be set free. In the meantime, those who seriously threaten law and order and disturb communal peace remain free and content, gloating at their easy victory over the authorities in forcing them to incarcerate Ahmadi children sans evidence. This case was earlier reported in our report for January 2009. Update in essential detail of this important case is presented for necessary action.

This ‘blasphemy’ case is a serious one in that it carries death as penalty, and also because a number of young boys have been implicated in it. They were arrested in district Layyah and were later transported to a prison in DG Khan which is miles away. That has 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. Last month it was discovered 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 has been allowed to come out of the cell for daily respite as a routine facility. The prison administration is less than sympathetic. They flaunt the ‘Blasphemy’ accusation when requested to allow a visit (Mulaqat) or a facility allowed under the rules. There are no fans. Conditions are very unhygienic. Mr. Mubashir Ahmad’s health is fragile; he is asthmatic. Muhammad Irfan, one of the boys, has had a fever for weeks. He has grown very weak and pale. Nothing except rudimentary medical care is available in the prison. This is worrisome for his parents. None of the accused has any previous experience of being involved in a police case. The children are at risk of long-term damage to their mental and physical health. The state is keeping them in prison simply because it finds that more convenient.

It is noteworthy that the two men who were the prime-movers of the false accusation belong 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 Baluchistan, came all the way from Quetta to share the political spoils of a tense communal situation. 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. These 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.
Various human rights organizations, national as well as international took due notice of this important case and demanded that the accused be set free. 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.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan sent its own fact-finding mission to District Layyah and rendered its 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 (Cr PC) 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.”

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 are considering making 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. Nothing has happened – as yet.

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, burry the hatchet in the national good and rout the real enemy.”
Ref: The police registered the case with FIR No 46/09 at Police Station Kot Sultan, District Layyah, on 28 Jan 09 under PPC 295C.

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 have 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 collective experience in Swat. These councilors may admit in the words of Walter Kelly: We have met the enemy and it is us.

Grave of an Ahmadi is 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 was 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 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:
The Honourable
Prime Minister of Pakistan

Plea for action according to law

Respected Sir,

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:
  1. Security and peace should be appropriately provided to Ahmadis.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

We shall report the outcome in these pages subsequently.

Sectarianism rampant in Lahore

The capital of the Punjab is becoming a hotbed of sectarian hatred and religious extremism these days. The following will illustrate this assessment:
  1. 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.
  2. 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 wallchalking, and boldly write their phone numbers. This also goes on in Guldasht, Town Do Gaij, Northern Cantt and Model Town neighborhoods.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

A sectarian conference at Faisalabad

Faisalabad; April 5, 2009: Another Khatm-e-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 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.

A rabid conference at the outskirts of Rabwah

Ahmad Nagar; March 23, 2009: A ‘Seerat-un-Nabi (SAW) Conference’ was recently held in Ahmad Nagar. The conference was dominated by speeches against Ahmadiyyat. They 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 in the coming days 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.

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 have advised the residents to be vigilant against acts of terrorism. Friday congregational prayers will now be held in each residential area rather than in the central mosque.

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. Recently 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. The notice states, 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 has been greatly disturbed by the notice. His non-Ahmadi friends have 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 is most worried.

Taliban active against Ahmadis in Multan

Multan: A group claiming to be ‘Taliban, Group No. 15, Multan’ have sent a threatening letter to Mr. Munawwar Ahmad, the president of the district Ahmadiyya community. 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 has reported the threat to the police. They have provided some police presence at his school. Mr. Munawwar has taken steps to improve his personal security.

In addition to the above, these ‘Taliban’ have targeted three Ahmadis, Messrs Junaid Waqas, Murid Hussain and Naveed Ahmad. They have threatened them repeatedly with harm. A few days ago they attacked 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 is often threatened through telephone calls.

Threat at Rawalpindi

Rawalpindi: A group claiming to belong to the Lashkar Jhangvi, an organization banned for its involvement in terrorism, has sent threats to Ahmadis in the Rawalpindi area. 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
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 forthcoming 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.

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.

Ahmadis behind bars
  1. Mr. Muhammad Iqbal was imprisoned for life in a fabricated case of blasphemy. He was arrested in April 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 sixth year of his imprisonment.
  2. Three Ahmadis namely Messrs, Basharat, Nasir Ahmad and 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 cell at a prison in Jehlum, while their appeal lies with the Lahore High Court. These innocent are now in the sixth 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.
  4. Rana Khalil Ahmad of Kunri (Sindh), an elderly and disabled gentleman, is detained for allegedly writing a letter to a cleric.
  5. Mr. Rashid Iqbal of Kunri (Sindh) is facing a fabricated accusation under the blasphemy law. He was arrested and refused release on bail.
  6. Four school-going children and Mr. Mubashir Ahmad were charged in Layyah for blasphemy on 28th January, 2009 and put behind bars without any initial inquiry or witnesses.

Ahmadi trader succumbs to bullet injuries

---Daily Times, Pakistan
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Ahmadi trader succumbs to bullet injuries

LAHORE: An Ahmadi trader, Mian Laeeq Ahmed, died on Friday after being shot on Thursday in Faisalabad, allegedly over religious intolerance. Unidentified assailants shot Laeeq while he was driving home, hitting him in the head and chest. Anjuman Ahmadiyya spokesman Saleemuddin said the accused had been ambushed when his car slowed down at a speed breaker. He said the assailants had fled after injuring Laeeq. He said Laeeq had been taken to District Headquarters Hospital Faisalabad but succumbed to his injuries on Friday. Laeeq is survived by his two sons and three daughters. staff report” he said.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Another Ahmadi Muslim murdered 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
29 May 2009


It is with great sadness that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat confirms that yet another member of its Community has lost his life in a senseless attack in Pakistan. Mian Laiq Ahmad (54), a well known Ahmadi trader in Faisalabad, died earlier today after being brutally attacked last evening. He becomes the 5th Ahmadi to be martyred in 2009 and the 101st to be killed in Pakistan since anti-Ahmadiyya laws were introduced by the Government of General Zia-ul-Haq in 1984.

Yesterday evening the deceased was returning to his 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 and at that point unknown persons jumped out of the Toyota and ran towards his car. It seems that at this point Mr Ahmad tried to reverse but just as he did so he was shot in the head. At that point the attackers closed in on Mr Ahmad and fired repeatedly at his stomach and arms. The assailants then fled the scene.

Mr Ahmad was taken to the local hospital immediately and then transferred to the ‘Allied Hospital’ but was unable to recover and today at 11.30am local time he passed away. Mr Ahmad is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

Currently throughout Pakistan and in particular within the Punjab, anti-Ahmadiyya conferences are taking place on a regular basis. During these conferences audiences are instructed that there is a duty to kill Ahmadis and as a result uneducated yet indoctrinated people are led to believe that the bloodshed of innocent Ahmadis is something that will be greatly rewarded. It is of serious note that yesterday a similar such Khatme Nabuwwat was held near to where the deceased lived.

The International Community, Media and Human Rights organisations are all urged to take action to safeguard the basic human and civil rights of Ahmadi Muslims both in Pakistan and in other countries where they face discrimination. In an era where freedom of religion and belief is accepted as a basic human right throughout the world it is of disbelief that anti-Ahmadiyya legislation is still active and indeed still being enforced in Pakistan.

End of Release
Further Info: Abid Khan (press @

Friday, May 22, 2009

Attempt to behead Ahmadi Professor 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
22 May 2009


It is with great regret that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat confirms that one of its members, Professor Mubashar Ahmad (46) of Chakwaal, Pakistan, was the victim of a brutal and murderous attack last evening. The victim, who is a Professor at the Government Degree College, was attacked in his home by two young males who are students at the local madrassa (Islamic Religious College).

Just after the Maghrib prayer, the two students entered the home of Professor Ahmad and shouted:

“You are a Qadiani and so we have come to kill you.”

In act of gross violence the two students thereafter attempted to kill the victim by cutting off his neck. Professor Ahmad survived the attack however suffered extremely severe injuries. He was rushed to hospital immediately after the assailants fled his home and he remains in a critical condition.

One of the assailants was caught by neighbours of Professor Ahmad and is now in Police custody; the other assailant remains at large.

Grievous attacks on Ahmadis are becoming ever more common in Pakistan. Recently there has been a spate of anti-Ahmadiyya conferences and rallies that have been conducted by religious extremist organisations. Some of these rallies have been supported or even sponsored by the Government of Pakistan.

The Press Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Abid Khan said:
“It is extremely worrying that anti-Ahmadiyya public rallies are being staged throughout Pakistan and in particular the Punjab. During these conferences audiences are instructed that there is a duty to kill Ahmadis and as a result uneducated yet indoctrinated people are led to believe that the bloodshed of innocent Ahmadis is something that will be greatly rewarded.

This horrific attack on Professor Ahmad is but one example of an Ahmadi being targeted. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Pakistan continually brings incidents like this to the notice of the Pakistani authorities but repeatedly no action is taken. Consequentially the attacks continue to increase and occur with ever greater brutality. These attacks and threats have to stop and the Government must take immediate action to protect its citizens.”
End of Release
Further Info: Abid Khan (press @ / 07795490682)

Note: The term ‘Qadiani’ is often used by non-Ahmadi Muslims to describe members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. The term refers to ‘Qadian’ which was the home town of the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why the Taliban’s going to win in Pakistan, India

Posted: Thu, May 21 2009. 9:17 PM IST

Why the Taliban’s going to win in Pakistan

The Taliban cannot defeat Pakistan militarily. The Taliban will win because what they want is already being implemented by Pakistan

Reply to All | Aakar Patel

The Taliban will win in Pakistan. They are on the right side of the law. They are also on the right side of history. Last month, a video of Talibs whipping a 17-year-old girl for adultery upset Pakistanis, who thought it barbaric. It might be, but it is the law. The punishment for married adulterers in Pakistan is to “be stoned to death at a public place” (Ordinance 7 of 1979). Unmarried adulterers are to be “punished, at a public place; with whipping numbering one hundred stripes”.

Later in April, the world worried over Pakistan’s decision to enforce Shariah law in the district of Swat, being held by the Taliban. But Shariah is already in force in the whole of Pakistan; it is only being implemented selectively. What the Taliban are demanding is enforcement. Pakistanis might fear the Taliban but nobody opposes Islamic law. Speaking against the “ideology of Pakistan” means 10 years in jail (Penal Code 123a).

In Pakistan, defiling the Quran means life in prison. Speaking against the Prophet is an automatic death sentence (Penal Code 295c).

Under laws that president Zia-ul-Haq introduced, the maximum punishment for theft is amputation of hands. Muslims caught drinking face 80 lashes.

Under prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, founder of the liberal Pakistan People’s Party, parliament apostatized the entire Ahmedi sect, a group of Punjabi Muslims.

An Ahmedi “is not a Muslim for the purposes of the constitution or law” (Second Amendment, 1974). If Ahmedis refer to themselves as “Muslim”, or their prayer house as “masjid”, or recite the azaan (call for prayer), they shall be imprisoned for three years (Pakistan Penal Code 298B, 298C).

What happens to Pakistan’s liberal politicians when these laws are passed?

They have to disappear.

Bhutto’s finance minister was the socialist, Mubashir Hasan. Every year, he leads the candle vigil at Wagah. His book, The Mirage of Power, is a detailed account of his four years as minister but makes no mention of the apostatization of the Ahmedis. He skips over the episode. Why? He is afraid to communicate his opposition because he might be lynched.

It is difficult to be secular in Pakistan. The man whose party surrendered at Swat was Asfandyar Wali, grandson of Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the Frontier Gandhi.

The Taliban cannot defeat Pakistan militarily. The Pakistan army will rout it because the Talibs have neither armour, nor artillery nor aircraft.

The Taliban will win because what they want is already being implemented by Pakistan.

On 23 December 1999, Pakistan’s supreme court banned the charging of interest on loans, deciding it was not Islamic. Effectively, this would shut down the banking system and switch off the economy. Pervez Musharraf, then president, got the court to appoint a committee to decide how to implement this ban. This has delayed the destruction of Pakistan’s economy, but not avoided it. In 1998, prime minister Nawaz Sharif moved the 15th Amendment to enforce Shariah. This would designate him Amir-ul-Momineen, commander of the faithful, like Mullah Omar. The Bill was passed by the lower house before being blocked in the senate by the small party of Bihari-UP migrants from India, the Muhajirs.

Urdu-speaking Muhajirs form the only secular party in Pakistan. Their base is Karachi, where they are up against four million Pashtun immigrants. Who are the Talibs? Ethnically, they are Pashtun, 15% of Pakistan’s population.

Many were students of a curriculum designed at Deoband, a school in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district. It was set up after the war of 1857, seen as the end of Muslim rule in India. Its purpose was to revive Islam by ridding it of the corruption of Hindu influence. It recognizes the jurist Abu Hanifa (who died in 765). The Jaish-e-Mohammad follows the Deobandi ideology.

Pakistan was founded by a man who didn’t really understand Islam. Mohammed Ali Jinnah was a South Mumbai Gujarati who spoke no Urdu or Arabic. He was a constitutionalist who did not understand the nature of the state he had founded. He was a Shia of the Sevener Ismaili Khoja sect. They are talented businessmen and good citizens, but Sunnis regard them as heretics. To widen his appeal, Jinnah converted to “regular” Twelver Shiism.

But that wasn’t good enough.

When he died in 1948, a year after Partition, his deputy, Liaquat Ali Khan, had him buried as a Sunni with a Deobandi maulvi leading his funeral prayer. Six months after Jinnah’s death, on 12 March 1949, Khan introduced the Objectives Resolution in the Pakistan assembly, which was legislating the new constitution. Pakistanis, Khan declared, would enjoy democracy, freedom and equality “as enunciated by Islam”. These words alarmed the assembly’s Hindu members, all Bengalis from East Pakistan. They said this was not what Jinnah had promised them. But Jinnah had been vague. And the Muslims in the assembly were able to point to instances where Jinnah had spoken clearly of Shariah law. The committee voted 21:10. All Muslims voting for; all Hindus against.

Khan assured the Hindus that they would not be discriminated against. He was assassinated in 1951. The discrimination would be written in later, incrementally and over time.

By law, only a Muslim may now be Pakistan’s president (Article 41-2) or prime minister (Article 91-4). Not that there are many non-Muslims left.

Pakistan is today 96% Muslim and unable to think on secular lines. Why are Pakistanis doing this to themselves?

B.R. Ambedkar speculated about this in 1946. “The Muslims have no interest in politics as such. Their predominant interest is religion” (Pakistan: The Partition of India, pages 232-233). All that the Muslim voter cared about, he wrote, was that the candidate “replace the lamps… (and) provide a new carpet for the masjid”. He added: “None of the secular categories of life have any place in the politics of (the) Muslim community and if they do find a place—and they must because they are irrepressible—they are subordinated to one and only one governing principle of the Muslim political universe, namely, religion.” Months later, Ambedkar began work on India’s secular constitution, which took force on 26 January 1950.

Till last year, Nepal was the only Hindu state on earth. The Chhetri (Kshatriya) dynasty ended with the republic of 2008.

Why was it a Hindu state? Because executive power flowed from a warrior king, as prescribed in the Hindu code, Manusmriti. But Nepal was Hindu only to that extent. Nothing else from Hindu texts could be applied because most of it is against the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, just like Shariah is.

The religious state is utopian, and demands perfection. If we obey God fully, He will look after us. This is not the view of just the bearded Talib of Swat: the justices of the supreme court of Pakistan expect that blessings will be showered on their country after they skewer its economy.

Pakistan is in religious ecstasy. Like Iran, it will have to go through the process of full Islamization.

After this it will learn that there is no other way to run a modern state than as a secular democracy.

Aakar Patel is a director with Hill Road Media.

Write to Aakar at


Monday, May 18, 2009

Minorities rights should be practically ensured

--- Daily Times, Pakistan
Monday, May 18, 2009

Conference on Religious Minorities and Oppressed Nations in Pakistan: ‘Minorities’ rights should be practically ensured’

* Conference organised to commemorate Bishop John Joseph’s death anniversary
* BNP leader asks how minorities can get their rights if ‘nations’ like Baloch and Sindhis do not

Staff Report

LAHORE: The rights of minorities should be practically ensured as Pakistan came into being as a socio-democratic liberal progressive model, speakers at a conference on Religious Minorities and Oppressed Nations in Pakistan said on Sunday.

They said the current state of minorities in the country was not satisfactory. The conference was jointly organised by the Minority Rights Commission and the Minorities Movement for Democracy to commemorate the 11th death anniversary of Bishop John Joseph. Speaking at the occasion, former minister for parliamentary affairs Dr Sher Afgan Niazi said under the constitution of Pakistan, minorities’ rights were well protected. He said minorities’ voters were allowed to cast two votes, one to their own candidate and another to a Muslim candidate, adding that this proved their superiority in this matter. He said a new province by the name of Siraykistan should be formed, adding that it could be the solution to several problems. He said amendments in the constitution were made by rulers to perpetuate their regime. Talking to reporters, Niazi said the operation in Swat was inevitable as it was necessary to get the areas vacated from the Taliban. To a question on the judiciary’s freedom, he said: “In India, the biggest democracy of the world, they have taken back the authority of suo motu notice from the judiciary. By using this authority, a court can summon anybody and humiliate him or her over any reason. When we talk about the checks and balances, nobody should be given absolute authority.” He said minorities were protected under the constitution, adding that they should read it to learn about their rights.

Rights: Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Dr Abdul Hayee Baloch said the civilian bureaucracy from Punjab had always kept exploiting the rights of the Balochis, Sindhis, Pathans and even other Punjabis. He said when nations like Balochis and Sindhis were not able to get their constitutional rights than it would be extremely difficult for a minority to get its rights. He said Balochistan had a coastal line of 770 kilometres, adding that it was of great strategic importance. He said the civil and military bureaucracy had occupied precious land in the province and the locals’ hatred for them was increasing daily.

Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) leader Qazi Abdullah Khamoosh said practical steps taken by Quaid-e-Azam showed he wanted to make Pakistan a secular state.The first law minister of Pakistan was a Hindu and the first foreign minister was an Ahmedi. Both were appointed by Quaid-e-Azam himself,” he said.


Friday, May 15, 2009

The Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan

Presented by Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International, UK

Programme #13

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kalla Seeks Out Parties Irked by SBY’s VP Pick

---Jakarta Globe, Indonesia
May 14, 2009
Febriamy Hutapea, Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Amir Tejo

Kalla Seeks Out Parties Irked by SBY’s VP Pick

The Golkar Party is intensifying efforts to approach parties disgruntled by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s decision to pick Bank Indonesia Governor Boediono as his running mate in the July presidential election.

Agung Laksono, Golkar’s deputy chairman, said his party had opened communications with the National Mandate Party (PAN), the United Development Party (PPP), and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), all of whom have threatened to leave the coalition led by Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party.

However, Agung admitted that communications between those parties have not entered a higher level. “We still don’t know whether they really want to join us or not. The approach is still on the level of political communication,” Agung said.

“As the first party to announce a presidential and vice presidential ticket, we’re hoping many parties join with us. The larger the better,” said Agung, who is also the House of Representatives’ speaker.

Golkar, who came second in the April legislative election with 14.45 percent of the vote, has nominated chairman Jusuf Kalla as its standard bearer in the presidential election, with Wiranto from the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) as his running mate.

Kalla and Wiranto were scheduled to register their candidacy with the General Elections Commission (KPU) on Wednesday, but they failed to show up.

Rully Chairul Azwar, Golkar‘s deputy secretary general, played down the no-show.

“The reason is just because Kalla wants the registration date to be on his birthday on May 15,” Rully claimed.

That date, Friday, is the last day for presidential and vice presidential candidates have to register with the KPU.

Kalla and Wiranto traveled to Surabaya, East Java, on Wednesday to open the Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama’s Social Emergency Response Agency and to visit several Islamic boarding schools.

During the visit, Muslim leaders pledged to support the pair and asked them to disband all deviant Muslim sects, including the heavily- threatened Ahmadiyah.

“We will fully support candidates who are committed to disbanding all deviant religious groups, including Ahmadiyah,” NU’s Hilmi Basaiban said.

Kalla responded by saying that the government and religious leaders should work hand in hand to deal with groups considered deviant. “Religious leaders have to deal with them first, and if those groups cannot be rectified, the government will deal with them,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Jakarta, senior Democrat Anas Urbaningrum said his party would not prevent the PKS from joining the Golkar-Hanura coalition.

He said Yudhoyono and his party had given explanations to its coalition friends over the reason why he picked up Budiono as a vice presidential candidate. “But if any of our coalition friends cannot understand and accept the explanations, we have no right to force them [to stick to the coalition with Yudhoyono and the Democrats],” Anas said.

“But we are also sure that our coalition friends have commitments to placing the national interest over personal or group interests,” he added.

Copyright 2009 The Jakarta Globe

Friday, May 8, 2009

World leader prays for ‘unjust laws’ to be revoked in Malaysia

---Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat International, UK

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
7 May 2009

On 28th April 2009 in a Press Release issued by this office it was confirmed that the Selangor Council of Islamic Religion (MAIS) had issued the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Malaysia with a notice ordering them to stop offering Friday Prayers at their National Headquarters. Various other activities had also been banned under the terms of the notice.

The Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Freedom of religion is a basic human right. Moreover it is a principle of Islam that each person has the right to choose and practice his religion without fear or coercion. Thus I regret very much the notice issued by the Selangor Council of Islamic Religion on 24th April 2009 which violates the right of Ahmadi Muslims in Malaysia from practising their religion freely. I hope and pray that these unjust laws are soon revoked.”
End of Release
Further Info: Abid Khan (press @ / 07795490682)
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