Karachi and Sanghar (Sindh): Dr Najmul Hasan was murdered in Karachi on August 17, 2010 and Pir Habib ur Rehman in Sanghar on August 19, 2010. Below is a statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission, a Hong-Kong based NGO, on the murders :
Posted on 2010-08-23
August 21, 2010: A report on this subject published in the daily Dawn of August 21, 2010 is reproduced below:
LAHORE, Aug 20: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday expressed concern at the murder of two Ahmadis in the last three days and reports of denial of shelter to members of the Ahmadiyya community displaced by massive floods in south Punjab.
In a press statement, HRCP called upon the government to take urgent measures to ensure there is no discrimination on the basis of belief and that assistance and protection are not denied to a community that faces specific threats.
“The unrelenting targeted killing of members of the Ahmadiyya community by extremists is a poor reflection on the state’s obligation to protect the lives of all subjects. This week, the murder of an Ahmadi in Sanghar and another, a doctor, in Karachi only highlights the impunity the perpetrators of such heinous crimes enjoy. Only bringing the culprits to justice and promoting tolerance in society will bring an end to these senseless killings and give Ahmadis confidence that they can lead peaceful lives as equal citizens of Pakistan.
“HRCP is shocked by reports that government officials and local clerics have refused to provide shelter to around 500 flood-affected Ahmadi families from Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur districts.
“The commission has noted with concern reports of lack of provision of relief goods to flood-affected Ahmadi families, expulsion of displaced Ahmadis from a government school in Dera Ghazi Khan and rented lodgings elsewhere in southern Punjab after clerics’ pressure as well as issuance of edicts by clerics that affected Ahmadis must not be provided help.“HRCP reiterates the urgent need for distribution of relief goods and extension of other support to the affected people without any discrimination on the basis of faith or gender. The fact that Ahmadis are a vulnerable community on account of their religious beliefs must lead to specific assistance and protection measures for them, including protection of lives and property.
“The extensive scale of displacement and destruction by massive floods has understandably stretched the resources of the government to their very limits. However, it is hoped that whatever little is available from any source will be distributed among those in need without discrimination on the basis of religious belief. It would be a greater tragedy than the devastation caused by the floods if people cannot find enough humanity and compassion in their hearts to rise above personal biases to help fellow human beings that are in desperate need of help.”
The Express Tribune, a subsidiary of the International Herald Tribune, published its version of the same story on August 18, 2010, entitled, “The politics of relief: Aliens in their own land.”
The Asian Human Rights Commission also took note of the incident and in its statement released on August 21, 2010, called “on the government of Pakistan to end this inhumane and barbaric treatment.”
Mirpur Khas, Sindh; August 13, 2010: Rana Khalil Ahmad and Mr. Rashid Iqbal of Kunri were falsely charged under PPC 295-C, 295-A and 9-ATA with FIR No. 86 at the Police Station Kunri on September 22, 2008. They were arrested and subjected to torture by security personnel. A more detailed account is available in our annual report for 2009 in Chapter 2C: A heart-rending story.
Bail was granted to them eventually by the High Court on June 3, 2009 after being rejected by the lower courts. Their case is now under trial in the Anti-terrorism court, Mirpur Khas. They had to relocate from Kunri in the face of threats. They appear regularly before the court in Mirpur Khas.
There was a heavy police presence at the court on August 13, 2010 for a regular hearing. The police told them to remain inside the court premises for their security. The police had recently taken in custody two suspects who disclosed that their aim was to kill these Ahmadis. They also divulged that their colleagues would accomplish this task, if necessary. In view of this the court gave August 23 as the new date of hearing. The police then escorted these two Ahmadis to the district boundary. The Ahmadiyya community is trying to move their case to Karachi because of safety concerns.
The Police arrested another member of a Jihadi group. One of the detained was involved in the murder of Dr. Abdul Manan Siddiqui who was the district president of Ahmadiyya community in Mirpur Khas. He has been identified by the driver of Dr. Siddiqui, who fortunately survived that attack.
This incident is reminiscent of the murder of two Christian brothers in Faisalabad who were killed outside a courthouse by fanatics belonging to an outlawed Islamic terrorist group. This case has caused international uproar about Pakistan’s continuous failure to protect its minorities.
In one of its reports a few years ago, Amnesty International pointed out that most of the blasphemy cases registered are “motivated not by the blasphemous actions of the accused, but by hostility towards members of minority communities, compounded by personal enmity, professional jealousy or economic rivalry”
Mirpur Khas, Sindh; August 16, 2010: Mr. Nasir Ahmad Wahla received a phone call at 9:25 p.m. from an unknown person telling him that a grenade had been placed by the main gate of his residence. The caller threatened to blow his house by rocket fire if he would not arrange two million rupees within a week. Mr. Wahla informed the police also who isolated the grenade in custody, and a bomb disposal team defused it.
The Frontier Post of August 18, 2010 reported the story in some detail.
Faisalabad; March 9, 2010: Mr. Ishaq Ahmad and Mr. Iqbal Ahmad are two Ahmadi brothers who live in Madina Town, Faisalabad. Burglars forced entry to their home in the late hours of March 9, 2010. They stole 25 tolas of gold and one hundred and twenty thousand rupees in cash after a thorough search of their home. The robbers also stole their Toyota car and kidnapped one child of each brother and told them to arrange ten million rupees ransom to free their children. During the robbery they also asked information about the Ahmadiyya community. After a few days the children, Bilal Ahmad and Sheraz Ahmad, were set free after two and a half million rupees were paid as ransom.
The police took firm action and arrested four suspects. An anti-terrorism court sentenced them to death, confiscation of their property, imprisonment of 13 years and a fine of hundred thousand rupees to each of them, on August 23, 2010.
Larkana, Sindh; August 5, 2010: The Ahmadis of Larkana face severe hostility at the hands of extremists. Mr. Yasir Butt Abro, a vicious opponent of the community, lives next door to the house of Ahmadi missionary. He runs a cinema too. He misses no opportunity to create trouble for the community. He is following the foot-steps of his late father, Muhammad Ishaq Abro, who annexed the Ahmadiyya missionary house forcibly in 1988 by demolishing its wall. It was recovered with great difficulty in 2001. Now, his son is very active against the Ahmadiyya community.
On August 5, 2010, water accumulated in front of his house due to heavy rains. His house is at a lower level than the missionary’s. He started abusing the Ahmadiyya community over this, and fired gun shots in the air to harass the Ahmadis. Later he called some members of the community to his house under the pretence of wanting to settle the argument. Mr. Raees Ahmad Butt went to his house. When he reached there he was beaten up by Mr. Abro. Mr. Butt had to flee in order to save his life. The incident was reported to the police. Mr. Abro went into hiding when the police came to inquire.
Mr. Raees Ahmad Butt along with his son, Mr. Nasir Ahmad Butt were returning home after informing the police when Abro and his gang attacked them. They used sticks and iron bars to beat them. The victims received injuries on their heads. They again appeared at the police station and had an FIR registered. Later they went to the hospital for treatment. Luckily they survived the violent attack.
Press report: The Daily Express, Faisalabad published the following story on August 1, 2010 (Translation):
Qadianis, foreigners, embassies and leadership of Mutahiddah at risk of attacks
Bahawalpur (staff reporter): In view of the threat of attack on Qadianis, foreigners, embassies and leadership of Mutahiddah (MQM), orders have been issued to declare high alert on security. A circular has been issued by the Home Department of the Punjab Government to the I.G.; all RPOs and CPOs conveying that, according to confidential reports, the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan has tasked Abu Adil Mujahid, a terrorist to attack a few major targets in the country, and has appointed him the Commander. Foreigners and embassies may also be targets; the MQM leadership and their public meetings will be targeted by Abu Ahmad Mujahid, the Commander. The security alert has been raised to high in view of the situation.
Rabwah; August 12, 2010: The daily Pakistan published the following story on August 12, 2010 (Translation):
Chenab Nagar: Jamaat Ahmadiyya decides to worship at home in the face of terrorism
Chenab Nagar (Staff reporter): Thousands of Ahmadis will undertake worship at home, rather than their places of worship at Isha time during Ramadan on account of the threat of terrorist attacks and non-availability of security by the state agencies. The senior leadership of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan has directed all its members in Rabwah to offer their night (Isha) prayers at home rather than nearby mosques. However, the community spokesman has not issued any press release or made a statement on this subject.
The above report is correct to the extent that Ahmadis are not offering their traditional Taraveeh prayers in congregation in their mosques in Rabwah for security concerns. This situation is the result of the unbridled hate campaign undertaken by the mulla and permitted by the authorities.
Bhimber (Azad Kashmir); August 11, 2010: Raja Farman Ali, an elderly Ahmadi died in Bhimber on August 11, 2010. He joined Ahmadiyyat in 1945.
Almost a decade ago, his two sons also became Ahmadis, but they could not cope with the opposition, so they recanted. However, their father remained steadfast in his faith.
At the time of Mr. Ali’s death, the Ahmadiyya community intended to give him an Ahmadi burial, however his sons refused the entitled burial to the deceased, and forbade Ahmadis from joining the funeral.
Mr. Ali, an Ahmadi, was buried by a few non-Ahmadis, and Ahmadis were made to stay away.
The daily Lahore Post published a story on August 20, 2010 about the bad sewage system in Rabwah. Its translation is given below:
Bad system of sewage in Chenab Nagar; rain water
stagnates in lower parts of the city.
Four feet of water in Muhallah Bashirabad after spell of current rains
Chenab Nagar (Special correspondent): The rain water of the eastern part of the city accumulated in the lower areas of Bashirabad due to poor sewage system in the city. Four feet of water stagnates in approaches to Bashirabad. Vehicles and motorcycles are nearly submerged and stalled. There is no alternate route to Bashirabad. Children, elders and women face great hardship in moving about. The official insensitivity is glaring. The Chenab Nagar municipality is not serious about attending to the civic problems even after collecting millions in revenue. No arrangements were made to drain the sewage even after the complaints. Mr. Abdur Razzaq Bhatti, a well-known social worker of Muhallah Bashirabad, stated that the youth had been working on self-help basis, and tried to drain out the stagnant water. The municipality did not bring over a turbine to drain out the water, even after numerous reminders. He said that it is essential to take immediate notice of this and find lasting solutions to problems of residents.
Rabwah: Rabwah and its neighboring city Chiniot are located on the right and left bank of the river Chenab respectively. Anyone who crosses the river by road or train during the day will not miss the great beauty and majesty of the natural spectacle of the river and the range of great hills that are eons old. These hills have been under persistent attack by a mafia which has dynamited this heritage into near oblivion, with the connivance and support of some officials.
There is now some faint light at the end of this long tunnel. The daily Dawn has published the following story on this topic, on August 5, 2010 referring to ‘Chiniot’ hills (no objection, so long as this heritage is saved):
Stone crushers eating up Chiniot hills
By Aurangzeb Malik
CHINIOT, Aug 4: The government needs to take action to stop stone crushing machines eating up the ancient mountains along the River Chenab in Chiniot.
The chain of mountains is going to be diminished as mountain stones have been consumed unchecked for commercial purposes for the last many decades.
In 2007, a blast in such a mountain resulted in the appearance of a cave from a mountain. The cave, local residents say, had ancient stone statues and other items. Before archaeologists could study them, a big stone rolled down and capped the cave entrance.
In 2007, the Punjab Information, Culture and Youth Affairs Department declared these hill historical sites under the Special Premises under Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985.
A landlord, Col Asim Ali Shah (retired), offered his adjacent land to establish a museum and Archeological Department offices. Mines Department contractors, however, continue to crush stones.
Seeing inaction of the Punjab government, some residents wrote to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani seeking his help to stop contractors from crushing the stones.
The Prime Minister’s Secretariat issued a directive on May 9, 2010, to the culture division secretary with subject ‘Chiniot rock art at the mercy of stone crushers’ directing him to take necessary action to safeguard the visual heritage of the country. No action, however, has been taken.
Recently, the Lahore High Court, on a writ petition, stayed the stone crushing ordering the administration to ensure halt of blasting and preserve the cultural heritage.
Ahmad Ali, a resident of the mountainous range, said he had seen some statues inside the cave.
DCO Dr Irshad Ahmad says he had asked the police and revenue authorities to stop this stone crushing work.
Three Ahmadis; Mr. Basharat, Mr. Nasir Ahmad and Mr. Muhammad Idrees along with 7 others of Chak Sikandar were arrested in September 2003 on a false charge of murdering a cleric. The police, after due investigation found no evidence against the accused. Yet they faced a ‘complaint trial’ for a crime they did not commit. Based on the unreliable testimony of the two alleged ‘eye-witnesses’ (who were discredited in court), seven of the accused were acquitted, but on the same evidence these three innocent Ahmadis were sentenced to death. They are being held on death row at a prison in Jehlum, while their appeal lies with the Lahore High Court. They are now in the seventh year of their incarceration. Their appeal to the Lahore High Court is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 616/2005 dated 26 April 2005.