Mardan; November 8, 2010: Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad was shot dead in Mardan by unknown assailants at approximately 7:45 p.m. on November 8, 2010 as he returned home from work with his son, Mr. Arif Mahmud. Sheikh Ahmad was shot three times and died on the spot. Mr. Arif Mahmud received a single wound and was grievously injured. He was rushed to a hospital in Peshawar where he was successfully operated and has since survived.
Sheikh Ahmad was 58, a graduate, and a philanthropist. He had installed electric water coolers for public use at various locations in Mardan.
Several weeks ago, his nephew Mr. Aamir Raza was killed in a terrorist attack on the local Ahmadiyya mosque in Mardan on September 3, 2010. Sheikh Ahmad’s family and close relations live in the vicinity of the mosque.
Mr. Sheikh was a businessman. He encountered jealousy and opposition from other traders who used his religion to harass him and his Ahmadi relatives. He had previously also spent some time in jail because of religious accusations against him. Two of his brothers were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in a religious case while the law allowed a maximum of three years’ imprisonment. The High Court, acquitted them on appeal.
In 1974, the administration ordered the expulsion of his brother, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad, from the district.
Sheikh Ahmad was kidnapped in 2008 for ransom, and was released weeks later only after a significant amount of money was handed over.
Three months after the kidnapping, a bomb exploded in his store causing a great deal of material damage. His brother’s business was targeted likewise on March 5, 2010.
The entire family has suffered a great deal for their faith, at the hands of the state and society.
Sheikh Ahmad is survived by his widow, two sons and two daughters.
Mr. Saleem uddin, the spokesman of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat stated that a campaign to vilify Ahmadis is being carried out in the country through hateful propaganda, which leads to such woeful and condemnable incidents. The authorities should take serious notice of this murder and bring the culprits to justice. According to the spokesman, the murder of Ahmadi leaders and activists is the result of a conspiracy hatched by prejudiced and anti-social elements who consider it licit to indulge in murder and violence in the name of religion. They play a leading role in fanning the fire of religious hatred and sectarianism by inciting the people under cover of sanctity of faith. Mardan is specifically targeted, he said.
Sargodha: It was reported last month that mullas had fabricated an accusation of blasphemy and violation of anti-Ahmadiyya law against three Ahmadis belonging to Haveli Majoka in district Sargodha, and the police had registered a case under PPC 295-C and 298-C against the accused. The accused were granted temporary bail.
The next appearance before the court, for the confirmation of the bail was on November 4, 2010. Their opponents appeared in court in large numbers to influence the judge. However, on this date, the lawyers were on strike for their own reasons. The police investigation was still in progress. Therefore the judge gave a new date of November 15 for the hearing of the bail application.
On November 15, the police recommended that there was no evidence to support the accusation of blasphemy. Accordingly, the judge struck the PPC 295-C, but cancelled the temporary bail for the charge under the anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298-C. The police thereby arrested the accused and sent them to prison. It is noteworthy that the state attorney ADPP opposed the grant of bail.
A request was made by the accused to obtain bail. On the date of the hearing, dozens of fanatics entered the court room to harass the judge. Twice they were expelled from the court room. At this the agitators shouted slogans against the judge.
Later the judge granted bail.
This case is one of numerous others which show how the state, the mulla and the wicked use the blasphemy law and other laws to target innocent people.
Sargodha: An overview of the persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan shows that mullas have achieved all their anti-Ahmadiyya objectives that were decided in the 1950s. Ordinance XX promulgated in 1984 provided an opportunity to religious bigots to widen the net and curtail the religious freedom of Ahmadis in many ways, yet despite this, their thirst to persecute Ahmadis has not yet been quenched. Recently, the mullas of district Sargodha (in the Punjab) made new demands and the spineless Punjab Police and the administration readily yielded – thanks to policy guidelines from Lahore.
The Majlis Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat, district Sargodha applied to the District Police Officer (DPO) that “Qadianis slaughter sacrificial animals on the festival of Eid, for which they have no right, as this practice is Islamic, and Qadianis being non-Muslims cannot pose as Muslims; as such they should be forbidden from this.”
The DPO promptly issued a directive to the area SHO (police inspector) “Qadianis should be firmly forbidden to undertake this (animal sacrifice). Keep the applicant informed. Render a compliance report within 2 days.”
Ahmadis in the district were careful not to give the police an excuse to move against them.
Only a few days earlier the President had declared, “We shall not allow the targeting of minorities in the name of faith or belief.” (The Lahore Post, November 5, 2010)
Gulshan Park, Lahore; November 16, 2010: Mr. Maqbul Ahmad Dogar arrived home at about 8:30 p.m. after work. While he was about to enter, an unknown person put a pistol’s muzzle on his temple. At this, Mr. Dogar grabbed him. One of his two accomplices opened fire at Mr. Dogar who was shot in the leg but he did not let go the attacker he was holding. Hearing the shots, the inmates rushed out to inquire. The two accomplices fled, while the captured man was handed over to the police.
Mr. Dogar had a fracture in the leg due to the gun shot; he had to be admitted in a hospital for operation and treatment.
Mr. Dogar is a well-known, practicing Ahmadi.
Faisalabad: Miss Hina Akram, a student of the National Textile University, Faisalabad recently had to leave her studies on account of intense faith-based harassment at the hands of some members of the faculty. It reflects very poorly on the academic environment in a professional state-owned university in the Punjab.
Some months ago, Hina’s father met Mr. Rao Arshad, a teacher at this university. Mr. Arshad told the father that he considered Hina to be an ideal student.
Later Mr. Arshad came to know from an Islamist colleague that Hina was an Ahmadi. He was very upset to hear this, and reacted furiously. He sent for Hina and openly conveyed his anger and displeasure. He said that he was most concerned about her Afterlife (Aakhrat). He advised her firmly to convert to Islam. He even offered her refuge and care with a Muslim family, and gave her some anti-Ahmadiyya literature to read. Hina was disturbed by this and told him plainly that she was an Ahmadi by choice and had no intention of joining their variation of Islam.
Roa Arshad didn’t take the refusal lightly and warned her of the consequences. He told her that she was a Kafir (infidel), and will suffer the consequences. “You will face such a fire of animosity in the campus that not even the Vice Chancellor will be able to help you”, he told her.
True to his word, Mr. Arshad and his colleague started a hate-campaign against Hina among the students and the faculty of the university. An effective social boycott was implemented against her. Insulting and hateful literature was distributed in the university. When pushed to the wall, Hina was promised relief in return for accepting ‘Islam’.
Hina’s father called on the Rector and complained. The Rector offered a few words of sympathy but did not follow them up with action. The situation remained very tense and hostile against Hina. Unable to fight through the prevailing hostility, Hina had to terminate her studies and stopped attending the university. She was in the 6th semester of her B. Sc. course; but that is the end of her professional education — years gone waste. The Islamist teachers seem to care more for their students’ Afterlife than for their education, for which they receive their salary.
Moghalpura, Lahore; November 18, 2010: A few unidentified persons randomly fired at the Ahmadiyya mosque in Ganj Bazar in Moghalpura Lahore at about 10:00 p.m. Some Ahmadi guards and youth were on duty inside the mosque. One of them fired back in the air. At this the attackers retreated and fled.
The police were informed and arrived on the scene. They were provided CCTV footage. The police recognized one of the men, Zaheer Fauji who is a local. They arrested him and an FIR was registered.
The electronic media and the press reported the story the next day. Some of them presented it as a fire-fight between two private rival groups. The police initially supported the same version but are investigating further.
The Moghalpura Ahmadiyya community has faced opposition and aggression from the local mullas in the past. They perhaps want to convey that Ahmadis remain their targets.
The police took special note of the incident and directed all units in various districts of the Punjab to remain vigilant and alert.
Goth Ch. Sultan, district Hyderabad: November 21, 2010: Another recent incident further highlights now clearly that unscrupulous elements misuse the blasphemy laws against their adversaries in personal vendettas.
Someone, reportedly, tore pages of the Holy Qur’an and threw these inside the local mosque on November 21, 2010. A few Ahmadi families also live in the village. The police were approached and requested that a case under the blasphemy law PPC 295-B be registered against the Ahmadis. The police started an investigation.
The next day at about 11 p.m. the opposition took to firing in the air in the vicinity of Ahmadis’ homes. Ahmadis informed the police who came over and told everyone to calm down. After the police departure, the miscreants started firing again. The police came back and the miscreants fled. Fortunately, no one was hit.
Ahmadis own a large tract of agricultural land in the village. Adjacent to this land, is a farm owned by a tribal chief who has strong links to certain politicians. He has asked Ahmadis to sell their land to him. They are reluctant. Perhaps this is what best explains the motives behind this incident.
Islam Nagar, District Sialkot; November 2010: An Ahmadi principal of a school has been removed for his faith, and a junior non-Ahmadi teacher has been promoted to his post. The new principal has promoted anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda in the school. The two Ahmadi teachers, at the school, are greatly disturbed by this.
Kotli AJK; November 2010: The following story in Azad Kashmir is based on reports in the daily Nawa-e-Waqt, November 16, 2010 and the daily Jammu wa Kashmir, November 16, 2010.
Qari Abdul Waheed Qasmi, the president of the Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat (safeguarding the end of prophethood) said in a press conference that the collective sacrifice of animals would be offered by them on Eid in areas where Qadianis (Ahmadis) are active. As Qadianis deny the end of prophethood and are a non-Muslim minority, they are not allowed to sacrifice animals on Eid-ul-Adha as this is Sha‘ar-e-Islam (an Islamic practice), nor can the meat of their sacrificial animals be distributed among Muslims, for it is haram (forbidden by Sharia) for them. If Qadianis (Ahmadis) sacrifice animals and distribute meat among Muslims, the Tahrik Tahaffuz Khatme Nabuwwat would invoke the law against them on the charge of blaspheming against a Sha‘ar-e-Islam.
This shows how the law is maliciously appropriated to deny freedom of religion to Ahmadis. Ahmadis had to act with caution on Eid day and be very discreet while offering their animal sacrifices.
Mubarakpura, District Sheikhupura: Mr. Naseer Ahmad is the only Ahmadi family in the village. Although he has faced faith-based opposition for sometime, it seems it has now reached an almost unbearable level. In a recent letter to the community headquarters he reported that his family is being treated like Shudras (Dalits) by the people of the village.
“Almost a dozen mullas stormed my village on 20th of May this year, and subjected me to great harassment”, he wrote. Thereafter his maltreatment persisted and the villagers insisted that he must recant and rejoin mainstream Islam. Some students who attend a madrassah in Batti Chowk, Lahore have taken the lead in this campaign to harry the family. On October 19, 2010 the madrassah students brought along some of their teachers from Lahore who attempted to kidnap Mr. Ahmad’s 15-years old son. They did not succeed but the incident has left a telling effect on the family.
Mr. Ahmad has appealed for prayers in his letter. He is greatly upset.
Basti Shadi, District Rahim Yar Khan; October 22, 2010: A mulla, Rashid Madni is quite active against Ahmadis in this area. He delivered a Friday sermon against Ahmadis provoking the people against them, and distributed hateful anti-Ahmadiyya literature. The police were informed in time. They came before the Friday sermon, and did not allow the mulla to switch on the sound-amplifiers, and instructed him after the sermon to refrain from provocation in the future. The Numberdar (local revenue chief) and people of the village also told the Assistant Superintendent of Police that they had long been living with Ahmadis in harmony and had not faced any problem? They promised the ASP that they would not invite the mulla to their village again.
When the mulla was expelled from the village and not allowed to visit again, he met with the ASP/SHO of Sadiq Abad. He complained to him that the Ahmadis of Basti Shadi had built minarets on their mosque which was illegal. He also presented him copies of the anti-Ahmadi laws. The SHO sent for the district president of the Ahmadiyya community. He met the SHO and explained him the whole situation. The SHO promised to co-operate and maintain the law and order situation in his jurisdiction.
When the mulla found no encouragement, he collected 70 or 80 men at a place outside the village and held a conference. He threatened, that if the administration did not co-operate with him, he would demolish the minarets of Qadiani mosques. Some of the participants indulged in firing shots in the air.
Nobody from the village attended the conference. Although the SHO is maintaining a semblance of law and order, the mulla needs a firm hand to deter him from disturbing the sectarian peace of the local community.
Rabwah: Rabwah has always been a prime target of mullas. Its land was purchased by Ahmadis from the government in 1948 on a lease of 99 years. It was barren land at the time. After 1974, a sizable part of this land was confiscated by the Punjab government to implant mullas there. Twenty-two Ahmadi families were living on the confiscated land. The Lahore High Court accepted the ownership of Ahmadis on their plots and houses in 1976, however the provincial government dragged its feet in implementing the court order. Most of the Ahmadis sold their plots and houses while others were forced to flee from their homes. One such case is that of Mr. Bashir Ahmad. He is the owner of H. No. 15/23 Darul Nasr East. He was harassed into renting out his home in 2005.
During the last five years Mr. Bashir Ahmad has been targeted by the mullas of the so-called Muslim Colony, who enjoy support from the police. Mr. Bashir has been attacked, his tenants thrown out of his house, and the house finally occupied by miscreants.
When the police inspector was asked to help, he plainly excused himself for fear of the mullas and advised the complainant to approach higher officials.
Now the owner is living on rent.
Bhimbar, Azad Kashmir; October 2010: Azad Kashmir has been mentioned previously in these dispatches. Ahmadis are persecuted there, and the politicians do not conceal the fact that they are involved in the harassment. This encourages extremist elements, which include banned outfits, to openly harm and harass Ahmadis.
On October 8, 2010, opponents held an End of Prophethood conference in Dheri Wattan near Bhimbar. The event was organized by members of the outlawed Jaish Muhammad. The speaker urged that those who had joined the Ahmadiyya Jamaat should be made to recant. They passed a resolution to implement a boycott of all Ahmadi businesses. Accordingly Mr. Khurshid Ahmad who runs a clinic is experiencing a complete boycott. A fresh convert to Ahmadiyyat has been turned out of his home and separated from his family.
Jaish Muhammad have distributed anti-Ahmadiyya hate literature in bazaars and offices. This drive is backed by Pir Atiqur Rehman, a minister who finds it politically advantageous to support religious thugs and immoderates.
The hate literature carries the following UK address:
Mardan; November, 2010: Sheikh Javed Ahmad, an Ahmadi of Mardan has received numerous threats. His nephew Mr. Aamir Raza and his brother Mr. Mahmud Ahmad have been killed by anti-Ahmadi extremists in the past two months. Now, it seems he is the target of opponents. He receives threatening phone calls almost daily. His family and children are living in great fear. Authorities have not been able to apprehend the murderers of his nephew and brother.
It is a very difficult situation for Sheikh Javed Ahmad to find himself in.
Tehal, District Gujrat
Islam Nagar, District Sialkot
London, 13 November 2010: In the context of human rights and freedom of religion, it is appropriate to place on record excerpts from a Press Release issued by the central office of the Ahmadiyya … Jama’at. The occasion was an incident of poppy-burning in London on Remembrance Day and a report of attacks on Christian Community in Iraq.
New York; November 23, 2010: The Pakistan government should immediately introduce legislation to repeal the country’s blasphemy law and other discriminatory legislation, Human Rights Watch said today. A few extracts from the statement are quoted below:
Islamabad: Mr. Babar Sattar who is a lawyer based in Islamabad wrote an article in The News International of November 20, 2010, titled: Our intolerant ways. He wrote this after a recent court verdict of death on charge of blasphemy against Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman from Nankana Sahib (Punjab). His is a penetrating, scholarly, and sagacious opinion not only on the blasphemy laws but all religious laws in Pakistan. Excerpts:
Three Ahmadis; Mr. Basharat, Mr. Nasir Ahmad and Mr. Muhammad Idrees along with 7 others of Chak Sikandar were arrested in November 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 eighth year of their incarceration. Their appeal to the Lahore High Court is registered as Criminal Appeal No. 616/2005 dated 26 April 2005.
Four Ahmadis, Mr. Naseer Ahmad, Mr. Ameer Ahmad, Mr. Ameen Ahmad and Mr. Shahid Ahmad of Lathianwala have been wrongfully charged for murder in district Faisalabad with FIR No 682/12.09.2010. A passerby was killed during an exchange of fire between Ahmadis and non-Ahmadis. The fire-fight broke out because Ahmadis had to defend themselves against perpetual harassment and aggression. The police could not specify whose bullet had caused the casualty; they arrested four Ahmadis, nevertheless.