Islamabad: The government, through the Election Commission of Pakistan, has undertaken the massive exercise of updating the electoral lists for the forthcoming national elections, but have made sure that despite the proclaimed Joint Electorate system, Ahmadis are discriminated against, and religion is mentioned in Form A in a manner that Ahmadis are forced to accept their non-Muslim status to avail voting rights, to which they will not submit. This is the Pakistani version of Gore Vidal’s “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace”; the state policy here is “Perpetual Denial of Human Rights to Ahmadis for Perpetual Political Self-Interest”.
The Election Commission has issued a booklet of instructions for its registration staff for the verification and updating of electoral lists by checking house to house all over Pakistan. The booklet is in Urdu. All the relevant instructions are there. It also provides specimen copies of the various Forms meant for preparing the lists.
To be more specific, this booklet provides ‘Wazahat’ (explanation) of some important points, at its end. The last point mentioned is: Ahmadiyon key vote ibtidai intikhabi fehrist mein elahdah darj kiye jaen gai aur, register key sufah key ooper “Ahmadiyon ke liye” likha jae ga; that is: “Ahmadis’ votes will be entered separately in the Initial Electoral List, and at the top of that register the notation “For Ahmadis” will be entered.” It is noteworthy that the Commission entered this instruction in the booklet on its last page as the last entry; this betrays the guilt feeling.
The new Form A, for registration of fresh voters, is essentially the same as the old Form 2. It has a column for religion which specifies religions as 1. Musulman, 2. Hindu, 3. Eesai, 4. Sikh, 5. Buddh, 6. Parsi, 7. Qadiani/Ahmadi, 8. Deegar (other) Ghair Muslim (Non-Muslim). It provides a square after each entry for ticking. The applicant is required to affirm with signature or thumb impression, the following oath (if he claims to be a Muslim):
The language of the above affidavit is noteworthy. One can be confident that the inquisitors of the Spanish Inquisition in medieval ages would not have been more thorough in preparation of their affidavits.
This raises an important question. If the present democratic dispensation cannot put right the obvious wrongs in the field of human and democratic rights, what justification do they have in insisting that people should prefer them over autocratic regimes who otherwise deliver better services and governance in the short run?
Also, the ruling PPP considers its claim irrefutable that Ms. Benazir Bhutto gave her life for liberal democracy!
September 4, 2011: Mr Naseem Ahmad Butt (55) was martyred here at about 1 a.m. He was sleeping in his home in Muzaffar Colony when four unknown assailants jumped over the wall of his home and fired at him. They taunted the victim for being a Qadiani. He was shot in his stomach and chest. The assailants immediately fled the scene. Mr Butt was left critically injured, and was taken to a hospital where he died at approximately 9 a.m.
Mr Naseem Butt was a peaceful and law abiding citizen. He is survived by his wife, four daughters and one son.
The Press Spokesman of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Jamaat, Abid Khan said in London:
In fact such a murder by criminal bigots was on the cards and was expected anytime in Faisalabad. They had openly called for it a few weeks ago by distributing in this city hateful pamphlets which named Ahmadis, gave their addresses and called them Wajib ul Qatl (must be killed). Ahmadis presented these pamphlets to the city police, informed the provincial authorities and urged all, including the federal government, to take preventive action. Apparently nothing was done except registration of an FIR, although the publishers and instigators had printed their identity, phone numbers and E-mail addresses on the pamphlet.
The Daily Times, Lahore published a news report on these pamphlets on June 14, and mentioned about ‘plans of execution of terrorist activities against Ahmadis in the region. The report had further mentioned that the terrorists were collaborating with other wings and laying out a proper plan of Ahmadis’ target killing.’ “The government and law enforcement authorities did not take due notice of the people distributing pamphlets and other hate material, ignorance that eventually led to the killing of Naseem Ahmad,” the paper remarked in its issue of September 5, 2011.
The Express Tribune took notice of this murder in its editorial titled: A most dangerous place. The editor wrote, “Quite shockingly, the Faisalabad police chief says he has no information about the pamphlets which brazenly name the threatening organization.” The Express Tribune observed further on September 5, 2011, “The Punjab government’s record of protecting Ahmadis has been dismal.”
Although all the relevant information is available in the files of the Faisalabad Police and with the provincial Home Secretary, we produce here again the address of the organizations who bayed for the blood of ‘Qadianis’ in their pamphlets issued in June this year:
In a threatening letter in March this year they gave their following address on their letterhead pad:
The editorial of the Express Tribune, mentioned earlier, made the following disquieting remarks in its closing: “Its (the state of Pakistan’s) failure in Faisalabad to come to the help of the targeted Ahmadis is symptomatic of the terminal phase of its existence. Hatred and extremism are becoming hallmarks of the sociology of the state.”
Jattwala, District Lodhran; August 21, 2011: Ahmadiyya community in Jattwala, district Lodhran intended to build a place for their worship. Ali Hasan, a member of Lashkr-e-Taiba (a religious outfit banned for its terrorist activities), filed an application in the District Superintendent Police Office to stop its construction. The SHO came to the site on the order of his superiors and ordered a stop to the construction and told both the parties to report to him in the police station the next day. There, Ahmadis agreed that they would build only a hall for community functions and provide no niche and minarets. Their opponents agreed to this, and the police allowed the construction.
Later on, some mullas and press reporters came to the site again and started making hue and cry that a mosque was under construction. They gathered approximately 500 men and were about to demolish the construction but were dissuaded by some notables of the area from doing that. A delegation of mullas and press reporters met the District Coordination Officer and put further pressure on him to demolish the Ahmadiyya hall. The DCO succumbed to their pressure tactics and ordered the Tehsil Municipal Officer to demolish the construction forthwith. The police came to the site and demolished the building.
Some press reporters and television teams came to the site and recorded the statements of agitating clerics. They expressed satisfaction over the co-operation of authorities in the demolition of the Ahmadiyya mosque and vowed to demolish the Ahmadiyya mosque in Lodhran city as “it had become a place of terrorist activities”.
Such is the role of the democratic government in upholding the Freedom of Religion of Ahmadis in Pakistan.
Rabwah: The Director of Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya headquarters wrote the following letter to all the concerned authorities on August 20, 2011.
Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Subject: Request to stop circulation of provocative hate literature
Jamia Usmania Khatme Nabuwwat, Muslim Colony, Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) has issued a folder containing a time table for fasting during Ramadan. It contains numerous anti-Ahmadiyya provocative writings. The writings urge Muslims to undertake extreme action against Ahmadis. Hate and prejudice is spread in the fair name of religion through this baseless written material. Ahmadis are thereby exposed to attack and aggression.
The folder also calls for financial support to the monthly organ of this organization, which is dedicated to anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda.
It is relevant to mention that the head of this organization, Qari Shabbir Ahmad Usmani is placed in the Fourth Schedule of the police record. He was General Secretary of the Sipah Sahabah, a banned organization. He is facing prosecution in court on criminal charges in FIRs 580 of 31 October 2006, 255 of 20 September 2002, 734 of 21 December 1994, 279 of 14 November 1986 and 245 of 26 October 1985, all registered in Police Station Chenab Nagar/Rabwah.
The monthly Sada-i-Khatme Nabuwwat that has been published for years is neither officially registered nor has permission from the authorities for its publication.
The time-table folder solicits contributions from the general public while according to government rules organizations are forbidden to collect funds without due permission.
We have kept the authorities repeatedly informed of this delicate situation but unfortunately no action is taken against these elements. This results in grave consequences.
It is a pity that these extremist blood-thirsty elements avail of the sensitive national situation and exploit religion to target a specified community, harming the country thereby. Such literature plays pivotal role in this scheme. Although all the decent folk condemn such activities, the negative role and support of the print and electronic media encourages these elements.
Since the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance XX in 1984, two hundred and six Ahmadis have been killed through religious hatred. The serial killing goes on in 2011. A number of Ahmadis have been attacked this year.
Publication of this provocative literature (copies attached) despite the official ban calls for special attention of the authorities and corrective action by them.
Director Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Chiniot
Islamabad; August 16, 2011: Some unknown men wrote with spray-paint on the outer walls of two Ahmadis’ houses, “Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be killed) – Qadiani (Ahmadis) Wajib-ul-Qatl”. One house is owned by the district president of the Ahmadiyya community and other house belongs to the late Chaudhry Abdul Wahid Virk. They also wrote “Hadi Qadiani, Wajib-ul-Qatl” outside the shop, “Galaxy Photo” owned by Mr. Abdul Hadi, an Ahmadi.
This has caused great concern to Ahmadis. The police has been informed about this display of hate and hostility against Ahmadis in the capital.
Rabwah: The Director of Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya headquarters wrote the following letter to federal and provincial authorities on August 18, 2011 (translation):
Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Subject: Appropriate action regarding Khatme Nabuwwat Conference to be held on September 07, 2011 in Muslim Colony Chenab Nagar/Rabwah
I wish to draw your attention to an important and sensitive issue. According to press reports, anti-Ahmadi elements have announced a program to hold a Khatme Nabuwwat conference in Chenab Nagar/Rabwah on September 07, 2011.
Ahmadis in Rabwah, where 95% of the population is Ahmadi, are not allowed to hold their annual conferences and other programs, but their opponents are regularly facilitated to transport vigilantes from outside to Rabwah, hold conferences, take out processions, abuse Ahmadi leaders on loudspeakers, indulge in insulting acts, make mischief and create a threat to law and order.
Such a conference is again planned this year for September 07, 2011 which raises a threat to law and order in this town. As in the past, it is most likely that many incoming participants will be from organizations that are otherwise banned by the government of Pakistan. These bands emerge from the Muslim Colony, loiter through the residential areas, and attempt provocation near Ahmadiyya places of worship. All this can lead to some nasty incident. This conference also provides an opportunity for this kind of undesired happening.
In view of the grave situation prevailing in the country, it would be appropriate to disallow this conference, and provide no official support to its sponsors. However, if decided otherwise, the participants should be made to use only main roads, refrain from eve-teasing, slogan-raising, improper use of sound amplifiers and posing a threat to the town’s law and order through hateful sectarian speeches.
God forbid, if there is a disturbing incident, the responsibility will be that of the participants of the conference and the authorities. Last year also, you were requested likewise to disallow the conference but unfortunately we received no positive response.
We hope that you will take appropriate action to maintain peace in the town. This delicate issue deserves your priority attention and action.
Director Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Chiniot
Quetta; June 22, 2011: Mr. Muzaffar Ahmad, a well-known Ahmadi businessman here, is in the crosshairs of local Khatme Nabuwwat mullas. He has been threatened in many ways. Some mullas took him forcibly to their office and made him sign a statement on oath to deny Ahmadiyyat. “Your business will be set on fire and you will be killed if you maintain relations with Ahmadis or go to their place of worship”, they threatened him.
Mr. Ahmad is at great risk at the hand of these religious gangsters.
Township, Lahore; July, 2011: Syed Farrukh Ahmad is an Ahmadi educator in Township, Lahore. He has been harassed by mullas for the last two years. The bigots of the Pasban Khatme Nabuwwat wing are on his trail. “Your case has reached a high level. A plan is ready to take care of you. Pamphlets will be distributed to every student and in every home against you and your school after the summer vacations”, a mulla told him. Mullas are known to have discussed his case in a meeting.
Mr. Ahmad is very upset in the face of all this.
Sial Sharif, Sargodha: An elderly Ahmadi died in village Kot Easa Shah. His funeral prayers were offered by a large number of Ahmadis who came over from other locations. His three sons, who were rather lax in their religious commitment to Ahmadiyyat, also joined the prayers. Later, when they went to offer their daily prayers at the local non-Ahmadiyya mosque, as was their practice, some people expressed their doubts on their status as Muslims. A group among them thereafter referred the issue to a religious center in Siyal Sharif and asked for a fatwa about such people.
The Mufti responded with a severe edict. He declared, (extracts):
The three sons of the deceased are now facing social boycott in the village, however they are boldly weathering the storm, and are understanding the merit of their father’s confession.
Nawab Shah, Sindh; July 2011: Mr Samar Ahmad Dhari is an Ahmadi notable settled here since long. Recently a family of Jamali clan took up residence on rent close to their house. The new comers are a well-to-do family who employ men as house-hold staff. Some of these are aggressive bigots who started taking undue interest in the religious life of Dhari family and their servants.
Soon there were incidents of interventions, threats and false accusations, against the Ahmadis. Mr. Dhari tried to report to the police but could not contact the Superintendent. So a local landlord was requested to intervene. He heard both the sides and decided that the new-comers owed an apology to the Dharis. He also told the former to dismiss some of their staff who had fomented the mischief.
Goth Yar Muhammad, district Nawab Shah; July 19, 2011: Deobandi mullas led an anti-Ahmadiyya rally in Goth Yar Muhammad in which they abused the Ahmadiyya community and raised anti-Ahmadiyya slogans. Later they gathered in the Madina mosque, Sakrand and held a meeting. They targeted some local Ahmadis and made plans to get rid of them. Dr. Khalid Mahmood Somro, the head of Deobandi mullas, was also there. The mullas are very active in this area and remain busy inciting people against Ahmadis.
Township, Lahore; August 9, 2011: A man, approximately 30 years old, tried to enter the Ahmadiyya mosque in Township, Lahore. The Ahmadi youths on duty intercepted him. The unwelcome visitor gave his name as Imtiaz Babar Ali from 22 Block no. 6-BI. He was handed over to the police.
The situation in Lahore remains worrisome after last year’s attacks on the two Ahmadiyya mosques that resulted in 86 Ahmadi worshipers dead. Authorities have taken no firm steps to check anti-Ahmadiyya extremist elements in the province.
Mr. Saleem informed his community elders of the incident. They have advised him to shift his business elsewhere and remain on guard.
Do Gaij Town, District Lahore
The daily Pakistan, Lahore published the following story in its issue of August 4, 2011.
Chenab Nagar: Electric and gas outages in Ramadan commence
Chenab Nagar: (Correspondant) At the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan, electricity, drinking water and gas are no longer available to the people who thereby face tremendous hardship. The minister responsible for water and power had announced that electricity will remain available at the times of Sehri and Aftaar (closing and opening of the fast), however WAPDA follow-up has made the people yell in protest. On the second day of Ramadan WAPDA ‘improved’ the load-shedding record in that in some neighborhoods there was no gas and no drinking water at the time of Sehri and Aftaar. People had to pick up buckets and look for water from door to door. There was no water in mosques for ablution; the worshippers protested vehemently. Residents screamed on account of electric load-shedding that lasted two to three hours at a stretch. Those who were fasting sought refuge from heat, under shade of roadside trees. They cursed the rulers and expressed the view that rulers who torture the people in the holy month of Ramadan will not be forgiven by Allah.