Farooqabad, District Sheikhupura; October 1, 2011: Mr. Dilawar Hussain, an Ahmadi teacher in a local primary school was shot dead at about 12:30 by pillion riders. One bullet hit him in the neck and another in the stomach. He was taken to the hospital but he died en-route. The attackers fled after the attack.
Mr. Hussain joined the Ahmadiyya community a year ago. This angered his relatives, who used various means to make him recant, but he remained firm in his new confession. A group of mullas visited him a few weeks ago, and while departing declared him ‘wajib ul qatl’ (must be killed). The authorities failed to provide him any support in exercise of freedom of belief.
The deceased is survived by his wife and four children. He was 42.
Mullas are free in Pakistan to declare anyone Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be put to death); there is no law against such declarations, which are often followed up by target killings. While Ahmadis are the usual victims of this violent indiscretion, non-Ahmadis also are targeted. Governor Salman Taseer was one of them.
There is urgent need to criminalize edicts of Wajib-ul-Qatl. Bangladesh passed such a law in the recent past.
Rachna Town, Ferozwala, District Lahore; September 7, 2011: Khatme Nabuwwat Organization considers 7 September an important date and celebrates it every year, because in 1974 on this date Ahmadis were declared a non-Muslim minority by the state. This year, religious bigots chose this day to make a murder attempt in Rachna Town where last year they had murdered Professor Muhammad Yusuf and got away with it – thanks to intervention of a local political heavy-weight of PML (N).
Unknown pillion-riders fired pistol shots at Mr. Basheer Ahmad the local secretary of public affairs of the Ahmadi community, at about 11 a.m. He was hit by four bullets in the neck, shoulder and stomach. Three of these remained embedded while the fourth shot to the shoulder came out at the other end. Mr. Ahmad was rushed to Mayo Hospital where he was attended by a competent surgical team in the ‘emergency’ room. They took out the bullets from the stomach and the neck. His vertebrates and entrails were damaged. They had to undertake a colostomy. It took them many hours of surgical operation, and they had to use four bottles to replenish his lost blood. His state was precarious for hours, and they shifted him to the Intensive Care Unit after the operation. Fortunately he survived.
Days later he was shifted to another hospital for medical care and recovery. He had to be provided an armed guard to ensure that he is protected against a repeat attempt.
As the local Khatme Nabuwwat chapter of TAKN (Tajdar Anjuman Khatme Nabuwwat) is intensely involved in anti-Ahmadi activities, a number of activists reportedly fled from the area to avoid arrest.
Ten days after this incident the local leaders of the TAKN in Ferozwala filed a dacoity complaint with the police against unnamed accused, reportedly as ‘FIR insurance’ against an accusation of involvement in the murder attempt on the Ahmadi. Humayun Akhtar, younger brother of TAKN Ferozwala president Afzal Tahir, was the complainant of the dacoity case. The Express Tribune reported the following on September 20, 2011, ‘Sources in the police said that Tahir, Qari Muhamamd Ahmad Faridi and two other prominent TAKN members contacted the police and asked them not to allow TAKN people to be named in the FIR. They said that PML (Nawaz) MPA Ashraf Rasool, who is also a member of TAKN, had also approached the (police) station house officer on this matter.’
The same newspaper quoted a local as, “The TAKN is very strong here. They have renamed the crossing where Chaudhry Basheer was attacked and are calling it Khatme Nabuwwat Chowk. The bazaar is being called Khatme Nabuwwat Bazaar.”
A few days earlier mulla Muhammad Ahmad Faridi, the Khatib of the local Khatme Nabuwwat mosque issued a poster titled: “Khatme Nabuwwat doctrine is the foundation of Islam”. Its contents include, inter alia:
Such propaganda can only lead to incidents of murder and assault, as those in Rachna Town. If the authorities do not take notice of the criminals who give their addresses and phone numbers on posters, it only shows that they support such crimes and lawlessness against Ahmadis.
Mr. Riaz Ahmad of Rachna Town, a friend of Mr. Basheer Ahmad the victim of the attack, has received serious threats from unknown men. He has little option except moving elsewhere – a painful choice.
September; AJ&K: Although general elections were held recently in Azad Kashmir and a new government has taken over, sectarian and extremist elements have not only maintained their agitation against the Ahmadiyya community but also have raised its level to a threatening point. This is done with the collusion of ruling politicians.
Recently Ch. Abdul Majeed, the prime minister visited a religious center at Faizpur run by Mulla Atiq-ur-Rehman (MLA), and while making uncalled for remarks against the Ahmadiyya community was reported by the press in a headline as:
At the same occasion, Mulla Atiq-ur-Rehman was reported by the same newspaper to have said:
In view of the above, the Director Public Affairs in the Ahmadiyya head office at Rabwah wrote the following letter to the President of Pakistan and a similar one to the President of Azad Kashmir (translation from Urdu):
Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya Rabwah (Pakistan)
Honourable Asif Ali Zardari
President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Subject: Anti-Ahmadiyya activities — a request to restrict them
For some time now there has been increase in organized anti-Ahmadiyya activities in Azad Kashmir. Unfortunately these elements have been patronized by the government of Azad Kashmir. Ch. Abdul Majeed the prime minister of AJ&K and Pir Atiq ur Rehman, member of the AJ&K Assembly and President of Jamiat Ulama Jammu and Kashmir are in the lead of such activities in public rallies.
These people have been mentioned in the news for their anti-Ahmadiyya activities since the 2011 general elections. They add to sectarian strife by making adverse comments against the Ahmadiyya community. Since the PPP took over the government in AJ&K, elements opposed to Ahmadis keep issuing press statements on the issue of posting and transfers of Ahmadis in public service.
These elements freely proclaim Ahmadis as Wajib-ul-Qatl and urge the people to undertake Jihad against them. An organized campaign is underway to declare Ahmadis a minority and to curb their religious freedom on the same lines as Pakistan did in 1974. Fabricated accusations are leveled against the founder of Ahmadiyyat; this could lead to tragic consequences.
The grave situation prevailing in the country requires that such activities should be curbed and the authorities should not support them.
Such anti-Ahmadiyya activities are a conspiracy and a plan of religious extremists and anti-social elements, in the holy name of religion. These are basic to the spread of sectarianism. Unfortunately, the electronic and print media also provide them partial support.
Consequently, hundreds of Ahmadis have been killed for their faith. Assaults and countless other hate-promoting activities and incidents are over and above these murders.
Sir, you are the head of the state of Pakistan, and the co-chairman of the PPP as well. Your party is at the helm of affairs in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. As such you bear double the responsibility. These issues which are closely related to the peace and co-existence in the country deserve your immediate attention and action. We hope that you will take appropriate action.
Director Public Affairs
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) District Chiniot
It was reported last month that Mr Naseem Ahmad Butt was martyred in Faisalabad on September 4.
Khalid Pervez Butt, his brother told the daily Express Tribune, “The boys were between 20 and 25 years old. Three of them kept a watch on the door as one kicked my brother. When he was awake, the killer said, ‘You are an Ahmadi, and liable to be killed’”.
An FIR was lodged in the local police station but the police and the authorities have visibly taken little action. The situation remains tense for Ahmadis.
“Faisalabad has become one of the toughest cities in Pakistan for Ahmadis to live in,” Syed Mahmood Ahmad, secretary of the Faisalabad chapter of Jamaat Ahmadiyya told TNS. “Naseem Butt was neither an active member of our Jamaat nor was an influential person. He was killed only because of his religious beliefs. Within days after his killing, unidentified people have written slogans like ‘Slaves of the champions of Prophet (PBUH)’ and ‘Down with Qadyaniat’ on the walls of Muzaffar Colony,” he added.
The victim’s brother, Mr. Khalid Ahmad seems to be the next target of the extremist group who have already taken the lives of his brother and cousin. Some unknown people have been monitoring his movements for the last few weeks. They visited his work-place and obtained information about him. He is under stress. He has been advised to exercise extreme caution.
The state has done little to provide security to Ahmadis in Pakistan.
Rabwah; September 7, 2011: A one-day ‘International Khatme Nabuwwat Conference’ was held at Jamia Usmania, Muslim Colony, Rabwah. This conference is held annually. Mullas avail this occasion for slander, provocation and making brazen demands.
The Director of Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya headquarters, wrote a letter to federal and provincial authorities on August 18, 2011 requesting them to take appropriate action regarding the Khatme Nabuwwat Conference scheduled for 07 September, 2011. It stated:
“Ahmadis in Rabwah, make up 95% of the population and yet they 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.
“In view of the grave situation prevailing in the country, it would be appropriate to cancel 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 harassing women, slogan-raising, improper use of sound amplifiers and posing a threat to the town’s law and order through hateful sectarian speeches.”
No action was taken by the authorities. Mullas were fully facilitated to hold this conference. This conference started at 12:00 p.m. on September 7 and lasted till 3:15 a.m. next day. Five sessions were held in all. The attendance initially was 200 – 300, however in the last session it rose to 1400.
Twenty-two mullas addressed this rally. They all spoke against the Ahmadiyya community. They promoted hatred, animosity and used obnoxious language against the leaders of the Ahmadiyya community. The sessions were chaired by Maulvi Abdul Hafeez Makki from Saudi Arabia and Ahmad Ali Siraj from Kuwait. Some of the prominent clerics who addressed the crowd:
Maulvi Muhammad Kafayat Ullah, MPA KP
Ghulam Fareed Paracha, General Secretary Jamaat Islami
Maulvi Zahidul Rashidi
Qari Shabbir Usmani, Faisalabad
Maulvi Ataul Muhaiman Bukhari, Multan
Qari Zawar Bahadur, General Secretary JUP
Maulvi Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Lahore
Maulvi Muhammad Ilyas Chinioti, MPA Chiniot
Maulvi Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, SSP, Jhang
This conference was given great publicity in the vernacular press.
The resolutions adopted were those that violated accepted norms of human rights and international covenants. They included the following, inter alia:
A ban should be imposed on Qadianis’ activities.
Add column of ‘Religion’ to the national identity card.
Block the Qadiani MTA (TV channel).
Implement Sharia as proposed by the Islamic Ideology Council.
Change the name of Nusrat Jehan Girls College and School to Aisha Siddiqua, as Nusrat Jehan was the name of the wife of Mirza (Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian).
The respected Ulama are urged to issue weekly statements in support of Khatme Nabuwwat and against Qadianism.
Quranic inscriptions written on Qadiani places of worship should be expunged.
Entry forms to educational institutions should have an affidavit concerning Khatme Nabuwwat and denouncement of the founder of Ahmadiyya community.
Government should bind Qadianis not to use the title of Islam.
The school syllabus should include the subject of End of Prophethood.
Qadiani religious endowments should be taken over by the state.
Ban the Qadiani newspapers and magazines.
Dismiss all Qadianis from the government services and the army.
Ahmadis of Rabwah had to take appropriate precautions. They closed down the bazaar, the educational institutions and asked their women to remain at home. The law enforcement agencies also remained vigilant.
Baghbanpura, District Lahore; August 31, 2011: Aziz ur Rehman, Ahmadi went to a restaurant along with 8 non-Ahmadi friends. There, Tuti, a religious zealot, seated with a dozen of his pals, expressed anger at the sight of this Ahmadi and raised anti-Ahmadi slogans. Aziz’s friends tried to dissuade Tuti from agitation, but the miscreant decided to escalate the fuss. He is a younger brother of the powerful political theologian, Tahir Mahmud Ashrafi.
Tuti led his colleagues out of the restaurant and started shouting slogans in the street. He managed to assemble a big number of sympathizers. Aziz and his friends decided to leave the spot, but the miscreants held Aziz and two of his friends, and beat them up.
Someone informed the police who arrived and rescued the three detainees. Tuti, supported by a local mulla of the Khatme Nabuwwat faction, accused the three victims of blasphemy and made sworn statement in support of their false accusation.
By this time the people from Baghbanpura approached Tuti’s brother Maulana Ashrafi, and asked him to intervene and dowse the deliberately ignited fire. The mullas insisted that at least the Ahmadi should be charged of blasphemy. Then they suggested that the non-Ahmadi friends of Aziz should agree to accuse him of proselytizing and of arranging visits to Rabwah. They did not agree to the fabrication. Efforts for reconciliation went on till morning when the police obtained a peace-deal from the two parties.
Aziz has been advised by his elders to exercise care and not go out after sunset – at least for the time being.
Pachnand, District Chakwal: Pachnand has been mentioned in our dispatches in the past few months. It has become a hot spot of anti-Ahmadiyya sectarian activities. Ahmadis have been under great pressure here for the last few weeks.
The mullas held a big rally here on May 26, 2011 in the name of ‘end of prophethood’. They used very insulting language against Ahmadi leaders and urged people to undertake violence and implement social boycott of Ahmadis.
In the months of June shots were fired at the Ahmadi prayer leader’s house at the time of Fajr (morning) prayers.
The situation worsened from July onward. A social boycott is now in place. Ahmadis are not sold any item at a number of shops. People have been told not to buy anything from Ahmadi shopkeepers. Transporters do not lift Ahmadis, at times.
During the months of August, mullas urged private-school owners to expel Ahmadi children from their schools. They succeeded in obtaining seven such expulsions. They have arranged harassment of Ahmadi children in public schools.
They scheduled a Khatme Nabuwwat rally at the Lorry Adda mosque for September 18 and have given it wide publicity. Two mullas, Abdul Rahman Usmani and Pir Abdul Shakoor Naqshbandi were in the forefront of this campaign. These people went to Muslim Colony in Rabwah to participate in the anti-Ahmadiyya rally held there on September 7. On their way back the next day, their car met an accident in which mulla Usmani died at the spot, while a 14 years old son of Pir Naqshbandi expired in the hospital, and the Pir himself had severe injuries.
Nilkot, District Multan; September 5, 2011: At about 5:00 p.m. a stranger knocked at the door of Rana Muhammad Akmal, Ahmadi. Akmal’s elderly father opened the door. The visitor who did not introduce himself poured out venom against the founder of Ahmadiyyat and read out from a leaflet fatwas (edicts) against Ahmadis. On inquiry, he stated that he is back from Afghanistan and is a resident in the nearby Naqshbandi Colony.
At that time, an Ahmadi cousin arrived and intervened. The visitor did not relent and threatened, “It is for you to choose the right path, otherwise we’ll show it to you. Quit Ahmadiyyat.” The unpleasant visit lasted many minutes. The visitor departed without disclosing his name.
Later enquiries disclosed that the man was Arshad Khokhar S/O Qari Ghulam Rasul Khokhar of Naqshbandi Colony. He was away in Afghanistan for two years where he received some training in militancy. He was in prison for eight months. He had bullet wound mark on his hand. More information about him is being sought.
Khiva Bajwa, District Sialkot: Local Ahmadiyya mosque was sealed by the police on the demand of anti-Ahmadiyya elements on June 2, 2005. It was opened on August 21, 2011, and Ahmadis were allowed to pray therein.
Ahmadis, deprived of their mosque, had to offer their daily prayers at the residence of the local prayer leader. The case was referred to a court where it remained sub-judice for years.
Eight months ago, the opponents withdrew the case with the plea that they will re-file the case with convincing arguments. They did not do so till the end of the granted time limit. Eventually they decided to make peace and promised no further litigation.
The mosque structure has suffered due to years of disuse and neglect. It will need renovation before regular use.
Is it not unjust to deny right of worship for years to a community on flimsy grounds? The state and the society participated in this grave crime.
Chobarah; District Layyah: Layyah in the Punjab is the district where in 2009 four Ahmadi school children were falsely accused of blasphemy, and consequently they suffered months of incarceration. This has encouraged miscreants to create problems for Ahmadis with the police and in the courts.
Mian Mohammad Khan, Ahmadi purchased 3 acres of land in Chobara approximately 40 years ago and got it properly transferred and registered. He transferred a plot of 2 kanals from his lot to the Ahmadiyya Anjuman for construction of a residence. The construction is complete.
A miscreant, who purchased adjacent land out of the original joint property has laid claim to the plot owned by the Ahmadi. He went to the court, however the court decided in favour of the Ahmadi. The disputant has gone in appeal.
In the meantime, the disputant along with his party attacked the Ahmadi and his daughter working on their own land; they were injured. The injured complained to the DSP who ordered that a case be registered. However, he ordered arrest of three individuals of each party.
The situation is a cause for great concern to Ahmadis. The opposition could enlist the support of clerics, and make it a religion-based dispute. All reasonable legal and security steps have been taken to contain the fall-out of the dispute.
Dahranwali, District Hafizabad: The situation in this town has been tense and volatile for Ahmadis during September. Mullas of the Ahle Hadith faction, supported by activists of the banned SSP and Jamaat Da’wa have been very active in fanning the fire of sectarian hatred, not only in Dahranwali but some other villages too where Ahmadis reside.
Early in the month, mullas had slogans written on walls concerning blasphemy and Ahmadis being Wajib-ul-Qatl (must be put to death). They announced it on loudspeakers that killer of an Ahmadi will have direct access to paradise. They disfigured a portrait of the founder of Ahmadiyya community and dropped copies of this leaflet in streets and inside Ahmadis’ homes.
Ahmadi elders therefore approached district administration and police authorities and requested intervention. The police sent for both the parties and told them to exercise restraint and pose no threat to law and order. Ahmadis readily accepted, while their opponents were not too sure. They held a rally on September 16, but refrained from using sound amplifiers.
On September 22, 2011 the Ahle-Hadith mullas held a rally in their central mosque in Dahranwai. They had obtained official permission to hold this rally which continued till 23:00. A number of audiences had come from neighboring villages. Maulvi Asad of Gujranwala, Maulvi Usama from Lahore, Maulvi Wahab from Hafizabad and Maulvi Faisal of Dahranwali addressed the crowd. The police were present in strength. This assured peace on that day, but the hate and prejudice preached that evening is likely to breed its violent cubs in the near future.
The day before, the religious bigots agreed on joint enforcement of ban on Ahmadis’ burial in the common graveyard. They demanded of the administrations of private schools to discharge Ahmadi children. Some children have accordingly been expelled from those schools.
Anti-Ahmadiyya agitation has also been reported in Kot Hasan Khan, Thatha Shamsa and Kot Shah Alam.
The sectarian situation in District Hafizabad is a cause for great concern to Ahmadis.
Lahore: September 10, 2011: It was reported last month in some detail that according to the fresh instructions of the Election Commission, separate voters’ lists are to be prepared for Ahmadis – despite Joint Electorates. Any applicant who requests registration as a Muslim voter has to sign a certificate that he has unconditional faith in the ‘end of prophethood’ and that he is not an Ahmadi. Ahmadis have decided not to participate in elections in view of blatant discrimination.
The daily Jang of September 10, 2011 reported in a three-column report that leaders of the Khatme Nabuwwat Lawyers Forum expressed strong objection to Ahmadis not accepting their non-Muslim status imposed on them by law. Extracts of the Jang report are translated below:
Chiniot: (correspondent) Malik Rab Nawaz Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan addressed the conference and said that the parliament had accepted the unanimous resolution and declared the Qadiani and Lahori followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani Kafir (infidel), but this group has not accepted their Kafirana (infidel) legal status. He pointed out to Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhri, the Chief Justice that it is the duty of the Supreme Court to ensure implementation of the constitution. … He further asserted that Muslims have not usurped the rights of Qadiani and Lahori groups, but it is Jamaat Ahmadiyya that has usurped Muslims’ rights…”
This Forum is not content only with the discrimination against Ahmadis, it wants them to be punished for not accepting the discrimination.
Sahwari, Mugalpura, Lahore; September 12, 2011: In view of difficulties imposed by authorities in having a mosque for worship, Ahmadis of Sahwari, Mugalpura in Lahore assembled for worship in the house of Mr. Bashir Ahmad. On September 12 approximately 50 locals came over to Mr. Bashir’s house. The intruders carried rods etc, and looked inflamed. Ahmadis were at prayers inside the house at about 8 p.m. They demanded from Ahmadis to stop assembling for prayers there and pray in their own homes privately if they wanted to.
All the protesters were of the same locality and most of them were youth. It is learnt that the mulla of a nearby mosque, Jamia Masjid Hanifa Ghosia, Qari Muhammad Ishaq is the agent-provocateur. He decided to remain away from the procession, but he regularly provokes people against Ahmadis in his sermons.
Badomalhi, District Narowal
Gogera, District Okara
Chak no. 55 GB, Jaranwala; September, 2011: Ms. Naheed Akhtar is serving as a PTC school teacher in Government High School in her village. There are anti-Ahmadiyya elements in this village among Ahle-Sunnat, Ahle-Hadith, Jamaat Islami and Tablighi Jamaat. Members of the Tablighi Jamaat are especially active against her. Anti-Ahmadiyya posters and stickers are pasted on walls in the village. A disfigured photo of the founder of the Ahmadiyya community is also pasted at a prominent location. The miscreant has displayed his phone number on it.
In response to baseless complaints against Ms. Akhtar, an investigation team comprising the police staff from Faisalabad and Jaranwala came over to the school and made enquiries about Ms. Akhtar. They asked students and other staff members whether she teaches them about the advent of any new prophet. They claimed to have been sent by the DCO Faisalabad. They did not disclose the name of the complainant(s).
Ms. Akhtar feels this is a threat to her career.
Chak 363/EB, Vehari; September 2011: The situation in Vehari is worsening day by day against the Ahmadiyya community. The police erased the Kalima from an Ahmadiyya mosque in Chak 245/EB a few weeks ago at the demand of extremist mullas. These mullas are now planning the same for other Ahmadiyya mosques in the district. An ASI from the Special Branch visited Chak 363/EB. He inquired as to when the Kalima and the verse were written in the mosque. Ahmadis told him that those were written long ago at the time of its construction. He told Ahmadis that mullas were holding meetings and making hue and cry about the Kalima in their mosque.
Rawalpindi; September 1, 2011: A man came over to the gate at the Ahmadiyya center in Rawalpindi at about 20:30 and attempted entry. He was stopped and interrogated to which his answers were unsatisfactory. So he turned back and went towards the Holy Family Hospital. The suspect was carrying a bag. When close to the hospital he took out something from the bag and threw it towards the washrooms. He left his bag there, and he was picked up from there by a vehicle.
Ahmadis reported the incident to the police.
The suspect’s visit to the Ahmadiyya centre and then to the Holy Family Hospital smells of some conspiracy hatched to implicate first the Ahmadis, failing that, the Christians. Fortunately the nefarious plan failed, and came to naught – for the time being.
A few days later, mullas held a rally close to the Holy Family Hospital, and spoke against the Ahmadiyya presence in their own centre.
Madina (News agencies): The daily Ausaf, Lahore reported on September 23, 2011 that King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia addressed an international conference and made some important comments. (Translated extracts):
Islam emphasizes tolerance and forbids calling others Kafir (infidels). — King Abdullah
Islam cannot be spread through extremism, prejudice, killing others, terrorism and acts of destruction, nor do these help in attaining high objects.
Extremism has no religion and is sans frontier. We shall continue to chase the misguided elements. The Servant of the Holy Sites’ address to the Conference
One can always learn from the past. There is credible evidence that in 1974, it was King Faisal of Saudi Arabia who induced Mr. Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, the prime minister of Pakistan to declare Ahmadis a non-Muslim (Kafir) minority. Saudi authorities apparently did not become any wiser till 2007 when they arrested a large number of Ahmadis, including women and children, in Jeddah, maltreated them and extradited them only for their belief.
King Abdulla’s wise remarks are welcome. It is hoped that the authorities in Saudi Arabia will change their policy and implement in letter and spirit what the king has said.