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Pakistan: Persecution Of Ahmadis During The Month Of January


FORWARDED PRESS RELEASE
AHRC-FPR-008- February 14, 2013

A Press Release from Nazarat Umoor Ama forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Pakistan: Persecution Of Ahmadis During The Month Of January 2013

A joint swoop on an Ahmadi printing press in Lahore by a team of mullas and the police: The Punjab Police raided a printing press Black Arrows, owned by an Ahmadi, at 6 p.m. on January 7, 2013. They arrested the owner, three other Ahmadis and 6 non-Ahmadi workers from the location. They were whisked to the Anarkali police station, where the 6 non-Ahmadis were released. After midnight the Ahmadis were shifted to Police Station Islampura where a case was registered against them under a blasphemy law PPC 295-B, an Ahmadi specific law PPC 298-C and PPO 24/A. If declared guilty, the four accused could be imprisoned for life over a senseless accusation. The police seized a van from the location, a great deal of books and publications (for instance copies of the monthly Tashheez-ul-Azhan, Ahmadi children’s magazine and a book on homeopathy medicine) and related items. Following Ahmadis were arrested: Mr. Moeed Ayaz (the owner of the press), Mr. Asmatullah (the owner of the vehicle, who had come to collect the printed stock), Mr. Razaullah, Mr. Ghulamullah

As per essential details, a few Mullas (bigots) arrived at the press at about 5.30 p.m. and contacted the police on mobile phone. The police arrived promptly and soon scores of religious bigots and approximately 20 policemen assembled at the site. The crowd acted very angry and hostile. The police apparently ‘persuaded’ them to calm down and assured them that the needful would be done. They detained 10 individuals and drove them off to the Anarkali police station as the DSP’s office is located there. More than a score of Mullas followed the police to the police station where for about three hours the Mullas and the police jointly framed the FIR and the charges. One Muhammad Tayyab who claimed to be a student of law became the complainant. Two men, Abdulla and Hasan Muawiya were mentioned as witnesses; the latter frequently volunteers himself as witness in anti-Ahmadiyya cases registered in Lahore. Two days later, the police again asked for additional remand of four days. A large crowd of Mullas had assembled in the court’s premises and were shouting anti-Ahmadi slogans. The magistrate was impressed, and he granted the remand as requested by the police and supported by the clerics, who appeared to be in unison.

Joseph Goebbels perhaps turned in his grave for being worsened by Pakistani Mullas.
The accused were given 17 January as the date of hearing their plea for bail. This was then changed to 21 January, then to 28 January – the latest reported date is 7 February. Ahmadi accused are still behind bars. God bless the Land of the Pure!

A mulla seeks judiciary’s help in sectarian mischief

Mr. Muhammad Hasan Muawiya approached the SHO Police Station Samanabad, Lahore, to have a case registered against Mr. Atif Ahmad under the anti-Ahmadiyya law PPC 298 B/C. Muawiya fabricated the complaint that Mr. Ahmad had handed over to him a carton of Ahmadiyya publications, on sale. Hasan Muawiya is either on the pay roll of some Khatme Nabuwwat organization or is a ‘rent-a-witness (or complainant)’ available anytime to the mullas for anti-Ahmadi police cases. In this very monthly report he is ‘mentioned in dispatches’ on three different occasions at various locations in the provincial metropolis. The SHO, correctly assessing this complainant as fraudulent, decided not to entertain his complaint. The bigot, supported by his parent organization, availed of the legal services of a lawyer (and there is no shortage of them – ‘Ban the Shezan beverages in courts premises’ type.), and approached a judge. Ch. Safdar Ali Bhatti, Addl Sessions Judge heard his plea and ordered the concerned SDPO “to look into the matter personally and if convinced about commission of any cognizable offence, then proceed further in accordance with law.”
The SHO registered a case under PPC 298-B against Mr Atif Ahmad on February 2, 2013.

Ahmadi youth kidnapped in Khyber Pakhtoonkha (KP)

Mr. Mufad Ahmad son of Mr. Murad Ahmad Khan was kidnapped from near his house in Hayat Abad at 6 P.M. He is 15.Mufad Ahmad is nephew of Dr. Irshad Ahmad Khan, a former Amir of the Ahmadiyya community in Peshawar. An attempt to kidnap him was made before as well. A number of kidnappings of Ahmadis have occurred in the province previously.

Hateful pamphlet distributed in Sargodha

Recently Shubban-e-Khatme Nabuwwat of Sargodha, a branch of the Khatme Nabuwwat Sargodha, located in Lakkar Mandi, published and distributed a two-page hateful anti-Ahmadi pamphlet. Its message is not only provocative, it provides addresses of 77 Ahmadi businesses and professionals for the implied action. It lists inter alia Ahmadi doctors, practicing lawyers, industrial units owned by Ahmadis and even a few government officials. The pamphlet is in clear violation of Pakistan Penal Code 153-A. The authorities apparently have taken no action against the mullas responsible for this illegal act that promotes inter-communal hate and violence. Sometimes back, similar tract was published in Faisalabad. It also listed Ahmadiyya businesses and addresses of Ahmadi professionals. The authorities took no action. Subsequently numerous incidents of anti-Ahmadi violence and persecution happened in that city and the district. The mullas seem to have noticed that the authorities took no notice of such violations of the law, so they have repeated that crime in Sargodha.

On this pamphlet’s title page is printed: Every drop of blood is dedicated to the honour of the Prophet. Following edict is posted at the end of the 77 listed addresses:
Fatwa (Edict): On the basis of heretic beliefs and writings, the ulama of all schools of thought of Muslim Ummah have proclaimed Mirzais (Ahmadis) infidels and heretics. All the terms with Mirzais, such as sharing happiness or grief, business, relationships, in fact any kind of relationship, is illegitimate. And whoever maintains a link with them is a transgressor, sinful and deserves hell, and he himself is an infidel who considers them Muslim.
At the end of the pamphlet there is the following note:

Note: There is a famous hospital of Qadianis (Tahir Heart Center) in Chenab Nagar. To visit any doctor of this hospital for check up and get treatment from there is religiously forbidden. It is a sin of the highest degree. Despite the above (or perhaps because of the above) the pamphlet carries the following assertion on its cover: “None in the Khatme Nabuwwat caravan is a bigot. (But) One who is without conscience (bey-zamir) is not a fellow-traveler of the Prophet.” The pamphlet introduces the Shubban-e-Khatme Nabuwwat as a youth organization established by Mulla Akram Toofani in 1981.It invites desirous elements from other colleges and universities to establish its branches there by contacting the management at Phone Nrs. 0336-6154445, 048-3710474, 0315-4900666 and 0300-8651074. Mulla Toofani (whose name literally means Typhoon) is a resident of Sargodha, and is routinely forbidden by authorities to enter other districts during the month of Muharram. The publishers have provided the following phone numbers on the tract for contact: 0300-9606593, 0321-6024664; 0300-8651074; 0301-6729986 and 0300-8651074. If the authorities fail to follow up the above leads of these sectarian bigots who propagate violence, they cannot escape the responsibility if violence erupts.

Mullas permitted sectarian activities in Rabwah

In view of the bitter experience of the past, the Ahmadiyya central office in Rabwah, Punjab, requested the authorities in writing to stop the rallies and processions planned by Mullas in Rabwah on the occasion of 12 Rabiul Awwal, the birthday of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.).
Some extracts are translated below:

“Three main rallies are taken out in Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) on the occasion of 12 Rabiul Awwal. One of these starts from Masjid Bukhari of Muhalla Darul Fazl. It goes to the Aqsa square via the bus stand. There highly provocative language is used against the Ahmadiyya community. On its way back to the bus stand it stops at two or three places and the speakers speak profanity against the Ahmadiyya community. It ends at the bus stand raising anti-Ahmadiyya slogans. The second procession starts from Kot Wasawa, a suburb of Chenab Nagar. It reaches the Aqsa Square via the Degree College. The speakers badmouth there the elders of the Ahmadiyya community instead of speaking on the merits of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). They raise anti-Ahmadiyya slogans. The rally ends at the bus stand. The third rally starts from a suburban area of Chenab Nagar, Khichian. It also reaches the bus stand via Aqsa Square. Participants join it from nearby areas of Ahmad Nagar and Chiniot.
“At the occasion of 12 Rabiul Awwal, these hostile activities are allowed since long. This year the same is expected. In the backdrop of country’s sensitive religious and political situation, the state of law and order, even a slight provocation could make the situation worse.
“Ninety-five percent population of Rabwah (Chenab Nagar) is Ahmadi who is denied their freedom of expression; on the contrary the above mentioned elements are routinely allowed to indulge in anti-Ahmadiyya propaganda. This situation is an open threat to law and order. It is also worth mentioning that most of the participants in the rallies are brought from outside under special arrangements and they are allowed to badmouth the locals openly.
“In these circumstances you are requested to take appropriate precautionary measures in advance. Firm assurance should be given by the mullas before they are granted permission. In addition to appropriate security measures their proceedings should be recorded also.”

Regrettably, as before, the authorities allowed the mullas to converge on Rabwah. They did not fail to indulge in hateful activities to hurt the feelings of the local Ahmadi population. As usual the mullas availed of the rallies only to insult the locals. They disturbed the life of a whole town where they had no right to assemble. Children could not go to their schools and markets remained closed. They spoke not on the theme of the anniversary but spread sectarian hatred and posed a threat to the law and order in Rabwah whose residents had to remain on guard.

Nightmarish ordeal of a college student and his parents

Choonian, District Kasur; January 14, 2013:Mr. Ahmad Jamal son of Malik Muhammad Rafi, a student of ICS Part I received a threatening phone call from some of his college fellows to remain away from the college and that he would be beaten up if he came to classes. He did not go to the college for two days. He told his close friends about the threat. His friends called the college-fellows who had sent the threat to Mr. Jamal. They decided to settle the dispute in the college. When Mr. Jamal reached the college with his friends he found the situation to be already very tense. The miscreants had accused him of blasphemy. An arbitration group had been formed, headed by the president of the Muslim Students Federation. The student leader decreed that Mr. Jamal could come to the college but nobody would talk to him and he would talk to nobody. The miscreants did not like this decision. They demanded that Jamal be rusticated from the college. They called on the Principal, told him the fabricated story, and he found it convenient to immediately rusticate him. At this Jamal’s father took him away from the village. The miscreants took out a rally on January 15, 2013 and went to the police station Choonian and demanded registration of a blasphemy case against Jamal. In these circumstances Jamal’s entire family felt threatened, so they all moved to another location. The miscreants also came to the village and visited Jamal’s house but found it locked. Jamal’s sister is a student of 3rd year in the Government Degree College Choonian while his younger brother is a 7th class student. They all had to discontinue their studies and move elsewhere. The police provided no support or security to the targeted family. They have, however, resisted registration of a case against Jamal.

Police commits religious bigotry in Lahore

Lahore; January 1, 2013:Mulla Imran lodged an application with the police against Mr. Abid Naseem Chughtai, Ahmadi, demanding removal of a marble plate from his residence, as on it attributive names of Allah were written. He made a video of the plate and presented it alongwith a few photographs as evidence to the police. The police directed that the plate should be removed. This was refused. So the SHO came to Mr. Chughtai’s house, removed the plate from there and took it away with him. It should be mentioned that Mr. Chughtai faced religious discrimination at his work place last month. He was also implicated in a fabricated police case in December 2012.

Agonizing burial problems for Ahmadis

Dahranwali, District Hafizabad; January 2: Mr. Sanaullah son of Pir Muhammad died on December 31, 2012. He was buried in the common cemetery of the village. Two days later anti-Ahmadi goons disinterred his dead body and threw it outside. The police were informed, who facilitated the re-burial at another place. An FIR was regisitered by the police two weeks later at P.S. Sadar Hafizabad. Peeru, District Jhang; January 11, 2013: A common graveyard here is shared by all; Ahmadis, Sunnis and Shais have been buried in it in the past. An Ahmadi, Mr. Muhammad Sarwar died on January 11, 2013. It was intended to bury him in the common cemetery. Some non-Ahmadi residents opposed the burial there, and threatened disinterment. It was decided to bury the deceased in a nearby village where Ahmadis have an exclusive graveyard.

Corrupt police officials co-ordinate action with religious bullies in Lahore

Sandah Road, Lahore; January 15: An unknown man came to Mr. Ali Mahmood Shah’s medical store. He posed to be an Ahmadi and tried to get some information about the local Ahmadiyya mosque and asked Mr. Shah to introduce him to the president of the local Ahmadiyya community. When Mr. Shah asked him a few questions, he left the shop on excuse of visiting a loo. He would come back in a while, he said. Ten minutes later the police arrived at the shop and accused Mr. Shah of selling poisonous medicines. Mr. Shah explained to them that he was a qualified license-holder pharmacist and offered them to inspect his stock. The policemen paid no attention to his plea and insisted that he proceed with them to the police station. At this Mr. Shah telephoned for someone’s help in the police department to defuse the situation. Eventually the policemen told him that they had received a phone call on 15 (emergency number) that poisonous medicines were being sold at his store. “We shall come back after the investigation,” they said on departure. They have not returned. Mr. Shah is greatly disturbed. He was advised to exercise caution.

The Punjab Police indulges in religious extremism

Kithu Wali, District Toba Tek Singh; January 18: The Deputy Superintendent of Police Gojra called Mr. Liaquat Ahmad, the president of the local Ahmadiyya community and told him to remove the Kalima from his house. Mr. Ahmad refused to commit the sacrilege. At this some policemen came to his house and smashed the tiles with a chisel. The police also went to the sitting room of Mr. Mansoor Ahmad Bajwa and covered up the Kalima there with cement. Similarly they erased the title from a signboard “Ahmadiyya Primary School Chak no. 312 Jhang Branch, December 1, 1933”. This school was built by the Ahmadiyya community in 1933 and remains a private property. The school administration had taken the furniture out, for essential repairs to the dilapidated building; but the police registered a case of theft of furniture against the Ahmadis. The EDO conveyed to the police that the school was a private property, but they have yet to withdraw the criminal case.

Business corruption in the name of religion

Samungli Rd. Quetta; January 2013: Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim, Ahmadi of Quetta, had gone to Karachi recently. From there, he sent a parcel of a few Ahmadiyya books and two copies of the Holy Quran through a courier company, to his own address but named his Christian servant as recipient. The courier staff at Quetta opened the parcel, telephoned the Christian boy to collect the parcel, and simultaneously informed the Khatme Nabuwwat mullas of the opportunity for mischief. No comments on the depravity of the staff of this company.
When the boy arrived at the office, the mullas beat him up and accused him of being in league with Ahmadis in proselytizing. He telephoned a friend who arrived at the company office to recover the lad and the parcel. The next day a gang of eight bigots visited the boy at his own residence, harassed him and told him that he had committed blasphemy against the Quran for which the punishment was death (sic). They grilled him to disclose to them further details about the dispatcher and the purpose of the dispatch. They also demanded that he deliver the contents of the parcel to them. The Christian boy told them that he had nothing to do with the parcel; he received it because it was addressed to him, and he had delivered it to the owners.
The Mullas departed warning him of follow-up visits.

Sectarian outrage against Ahmadiyya mosque

Orangi Town, Karachi; January 13: Three unknown men came to the Ahmadiyya mosque here and started writing provocative phrases against the Ahmadiyya community on its outer wall. They wrote, “From: Tahrike Khatme Nabuwwat” at the end. Couple of Ahmadi boys were on duty inside the mosque. They did not open the mosque’s gate when the miscreants knocked at it. They instead informed the police by phone. The police arrived there shortly afterwards. The miscreants had fled in the meantime. The police were busy investigating when Dr. Fayyaz, the incharge of Sipahe Sahaba (an organization banned for its terrorist activities) came to the site in his car. He expressed his ignorance about the men who had undertaken the writings there. His behaviour was suspicious; it could be he who had organised the provocation.

Police on beck and call of petty mullas in Lahore

Garhi Shahu, Lahore; December 19: The police from P.S. Race Course came to the Bilal Homeopathic Dispensary at about noon. Its owner and most of the workers are Ahmadis. The police told the staff that a mulla Hasan Muawiya had filed an application stating that this dispensary is owned by Ahmadis and they have written Quranic verses inside it and they also distributed pamphlets to the visiting public. The police searched the clinic thoroughly but did not find anything objectionable. They, however, while leaving told the staff to remove the writing, ‘Huwa Shafi’ (Allah is the One who heals) from the main board outside the clinic.

Encroachment to build a Madrassah

Rabwah; January 20 and 21: The Ahmadiyya administration came to know on January 20 that some mullas had started work on a building at a location close to the local graveyard. On inspection it was noticed that they had already built two feet high walls for two big halls. The situation was reported to the police immediately. The SHO sent for the two parties to report to him at 0900 the next day. The next day it was noticed at 0830 that the mullas were busy raising the walls. Ahmadis informed the police again, and the official in-charge of the local police post had the work stopped and took the supervising mulla to the police station. There the Ahmadis put up written complaint about the encroachment. The DSP also joined the initial inquiry and told the SHO to send for the Patwari (land revenue clerk) to assess the ownership status of the land. The mulla was told that the land may belong to Ahmadis or the State; he was not to undertake any construction there.

Sectarian tension in District Kasur

Shamsabad; December/January 2013: A few non-Ahmadis of this village approached Mr. Maqsud Ahmad, the president of the local Ahmadi community to explain to the people the Ahmadiyya position on his religious beliefs and dogma. He welcomed this initiative and briefed them. This part went off well, he thought; and they asked him to continue with the rest of the briefing a few days later, on December 9, 2012. Mr. Ahmad was cautioned by his District Amir that he was being led in a trap. In view of the former’s insistence to continue the dialogue, the Amir asked him to put forwarded the following three conditions to non-Ahmadis: The assembly will be held at an Ahmadi’s house.
The village folk should give in writing that the get-together is on their request. No mullas will be invited to the session. The non-Ahmadis did not accept these conditions, instead they assured Mr. Ahmad of their peaceful intentions and insisted that he should come. Mr. Ahmad agreed despite the wise counsel of the Amir; he thought he was succeeding in removing misunderstandings.
On December 9, 2012 when Mr. Ahmad arrived at the given rendezvous, in company of three Ahmadis, he was surprised to see that a number of fearsome mullas had been invited and a big crowd of more than 150 men was present. A loud-speaker was also in place. The proceedings, accordingly, were neither objective nor cordial. The Ahmadis felt like being held as hostages and were bombarded with slander and abuse. It was with great difficulty that they managed to escape from there.The incident disturbed the peace of the village greatly. There are 14 Ahmadi families residing in Shamsabad. The mullas have motivated the locals to evict them, and the follow-up pressure is intense. Ahmadis had to seek protection of the police. Their senior leaders requested the district authorities to intervene and restore peace. Accordingly the SHO acted firm with mischief-mongers.

Mullas precipitate mischief and strife

Nawazabad Farm, District Hyderabad, Sindh; January 2013: At this farm, owned by Ahmadis, there were a few mud houses and an Ahmadiyya mosque untill 1988. That year the residents moved out and the place was deserted. After a quarter century there exists a sand dune at the site with wild bushes around. Someone set these bushes on fire. The mullas found in it a reason to agitate and worsen the Ahmadis. They intruded the farm, beat up its guard Mr. Sanaullah and took away his gun. They also attacked the farm’s dispensary and smashed its glass furnishings. Fortunately Mr. Shafiq, the dispenser had left the place a little earlier. His mobile phone was there in battery-charging mode. The miscreants took it away with them. All this was reported to the police with the plea that an FIR should be registered. The police did that and enhanced the security of the farm. The farm is now going to be provided with a boundary wall.

Hostile moves in District Mirpur Khas, Sindh

Goth Ghazi Khan Mar’rani; January 2013: The anti-Ahmadi elements here are keeping the sectarian tension high in the village in various ways. They have made attempts to get Ahmadis implicated in criminal cases, including Blasphemy. A few days ago they moved an anti-Ahmadyya writ constitutional petition in a Hyderabad court on religious grounds (CP-780/11). They have built a new mosque and appointed a rabid mulla there. He spares no opportunity to call bad name to the Ahmadi community and indulges in slander. On Friday, the 25th January 2013, he delivered a venomous sermon and uttered diatribes against the founder of Ahmadiyyat.

A threat on SMS in Lahore

Samanabad, Lahore; January 15: Sh. Bashir Ahmad, a former president of the local Ahmadi community received threat through SMS from an unknown sender. The message comprised foul language and promised him harm within a week. Mr. Ahmad’s house is used as a meeting point for local Ahmadi women. They met there a week ago. The house is located on the main road and is easily kept under observation. A few days ago mullas put up a banner in a local mosque, with warning: “Qadianis are indulging in excessive activities.” Ahmadis have taken precautions, and have to remain on guard.

Human Rights Watch issued its WORLD REPORT 2013 (Events of 2012) recently. In its chapter on Pakistan it reported the situation of Ahmadiyya community as below:
“Members of the Ahmadi religious community continued to be a major target for blasphemy prosecutions and subjected to specific anti-Ahmadi laws across Pakistan. They faced increasing social discrimination as militant groups used provisions of the law to prevent Ahmadis from ‘posing as Muslims’, forced the demolition of Ahmadi mosques in Lahore, barred Ahmadis from using their mosques in Rawalpindi, and vandalized Ahmadi graves across Punjab province. In most instances, Punjab provincial officials supported militants’ demands instead of protecting Ahmadis and their mosques and graveyards.”
P.349 in the World Report 2013 at www.hrw.org

Ahmadis behind bars are; Mr. Moeed Ayaz, Mr. Asmatullah, Mr. Razaullah and Mr. Ghulamullah are in detention in Lahore in the Black Arrow press case.

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

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