PAKISTAN: Persecution of Ahmadis-April 2015

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

Six Ahmadis arrested in religion-based case: Chak 109 GB, District Faisalabad; April 20, 2015: The construction work of local Ahmadiyya mosque remained interrupted for the last two years due to police intervention. There was no boundary wall on one side of the mosque, which became a serious security concern. The local Ahmadiyya community decided to build the wall to make the mosque safe. When 80% work was complete, the opponents called the police to the site, who stopped the work. The police took away Mr. Abdul Rauf, the president of the local Ahmadiyya community and another official, Mr. Ikram, and released them after interrogation. 

On April 20, 2015 a gang of 20 men of Barelvi sect came to the mosque on motorcycles, indulged in intensive firing in the air, demolished the newly constructed wall and fled. Ahmadis telephoned 15 and called the police. The police called both the parties to the police station. After negotiations, at about 10 p.m. the police arrested five Ahmadis who had gone there to negotiate. These were Mr. Rafiq Kahlon, Mr. Abdul Rauf, Mr. Bilal Ahmad, Mr. Luqman Ajmal and Mr. Masood Ahmad. The police did not allow other Ahmadis to meet them. The police then raided the house of another Ahmadi, Mr. Ikram and arrested him too. 

Thereafter the police registered an FIR against 13 nominated and 10 unknown Barelvis and the six Ahmadis mentioned above and five unnamed, under CrPC 148, 149, 324/337-H, 7-ATA and 16-MPO. 

Ahmadis are still behind bars and efforts for their release on bail are being made. 

This case raises some basic questions:

1.    Does the Islamic Republic cater for the wishes of the majority denomination only or do the ‘others’ have some rights too?
2.    Why the Ahmadis were not allowed to complete construction of their place of worship?
3.    Who was responsible to require the wide gap in the outer protection wall remain open?
4.    Was it a criminal offence to secure the place of worship as required by general official instructions these days?
5.    On what basis the peaceful Ahmadis were booked in the same FIR along with the opponents who had come to raid their place, fired shots and damaged Ahmadis’ place of worship?
6.    Why the raider gang was not booked under PPC 295: Injuring or defiling place of worship?
7.    Ahmadis had called the police on 15 to help. Is this the kind of help the Punjab Police in Faisalabad provides to victims of an organised attack?
8.    Which police manual instructs that the attacking party and their victims should be treated at par? 
9.    Is the treatment of Ahmadi victims in this case in accord with the basic intent of the ongoing National Action Plan?

A baseless agitation by mullas
Tatta Pani, Kotli, Azad Kashmir; March/April, 2015: Some mullas here complained to police that Chaudhary Amjad, an Ahmadi had defiled the picture of their Pir (spiritual leader) on Facebook, so he should be arrested. The police readily registered an FIR and arrested Mr. Amjad. The mullas chose to remain infuriated despite the action of the police and created disturbance and agitation in the city. The Pir is an influential figure of this area. Many well-placed individuals and a large population are his followers. The Pir was in the UK at the time. 

The agitators thereafter planned to take out a big rally. At this the Pir was contacted in UK and was informed through his aides that this was a conspiracy and Ahmadis do not indulge in such activities. The Pir talked to his followers on phone and told them not to hold the rally. Thus the rally did not come out. However the miscreants are still trying to incite the public and to keep the pot simmering. Mr. Amjad stated that he has not done anything of which he is accused. The police have been asked to seek expert opinion and they are investigating. Initial investigations suggest Mr. Amjad’s innocence. In another incidence in the city, the opponents held a rally and erased the title of Haji (one who performs pilgrimage to Makkah) from the name plate of an Ahmadi. Ahmadis were told not to open their shops until the matter is resolved. Mr. Amjad remains in police custody. 

Authorities’ decision to commit blatant discrimination against Ahmadiyya publications

The daily Jehan e Pakistan reported in its issue of April 14, 2015 that the Home Department, Punjab had decided to ban publications, CDs etc of 150 authors. The paper published this list of documents, in a chart. The list contains 11 Ahmadiyya publications. This decision deserves a brief analysis and comment.

The decision includes the provision that the production and display etc of these documents will attract provisions of Anti-Terrorism Act and will carry penalties of 5 years’ imprisonment and fine. We are of the opinion that the inclusion of Ahmadiyya publications in the list is highly malafide in the guise of anti-terrorism policy. The news item mentions that “the ban on these books, periodicals, pamphlets, CDs and DVDs of these authors has been imposed in co-operation with ulama karam (i.e. mullas; emphasis added).” Inclusion of Ahmadiyya publications is an act of blatant discrimination and is malafide; we explain below.

It is noteworthy that Ahmadiyya daily Alfazl and monthlies Ansarullah, Khalid and Tehrik Jadid are included in the list. It is not a specific issue that is banned; by not mentioning a date or month, the order could be assumed as effective against all issues. This is a great wrong, as these periodicals are published under proper official authorization. The new order will short-circuit and countermand the authentic original permission. A perusal of the entire list further discloses that no daily or monthly of any ‘Muslim’ publisher has been banned in this manner. Obviously some anti-Ahmadi sectarian extremist recommended the measure and the clerks of the Punjab Secretariat included the Ahmadiyya periodicals in the list.

Also worth special mention is the ban on Tazkarah. This book is a compendium of the dreams, visions and revelations etc. related by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya movement) on different occasions and published in various publications. These were compiled in one volume long after his death. It is thus an esoteric publication that least deserves a notice under terror concerns. This compilation, however, is of great importance to Ahmadis who hold it in great esteem. And lo and behold, the provincial Home Department proceeds to ban it. One could bet that 95% of the Department officials have never seen a copy of Tazkarah, let alone read through it.

It would be relevant that the same Home Department which decided to ban Tazkarah under the guise of Anti-Terrorism Act decided not to ban a book ‘Tohfa Qadianiat’ (Gift to Ahmadis) authored by ‘Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Ludhianvi’, and published by Aalami Majlis Tahaffuz  Khatme Nabuwwat, Multan, which states on its pages 680/681, (Translation) “My and your duty”…What does the sense of honour and shame (ghairat) demand from Muslims? In fact, it demands that not a single Qadiani should be left alive on earth. Seize each one of these malignant individuals and kill them. I am not being emotional when I say this. This is the verity; this is the edict of Islam. This is the law of Islam concerning Murtads (apostates) and Zindiques (heretics)….”

The Home Department would do well to spare some time for training of its officials in human rights and freedom of religion and belief, so closely related to internal peace, well being and good governance. 

Up-date of monthly Ansarullah case
Lahore; April 8, 2015: We reported last month that Mr. Tahir Mehdi Imtiaz, printer of the Ahmadiyya monthly Ansarullah, was arrested by the police on March 30, 2015 in a Lahore court premises where he had gone to seek confirmation of bail in another case. Mr. Imtiaz was wrongfully implicated in a fabricated case registered with Millat Town police station on April 16, 2014 under the blasphemy clause PPC 295-A and anti-Ahmadiyya 298-C on behest of mullas. The police obtained his remand for three days for initial investigation. After this the judge sent Mr. Imtiaz to prison in judicial custody. An appeal was filed for his bail. The judge heard the case for five days and rejected his plea on April 8, 2015. 

It is noteworthy that the case against Mr. Imtiaz is pure fabrication, registered on a private complaint of a mulla, with reference to a monthly that contained no objectionable text, still the judge refused to accept the bail of the accused. Also noteworthy is the fact that the state prosecutor objected to the bail, although the Supreme Court is on record to have directed: “The state should provide security to minorities, otherwise …” The daily Nawa-i-Waqt; Lahore, February 9, 2013

Please find here the detailed report here.

Document Type : Forwarded Press Release
Document ID : AHRC-FPR-013-2015
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Freedom of assembly, Freedom of religion, Minorities, Rule of law,