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Friday, December 28, 2012

Kashmir, Pakistan and Ahmadis: Paranoia of Daily Ummat

For the wise and more astute among us, if we spot a blatant lie in a publication, we can safely assume that the writer's opinion cannot be trusted on other matters as well. The website has been in the business of slander and abuse for many years now. For those who don't know, this US based website is dedicated to anti-ahmadiyya propaganda. Almost all of the material on this website is a copy-paste job from other existing literature which is not a surprise.

For example, in this translated article from Daily Ummat from 1997, the author Farooq Ali has made some very interesting claims. Now almost 15 years later, let us revisit these claims to see what time and internet have made apparent to us.

Ummat is the propaganda rag of Jamaat-e-Islami, the right-wing religio-fascist movement started by Abul Aala Maudoodi, who was a religious scholar of some merit but much disliked by the orthodox Sunni sects. Maudoodi's religious thought was shaped by rationalist apolgetics of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. But Maudoodi's political thought bound him strongly to Syed Qutb's pan-Islamism which manifested itself in the creation of JI in 1941. JI has been on the forefront of pro-Jihad movements since 1970s which resulted in gross human rights atrocities in East Pakistan through their militant wing. During the soviet invasion, JI was heavily involved in Afghan war and Gen Zia's Islamization. Thanks to their contributions along with Deobandi seminaries and petro-dollars, Daily Ummat was never short of the headlines narrating the heroics of the Mujahideen during the 1980s. After the war, JI was recruited to contribute to the Jihad in Kashmir by Pakistani Military establishment. What was once a genuine indigenous and rightful freedom struggle now became a proxy war. While JI was busy destroying the Kashmir cause, its leadership forgot that their founder had forbidden the Jihad to defend innocent Kashmiris in 1948 and was duly arrested on the orders of then Prime Minister, Liaqat Ali Khan.

The author of the article in question alleges that Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been busy in subversive activities against Islam and Pakistan. The evidence was apparently a report submitted to then Government of Pakistan about a terrorist cell established in Qadian, India. Such was the authenticity of this report that nothing came of it since. Not a single document, photograph, audio or video recording, confession of a captured miscreant was ever produced by this esteemed newspaper to prove it. Such is the nature of this poisonous propaganda, that due to religious bigotry, its readers believe in such lies. We now know fully well who is behind the brutal murders of Pakistanis, civilians and military persons alike. Daily Ummat may not admit to it, but a number of high value Al-Qaeda targets were apprehended or killed at the properties owned by JI officials. 

The author is obviously addressing the Pakistani establishment or the time to remain paranoid about Ahmadis. And as with every right-wing conspiracy, its convenient to throw in a few RAW references and links to India and NGOs for good measure. I will ignore them as history and our understanding of it has moved on in the past two decades.

The article is ridiculously compilation of lies and twisted facts. To dismiss a conspiracy theory we must treat it like a poorly tailored article of clothing. Lies stick out of it like loose threads. You pick on one of them and it comes undone. For example:

Lie #1: In 1947 the Ahmadiyya Khalifa asked the boundary commission to consider Ahmadis as a separate faith to ensure Gurdaspur district stayed with India.  

The fact is that the Ahmadiyya Jamaat made a separate representation (as a Muslim sect) at the commission to strengthen Pakistan's claim on Gurdaspur. Due to a very slim Muslim majority in the district, it was important that a strong arguments were presented in favour of Gurdaspur's inclusion in Pakistan. With this in mind the Ahmadiyya delegation asked Qadian to be designated a Muslim Holy Site of great importance to its members and thus to be included in Pakistan. This was done because Indian National Congress had made a similar argument to lay claim on Sikh holy sites which are now in Pakistan.

Daily Ummat also ignores the fact that while Maudoodi was adamant to oppose the idea of Pakistan, it was Ahmadiyya Jamaat which supported the Muslim League and Jinnah in all manners possible.

Recently released proceedings of the in-camera sessions of Pakistani Parliament in 1974 also reveal that this question was raised by Yahya Bakhtyar and answered by the Ahmadiyya delegation.

Lie #2: Sir Zafrulla Khan did not represent the Muslim case honestly.

Sir Zafrulla Khan

This matter was settled by the Munir Commission report of 1954 . Justice Muneer was a member of the Muslim League delegation at the boundary commission and he testified to the excellent work done by Sir. Zafrulla in his report.

Lie #3: Kashmir Committee was a conspiracy to claim Jammu and Kashmir for the Ahmadiyya Community.

The author's reasons for this are absurd. He could only think of one fact that Jesus is buried in Srinagar according to the Ahmadiyya belief and somehow Ahmadis deemed it important enough to conspire a Muslim political revival in the region. How ridiculous is this?

The fact is that decades of relentless oppression of Kashmiris was ignored by the Indian Muslim politicians until it was raised by the Khalifatul Masih II. He not only influenced the Indian Muslim leaders to rally around him to inform the country of the human rights situation in the state, but also provided legal help, education and political organization to Kashmiris to defend their rights. Kashmir committee was the reason Kashmiri's have a political voice today.

Sir Zafrulla Khan presented the case for Kashmir at the UN with such force that Indian delegate was considered to be defeated by those present at the security council. Some US diplomatic correspondence on this matter also sheds light on the impact made by Sir Zafrulla in those years.

It is also odd that the author focuses on the tomb of Jesus as a main reason for Ahmadi interest in Kashmir, yet later insists on Christian-Ahmadi conspiracy against Pakistan. If it is about shared beliefs, Christians will find more common grounds with Daily Ummat as both of them believe Jesus to be alive in heavens.

Further reading:

Daily Ummat at it again. Urdu
Ahrari intrigues to derail Kashmir freedom struggle as outlined by Ayesha Jalal

Thursday, November 8, 2012

1974 - V : Conspiracy Theories

The whole nation of Pakistan, including those who took up arms in exchange of petro-dollars are now eligible targets for collateral damage. In short, those who follow the “kuffar”, or help them, assist them, give them safe passage for military supplies are not worthy of being Muslims, and can be killed. The whole nation is in a state of constant denial.

'No Muslim can commit such attrocities'!

There is a 'foriegn hand', a conspiracy to destroy Islam and Pakistan!

But dear Pakistanis, do have a look at the events of 1974. The so-called fathers of Taliban represented the nation in the Parliament and started the rot which is eating away at the very soul of Pakistan.

Readers of the 1974 in-camera proceedings will find that the members of Parliament were under the impression that the Ahmadiyya delegation chose to be subjected to this cross examination. Fact is, that the delegations had no option but give evidence due to the obscene and slanderous nature of the resolutions presented in the Parliament.

Mufti Mahmood tabled the resolution which clearly states that Ahmadis are conspiring against Islam and the Ummah by pretending to be Muslims (pages 1883-1884);Whereas Mualana Ghulam Ghaus Hazarvi echoed the same sentiments and more in his 'Bill' which also contained demands of removing Ahmadis from key posts and effectively evicting them from Rabwah. (page 2587)

It was also the total lack of competence on part of the Government. They had formed a steering committee to obtain witness statements to

'decide the status of a person who does not believe that the Holy Prophet (saw) was the last prophet.'

So the party being accused of the 'crime' had to present the evidence voluntarily or otherwise.

These proceedings are also a snapshot of the collective psychology of the nation. A nation recently broken apart, a country recovering from a heavy military defeat; a nation which was introverted, deeply suspicious and paranoid. Mr. Bhutto at times was the architect of this mindset as he proved it by blaming foreign hand for the unrest. No wonder that the committee was churning out conspiracy theories on an industrial scale against Ahmadiyya Muslims.

Members of National Assembly frequently remarked that the record of these proceedings was to become part of history, not only for Pakistan, but for the whole of Muslim Ummah. (page 1028, 2712-2714) Reading the document 38 years later, it makes complete sense; the lies, ignorance and hatred of the 'honorable' members could not be shared with the general public. We are introduced to a group of people who pretended to represent the aspirations of the people of Pakistan; some were Mullahs, some were typical landowners with little interest in welfare of the country and only a few were educated enough to understand the gravity of the situation. If we remove the Ahmadiyya witness statements away, you could easily imagine them as a bunch of schizophrenics believing in every wild theory they were presenting. No wonder that generation of leaders lost half the country and then invited the worst military dictatorship on the country ever in the same decade!

Here are a few examples of what was presented as a fact in that committee room:


Ahmadis are the enemies of Pakistan:

The original resolution presented by Mufti Mahmood: (Pages 2077-2080)

Ahmadis conspired against Pakistan during partition, which caused Gurdaspur to remain in India. This led to India having access to land routes into Kashmir and so on.

The Attorney General also paid special attention to this issue during is aggressive cross examination. He kept on returning to the issue pretending not to understand the reasons behind Jamaa't's efforts to help Pakistan in gaining Gurdaspur through separate representation by Ahmadis.

Justice Munir who was also a colleague of Sir. Zafrulla Khan observed in his famous enquiry report:
'Apprehensions about the final location of Qadian, therefore, began to be felt, and since they could obviously not ask for its inclusion in India, the only course left for them now was to fight for its inclusion in Pakistan. Vile and unfounded charges have been levelled against the Ahmadis that the district of Gurdaspur was assigned to India by the Award of the Boundary Commission because of the attitude adopted by the Ahmadis and the arguments addressed by Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan who had been selected by the Quaid-i-Azam to present the case of the Muslim League before that Commission. But the President of this Court, who was a Member of that Commission, considers it his duty to record his gratitude to Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan for the valiant fight he put up for Gurdaspur. This is apparent from the record of the Boundary Commission which anyone who is interested may see. For the selfless services rendered by him to the Muslim community, it is shameless ingratitude for anyone to refer to Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan in the manner in which he has been referred to by certain parties before the Court of Inquiry.
One can also find frequent references made to 'akhand bharat' by most of the speakers. Again reflecting the  paranoia and recent humiliation caused by the fall of Dhaka. There was no evidence to support this theory, only a partial statement from Khalifatul Masih II which was taken out of context.

Ghulam Ghaus Hazarvi, once an informant for the British CID in Peshawar, and a staunch Congress supporter before Partition, also claimed that Ahmadis spy for India under the guise of visiting Qadian (Page 2835).

Ahmadis are deniers of Jihad:

On Page 2094, Mufti Mahmood said that Ahmadis don't even believe in Jihad, but they started gaining influence in the armed forces. That is why they have always failed to fulfil their responsibilities during Indo-Pak wars. I am sure Pakistani nation would like to know more details -  Such 'facts' have been succesfully hidden for so long that people who used them are now deceased; unaware that a simple google search will prove them liars.

On the same page, the father of Taliban (its still Mufti Mahmood) says that due to 'Mirzai' conspiracies, the nation had to suffer the curse of Martial law. Mufti and his Mullah friends demonstrated this to be a lie by getting rid of Mr. Bhutto in 1977 through another military coup.

The Attorney General questioned Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (a.r.) on this topic in detail. (pages 1067-1165). Although it becomes abundantly clear that Ahmadiyya opinion on Jihad of sword (qitaal) is logical and the most reasonable, Mr. Bakhtiyar kept implying that the real Islamic Jihad means revolting against any non-Muslim ruler. Something that none of the Assembly members and their fathers could demonstrate during the British raj.


Ahmadis are British/Zionist agents:

The question of British patronage for Jamaa't Ahmadiyya is probably the most common misconception among the mainstream Muslims. Mufti Mahmood's speech had a sizable portion dedicated to this conspiracy theory. Here he quotes an official document 'The Arrival of British Empire in India' which alleges that a delegation of British journalists and clergymen visited India in 1860s and concluded that Muslim unity can only be broken through an 'apostolic prophet'. The Mufti was careful not to provide a direct reference to this document, but quoted Agha Shorish Kashmiri's work 'Ajami Israel'. Kashmiri was not known for speaking the truth and some even found evidence of fabricated interviews that he published to support his right-wing conspiracy theories.

The document 'Arrival of British Empire in India' does not exist in any library or public record. This is obviously a hoax to strengthen a lie.The fact that this was presented as the evidence speaks volumes of the character and truthfulness of the speaker. Also, this question was not raised during the cross-examination, but presented as a fact during concluding speeches to avoid humiliation.

Another member of Parliament Maulana Abdul Hakeem (on behalf of Maulana Ghulam Ghaus Hazarvi) spoke on this matter and presented his opinion on Tuhfa-e-Qaisariya (a book of Promised Messiah addressing Queen Victoria). He interpreted the respectful tone of writing as not suitable for 'prophetic majesty'. Maybe he would have preferred his Imam Mahdi to be devoid of the high moral teachings of Islam. e.g., courtesy, loyalty and honesty. What none of the Mullahs mention about Tuhfa-e-Qaisariya is that this book was written as an invitation to Queen Victoria to accept Islam.

Mufti Mahmood also stated that Ahmadis of Qadian celebrated the British victory in Iraq during WW-1. On page 1232, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad (a.r.) also addressed this during the cross-examination. Mufti sahib forgot to mention the fact that a large majority of Muslims, their elders and leaders celebrated the British victory.

Religious leaders of all major sects ignore the fact that large number of British-Indian Muslims fought in the British Army during both world wars. All major Ahrari leaders supported the British cause and published articles and letters to show their allegiance to the Empire. It was when the Indian National Congress started to openly rebel against the government that their paid Ahraris also participated in those agitations.
The fact is that if the British actively sponsored anyone, it was the Deoband and Ahl-Hadith leaders in India. Please see the video below.

Not only this, Barelvi school of thought was also very close to the British. One can find plenty of evidence on the internet.

1970s was a time of extreme anti-Zionist sentiments everywhere. Arab nations had recently lost a war against Israel and conspiracy theorists were busy finding the reasons for the Arab defeat. Mullahs of Pakistan found an easy target in Ahmadis. Mufti Mahmood collected some random references and tried to weave them in his story on how Ahmadis are the agents of Israel. The only fact in his speech was that some native Arab Ahmadis live in a town called Kababeer which was occupied by Israel in 1948. The Mufti  forgot to mention the fact that apart from these few hundred Arab Ahmadis, many hundreds of thousands of Arab Muslims live in Israel as well.

Mullah Abdul Hakeem (Ghulam Ghaus Hazarvi et al) also made reference to the Arab defeats and Israeli aggression (page 2486-87) and somehow linked it with Ahmadis. A detailed response to these allegations was given by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (a.r) during Friday 23rd of August proceedings. (page 1230 onwards).

As a community, Ahmadiyya Jamaa't has always been critical of the state of Israel* and its creation through violence and occupation. Sir. Zafrullah Khan was hailed as a hero of the Arab cause when he defended the Arab nations in United Nations against Israeli aggression.

These are only a few examples from these two speeches which were the Deobandi (JUI) response to Ahmadiyya Muslim Mahzarnama.


'Qadiani' Kalima

One MNA, Inayat-ur-Rahman Abbasi spoke about the Kalima written on the entrance of a Mosque in Africa. Due to the poor picture quality and the unusual calligraphy (Kufi), Maulvis found the evidence that Ahmadis read Ahmadur Rusoolullah instead of Muhammadur Rusoolullah.

People have seen better UFO evidnece than this!

When Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (ar) was asked about this by Yahya Bakhtiyar,(pages 312-315) he pointed to  'tashdeed' on the letter Ma in the word they wanted to read as Ahmad. There is extra emphasis on the second letter Ma in Muhammad. It was also pointed out to the committee that Rabita-e-Alame-Islami's official publications printed the same picture in an Anti-Ahmadiyya article but did not object to the Kalima. i.e, they understood it to be the same Kalima written on all the mosques around the world. 

After the delegation left for the day, Maulana Zafar Ansari had a look at the magazine handed over to the committee as evidence. He tried his best to prove that the article was critical of 'subversive' Qadiani activities in Africa in the hope that people would also accept the lie about the Kalima (pages 340-345) This was indeed a sign of their frustration on being caught out lying. One of many to come during the proceedings. 

Sir Zafrullah Khan; Jurist, lawyer, statesman, writer, historian, scholar, Judge of ICJ. But still of 'sub-standard intellect' for some.

A couple of non-Mullah MNAs exposed their mental state and of that committee on the 2nd of September.

M. Afzal Randhawa wanted the government to investigate the secret funding Ahmadis receive from Israel. He also expressed the opinion that as Ahmadis are not Muslims, they can't even be good Pakistanis. (page 2797-2800)

Chaudhary Mumtaz Ahmad had the decency to accept at least on historic fact that the Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) defeated christian missionaries in debates. (page 2803), but he repeated the same story of British sponsorship and the intent to divide the Muslims.

Makhdoom Noor Muhammad revealed that Sir Zafrulla and M.M. Ahmad both were of inferior intellect; (an opinion that the whole world disagrees with) he then proceeds to quote Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rahman who blamed a 'syndicate of Qadiani Generals' behind the East Pakistan situation and threw in a few Tel Aviv references too for good measure. This honorable member also disclosed that Ahmadis also tried to sabotaged the Independence of Indonesia (pages 2820-2822) , something that will even surprise the Indonesian historians.

Next: Kufr and Islam - Circles and boundaries:
* In 1939, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) wrote a tract against the scheme to settle Jews from around the world in Palestine. This was widely published and very well received by many leading Arab newspapers. Reference to this was made by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III on 1247-1250 of the documents.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

1974 - IV: The Background

In order to understand the motives behind Bhutto government's decision to declare Ahmadis non-Muslims, we also need to understand the sequence of events leading to July 1974. What you will find  in this analysis is a story of treachery, hypocrisy and opportunism of politics and Mullahs.

The Elections:

Despite a temporary lull in anti-Ahmadiyya sentiments during the Ayub era, it was obvious that Jama'at Islami and other religious organizations were in no mood to let Ahmadis live in peace. 1970 was the election year and religious parties were hoping to gain power. This would be their first of many election losses to come. Both Barelvi and Deobandi conglomorates and Jamaa't Islami could only gain 10 seats in National Assembly. Bhutto's socialist PPP won majority in West Pakistan, mainly due help and advice from the Ahmadi leadership. Ahmadis also supported friendly candidates from other parties as well, but where it mattered the most, they voted for PPP.

Agha Shorish Kashmiri's Chattan wrote that PPP's victory is a lesson for the religious right-wing, but Mr. Bhutto won due to Qadiani conspiracies in Sindh and Punjab. It is ironic that the same paper was reporting Ahmadiyya hand in support of Mufti Mahmood's political rallies before the elections. Mr. Kashmiri, being a great orator was a sought after ally of the religious orthodoxy. In those days he was supporting Mr. Maudoodi.

Jama'at e Islami leadership. Sponsored by the Foreign hand.

The elections resulted in a stalemate between the Awami league in East Pakistan and PPP in the West. This lead to the tragic events of 1971 and creation of Bangladesh.

Ahmadis on Key Posts:

In September 1971, Sahibzada M.M. Ahmad, the advisor to the President on economic affairs was attacked in his office by one Aslam Qureshi (later Maulana Aslam Qureshi). Mr. Qureshi was praised in the press for his upright character. Sahibzada sahib survived the attack. This was a time of crisis in Pakistan. But Mullah was busy inciting the public against the Ahmadis; especially those who were serving their country in prominent positions.

Assassination attempt was made on Sahibzada Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad, A Federal Minsiter.

It is true that some Ahmadis were serving in prominent positions in the civil and military services, but it was a natural outcome of being brought in an environment where education and loyalty to country was part of their faith. Sahibzada M.M. Ahmad sahib was the most distinguished economist of his era his services to the country are well documented. In the war of 1971, when most other generals were busy surrendering one half of the country to the enemy, an Ahmadi General Eftikhar Janjua laid down his life while on active service.

Mr. Bhutto also confessed to Col. Rafi in his last days that the only capable General he had known was Gen. Akhtar Malik, another Ahmadi.

The Constitution:

When the constitution of Pakistan was finalized in 1973, it became apparent that Bhutto had already started pandering to the Mullahs. The oath statements for both the President and the Prime Minister now included this statement

I ......................, do solemnly swear that I am a Muslim and believe in the unity and oneness of Almighty Allah, the books of Allah, the Holy Quran being the last of them, the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the last of the prophets and that there can be no prophet after him.....
One can sense the childish motives behind this action. Ahmadis agree to the statement anyway. Holy Prophet (saw) being the Khataman-Nabiyyeen was the first and the last prophet and no prophet can come after him. (i.e., his era is until the day of Judgement).

Mr. Bhutto and PPP were now acutely aware of the label of 'pro-Qadiani' and 'Qadiani agents' being applied on them by the defeated religious parties. Bhutto had to move fast to keep his popularity up among the masses. But despite his best efforts, Mullahs were still not happy. A number of other reservations against the constitution were expressed. i.e., where is the punishment for apostasy? where is the demand of Jizya from non-Muslims? Why are non-Muslims allowed to hold key posts? etc.

In the meantime, the Government of Azad Kashmir, under the leadership of Sardar A.Q Khan passed a resolution (in which only the ruling party voted) which declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims. This probably was an attempt to test the waters before trying it in Pakistan. As expected, the news was appreciated by the religious parties and Pakistani press. Even Rabita Aalam-e-Islami sent a congratulatory telegram to Mr. Bhutto (probably mistaking him to be the president of AJK).

A warning from Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III

While it appeared that seemingly random events of persecution were happening all around, the Imam of Jama'at Ahmadiyya knew that a conspiracy was being hatched against the community on a grand scale. He called the emergency Shura (a committee of elected advisers from all over the country) in May 1973 and informed them of the secret machinations taking place in the Government and the establishment against the community. He told the community that there was a plot to assassinate the Ahmadiyya leadership and also a scheme to put economic and financial restrictions on Ahmadis (social boycott) to break them apart. And finally there was also the plan to cause internal rift among the Ahmadis in Rabwah by using some hypocrite elements from within the community.

Manufacturing Khilafat; An unfulfilled dream

The global politics of the time had given rise to wannabe 'Khalifas' around the Muslim world. Terrorists from the atheist far-left around the world had declared solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Dictators propped up by the West were going no where. So when Idi Amin, Gaddafi, Anwer Sadaat, Shah Faisal, Yasser Arafat decided to pay a visit for the Islamic Conference in Feb 1974, Bhutto was all set to become a major world leader. On the other hand Shah Faisal was being presented to the Muslim world as the unifying leader, a potential  Khalifa. Pakistani Media was in a religious frenzy at this time, Chattan ready and willing to pledge allegiance to Khalifatul Muslimeen, Shah Faisal.

OIC Summit 1974: Wannabe Saviours. Mr. Bhutto's ambitions and Shah Faisal's petro-dollars could not do the trick.

There were reports that Jamaat e Islami and other mullahs were going to use the international conference to move against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on a global scale. Mirza Tahir Ahmad (later Khalifatul Masih IV a.r.) met with Bhutto to share his concerns; Bhutto assured him that nothing of that sort will be allowed.

The conference was a failure for the Muslim world, but for Mr. Bhutto it was a major success. He popularity graph was at all time high.

Rabita-Aalame-Islami, an NGO sponsored by the house of Saud was present at the conference. A month of so after the conference, this organization passed a resolution declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims. The Pakistani official delegate also signed it. This resolution also contained the Saudi Royal Decree which barred Ahmadis from entering the country or gaining employment in Saudi Arabia.

The Rabwah Incident

Commonly known as the precursor the the Parliamentary debate, Rabwah railway station incident is another example of how the print media and Mullah propaganda caused so much death and destruction for Pakistani Ahmadis. The event took place on 22nd and 29th of May 1974 in which a group of students belonging to the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami got involved in a brawl with some misguided Ahmadi youth at Rabwah train station. It resulted in some minor injuries, but the news spread like wildfire all across the country. Urdu print media exaggerated the accounts of violence and presented a fictitious picture of mutilations and wanton murder of innocent Muslim boys by barbaric Ahmadis. Nothing could be far from the truth. Justice Samdani was appointed to head a tribunal to investigate the matter. His report which consisted of detailed interviews of all parties involved was submitted to the Provincial government. That report has never been made public. But Justice Samdani had to make a public announcement during his enquiry that no torture, mutilation or murder took place during the brawl. This was in response to the propaganda by various newspaper that many students had their eyes gouged out and limbs hacked off and some were in critical condition. In fact, only 13 minor injuries were reported by the doctors. A reference to this fact was also made during the in-camera session by Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih (a.r.) which was not contested.

Riots, Massacres and Boycott

Following the events in Rabwah, the whole of Pakistan was engulfed in anti-ahmadiyya riots. Nawa-e-Waqt, the most read Urdu newspaper announced on 16th of June that the Social boycott of Ahmadis has started. This was in  line with the Rabita-Alame Islami declaration a few weeks earlier urging all Muslims to do the same. Dozens of Ahmadis were killed across the country and many thousands made homeless due to arson and looting. In Gujranwala, a particularly gruesome massacre took place where eight Ahmadis were tortured and killed by violent mobs in different parts of the city. In addition to this there were horrific tales of murders where mobs killed the victims and mutilated their bodies and burnt them with their homes and possessions. While this fire was raging in all parts of the country, the national and provincial assemblies were busy blaming the Ahmadis for creating this situation. Even Justice Samdani ignored the violence against Ahmadis and only focused on the Rabwah incident which was only a minor law and order situation.

While Mullahs were busy on the street ensuring life was made hell for Ahmadis, their representatives in the national and provincial assemblies hijacked those forums to blackmail the government. Instead of discussing the law and order in the country, ministers were forced to announce their allegiance to the cause of khatm-e-nabuwwat and namoos-e-risalat.

The Foreign Hand

At this crucial turning point in Pakistan's history, Mr. Bhutto and his allies had the option to deal with the miscreant according to the law and the new constitution. Instead, Bhutto chose to blame a foreign hand in destabilizing the country once again. I am not sure what he meant by this. Those on the right may have interpreted as US and Zionists supporting the Ahmadis to topple the government. While the secular elements in his own party knew that the all the evidence led to Saudi sponsored Jamaat-e-Islami and other Wahabi-Deobandi elements. According to Dr. Mubashar Hasan, Bhutto's close friend and MNA at the time, Mr. Bhutto knew fully well that Shah Faisal was behind the Mullahs.

In the meantime, Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III (a.r.) told AP that he considered the government fully responsible for the situation. This was consistent with his views that he shared with the Shura a year ago. Jamaa't also had reached out to the international community to highlight the human rights abuses being ignored by the state. Sir. Zafrullah Khan (r.a) raised the matter in a press conference in London. This attracted the disapproval of the government and was referred to by the Attorney General during the In-Camera sessions.

The whole month of June was spent in murdering and Jailing Ahmadis, while the government was looking for a way out. Newspapers were asked not to publish any news about the Ahmadiyya persecution to which they gladly complied.

On 30th of June, Mullahs of Parliament brought a resolution forward demanding that Ahmadis be declared non-Muslims. The law minister took the matter to the speakers chambers where a resolution was drafted which was a masterpiece in bigotry and conspiracy theories. For example it alleged that Ahmadis have made changes to Quran and they are sponsored by imperialist powers to cause divisions among Muslims. This was agreed to be presented to the house for a vote on the condition that witnesses will be called to give evidence before a final decision.

The Chief Takfiri. Mufti Mahmood or Bhutto?

But it is evident from the events above that the decision was already made. Many years later, Dr. Mubashar Hasan blamed the law minister for being an 'idiot' for agreeing to such wording. Mr. Farooq Ali Khan also admitted that the matter was decided not in his chambers, but by Rabita-Alame-Islami many months ago.

Mr. Bhutto's Hubris

According to Dr. Mubashar Hasan, Bhutto was fully aware of the outcome of his actions, but he was confident that whatever Mullah's had plotted, he would overcome them by his political maneuvering. This policy of appeasement came back to haunt him a few years later. Bhutto was fairly vocal in public about his intentions to deal with the matter in parliament. Everyone knew that he intended to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslims as the final solution to this 90 years old issue. Khan Abdul Wali Khan, once a secular leader of Pakhtuns, but an ally of Mr. Bhutto also joined hands with him at this juncture.

                          Dr. Mubashar Hasan stating some facts

Jamaa't writes to the Secretary of National Assembly

On 4th of July, the Nazir Umoor-e-Aama, Mirza Mansoor Ahmad sahib wrote to the secretary of National assembly to allow a delegation to present the Ahmadiyya belief in-front of the steering committee set up by the Parliament. The government responded that unless the Khalifatul Masih III (a.r.) attends himself, they will not allow a hearing, instead written statement maybe submitted.

It was decide that a Memorandum be presented to the Parliament which was published and submitted before Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III read it in the parliament on 22nd and 23rd of July.

The Ahmadiyya delegation then attended the in-camera session from 5th of August to respond to the questions from the Steering committee.

The Ahmadiyya delegation

The above overview has been adapted from Silsila Ahmadiyya, Volume III, which contains thorogh research and facts on the events of 1974. The authors managed to interview Prof. Ghafoor of JI, Abdul Hafeez Peerizada, Mubashar Hasan and Farooq Ali Khan of PPP to obtain their eye witness account of the proceedings.

Friday, October 26, 2012

1974 - Some Clarifications regarding the official record

Before I proceed with any further review of the recently declassified proceedings of the In-Camera session, there are a few clarifications I would like to make.

  1. The document was not voluntarily released by the Government. According to Mr. Bashir A. Khan who acquired the document, he had to sue the Secretary of the National assembly to obtain the records.
  2. The audio tapes which should have accompanied the documents have been allegedly destroyed in a fire.
  3. The records themselves do not contain the most important evidence submitted by the Ahmadiyya delegation. i.e., Mahzarnama. It however contains the detailed response to the Mahzarnama by various religious leaders.
  4. The records were declassified by the individual efforts of an Ahmadi Mr. Bashir A. Khan, who wrote thousands of letters to various political leaders and officials. He also funded the legal action himself. We are grateful to Mr. Khan for bringing such a historic record into the public domain.

As for the quality of the records I have the following observations.

  1. A large number of Arabic references presented by either sides has been omitted. One can only take an educated guess on what these may have been.
  2. At many points, the speaker of the house asked the reporters to leave. We do not know what was discussed in the hall after the delegates left for recess. I don't know if it was against the rules, but what were they trying to hide? It was already an 'in-camera' process.
  3. Without the tapes, we can not be certain of the veracity and completeness of the records. Luckily Maulana Dost Muhammad Shahid sahib recorded hours of video testimony before his demise.
  4. The events which led to this in-camera session are mostly unavailable. For example Samdani Commission report which became the basis of the whole affair has also mysteriously disappeared.
  5. The preceding parliamentary debates which led to the events reported in the documents are also not available to give it some context.
  6. It is important for the reader to acquire all other relevant historic evidence to complete the picture presented in records.
Despite all of the above, this documents reveal a wealth of information about the mindsets, motives and conduct of both sides.

I will be posting some more thoughts and findings in the coming days. InshaAllah.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

1974 - III: The war of two narratives; Jinnah vs the Mullah

During the month when four Ahmadis have been murdered in Pakistan for their faith, reading the recently released transcript for the In-Camera sessions is indeed a surreal experience.

If there ever was Jinnah's Pakistan, it was mortally wounded and finished off by a pack of wolves which shred into pieces on the 7th of September, 1974.

Mr. Abdul Hafeez Peerzada, who was Bhutto's Law Minister revealed many years later that the whole issue was a political 'compromise' by his leader. His comments in this video are in stark contrast to his speech on 7th of September where he presented the resolution on behalf of the whole house. (pages 3072-3081)

Pirzada admitting some hard facts. Courtesy Dunya TV.

In this vidoe, Mr. Pirzada has said that an 'Ahmadi' MNA also voted for the motion. This is incorrect. The person he is referring to (Malik M. Jaafar) was not an Ahmadi. Please read his remarks from page 2644 onwards.

It was a war of two narratives for Pakistan. One, the fictional narrative of the clergy which considered Pakistan to be an Islamic theocracy where all non-Muslims are 'Dhimmis': (page 2966) The other, the real version of history which explains the creation of Pakistan as a progressive, secular country governed by the Islamic ideas of universal justice and equality.

While everyone blames Zia for introducing the notorious Blasphemy law, one 'esteemed' MNA, Mr Ahmad Raza Khan Kasuri * suggested the death penalty for 'apostates' in the penal code. (page 2976)

One leading member of the 'Takfiri' MNAs was Zafar Ahmad Ansari, a close friend of Maudoodi and one of many hidden hands in Islamization of Pakistan from the very beginning. Ansari showed his true colours during Zia era by advising him to do away with any opposition. Such ardent and resolute enemies of Jinnah's vision were let loose on the constitution of Pakistan by Mr. Bhutto.

In 1974's parliament, no one fought for Jinnah's Pakistan but Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih III (a.r.). I have carefully read the whole document and do keep returning to it for clarifications, but I have no doubt in my mind that PPP, its allies and its opposition were all united against Jinnah's Pakistan.

The Attorney General's concluding remarks were essentially the whole list of questions he was given by the committee. i.e., he repeated the  allegations without even mentioning the Ahmadiyya responses for many of them. It is one thing being unconvinced of an argument, but willfully ignoring solid historic facts and not even acknowledging them is just criminal.

One method of reading this document is quite simple. You can read the Attorney General's concluding speech delivered on the 5th and 6th of September and then compare all of its contents with the cross-examination that took place.

For example, Finality of Prophethood is the main subject in his speech and in the concluding remarks of ALL of the speakers.  At one point , speaker of the house quite sternly reminds a member to stay seated if he had any regard for 'Khatm-e-Nabuwwat'.(Page 3059)

During the cross-examination, no direct questions were raised on this subject. i.e., Ahmadiyya opinion on the verse Khatam-un-Nabiyyeen ** was never sought by the house. He did mention the subject as a follow-up question i.e., Can more prophets come? What is ummati Nabi? etc But no reference to Quranic evidence was made by him.

Attorney General's concluding remarks are an example of intellectual cowardice. He fails to acknowledge any strength in the Ahmadiyya position on any subjects discussed throughtout the course of the proceedings. Even for the most biased (not bigoted) observers, Ahmadiyya services in the creation of Pakistan are an accepted historic fact. But he even diluted that by including some conspiracy theories and myths about the boundary commission. (page 3044).

Coming next.. Conspiracy theories..

Agha Shorish Kashmiri, a firebrand of Ahrar. Speaking during the anti-Ahmadiyya agitations.

* Mr Kasuri reported an attack on his car in Aug 74 during the proceedings. He was attacked again in November 74 in which his father was killed. Mr. Bhutto was hanged for this 'alleged' crime.
** One example can be found on page 1282 where Attorney General mentioned the verse but did not want a 'commentary', only the meanings for the phrase 'Khataman-Nabiyyeen'.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1974 - II What was the question again?

Yasser Lateef Hamdani, a prominent Pakistani lawyer and  columnist asks a simple question on the In-Camera charade of 1974. Why was the Attorney General so intent on dissecting the details of Ahmadiyya beliefs and its history? The fundamental question at this stage was whether the Parliament of Pakistan has any right to declare anyone Non-Muslim?

The state should not be defining the boundaries of faith and putting people in or outside of it. Religious sects and their leaders are more than capable of defining (rightly or wrongly) what true faith is, and all should be free to do so.

The 'Mahzarnama' (Memorandum) submitted by the Ahmadiyya delegation to the members of the house prior to start of the In-Camera proceedings asked these two basic questions.

1. Is any Assembly in the world, per se, entitled to deprive an individual of the basic right to exercise his free will to attribute himself, to the religion of his choice? Or,

2. Is any Assembly in the world, per se, entitled to decide, by way of interference in the domain of faith and religion, as to what it considers to be the religion of any community, sect or individual?
Mr. Yahya Bakhtiyar, the Attorney General of Pakistan started the questioning on the first day, 5th of August 1974. After a brief introduction of the witness and of Ahmadiyya Jamaat, he went to the question of religious identity. At first he wanted the definition of a Muslim from the witness. But to prove that the Parliament has the right to decide on matters of faith, Mr. Bakhtyar went into one convoluted argument after another, all of which were extreme examples of fraud or willful impersonations in various settings. These were flawed and misleading tactics, but it becomes evident during the course of the proceedings that Mr. Bakhtyar was only playing out a script under the strict instructions of Mr. Bhutto and his Mullahs (rather Mullahs and their Mr. Bhutto). 

Yahya Bakhtiyar (from Pakistan sentate website)

At one point Mr. Bakhtyar said, as if trying to justify the immorality of his actions..

'(even if you were declared ) a non-Muslim minority... will they stop you from prayers ...or in believing that you are a Muslim?'

And on being asked about the freedom of propagating he says

'No, no, nobody can stop you from propagating either.' (page 128)
Barely ten years after the constitution was amended, it was made a criminal offence for Ahmadis to do all of the above and more. How short-sighted was that Attorney General? And how naive was his Prime Minister! *

Throughout the proceedings, one gets a distinct impression of the true characters of the assorted members belonging to the religious parties. Their behaviour was childish at times, but mostly disrespectful and clownish. Even on the first day, a Mullah objected (in the absence of the delegation) that some of them were whispering and smiling among each other. In fact, knowing the character and personalities of the Ahmadiyya delegation (May Allah have Mercy on all of them), I am not surprised at their patience, bravery and good humor. Only people of such personal conviction and sense of responsibility for their nation and Islam could have tolerated that circus of ignorance and moral deprivation.

Shah Ahmad Noorani, also could not bear the sight of Khalifatul Masih III (a.r.) being seated while answering the questions.(page 202) This was the measure of the small-mindedness of the main perpetrator of this resolution. Here is another example of his lies that he is narrating fully aware that he is able to create such fiction without an official transcript for anyone to verify.

Official transcript has no mention of Tel Aviv or the pigeon story. **
The question of the basic human right of a person being in conflict with the intentions of the Parliament was touched upon again but only fleetingly. I got the impression that Mr. Bakhtiar was offended or (pretended to be offended) by this assertion.

Despite his best effort, the Attorney General appears to be under a constant reminder to not let the witness speak, not let him read from a written source and only force a Yes or No answer. Someone even implies that the questioning committee is 'leaking' the questions to the delegation in advance (page 664). Such was the paranoia in the room.

Regarding the fundamental question of human rights and the remit of the parliament, Mujeebur Rahman sahib raises some valid questions in his article. i.e., on the basis of the questions put to the Ahmadiyya delegation, the resolution presented to the house should have been

Anyone who calls another Kafir, or does not pray Janaza prayer for other sects, does not marry persons of other sects or ever opposed the creation of Pakistan should be declared Non-Muslim.
(Please not that all these are false, exaggerated and fabricated allegations against the Jamaat. I am only posing a hypothetical scenario just to make sense of things).

* Mr. Bakhtiyar also represented his leader Mr. Bhutto in the murder case for which he was hanged.
** Tel Aviv was mentioned in the closing remarks by the members. During the cross-examination question was raised about the presence of an Ahmadiyya Mission in Israel. The town is known as Kababeer where Ahmadiyya Jama'at was established among the Palestinian Arabs since 1920s.

Next: 1974 -III : The war of narratives
Previous: 1974 - I : In camera proceedings released

Monday, October 22, 2012

1974 - In-Camera Proceedings of the Parliament of Pakistan - 1

Finally, after the wait of almost 38 years, the speaker of National assembly of Pakistan has made public the notorious proceedings of 1974 select committee. These are now available online and can be accessed by everyone.

Offical report was finally released recently. Title page.

The document is 3100 pages long, containing the record of the 'cross-examination' that took place of the two Ahmadiyya delegations; one from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at, and the other from the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement. This document can be downloaded here as a pdf file.

The first delegation comprising of four members was led by Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, the third Khalifatul Masih, was cross-examined for many days by the Attorney General, Yahya Bakhtiar. There were two versions of these events in circulation since the parliament declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims.

One was the Mullah narrative which was allegedly based on the official transcripts and published under the title "Parliament mein Qadiyaniyon ki Shakist" by Mullah Allah Wasaya. Please note that Allah Wasaya version is a heavily edited account from the document obtained illegally. From the released document it becomes abundantly clear that the committee and its speaker were unanimous in their opinion to keep it a secret for as long as possible. I invite you to compare the original with the Mullah version and and the Ahmadiyya version to confirm who is more truthful in their account.

The Ahmadiyya version of events was described in detail by Maulana Dost Muhammad Shahid who was a member of the delegation. This was a response to the book published by Allah Wasaya and not an attempt to disclose what was an official secret until now.

I have just finished reading the full account. It is a transcript which clearly reflects the aggressive, pre-planned and orchestrated effort by the Parliament to confirm the propaganda spread by the Mullahs at that time. Mr. Bakhtyar treated the whole affair as a criminal case, trying to prove a party guilty like a lawyer who was paid to do so. His tone was mostly aggressive, his style interrupting and his method very questionable. Due to this reason, the reader has to piece together what the witness (Hadhrat Khalifatul Masih III) was trying to say between his interruptions.

As an Ahmadi, I was not surprised at any of the contents as it only lists the same arguments presented against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The responses presented to the committee were not only adequate from a logical point of view, but also served as final warning to that unfortunate house which ushered the era of darkness for Pakistan.

In the coming weeks, I will present my analysis of the proceedings, especially on what was said in the absence of the delegations and during the concluding remarks uttered by all concerned.

Right now, my mind is wondering on the ineptitude and bigotry of that Parliament which took Pakistan back to the dark ages.

Next 1974 -II; The Question.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bigotry: How not to define your identity!

Every Pakistani holding a passport knows where to Sign to make sure they are confirmed as Muslims. A majority of them signs it without a second thought. Some probably sign it with a smile, as it reminds them of how correct their anti-ahmadi laws are. Only a handful may object to signing this. One poor fellow posted a scanned copy of his signed declaration on the Internet and expressed his disgust at having to do it.

Pakistani Passport Declaration: Courtesy

But someone picked it up and wrote a response here. According to this blog post, this declaration on the passport form is essential to defend Islamic identity of Pakistanis. For those who don't know, every one wishing to identify themselves as a Muslim must sign the section where they have to declare the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as an impostor. Please don't ask why a person's faith is recorded on the Passport in the first place. For all practical purposes, a person's faith should have no bearing on how they are treated.

The blog post in question then goes to great lengths to create an argument in favour of this declaration. In short, the argument is based on a fictional scenario where a person encounters a 'clone' at his workplace who is pretending to be him. Of course a criminal offence if it happens in real life, as the assumption here is that the 'clone' knows of his own reality and is pretending to be someone else.

Here is my response that I posted on the blog:

This article presents a flawed argument. You are assuming here that Ahmadis are pretending to be Muslims while knowing fully well that their faith is not Islam.
This assumption is totally in line with the Mullah driven narrative that Ahmadiyyat is actually a conspiracy to destroy Muslims from within. British, Zionists and other anti-Islam forces fund and support them. Ahmadis attract adherents by paying them cash sums or promising them other lucerative rewards. Hence it is not only plausible but very much a FACT, that Ahmadis are hijacking the name of Islam and its rituals to confuse other Muslims.

The writer has to look through the history of Ahmadiyyat and find the evidence to support this argument. For example, is there a protocol or a secret little book telling Ahmadis on how to hijack Islam and harm it? Is there a list of do's and don'ts on how best to pretend to be a Muslim? Finally, is there any evidence that such a deliberate lie can be upheld by Millions, in public and in private under the ever scrutinizing eyes of their enemies. i.e., has there been any Ahmadi renegade spilling the beans on what goes on behind closed doors? Any testimony to prove that Ahmadis do not believe in Allah or any of His Prophets or His Books?

I find it totally bizarre that the author has gone to such lengths to defend a law which negates everything Islam has to offer to the world: Freedom of thought, speech and belief. Every citizen a country has the right to self-respect and dignity but this one form takes this right away from ALL Pakistanis. From Ahmadis it usurps the right not to be slandered against and ridiculed. And from non-Ahmadis it takes away the right of being civilized. So, by upholding this idiotic law, the Government of Pakistan is trampling on the rights of all of us. You and me alike.


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