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Books and Documents (15 Mar 2010 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Munir Commission Report -6: More Speeches By Bukhari (Contd.)

6. I have already proposed that District Magistrates should be advised in a circular letter to take a firm stand and to promulgate 144, Cr. P. C. if they have the least suspicion that the holding of an Ahrar meeting would promote sectional ill-will. Another thing we can do is to take action against the rag (Shu’la), which has shamefacedly publicised the evil attacks made against the Foreign Minister. It is the duty of the Government, as long as Sir Zafrullah Khan holds his office, to protect him from such malicious attacks. By abusing Sir Zafrullah Khan the Ahrar do not attack an individual but defame the Government to which he belongs—of which, in fact, he is a part.

 

7. The Ahrar are clever speakers and they take good care not to attract the law. It is not possible in this case to prosecute them for spreading sectional discord, under section 153-A., P.P.C. In my opinion their activities are such that there is full justification for taking action against one or two prominent ones under the P. P. S. A. 8. Two telegrams have been received from the Ahmadis protesting against the conduct of the Ahrar.

 

(Sd.) M. ANWAR ALI—4.4.52 I.G. ——U. O.—No. 216.BDSB, dated 5.4.52. H.S.

 

The Ahrar are a problem. They are not anti-Government or out directly to disturb the law and order. Personally I think they are quiet only because they are not strong enough to be able to achieve much if they did oppose the administration. But I have not the least doubt in my mind that the moment they are in a position to gather a sufficient number of people behind them they would raise their head and would not hesitate to do anything to be a source of trouble. They are men of no importance. They have no following and no programme but they are ambitious. And their ambition has frequently been titillated by various political parties particularly by the Muslim League I am told. They are, therefore, waiting that some day, even if not by their own merit, by the foolishness of other people they would come into prominence. For that day they are keeping this fire of anti-Ahmadi feeling burning. if this fire extinguishes the Ahrar would be left with nothing to attract any one to their party. This is their only hope. They must, therefore, go on with it. They are not concerned and are not interested in Pakistan or the importance of aintaining unity amongst its people. Some one else will have to decide some time how to deal with this problem. It is now definitely becoming a menace. Sufficient rope has been given to the Ahrar. On behalf of Government I was also commissioned once to talk to them. I held a meeting with Sh. Husam-ud-Din. A note of that meeting and agreement arrived at must be in the Secretariat. He promised that the party would not in future indulge in anti-Ahmadi propaganda but they have done so on every possible occasion. The Ahmadis are no lambs either. They aye lying low and do not retaliate because they are aware of their numerical weakness. But there is a limit to every one’s patience. And in any case Government’s own duty is very clear. How long are they going to permit this sort of cruel provocation. It is now almost persecution of the Ahmadis by the Ahrar. What the C. I. D.must however tell us is (a) what exactly can be done apart from the Safety Act, (b) what is the total strength of Ahrar and (c) how far would they be prepared to oppose or defy Government and what would be the general reaction if the question of Ahmadis is made an issue. Without some such data no firm decisions can be taken and a circular letter to D. Cs. Without something definite does sot prove of much avail nowadays.

 

H. S. (Sd.) QURBAN ALI

 

The Ahrar-Ahmadi controversy, if it can be called by that name, is assuming alarming proportions. The Ahrar are mainly to blame for the trouble they have stirred up in this Province. The Ahmadis, as characterised by the I. G. P. are ‘no lambs’ but they have adopted their stubborn attitude only to preserve themselves as a community. If they were to take the attacks and onslaughts made on them by the Ahrar complacently they would be finished as a body in no time. Also, their stubbornness is mainly confined to the sphere of religion. It is a matter purely for themselves if they do not let the members of other Islamic sects participate in their ritual or they themselves scrupulously avoid taking part in the prayers and other religious ceremonies of the non-Ahmadi Muslims. It is, however, the duty of the Government to see that this controversy which is based on religion does not threaten the peace and order of the country.

 

2. I agree with the I. G. P. that Government should have something more concrete before them than what is available in the noting on this file before they can revise the policy which is being pursued at present and which was enunciated only recently (vide C. S’s circular letter No. 7505-HG- 51/76135, dated November 3, 1951). Actually the existing policy need not be reorientated to meet the situation. What is needed is its firm implementation.

 

3. C. S. may please see at this stage. I think the case should be submitted to H. C. M. when the proposals have taken a more crystallized shape.

 

(Sd.) GHIAS-UD-DIN AHMAD — 8.4.52 C.S. I AGREE. (Sd.) H. A. MAJID —

 

9.4.52” With a view to replying to the inquiry made by Mr. Qurban Ali Khan, the case was examined on 3rd May 1952, by Mr. Muhammad Khuda Bakhsh, S. P. (B), C. I. D., Punjab, who recorded the following exhaustive note on the activities of the Ahrar: — “The Ahrar have almost regained the influence among the Muslim masses of the Punjab which they had lost by their opposition to the creation of Pakistan. This has been possible by their identifying themselves politically with the Muslim League and by an extensive anti-Mirzaeeat campaign. The former brought them support from that popular ruling organisation and the latter won them the goodwill of the general Muslim public who always takes pleasure in satire against the cult of new prophethood in Islam.

 

2. A list of the branches of the Majlis-i-Ahrar, which have since opened in the Province and annually subscribe to the Centre is appended. The number of uniformed razakars so far registered is reported to be 1,064. But the ‘fifthcolumn’ lies among the maulvis and pesh imams and fanatics who consider it a merit to keep the religious controversies alive from their individual quarters and pulpits. The Ahrar leaders are kept invited and entertained by them almost constantly at one or other comer of the country. And greater the virulence of their professional speeches against the ‘Mirzais’ the larger is the collection of chanda. The majlis has become financially sound and been able to produce rich patrons of whom the names of the following are taken as more liberate:—

 

(1) Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, M. L. A., of Khan Garh, District Muzaffargarh.

(2) Haji Din Muhammad of Badami Bagh, Lahore (Millowner).

(3) Mian Qamar Din, Rais of Ichhra,, Lahore.

(4) Rana Ghulam Sabir, M. L. A., Okara.

 

The Ahrar are more influential at present in districts of Lyallpur. Sialkot, Sargodha, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Montgomery, Multan and Muzaffargarh and at Okara, Chiniot and Gujar Khan.

 

3. As regards suggestions for effective measures against this sectarian menace, I am of the opinion as follows:—

 

(a) The Muslim League should completely wash their hands off this movement. Their M. L. As. and office-bearers should not only not preside over the Ahrar meetings but should give clear indication to the public by their attitude that they do not want to help the Ahrar in any way. Unfortunately the trend of mind of the general Muslim public has so far gone against the Ahmadis that the workers of the Muslim League are sometimes forced to find security of their public influence in openly sharing these sentiments of the people. The fact that no Ahmadi was returned to the Assembly in spite of Muslim League tickets is attributed to the hold of the Ahrar speakers on the public.

 

(b) The Ahrar conference, though designated in the name of Defence, should be banned under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code.

 

(c) Arrangements should be made preferably through influential members of the Muslim League of the locality that public places are not lent to the Ahrar for meetings.

 

(d) Notices should be served on the more violent Ahrar speakers like Ala Ullah Shah Bukhari, Maulvi Muhammad Ali Jullundri, Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi and Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan that while speaking against Ahmadiyyat they should strictly remain within the religious limits of the controversy and not say anything capable of exciting hatred and the patriotic sentiments of the other citizens of Pakistan against the community.

 

After all if any person or class of persons was engaged in activities calculated to harm the security of the State the matter essentially called for a report to the authorities for legal action and not for inciting the public for taking the law into their own hands.

 

(e) Action can always be taken with deterrence under section 107, Cr. P. C. by local Magistrates against the Ahrar speakers and their local hosts, particularly the maulvis and pesh-imams inviting them to speak from their mosques.

 

(f) In my opinion, action should not be spared even under the PPSA in worst cases, e.g., where abuses are hurled and mock funerals taken out for the Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs and cases of repeated defiance of law and maligning the Government. Warnings have repeatedly proved ineffective. The Ahrar should be made to realise that the authorities this time mean business. At present they seem to be under the impression that Musalmans, whether district officers or ordinary commoners, actively sympathise with their professed, mission of the safeguard of finality of prophethood (tahaffuz-i-khatm-i-nubuwwat). They can cite at least four instances of District and Additional District Magistrates presiding over their conferences in the past year.”

 

In the light of the views expressed by the officers who had the occasion to note on the case the matter was discussed on 19th May in a meeting of the Home Secretary, the I. G. P. and the D. I. G., C. I. D. After the meeting the D. I. G., C. I. D., wrote the following note summing up the history of the Ahrar and suggesting certain action against them:—

 

“Government has been apprised from time to time about the serious threat to public peace which must inevitably result from Ahmadi baiting advocated by the Majlis-i-Ahrar. For facility of reference the particulars of these notes are given below:—

 

(1) Note dated 17th January 1950, in which, a suggestion was made that a warning should be administered to the Ahrar leaders. No action was taken on the note.

 

(2) Note dated 3rd February 1950, in which the objectionable propaganda carried out in the course of a conference at Multan was brought to the notice of the Government. The late Governor spoke to Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi and Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi.

 

(3) Note dated 23rd May 1950, in which a suggestion was made that Master Tajud-Din and other Ahrar leaders should be sent for and warned. Government asked C. S. to administer a warning.

 

(4) Note dated 28th May 1950, in which it was stated that the atmosphere created by the Ahrar would inevitably lead to outbreak of violence against the Ahmadis and was also otherwise dangerous. Certain concrete suggestions for dealing with the menace were also made. Government, however, decided only to warn the leaders.

 

(5) Note dated 4th April 1952, in which the dangers of the Ahrar movement were pointed out vis-a-vis the activities of the Ahrar at Sargodha. Government wanted more definite proposals to be made.

 

2. For a proper understanding of the case it is necessary to re-capitulate the objectionable incidents which have resulted from the reckless and exciting speeches made by Ahrar workers. These incidents are briefly as follows:—

 

(1) Okara—October, 1950—Ahmadi preachers were waylaid and their faces blackened. An Ahmadi schoolmaster was killed as a result of the tense atmosphere created by Ahrar speakers.

 

(2) Rawalpindi—October, 1950—An Ahmadi was killed as a result of hatred spread against the community although the immediate cause was different.

 

(3) Sialkot—January, 1951—An effort was made by the Ahrar to break up an Ahmadi meeting. The arrival of the police saved casualties.

 

(4) Chak Jhumra—February, 1951—At the railway station as a result of Ahrar violence, a man (son of Maulvi Ismat Ullah, who is an Ahmadi) was stabbed by Ahrar workers.

 

(5) Gujranwala—March, 1951—An Ahmadi shopkeeper was attacked when he objected, to the raising of slogans against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The police saved him from violence.

 

(6) Lyallpur—April, 1951—Following a threat held out by Ghulam Nabi Janbaz an Ahmadi shopkeeper was attacked.

 

(7) Samundri—May, 1951—An Ahmadi mosque was burnt by a mob led by Ahrar workers.

 

(8) Lyallpur—November, 1951—An Ahmadi meeting disturbed by Ahrar workers resulting in casualties on both aides. Police intervention checked further trouble.

 

(9) Multan—November, 1951—Fifty Ahrar attempted to break up an Ahmadi meeting. The arrival of the police prevented further trouble.

 

(10) Sargodha—March, 1952—Following an Ahrar Conference a procession was taken out in defiance of police orders. The processionsists were beating their breasts and shouting ‘Zafrullah hai hai’.

 

(11) Rawalpindi—April, 1952—After hearing the provocative and exciting speeches at an Ahrar meeting a youth got up and shouted ‘Zafrullah Mirzai ko hataya jawe’ — ‘Wazir Zafrullah, ko qatl kiya jawe, mar diya jawe’. Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, who was addressing the meeting, after the shouting of the slogans by the youth, exhorted the audience to take out a procession and to press for the dissolution of the ‘Zafri wazarat’.

 

(12) Gujranwala—April, 1952—Ahrar workers organised a procession in which two mock funerals of Sir Zafrullah Khan were taken out and slogans, such as ‘Zafrullah puttar chor da, na’ara maro zor da’ were shouted.

 

(13) Lyallpur—May, 1952—Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari addressing a meeting said that anti-Ahmadi demonstrations would be staged on a large scale and would not be confined to places such as Lyallpur but also in Lahore and Karachi. A procession was also taken out. (His voice was almost prophetic because on the I8th May, i.e., a week after his claim violent demonstrations resulting in riots took place at Karachi.

 

(14) According to a letter which has come to my notice paradise has been promised to the person who will cut the throat of Sir Zafrullah Khan. I have mentioned above only important incidents resulting in attacks and breach of peace arising from Ahrar truculence. Innumerable meetings have been held in which hatred against the Ahmadis has been openly advocated.

 

Public mind has been poisoned. Ahrar leaders who were afraid of facing crowds after the Partition, have since become heroes. Sayyad Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari lived in seclusion at a remote village of Muzaffargarh district for nearly two years and declined to accept invitations for addressing public meetings. He now commonly addresses meetings all over the Province and is no longer on the defensive. His eloquence and loquaciousness have once again built around him a halo of importance.

 

Muhammad Ali Jullundri, Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi and Sahibzada Faizul-Hasan are prominent among those who have been consistently making poisonous speeches against the Ahmadis.

 

4. Warnings to Ahrar leaders have been administered in turn by His Excellency the Governor, the Chief Secretary and the Inspector-General of Police. These warnings have had no effect; in fact it is obvious that the speakers are becoming more aggressive.

 

5. At one time Ahrar leaders were giving out that they had made up with the high-ups of the Muslim League and that they had nothing to fear even in spite of the fact that their speeches fell under the provisions of the ordinary law.

 

6. The Majlis-i-Ahrar has its headquarters at Lahore. It is without substantial finances and special levies are made for conferences. The last appeal for funds only brought Rs. 500. The following four persons regularly contribute to the funds:—

 

(1) Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan of Muzaffargarh.

(2) Haji Din Muhammad, Millowner of Badami Bagh.

(3) Mian Qamar Din, Rais of Ichhra.

(4) Rana Ghulam Sabir, M. L. A. of Okara.

 

7. The Ahrar have a volunteer organisation which has a member-ship of 1,064 persons throughout the Province. At the time of Partition the membership had shrunk as several volunteers resigned from the organisation. The membership was larger at one time. The party is at the moment only concerned in doing venomous propaganda against the Ahmadis. Lately demands have been made, in rather an objectionable way, for the removal of Sir Zafrullah Khan. The Chief demand is that the Ahmadis be declared a minority community.

 

8. The Ahrar have a party paper—‘Azad’ which is published thrice a week. It has a small circulation. Its editor is Dr. Sabir Multani.

 

9. The elections of the All Pakistan Majlis-i-Ahrar have not been held since 1947. The Punjab elections were held in November 1951 at Okara with the following result:—

 

President.. Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi.

Vice-President.. Maulvi Abdur Rahman Mianvi.

General Secretary.. Maulvi Muhammad Ali Jullundri.

Secretary.. Mehr Abdur Rahim Jhelumi.

Treasurer.. Muhammad Shafi.

Salar-i-Suba.. Chaudhri Meraj Din.

 

10. It will be recalled that immediately after the Partition the Ahrar leaders were flirting with (General) Shah Nawaz of the I. N. A. who later shifted to India. A prominent member of the Majlis-i-Ahrar of the united Punjab, namely, Habib-ur-Rahman, shifted to India, One Parbodh Chandar who later became an M. L. A. and was a prominent Congress worker, handed over his hotel on the McLeod Road (Vira Hotel) to Agha Shorish Kashmiri and Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan Shorish resigned from the Majlis-i-Ahrar in 1948. He was previously a member of the Working Committee.

 

11. There is already a group amongst the Ahrar which favours collaboration with the opposition parties. This group is led by Sheikh Husam-ud-Din. Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, however, has been counselling moderation, and is opposed to an open breach with the Muslim League at this stage. So far Master Taj-ud-Din’s party is stronger. There is no doubt that when the Ahrar find that they have sufficiently rehabilitated themselves with the public they may openly break with the Muslim League and set up an independent party.

 

12. As pointed out above the mischievous speeches made by Ahrar workers have already resulted in a large number of incidents of breach of peace and physical violence. The latest incident at Karachi is a pointer to what can happen if the activities of the Ahrar are allowed to go uncurbed. Moreover, it must be appreciated that if the Ahrar are allowed to gather strength and popular favour it will become more difficult to take action against them. They are no longer suspect as they were at the time of Partition.

 

13. The above situation was discussed with I. G. Police and Home Secretary yesterday and the following recommendations are made for the consideration of Government:

 

(a) The Majlis-i-Ahrar should be declared an unlawful association under section 16 of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act. (This suggestion was made by me as early as May l950).

 

(b) The following prominent workers should be arrested and detained under the Public Safety Act:—

 

1. Sayyed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari.

 

2. Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi.

 

3. Muhammad All Jullundri. Against Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari the material is very strong because his declaration at Lyallpur seems to indicate that the happenings at Karachi were within his knowledge.

 

(c) In case detention is not considered advisable, the above three leaders should be restricted to their home villages. After all Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari lived of his own choice for two years in a village of the Muzaffargarh district. Muhammad Ali Jullundri (who is a refugee and has since settled in the Multan district) and Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi will have to be restricted in that case in the Multan district.

 

(d) In case it is not considered advisable to declare the Majlis-i-Ahrar as an unlawful association, its meetings at any rate for the next year or two, should be banned by orders under section 144, Cr. P. C.

 

14. At the meeting it was decided that it would be necessary to apprise the Central Government of what we propose to do in order to ensure uniformity of action. The Central Government should co-operate and ensure that similar action is taken in other Provinces of Pakistan. It will be meaningless if certain bans are imposed on the activities of Ahrar in one Province only. We were also of the opinion that in case the Central Government does not propose to take action on the above lines, it would not perhaps be advisable for the Punjab Government to do so unilaterally.

 

15. In case Government agree with the above views a suitable draft for C.S.’s approval will be put up.” This note was placed before Mr. Qurban Ali Khan, Inspector-General of Police, whose comments on it, which are reproduced below, deserve special notice:—

 

"I do not know how long will we remain at the stage of writing notes informing Government what the Ahrar are doing and what should be expected of them if they are not checked in time. The Ahrar have already done enough to show without any doubt, which way the wind is blowing in their camp. I am for one convinced in my mind that if Government continues with its present policy of leaving the Ahrar alone, the Ahrar will sooner or later perpetrate some such horrible crime that Government would find itself in a difficult position to explain their failure to take action upon what the C.I.D. has been, repeatedly and vehemently reporting to them.

It is a difficult decision to take, I know, but some one has to take it. The Central Government is not likely to share the responsibility of getting involved in a matter which has the remotest chance of raising another opposition especially on an issue which may be exploited as a religious all-Muslims versus Ahmadis issue. There is a possibility of that, In fact the moment Ahrar are touched, they will make that an issue. But some Government somewhere must give the masses a correct lead. If every party is afraid that the Ahrar will join hands with the opposition no one will even be able to maintain the law and order. And in fact the Ahrar are to-day no power.

 

Tomorrow they may become one. No sensible person can support their policy of violence. If Government is convinced that the conduct of the Ahrar calls for action, to-day is, I submit, the most opportune time to take it. Before H.C.M. leaves for Murree it may be worthwhile to call a meeting of the Honourable Ministers, C.S., H.S., D.I.G., C.I.D. and the I.G.”

 

A meeting of officers was called by the Chief Minister on May 25, 1952, to consider the proposals. Though Mr. Qurban Ali Khan had suggested that Ministers should be called to the meeting, this proposal did not find favour with the Chief Minister and none of the Ministers was summoned. It was decided in the meeting that the existing directive which left with the District Magistrates the discretion to ban meetings sponsored by the Ahrar or the Ahmadis was unsatisfactory, and that the District Magistrates should now be directed that whenever either party intended to hold a meeting, they should invariably ban it under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Therefore, on 5th June the Chief Secretary issued the following D. O. ircular to all District Magistrates:—

 

“Dear Sir,

 

I am directed to address you in continuation of the Home Secretary’s demiofficial letter No. 10027-51/463-HG., dated December 24, 1951, addressed to all the Deputy Commissioners on the subject cited above. 2. Government have noticed with concern that the Ahrar-Ahmadiya controversy instead of abating has now increased to an extent which if not checked immediately and firmly will constitute a real threat to the public peace.

 

The trend of speeches delivered at the Ahrar conferences is generally marked by a deplorable lack of self-restraint and healthy tone. The speeches made recently by some of their leaders were particularly inflammatory. On the other hand the Ahmadiya community, in spite of the undisguised hostility of a section of the public or probably because of it, insist on holding their tablighi conferences frequently and in public. This attitude only succeeds in provoking fresh outbursts against themselves. After careful consideration, Government have decided that in the general interest of the public peace and tranquillity, neither the Ahrar nor the Ahmadis should be permitted to hold public meetings under any name or garb. You should, therefore, take preventive action under section 144, Cr. P.C., whenever either party intends to hold a public meeting. This directive supersedes the one referred to above which left the discretion, for taking preventive action with the Deputy Commissioners. Now preventive action will be taken regarding Ahrar/Ahmadi meetings invariably and without any exceptions until these orders are modified or withdrawn. The action taken by you and the reactions thereto should in all cases be reported to Government, as early as possible, for their information.”

 

When action was taken by the District Magistrates on this directive, the Ahrar resorted to a clever stratagem. They shifted the venue of their meetings from public places to mosques where they began to attract large gatherings, particularly before or after Friday prayers. This new situation was reviewed in a meeting of the I.G.P., D.I.G., C.I.D., the Home Secretary and the Legal Remembrancer on 19th June 1952. As a result of the decisions taken in this meeting the following instructions were signalled on 19th June 1952, to all District Magistrates and Commissioners after they had been seen and approved by the Chief Secretary:—

 

“It has been reported to Government that Ahrar want to hold anti-Ahmadi meetings in mosques immediately preceding or after the Juma-tul-wida prayers, because they think that such meetings are not liable to be banned by District Magistrates. If the Ahrar contemplate doing so within your district, you should immediately pass an appropriate order under section 144, Cr. P.C. banning public meetings on the day without making any mention of the venue of the meeting. You should then send for the imam and the persons connected with the management of the mosque and impress upon them that they should not become a party to this violation of your order and the desecration of a place of worship in the furtherance of the activities of a political party. It should be made clear to them that in the event of an infringement of your order you will not hesitate from prosecuting the persons connected with the management of the mosque for their abetment of the offence as well as the actual sponsors and other moving spirits of the meeting including the speakers. Government are aware that a public meeting may be dovetailed into a prayer congregation or that the complexion of an assemblage gathered for prayers may change into that of a public meeting by the tone and trend of speeches just before or after the prayers or the khutba. But Government are advised that such facts will not afford any legal protection to those responsible for the meetings from the consequences of a violation of your order. A Gazette Extraordinary is under issue today notifying the violation of orders under section 144, Cr. C.P. banning public meetings as non-bailable and cognizable offences. You will receive copies thereof in due course: meanwhile you should proceed on this basis. Government will also send you shortly a model order under section 144, Cr. P.C. for issue by you on such occasions. Lastly it should be noted carefully that Government do not desire any public meetings which are being held in mosques or other places of sanctity or worship to be dispersed by force or to be interfered with in any way while they are in progress. Nor do they desire that any arrests should be made while people are collecting for or dispersing from such meetings. The proper course to follow would be that a case should be registered and the culprits should be arrested after the excitement of the meeting is over at an appropriate time and place. The cases registered should be prosecuted vigorously. You and your Superintendent of Police should remain present at headquarters on Friday and also at the time selected for effecting arrests, if any.”

 

Simultaneously an Ordinance was promulgated in a Gazette Extraordinary declaring the violation of orders, passed under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code, banning public meetings, a non-bailable and cognizable offence. At a meeting held by the Chief Minister with the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary, I.G.P., and D.I.G., C.I.D., on 27th June 1952, it was decided to issue the following D. O. Circular to all District Magistrates, with a view to isolating the Ahrar:—

 

Confidential.

 

D. O. No. 176-St. (HS)/52, Punjab Civil Secretariat, Home Department, Lahore. 28th June 1952

 

Dear Sir,

 

I AM desired to address you in continuation of the Chief Secretary’s wireless message No. 168-St(HS)/52, dated June 19, 1952, on the subject of the Ahrar-Ahmadiya controversy and to say that Government desire that if your order under section 144, Cr. P.C. has been violated by the Ahrar you should proceed only against the prominent members of the Ahrar leadership who may be among the offenders and ignore others of lesser importance or those who do not belong to the Ahrar party. Local persons should be particularly left out unless they belong to the hierarchy of the Ahrar organisation. The intention is that we should isolate the Ahrar leaders from the rest of the public. If we throw our net wider and draw in people of other denominations also simply because they were somehow or the other prevailed upon or inveigled into participation in their meetings by the Ahrar we shall only succeed in arraying a vast section of the public against the

administration. By taking action against people who in the excitement of the moment allowed themselves to be made use of by the Ahrar leaders, in some cases quite unwittingly and inadvertently, we shall force them to joining hands with the Ahrar. If any of these people feel repentant and offer apologies you should accept them readily. In the case of such people even if they do not apologise cases should not be instituted against them or if they have already been instituted they should be withdrawn forth-with. When the public see that only the more important and prominent Ahrar leaders are being proceeded against their opinion will immediately veer round to the side of Government and the action taken by its functionaries will meet with general approbation.

 

2. The cases that you may institute against the Ahrar for the violation of your orders will be very hotly contested and pursued with keen interest in press and public. The object desired by Government as well as the justification and the correctness of your action will depend on their success. You should, therefore, get them thoroughly examined by your law officers from the point of law as well as fact before instituting them in Courts.

I am, Your sincerely, 

(Sd.) GHIAS-UD-DIN AHMAD”

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