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Munir Commission Report-11: Subsequent Events—Processions, physical assaults and the partisan role of the media

I firmly believe in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad and any person who does not believe so is not a Muslim. But this does not mean that a person who does not believe so should have no right to live in the country. All those people who live in Pakistan and are loyal to Pakistan, be they Hindus, Christians or of any other sect or religion, come under the protection of the Government of the country and also of the people. To protect each one of the countrymen is the foremost duty of a Muslim as also of the Government; so long as I am at the helm of affairs I will see that no harm is done to any loyal Pakistani purely because of his different faith, caste, or creed. The question of declaring the Ahmadis a minority is not a religious but a constitutional issue, which should be treated as such and discussed dispassionately and coolly. I appeal to the Ahrar and other religious organisations to create a calm atmosphere for the consideration of such a question”.

In his speech at Nizamabad on 25th October, 1952, he deprecated sectarianism and said that people who were creating disunity among the Musalmans were destroying not only the unity of Islam but the integrity of Pakistan. He advised the public to abstain from joining the disruptionist activities of the communalists. The point stressed in these speeches was that a person who did not believe in the doctrine of khatm-i-nubuwwat was not a Musalman, that the demands in respect of the Ahmadis flowed from this theological position, that the demands in their nature were constitutional and political which could only be tackled by the Central authorities, constitutional or Muslim League, that the Province was not concerned with the demands and that the Ahrar should make no fuss over this matter in the Punjab.


All preventive orders having been recalled, the cases arising out of their contravention withdrawn and the sentences imposed for such contravention remitted, and the existence of the demands having been officially recognised, the Ahrar and their associates were left free to adopt any method they considered to be constitutional to press the demands and to carry on propaganda in their support. Taking advantage of the opportunity offered, they intensified their campaign and increased the vigour and extent of their propaganda. According to the Secret Intelligence Abstract which is an official document and used to be submitted for information to the Chief Minister, as many as 390 public meetings of which 167 were arranged exclusively by the Ahrar, were held all over the Province till the proclamation of Martial Law on 6th March. Sayyad Muzaffar Ali Shamsi said Sheikh Husam-ud-Din, Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hasan, Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari and Muhammad Ali Jullundri who are all prominent members of Majlis-i-Ahrar, literallyconverted themselves into peripatetic missionaries of the movement, as if their differences with the Ahmadis were their sole concern in life. At the meetings all conceivable arguments were reiterated against Ahmadiyyat and abuses hurled on the Ahmadis and their leaders. The vocal campaign was supplemented by cease-lees posters, leaflets, handbills, pamphlets, newspaper articles and processions. On 24th July, 1952, Mr. Anwar Ali, D. I. G., C. I. D, brought to the notice of Government some mock funerals of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, which were being taken out in several places in the Province, proposing action under section 23 of the Punjab Public Safety Act, but the Home Secretary remarked that that Act was not to be used in such cases and suggested instead that the Chief Minister should talk to the Ahrar leaders and ask them to abide by the assurance which they had recently given. The proposal was put up through the Chief Secretary before the Chief Minister who initialled it on 30th July.

The students of the M. B. High School, Wazirabad, carried in procession a charpoy with a dog tied on it representing Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan. Another procession, which had marched through the streets of Kasur on 25th June, 1952, after Friday prayers and which was reported by the Additional Superintendent of Police, Kasur, in his diary dated 26th July, 1952, also came to the notice of the Chief Minister. In that procession, Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan had been grossly abused in slogans such as ‘Zafrullah kanjar’, ‘Zafrullah dog’, and ‘Zafrullah swine’, and at a later stage the processionists had procured a she-ass and written on it ‘Begum Zafrullah’. A man wearing a top hat and a garland of shoes round his neck with the name Mirza Ghulam Ahmad written on him had seated himself on the she-ass. On receiving report of this incident, Mr. Qurban Ali Khan remarked that the incident was the natural outcome of the agitation that was going on in defiance of law, that one lawlessness was producing another lawlessness and that unless some preventive method was discovered it would end in a revolution, and that this was a lesson of history which could be delayed but could not be belied. The case was seen by the Chief Minister but no notice of the incident was taken.

Several other incidents of lawlessness were also reported during this period. These, which are all mentioned in the official documents were as follows:—

(1) the rifling of an Ahmadi shop and throwing of stones at an Ahmadi mosque in Lyallpur on 20th July, 1952;

(2) assault on an Ahmadi on 5th August, 1952, in Misri Shah, Lahore;

(3) an Ahmadi non-Ahmadi clash in Chak 497, Jhang ;

(4) assault on Mt. Tale’ Bibi on 2nd September, 1952, in the course of an altercation arising because of her being an Ahmadi;

(5) assault on Dr. Muhammad Husain Khan, an Ahmadi, in Mandi Jaranwala. on 18th September, 1952, by a person who was prevented by the doctor from reading objectionable verses from a pamphlet against Ahmadiyyat;

(6) hartal and blackening of faces of men objecting to observe hartal, besieging of, and throwing brickbats at, the Dyal Singh College and the throwing of stones at the Ta’lim-ul-Islam College, breaking its main gate, on 16th February, 1953, when Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din came to Lahore;

(7) rioting outside the Muslim League office on 27th July resulting in injuries to 46 policemen and damage to cars; and

(8) attempt to set fire to an Ahmadi mosque in Muhalla Arazi Yaqub, Sialkot.


Ceaseless propaganda continued to be carried on in the press throughout this period. The ‘Zamindar’, which was one of the four papers patronised by Government and which in certain transactions with Government had received a large sum of money, continuously went on writing in support of the demands and against Ahmadiyyat. The ‘Azad’, an Ahrar paper, did the same; in fact, the differences with the Ahmadis was the main topic in the columns of this newspaper.


An article of this paper published in the issue of 9th September, 1952, was examined and a prosecution of the editor was considered to be worthwhile, but the Home Secretary, the Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister thought that another warning may be administered and the result thereof watched.

The issue of this paper for 11th September, 1952; called the ‘Mutaliba Number’, was exclusively devoted to denunciation of the Ahmadis. One important article in it was the poem ‘Multan puchhta hai’ (Multan asks) which eulogised men who had been killed in the Kup firing. This article was examined by the Director of Public Relations on 12th September, 1952, and by the Legal Remembrancer on 17th September, 1952, and though they were both agreed that the publication was actionable, nothing was done in the matter.

The paper also published on its front page a cartoon, which the officer who examined it interprets as follows:—

“On the title page the paper has published a multicoloured cartoon showing John Bull as a snake-charmer, who is producing snakes from the basket of Ahmadism. One big snake arises from that basket and is shown to have overwhelmed Qadian (represented by a high minaret). From there it

wriggles into a hole and reappears at Rabwah in the shape of Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud, who is shown to be blowing out three big snakes from his mouth. One of those three snakes is shown biting the late Quaidi-Millat at Rawalpindi; the other one is shown to be sabotaging an aeroplane (implying the Jungshahi air disaster); and the third one, depicted in the shape of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, is shown to be threatening to bite the Prime Minister of Pakistan”.

The attention of the Provincial Government was drawn to this cartoon by the Central Government by letter No. 28/43/52-Poll (1), dated 11th October, 1952. The letter stated that it was presumed that the Provincial Government had noticed this cartoon and would take suitable action which would be communicated to the Central Government. In reply, by letter No. 3754-PB-52/985, dated 23rd October, 1952, the Director of Public Relations merely informed the Central Government that the Provincial Government had directed the District Magistrate to send for the Printer-Publisher of the paper and to give him a warning that if he did not desist from publishing matter of this kind, Government would have to suppress the newspaper.

In its issue for 12th November, 1952, this paper published a leader with an enigmatic heading in the form of an interrogation mark, in which it grossly abused the present head of the Ahmadiya community and charged the Government with encouraging infidelity and apostasy. The exact words used by the paper in this respect were: —

“Akhir kab-tak ek zani wa sharabi, ghunde aur bad-ma’ash, muftari wa kazib aur Dajjal ko is mulk men hamare kan nabi, Masih-i-mau’ud aur Ahmad wa Muhammad ke nam se pukare jate sunte rahenge aur kab-tak ummat ki muqaddas wa mutahhar maon ko ek nang-i-insaniyat aurat ke liye apni qabron men be-chain hona parega, aur kab-tak ambiya’, aulia ki tauhino- tazlil aur aqaid-o-sha’air-i-din ki ruswai ka tamasha-i-be-hamiyati jari rahe ga. Akhir yeh zindagi be-hayai-o-be-ghairati aur daiyusi ki zindagi nahin to aur kiya hai. Qaum aj mujassam taur par ek sawaliya nishan ban kar khudawandan-i-hukumat aur qaumi zimmadaron ka munh tak rahi hai. Lihaza un-ka farz hai keh woh un-ke jane pahchane sawal ka jald az jald koi mufassal wa mudallal aur do-tok jawab den warnah samajh len keh yeh khamoshi yeh be-itinai-o-be-niyazi, yeh mudahanat-o-taghaful, yeh kufr-o-irtidad parwari aur ghaddar-nawazi ka socha samjha hua

sharamnak rawiya ziyada der tak barqarar na reh sakega”.


“After all, for how long will our ears continue hearing an adulterer, drunkard, vagabond, knave. slanderer, liar and Dajjal being called, in this country, a prophet, promised Messiah, Ahmad and Muhammad and how long will sacred and pure mothers of the nation continue to remain restless in their graves for a woman who is a disgrace to humanity? How long will this disgraceful exhibition of insult and degradation of prophets and saints and debasement of religious beliefs and observances continue? If this sort of life is not a life of dishonour and shamelessness, what else is it? Today, the nation is looking expectantly, like a sign of interrogation personified,

towards men at the helm of the State who are answerable to the nation. It is, therefore, incumbent on them to give a detailed, reasonable and decisive answer to the well-understood question, otherwise they should bear in mind that their considered, and shameless attitude of silence, disregard, carelessness, hypocrisy and negligence and encouragement of disbelief, apostasy and treachery will not last long”. By its letter, dated 21st November, 1952, the Central Government drew the attention of the Provincial Government to this article and also sent for disposal a complaint in the form of a resolution by the Ahmadiya community of Montgomery respecting it which had been received by the Central Government. The article was considered to be actionable under section 153-A, P.P.C. and section 21 of the Punjab Public Safety Act,, but Mr. Anwar Ali, D. I, G., C. I. D., took the curious view that the Central Government had given no guidance in the matter and that the Provincial Government for some time past had been deploring this attitude on the part of the Central Government. In view of the indifference of the Central Government, he thought, the Provincial Government should not initiate any proceedings and said that he himself would talk to the Editor, Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari, about it. The Home Secretary agreed with this view and the Chief Minister initialled the case.

Again on 10th December, 1952, the Ministry of the Interior, by its D. O.No. 44/9/52-Poll (1), to Home Secretary, Punjab Government, drew the attention of the Punjab Government to the activities of this paper. The letter referred to Home Secretary’s previous letter, D. O. No. 273-ST (HS)/52, dated the 30th October, 1952, and to Mr. Nur Ahmad’s letter in reply to that Ministry’s letter No, 28/43/52-Poll (1), dated the 11th October, 1952, and pointed out that despite several warning which the Provincial Government said had been given to this newspaper, it had continued to indulge in publishing matter which definitely outraged the religious susceptibilities of a class of people in, Pakistan and which was designed to create enmity between different classes of people, and conveying the Central Government’s view that since warnings in the past had had no effect, the Provincial Government should not hesitate to take the only other alternative, namely, to prosecute the paper. The Provincial Government was requested to intimate the action taken to the Ministry at an early date. No action was taken on this letter and the Ministry of the Interior had again to remind the Home Secretary by letter No. 44/9/52-Poll (1), dated 27th December, 1952. This letter referred to that Ministry’s earlier letter of 10th December, 1952 and stated that since the date of that letter another objectionable poem ‘Dard-mandan-i-Qaum’ had appeared in the issue of the paper of 21st December., 1952, which attracted the mischief of not only the Press (Emergency Powers) Act and the Punjab Public Safety Act but also of the substantive criminal law of the land. The letter again requested the Provincial Government to inform the Central Government at an early date of the action taken on, this article. This letter was seen by the Chief Secretary as well as the Director of Public Relations, but no further notice of it seems to have been taken.


The issue of ‘Afaq’ of 19th July under the heading ‘Qadianiyon ke imam ki ek nihayat afsosnak taqrir’ reproduced an address by the head of the Ahmadiya community which had been published in the ‘Alfazl’ of 11th January, 1952, and adversely commented upon it, while the issue of 20th July published reports of the celebration of Yaum-i-Mutalilba in different places in the Province.

The issue of this paper for 30th July devoted a leader to the discussion of Muslim League’s resolution on khatm-i-nubuwwat. The article pointed out that one of the demands made of the Provincial Muslim League was that the Mirzais should be declared to be outside the pale of Islam and that the correctness of this demand had been admitted by the Muslim League because in his speech Mr. Daultana had unequivocally declared that, in the unanimous opinion of the Muslim League, Mirzais who did not believe in the doctrine of ‘khatm-i-nubuwwat’ were not Musalmans. The article appreciated this declaration and asked if any other responsible leader had ever made such an unequivocal declaration and proceeded to compliment the Punjab Muslim, League and its leader for it. The article explained that while the Muslim League had expressed itself in favour of the demands, it had not taken a decision on the subject because the question, being a constitutional one, related not only to the Punjab but to the whole of Pakistan, and that it was for this reason that the settlement of the issue had been left for the All-Pakistan Muslim League and the Constituent Assembly. The article hoped that the Pakistan Muslim League and the Constituent Assembly would not now hesitate to declare the Qadianis a minority, and drew pointed attention to that part of the resolution which had impressed on Musalmans their religions duty of protecting the life, property and honour of all citizens of Pakistan.

Another article appeared in the issue of 19th July, 1952, which attempted to make the point that the alarming and menacing situation, prevailing in the country was the result of addresses and speeches delivered by Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad and aggressive designs of the Ahmadis. The issue of 6th August published a selection of objectionable extracts from the

‘Alfazl’ containing statements by the present leader of the Ahmadiya community, while that of 1st September reproduced Mr. Daultana’s speech in Hazuri Bagh. In the issue dated 28th February there appeared a letter from a contributor, Akbar Muradpuri, in which some questions together with their answers from Ahmadiya writings were published in order to show that Qadianis were a separate ummat.


The ‘Ehsan’ of 21st July published an appeal by the Majlis-i-Amal of All Muslim Parties Convention advising the people to remain peaceful despite provocation by the Mirzais and requesting the imams of mosques to advise their congregations on next Friday to abstain from creating any disorder. The appeal pointed out that the demands relating to the declaration of the Ahmadis as a minority and for the removal of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan were constitutional demands which should be pressed in an atmosphere free from breaches of the law.

The issue of 3rd August published a report of resolutions passed in different mosques on Friday the 1st August supporting the stand taken by the All Muslim Parties Convention and expressing the determination to keep the movement peaceful and urging an acceptance of the demands. The speeches made in the mosques also appreciated the resolution of the Punjab Muslim League in which the Mirzais were held to be non-Muslims but expressed dissatisfaction with that part of the resolution in which the demand to declare the Mirzais as a minority was not accepted. The article also published the alarming news that a letter threatening to kill Maulana Abul Hasanat, Maulana Maudoodi, Sayyad Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari., Maulana Ahmad Ali and Maulana Muslim

had been received. The issue of 8th August, 1952, contained an article on ‘Qadiani Nubuwwat’ by Sayyad Faqir Husain Bukhari, M, A., B. T., Professor, Islamia College, criticising Ahmadiya beliefs and promising another outstanding article on the subject in the next issue.

The issue of 10th August contained a leading article in violent denunciation of the Ahmadiya Jama’at and Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, in which it was sought to prove that the Qadianis were a real danger to Pakistan and that they were not members of the Muslim community, it also contained news that Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din had promised to announce in his Pakistan Day speech on 14th August the acceptance of the demands against the Mirzais and the people were impatiently waiting for this historical announcement. The issue of 18th August contained a comment on the Prime Minister’s speech on the Pakistan Day, and expressed disappointment on his omission to make any reference to the question of Mirzaeeat which had become a real internal danger in Pakistan. It also appreciated the communique issued by the Government of Pakistan declaring that no Central or Provincial Minister was to preach sectarian doctrines to his subordinates, and deprecated the disorders, processions and public meetings that were being held against the Mirzais and suggested that the issue should be placed in a constitutional manner before the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and in the form of a resolution before the Council of All Pakistan Muslim League that was about to meet at Dacca.

The issue of 31st January, 1953, published a review on a book ‘Qadiani Fitna’ written by one Atiq-ur-Rahman Chishti. It was alleged in the comments on that book that Mirzaeeat had been deliberately implanted by the British, that it was devastating Islam and that the book exposed false doctrines of a murtadd sect and depicted a disgraceful picture of the character of the false prophet of that sect. Similarly the issue of 5th February published a one-column review on Professor Ilyas Burney’s book ‘Qadiani Mazhab’ which was in fact an original comment on Qadiani doctrines.