Demands were not sufficiently “public.” of a popular paper and an eloquent speaker, you go a long way. If the demand is against the government, be it any government, you have a better hearing. Notwithstanding that some people now call the Government their own, their conception of it is still that of an alien rule. They regard it as their own because they can revile it in terms with which ribald childhood is familiar. They regard it as their own because they can smoke away office hours without fear of dismissal. In short, for many other good and corrupting reasons. We said “a popular paper”. The daily “Zamindar” is an instance of a popular paper, and you will know in good time why it is popular.
It was, therefore, a purely religious approach to the subject which made Kh. Nazim-ud-Din think that any bluntness with the Ulama would spell national disaster. And while he sincerely held this belief, he was alive to the fact that “whoever pressed the Centre for a decision did so in order that the responsibility should shift to the Centre.
* * *
In that case, if the army or the police shot anybody, the provincial leaders would say it was at the bidding of the Centre.
If in the sequel the Central Government were overthrown, the Provincial Government would say to the people: ‘We had supported you throughout?’ It is this natural but unfortunate fear of assuming responsibility for an unpleasant piece of work that has brought these bitter consequences. Kh. Nazim-ud- Din’s ease is that if the situation could be adequately handled on the law and order side, why was it necessary to insist that a decision should be taken on the demands? If it could be so handled, and if also it was made clear from time to time that the Centre was not willing to concede the demands, there could then be only one reason for insisting that a “firm” decision be given, and for telling people repeatedly that only the Centre could give a decision—that the Centre should be embarrassed. We think this argument can best be appreciated if we treat the two Governments as an organic whole, which suffers as a whole if a part thereof is injured. If the choice were between a major injury and a minor injury, nobody could doubt that the major injury should be avoided. This is on the assumption that the choice is to be made by one person. If the demands were rejected it would make the Centre unpopular, and if action were taken on the law-and-order side, it would make the province unpopular. But the quality of unpopularity in the two cases would be different. In the former case, a “religious” demand will have been rejected, and there would be considerable scope for stirring up religious fanaticism. In the latter case, action under the existing law will have been taken because a subject of the country was grossly insulted or because a Minister of the Government was maligned because people were incited to bloodshed. The latter action would have both a legal and a moral basis and could be justified without stretching an argument, though it would cause some degree of provocation, Seen from a single viewpoint, action in the provincial sphere would certainly be the lessor of the two evils.
Viewed from two different angles, however, each party would be motivated by his own good. And that is so because people have an eye, not necessarily on the common man’s What is a “public” demand?
Kh. Nazim-ud-Din’s approach was religious.
Intention was to embarrass Centre.
A choice of two evils.
welfare, but on their political future. “The Chief Minister once told me”, says Mr. Anwar Ali, “that he was afraid that if he took any action and the Central Government accepted the Demands, his position would be compromised”.
It now becomes necessary to examine the law-and order side and the contribution mad to it by the Centre.
As early as 1951 (7th September), the Ministry of Interior expressed its views to all Provincial Governments with reference to the Ahmadi-Ahrar controversy in no uncertain terms. “The Central Government consider that while the legitimate rights of any community or sect to propagate its religious beliefs should not be unduly restricted, and no discrimination should be made between the protagonists of differing views, religious controversies should be confined to reasonable limits and should not be allowed to reach a point where the public peace and tranquillity may be endangered.
Militant and aggressive sectarianism should, in the opinion of the Central Government, be suppressed with a heavy hand”.
These views were repeated on the 2nd of July 1952 in view of “the very noticeable increase in religious and sectarian controversies”, leading in some places to a disturbance of the peace. The letter ended as follows: “The Government of Pakistan have noted with satisfaction the action taken recently by the Punjab Government in dealing with sectarian agitation”. The reference here is to the ban imposed on Ahmadi and Ahrar meetings in June 1952 and the prosecution of certain persons for inflammatory utterances.
The policy laid down from time to time by the Punjab Government for the guidance of the officers appears from the circular letters which have been reproduced in detail in the earlier parts. They will be mentioned in this narrative in their proper context. For our present purpose, the period under examination may be divided as follows:—
(1) The Government of Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar under section 92- A, up to April 1951.
(2) The Government of Mr. Daultana, up to 19th July 1952, when upon assurance by the Ahrar that they would maintain the law-and-order situation in proper gear, the ban against their meetings was lifted and prosecutions withdrawn against them.
(3) The period up to and including the direct action challenge.
(4) From 26th February to 6th March 1953.
I. SECTION 92-A RULE
This period is cited by Mr. Daultana as a model for him to follow. It is also useful by way of an insight into the activities of the Ahrar. Some incidents relating to it may, therefore, be mentioned. On 29th December 1949, the D. I. G., Mr. Anwar Ali, suggested action on a speech of Maulvi Ghulam Ullah in Sialkot, and in January 1950 again, on speeches made at Multan, criticising General Nazir Ahmad and Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan as Ahmadis. The Chief Adviser, Sheikh Muhammad Anwar opposed to action on the ground that it would give the speakers “cheap martyrdom”. Sardar Abdur Central Government’s concern over law and order.
Central Government approves action by
Rab Nishtar, observing that “vilification of high officials was different front propagating religious beliefs” and that Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi and Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi, to whom he had spoken, had not profited by the advice, asked the Adviser to speak to the President of the Ahrar, Master Taj-ud-Din. The Adviser did so, explaining that if this warning went unheeded, Government would be constrained to take severe action. This was the second warning.
Meanwhile an Ahrar agency reprinted an obscure pamphlet entitled Ash-Shahab originally written by Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani, the “Archbishop” of Pakistan, apparently with the author’s permission. This pamphlet justified the stoning to death of two Ahmadis by the Afghan Government many years ago. In June I950, Mr. Anwar Ali noted that “for obvious reasons” it was not advisable to ban the pamphlet, but that Master Taj-ud-Din and other leaders should be warned. The Chief Secretary (Hafiz Abdul Majid), the Chief Adviser and the Governor agreed and the Governor also observed that since previous warnings had not proved effective, they should be told that if they did not desist from these activities, Government would be forced to take action.
In another connection, Mr. Anwar Ali wrote another note on the 28th May, 1950, recapitulating the activities of the Ahrar after the Partition and recommending effective action. The note said that an Ahmadi military officer had been killed in Quetta, that the head of the Ahmadiya community and his father were described as adulterers, that Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah was being vilified as an ass, a knave and a traitor and as having bartered Kashmir for Qadian, that S. Ataullah Shah Bukhari had proclaimed in one of his speeches that he would have killed Mirza Ghulam Ahmad with his own hands if the claim to prophethood had been made now, that a man actually rose from the audience and inquired if he should kill Ch. Zafrullah Khan and that on another occasion an offer of killing Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad had been made.
Mr. Anwar Ali suggested that (1) where active violence was preached, section 3 of the Safety Act Should be used, that (2) section 21 should be used where the Foreign Minister was vilified, that (3) obscene speeches, such as the one in which Mahatma Gandhi and the Khalifa of Qadian were stated to have slept in the same bed, should not be tolerated, and that (4) the declaration of the Ahrar as an unlawful association should be seriously considered.
In this note he took up the Ash-Shahab again. He recalled that the Minister for the Interior (Khwaja Shahabud Din) had been of the opinion, during one of his visits, that the pamphlet in question should be immediately proscribed as it preached violence. The Minister had also said that unless action were taken against the Ahrar now, their popularity may have increased manifold end later action might give them the role of martyrs, apart from creating practical difficulties.
Warning to Ahrar during Advisers’
reprintted by Ahrar.
Suggestion of Mr.
Anwar Ali to declare Ahrar an unlawful association.
Khawaja Shahab-ud-Din’s opinion.
We need not repeat here what the Chief Secretary and the Adviser said, except that Mr. Anwar Ali’s note seems to us to be the best appreciation of the situation, that the Chief Secretary approved only action under section 3, that the Adviser again dwelt on the plea of cheap martyrdom and that the Governor approved the Advisor’s note, giving a third warning to Master Taj-ud-Din on 16th July, 1950. The following passage in the Governor’s note is significant. He told Master Taj-ud-Din that it was believed, and not without justification, that the khatm-i-nubuwwat movement was meant by the Ahrar to further their political ends by making them popular.
We are not sure that Mr. Daultana could make a good start with this action for his model, but this is beyond the scope of our inquiry. Perhaps the previous Government had laid it down as a rule of guidance for itself that three formal warnings should be given before action was taken. The first would be a mere warning, the second a strict warning and the third a severe warning. Even the Ash-Shahab was not proscribed until Khwaja Shahabud Din had expressed himself strongly in respect of it.
The Ahrar thought they could start afresh with the new Government—with a clean slate as regards the warnings. That is to say, the warnings were wiped off clean.
II. MR. DAULTANA’S GOVERNMENT—UP TO 19TH JULY, 1952
The first file relating to Mr. Daultana’s time is entitled Yaum-i-Tashakkur (the Day of Thanksgiving) and it bears this note by Mr. Anwar Ali: “In pre-Partition days processions were not allowed on The Mall.” What a boon it would be if they take a leaf out of the old book. If people know that the procession will not be allowed on the two Malls, half of the procession’s charm would be lost for them and perhaps, on second thought, they would not take out a procession at all. There is no fun in a precession which does not pass in front of the High Court and the Deen barber. This is a matter which Government, might well consider, though the Charing Cross rendezvous, where the civil officers generally receive processions, would be missed by many.
We take a few typical cases—
(1) Perhaps the first speech made during this regime was that of M. Muhammad Ali Jullundri at the Montgomery Conference on 15th April, 1951, when he said that he possessed documentary evidence which established a connection between the Ahmadis and the Pindi conspiracy. This was of course nonsense and Mr. Anwar Ali pointed out, quite rightly, that it would stir up indignation and recommended a warning. He referred to the three previous warnings. This was clear preaching of hatred, and hatred of the most abominable type, for neither was Maulvi Muhammad Ali important enough to possess such evidence, nor was any document later produced before the Conspiracy Case Tribunal. But information of this intriguing
A mere warning again.
Processions on The Mall: a suggestion.
Jullundri at Montgomery — 15.4.51.
False Propaganda. type easily catches the imagination, and whether any evidence is produced or not, it convinces the hearers that its existence is beyond the pale of doubt. The D.I.G. suggested
a warning in the old manner, but in the old manner a warning was not given. Mr. Daultana merely initialled the note. In his evidence he has explained—not with reference to this particular note—that the files which were sent up to him. for information were merely initialled by him. But this one asked for some definite action to be taken.
(2) On the 19th of August 1951, Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari made a speech outside Mochi Gate from which some expressions typical of him may be translated in substance: “There is one enemy in front of us on the border ; there is another in our midst.
You are unaware of the snake which is hiding in your sleeve. I have said it time and again the Ahmadis are not loyal to Pakistan. At Daska, on the occasion of the marriage of Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan’s nephew, Mirza Sahib made a statement that the good of the Ahmadis lay in an undivided India, but that even if there is a partition, the two parts should reunite somehow or other. Can you imagine treason worse than this? Put handcuffs both on me and Mirza Sahib and shut us in a room. There will be a decision of the dispute before morning, but if he survive the night and is found guilty, then you should hang an Ahmadi from every tree-top between Qadian and Rabwah. Saghir said that Mirza Sahib and Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan had sunk the boat of Kashmir.
If this is untrue, put him in jail, but “if it is true, put Zafrullah Khan in jail.” Thereupon Sh. Bashir Ahmad, Advocate. Amir of the Ahmadi Jama’at at Lahore, made a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, who forwarded it to the Commissioner, who forwarded it to the Home Secretary (then Sayyad Ahmad Ali), who made a note that he had discussed the case with the Chief Minister and had been directed to convey a warning to the Ahrar leaders, through the Inspector-General, that they were exceeding the limits. They were to be told that if they do not take this warning, Government will have to take steps against them. The Inspector-General administered a warning to Sh. Husamud-Din, Secretary of the Majlis-i-Ahrar, who promised to convey it to proper quarters.
Mr. G. Ahmad, Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, also asked the Chief Secretary on the 4th of September 1951 whether it was a correct report of the speech that the Foreign Minister was selling Kashmir for Qadian. The Chief Secretary replied that it was correct and added that a warning had been administered.
Ataullah Shah Bukhari at Lahore—19-8-51.
Sh. Bashir Ahmad protests.
Central Government’s concern.
(3) But look at the effect that the warning produced. Two months later, in October, l951, S. Ataullah Shah Bukhari spoke at Muzaffargarh and repeating most of what he presented as the Ahmadi stand regarding Partition, added a new song to it: “An Ahmadi spy has been arrested in the company of one Gopal Dass. I have given excellent information to Government in this behalf.” How can your simple folk imagine that this grand, old man, weighed down with years, yet sharp like a sword, can invent a story about the companion of Gopal Dass which has not the least basis reality! If this is true, will it not rouse intense feelings against “traitors”.? If you Ignore that speech, knowing that it is false in context, you may show respect for his grey hair but you ignore the disease with which he has infected your people.
Mr. Anwar Ali thereupon suggested that (1) an Ahrar or two should be gagged, that (2) S. Ataullah Shah Bukhari’s movement should be restricted to his village, and that (3) cases should be started under the law for offensive speeches. Khan Qurban Ali Khan wrote an equally strong note. He pointed out that the Ahrar had done enough to justify firm action being taken against them. The last warning was the one given by himself to Sh. Husam-ud Din, but it was clear that warnings were useless. Even if the Ahrar as a party refrain, Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari could not. He had nothing but abuse in him. It was possible, however, that if he were gagged, a dying party might regain vigour, but that was for the politician to decide. Personally, he preferred firm action to create an atmosphere of tolerance. The Chief Secretary, without committing himself, suggested that the Chief Minister might hear all of them and come to a decision.
On the 21st November 1951, the Chief Minister’s Secretary made a note, apparently under direction, that no action need be taken until the Chief Minister’s return from some place. This was followed by a conference of the Chief Minister with his officers on the 6th December, and subsequently, by the issue of a policy letter on 24th December, 1951. This was somewhat on the
lines of the Central Government’s letter of the 7th September, 1951, and told all Deputy Commissioners that while the legitimate rights of any community or sect to practise its religious beliefs could not be unduly restricted, it was nevertheless important that religious controversies should be discouraged or at any rate not allowed to the extent of endangering public peace and tranquillity. Disorders resulted where Deputy Commissioners were not vigilant and therefore did not take timely preventive measures, or where they discriminated and therefore did not act dispassionately. It was apparently known to Government that certain district officers were indulgent to non-Ahmadi speakers by reason of their own religious beliefs.
Now on paper, and independently of the context, this letter makes very good reading. It is in the best traditions of the civil service. It shows how alive Government is to the effects of sectarian activities, to the danger to which the religious beliefs of the district officers Bukhari at Muzaffargarh, October 1951. D. I. G. Suggests action.
I. G. suggests firm action.
Conference of officers. Results in policy letter of 24-12-51.
Makes good reading.
themselves expose them and with them the administration, to the legitimate rights of everybody to practise his religious beliefs. And yet—what have they done about the Amir-i-Shari’at? Have they not allowed the people to assimilate the poison which was administered to them? The D. I. G., Mr Anwar Ali, had made very effective suggestions. The Inspector-General had pointed out that previous warnings, three during the old Government, two during the new regime, had produced no effect, and that an atmosphere of tolerance should be created. Then there is a meeting of five gentlemen on whom rests the burden of the administration. They must have spent about two hours in discussing the possible effects of gagging Syad Ataullah Shah Bukhari—whether, if he is proceeded against, you will get wheat from the Ahrar or rain from an otherwise benevolent heaven ; whether a dying party will be resuscitated. A dying person can be resuscitated only by a miracle, and it was no miracle to take action against the Amir-i-Shari’at. But it certainly would have been a miracle a decade ago if no action had been taken. The I. G. and the D. I. G. said in their notes it was time that “firm” decision were taken. So often has this word been profaned that it gives us a feeling of sickness now to hear it repeated. It was used on the 21st January, 1953 also, when the Chief Secretary asked the Ministry of Interior to define “The firm policy” in respect of the demands.
However, the two police officers at least knew what the word means, and their notes said it means putting one or two of them in jail and restricting the movements of a third. Is it conceivable that they changed their mind in the conference? If they did, it must be because the idea of the other three officers regarding firm action was different. The utter futility of the circular letter issued on the 24th December 1951 will become further patent when it is remembered that a more or less similar letter had been issued on the 3rd November 1951. It said
that instances had come to the notice of Government where members of different sects had indulged in objectionable propaganda against each other calculated to hurt feelings and leading, not unoften, to personal violence, that sometimes local officers identified themselves with these causes and that this was causing unrest in the province and grave concern to the Government. “Government consider that while the legitimate rights of any community or sect to practise religious beliefs should not be unduly restricted * * * * * .”
Then follows the patent phraseology of the Central Government’s letter of the 7th September, 1951. Finally, the Deputy Commissioners were directed to suppress militant and aggressive sectarianism “firmly”. Local officers were to take “strong action whenever there is likelihood of trouble on account of communal provocative speeches or conduct leading to tension. For this purpose they should invoke the provision of prohibitory orders as laid down in the criminal law.”
But ignores the case in point.
One word is too often profaned:
Policy letter of 3rd
November 1951 had already existed.
The district officers have to be told expressly that there is something in the criminal law of the land which can apply to such speeches. But Sh. Bashir Ahmad knew the law when he complained to the Deputy Commissioner against the Mochi Gate speech of August 1951, and in making the complaint to the Deputy Commissioner he apparently intended that officer to apply the law. Was there a circular letter from Government prohibiting district officers from taking action in accordance with law without reference to Government, or was it because the Deputy Commissioner was reluctant to prosecute Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari because (1) he was a grand old man, or because (2) he was one of the Ahrar, a noisy party, or because, (3) after all, the utterances were made against Ch. Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, who was only an Ahmadi, or because (4) the Deputy Commissioner wished to throw the burden on the Commissioner’s shoulders, or because (5) in his opinion the speech was not actionable? Whichever of these reasons you select, it shows that the foundation of the administration itself is creaky. Make your district officers self-reliant. If it is not in their character, give them some other job and replace them by men who have broad shoulders for responsibility. At the conference of the 6th December 1951, one of the questions that should have been considered was whether the District Magistrates of Lahore and Muzaffargarh should not be asked why they had taken no action under the law, particularly after receiving the circular letter of the 3rd November.
It is only thus that sleeping officers wake up to their responsibility. This is largely the function of the Chief Secretary, but it is not likely that when a conference meets just to discuss a speech or two, it should not occur to the Chief Minister that the man on the spot has done nothing.
(4) On the 22nd and 23rd September 1951, an Ahmadi Tabligh conference took place at Bhalwal. Out of sheer spite, a rival Sunni Conference was extemporised in a mosque opposite. The police report shows that while the Ahmadis said nothing offensive, the Ahrar did.
Mr. Anwar Ali recommended that the Superintendent of Police should warn local leaders. Khan Qurban Ali added on 4th October 1951 that “if they do indulge in sectarian mischief, legal action should be taken.” This is merely by way of an instance of the conduct of Ahrar.
(5) On 18th November 1951, an Ahmadi meeting was broken up by the Ahrar in Multan, and Sh. Bashir Ahmad, Advocate, again wrote a complaint, this time to Government, pointing out that another meeting at Lyallpur had been similarly broken up. He said Government should have a clear policy and show it in practice.
He reminded Government that there was going to be another Ahmadi annual meeting in Sialkot during the week-end and asked for protection. Mr. Qurban Ali said he agreed with every word of this letter and pleaded for “firm policy.”
The policy letters presume that District
Magistrates do not act under the law unless expressly told.
District Magistrates are not self-reliant.
Ahmadi conference at Bhalwal. 22-9-51.
Ahmadi Conference at Multan. 18-11-51.
The breaking-up of the meeting in Multan was particularly brought to the notice of Mr. Daultana, who discussed the matter with his officers, and the matter ended with a note by the Deputy Secretary, Home, on behalf of the Chief Minister: “No separate action is necessary on this reference.”
The Sialkot meeting had to be put off with the consent of the Ahmadis themselves, because of the tense atmosphere, and was ultimately held on the 16th and 17th February 1952. Even then the police had to cordon off the meeting with barbed wire. The Ahrar stood at some distance and threw stones at Ahmadis after the meeting.
The Deputy Commissioner prevented the situation from growing worse by show of force, and sent the Ahmadis home in trucks, with police escorts. In respect of the meeting on the 17th February, the Ahmadis themselves thought it was not safe to hold it, and consequently did not hold it.
(6) An Ahrar Conference was scheduled to meet at Okara on the 24th and 25th November 1951, and as Okara was the hot-bed of Ahmadi-Ahrar controversy — an Ahmadi had been killed there in 1950 — the Chief Minister accepted D.I.G’s. advice that it should be banned.
It then transpired that the Deputy Commissioner of Montgomery, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Cheema, had already allowed the meeting to be held on condition that no objectionable speeches would be made. Mr. Daultana was then in Karachi and as Mr. Qurban Ali thought it would be best to honour the pledge, the Deputy Commissioner was informed that he could allow the meeting if
he was confident that nothing untoward would happen. The conference was opened by Mr. Cheema himself, and closed on the following day by the Additional District Magistrate, with his thanks to the Ahrar, because it was termed a “Defence Conference”. Extracts from the following two speeches are worthy of note.
1. Qazi Ehsan Ahmad Shujabadi— “Beware of Mirzais. They are beyond the fold of Islam and the Pakistan Government should keep them in mind when investigating Khan Liaqat Ali Khan’s assassination. They have no right to preach their faith in Pakistan.”
One cannot help admiring them for being able to discover the missing links in the investigation of all national disasters.
2. S. Ataullah Shah Bukhari—After emphasizing the necessity of strengthening the country’s defences: “One traitor is worse than ten million swine. If Government regard me a traitor, let them shoot me. I regret Mirza-Bashir-ud-Din once openly advocated efforts to reunite Pakistan with India. That was treachery to Pakistan.” There was some correspondence between the Deputy Commissioner and the Chief Secretary as to the propriety of presiding over a conference of this nature, and on the At Sialkot 16-2-51.
Ahrar Conference at
Commissioner whole we agree that exception could be taken to Mr. Cheema’s conduct on more than one ground. It is gratifying to note, however, that even without any reference to Government, he had assumed the responsibility of allowing a meeting to take place, subject to safeguards. Let them commit errors of judgment, but let them do something to show that they are capable of committing errors of judgment.
(7) In March 1952, there came to the notice of Mr. Anwar Ali a pamphlet entitled “Ragra Mast Qalandar Da” by Saeen Azad Qalandar of Bhera, containing what was described by the C. I. D. as “abusive and insulting criticism” of the founder of Ahmadism, actionable under section 295 A P. P. C. and section 94-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He made a note that although according to recent instructions such persons were to be dealt with “firmly“, the writer was a person of no extraordinary status and might gain notoriety if prosecuted. We cannot understand why even notoriety should be denied to criminals, but the idea behind the advice seems to be the same that urged the Chief Advisor in 1950 to deny “cheap martyrdom” to the Ahrar as a whole—namely, that they will rise in the scale of values and become important persons for the period following their imprisonment. It is over-looked, however, that, on the other hand people come to regard abuse and vilification as a common feature of life and that ultimately, when it becomes
unbearable and any effort is made to check it, they regard it as unwarranted interference with liberty of speech. This is what happened at Multan in July 1952. For a whole month processions were taken out in defiance of law, and when at last a ban was imposed and a conscientious police officer tried to enforce it, they created a hornet’s nest round his police station, broke the iron fencing, threw bricks at men and things, tried to set fire, injured a number of officers, and were not pacified until they had six bullets lodged in six fatal regions.
Thereupon, the Tasneem of 2nd July 1952 observed: “We cannot but condemn the irresponsibility of the police officer who lathi-charged an assembly merely for the offence of shouting slogans and defying an order under section 144 * * * *.
In Sargodha and other places, such orders have been defied.”
However, the Home Secretary agreed with the D. I. G. and the author was merely warned. The Chief Minister, on return from tour, approved the action taken. Perhaps the poem was a good one.
Two months later, in May 1952, the Ahrar issued a poster entitled:
”خليفه قاديان مرزا بشيرالدين کی گاندهی جی سے هم بستری اورآکهنڈ هندوستان“
“Ragra Mast Qalandar da” March
1952—a mere warning.
Notoriety and cheap martyrdom denied to criminals.
Multan firing of July 1952 resulted from non-enforcement of orders.
We cannot translate the title because the word “هم بستری ” has two meanings, and while Mirza Bashir-ud-Din has used it in one sense, the Ahrar apparently intended the other sense, which makes the meaning filthy. The poster itself is full of indecent material.
There is a reference also to a judgment of Skemp J. in which His Lordship is supposed to have ascribed immorality to Mirza Sahib, though in actual fact Skemp J. was quoting from a passage to which the Ahmadis had taken exception. This passage was similarly reported in another objectionable book, “Janbaz Pocket Book”, and one of us had occasion to sentence the author to a month’s imprisonment for contempt of Court.
The D. I. G. made no particular recommendation in this case, and the Chief Minister merely initialled the note.
(8) The next important landmark is the Istihkam-i-Pakistan Ahrar Conference held at Sargodha on the 24th and 25th March, 1952. The Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Anjuman at Sargodha sent a telegram of protest to the Central Government against the open preaching of violence and lawless-ness which had exposed his community to grave danger, and the Central Government requested the Chief Secretary for a report. A copy of the local Superintendent of Police’s report was sent, but not without a vigorous protest by Mr. Anwar Ali to his own Government. He said that there was a tendency on the part of the Ministry of Interior to call for reports on “all and sundry matters”, which unnecessarily increased work. In any case, the Central Government were not in a position to pass any orders.
The proper course, he added, would have been to transfer the telegram to this Government for necessary action. In the matter of law and order the Provincial Government was “supreme”, and when reports were called from it, people were encouraged to go over its head and invite interference from the Centre.
This is good enough, but “the firm policy” letter of 21st February 1953, was sent up to the Central Government at the instance of Mr. Anwar Ali himself, notwithstanding the knowledge that in the matter of law and order the Provincial Government was supreme.
In the speeches recorded by the C. I. D., Maulvi Muhammad All Jullundri was reported to have said that the “Mirzais” were zindeeq and that zindeeqs were according to Islamic law liable to be put to death.
Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari said Chaudhri Muhammad Zafrullah Khan was intentionally keeping the Kashmir knot in tangle and sustaining bitterness between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He bade his audience to take out a procession demanding the removal of the Foreign Minister and shout “Mirzaeeat Murdabad“,
“Zafrullah Murdabad”, “Mirza Bashir Ahmad Murdabad”. As to this procession, it would Posters relating to “bed-fellowship”—not even a warning.
Sargodha Conference: 24-3-52.
Central Government ask for report.
D. I. G. protests. Speeches: Jullundri:
“Zindeeqs” are liable to death.
Bukhari be instructive to reproduce the substance of the report made to Government by the Superintendent of Police:
“A procession of about 200 men was taken out on 28th March as directed by Ataullah Shah Bukhari. I asked Maulvi Abdullah Ahrari (book-seller), Abdur Rashid Ashk and others not to lead the procession as it was likely to create disaffection and cause disturbance, but they paid no heed to my advice and asserted that this was the only way to protest. They urged their followers to shout “Murdabad”. The procession began swelling as it proceeded. At Kachery bazar it met another big procession and the two marched together to municipal gardens. Abdur Rashid Ashk urged them to march on fearlessly. At one time it seemed as though law and order did not exist. The Deputy Commissioner witnessed the procession.