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Munir Commission Report-35: The assurance by the Ahrar on 19th July 1952

This period ends with the famous “assurance” by the Ahrar to keep the peace but not to be of good behaviour. Before discussing it, however, we wish to refer to a note of the D. I. G. which gives an indication of the Ahrar mind immediately before the assurance. Master Taj-ud-Din and some others had by this time been arrested for violating prohibitory orders. Mr. Anwar Ali wrote the following note (in substance) on 5th July, 1962: “Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan came today with Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi, now President of Ahrar. The object was to give an assurance that no speeches will be made which are likely to disturb public peace, provided the persons arrested were released and section 144 was withdrawn. I explained the decisions reached today at the officers’ meeting and told them Government might consider release, etc., if the two leaders apologised.

Maulvi Ghulam Ghaus Sarhaddi said that so far, he and his party were of the belief that Master Taj-ud-Din had not committed any wrong. Once it is realized by the Ahrar that Government will not change its decisions, they will be more disposed to come to a settlement.”

7th July 1952: Mr. Qurban Ali Khan—“I do not think Government have any cause to change their decisions that law and order shall be maintained. Whatever tends to cause disorder must be hit on the head, well and hard.”

The Home Secretary forwarded the note with the remark that the Ahrar were realising that they are being isolated, and Mr. Daultana initialled the note on 8th July. The Home Secretary’s note that the Ahrar realized the effect of the policy of isolation reminds us that the Government also viewed their isolated state sympathetically and allowed them to invite the Ulama of all parties to relieve the monotony of their isolation. It should have been foreseen that the Ahrar were making a very open bid for breaking loose from the ring which the Government thought it had forged round them, in which case the wisdom of allowing the convention to be held in defiance of the law is questionable. The law was an ass, but they have made it a joke now. The ostensible object of allowing the convention was to contact the Ulama before the meeting and persuade them to preach against violence. Mir Nur Ahmad, D. P. R., says the Chief Minister particularly asked him to contact Maulanas Abul Hasanat Sayyed Muhammad Ahmad Qadri, Muhammad Bakhsh Muslim and Ghulam Murshid.

He was given to understand that “in the atmosphere of the convention” these Maulanas could not secure a decision “on the desired lines.” But if the Chief Minister was interested in the decision, as he ought to have been, it is remarkable that neither did Mir Nur Ahmad inform him that the “contacts” had failed nor was Mir Nur Ahmad asked by him as to the result. These Maulvis began to take an active part in the agitation, and in October, 1952, the Department of Islamiat, determinedly ignoring these activities, selected them for making lectures on payment.

Mr. Daultana said it was not his policy that the Ulama should be encouraged to attend this convention. (The decision had been taken at the meeting of officers on 5th July.) On seeing file No. 16(2)94, however, he agreed to having written the following note on 5th July: “This convention may actually prove to be useful from the Government point of view if the intending participants were contacted by District Magistrates or D. P. R. and prevailed upon to denounce violence and defiance of law”.

5th July: two Ahrar leaders meet D. I. G.

They do not accept his suggestion of


Mr. Anwar Ali’s fears.

Ahrar defeat Government’s effort at isolation.

“Contacting” policy failed, but notice of it was not taken.

But these remarks as to the convention have been provoked by the use of the word “isolated” in the Home Secretary’s note. It occurred to us that the two positions were inconsistent. We take no serious objection to the hope entertained, if it was entertained in good faith, and it is possible to have two honest opinions in this matter. To revert to the meeting of Maulana Akhtar Ali Khan and Maulana Sarhaddi with the D. I. G., it will be noticed that the Ahrar were not prepared to apologize, and wished Government to withdraw the ban and the prosecutions on their own terms. They would continue making speeches, but the speeches will not be such as were likely to disturb the peace. There is at least an implied admission that hitherto the speeches possessed that quality. Next, there is noticeable in the D. I. G’s note a fear that Government might change its decisions and Mr. Qurban Ali Khan assures him that Government will not change its decision to maintain law and order. But Mr. Anwar Ali’s fear was soon realized. We are not thinking yet of the agreement with the Ahrar. We are thinking of the withdrawal of cases in Gujranwala on the 14th or 15th July. When questioned as to these, Mr. Daultana said it was merely a technical decision taken by the officers in respect of two Ahrar leaders who had already been convicted on similar charges in Sargodha. Firstly, if a person commits one act of cheating in Sargodha and another in Gujranwala, it will not be a technical decision to withdraw the case at Gujranwala, and there will be no justification for it. If a District Magistrate makes that foolish suggestion, he should be told that it is foolish. Secondly, the decision related to six persons of whom only two had been convicted in Sargodha. When this was brought to Mr. Daultana’s notice, he said he did not recollect having attended the officers’ meeting of 15th July at which this decision was taken, as no matter of policy was involved. When, however, his attention was drawn to the following note of the Home Secretary, dated the 18th July:—

“The Gujranwala case was withdrawn yesterday. I sent for the D. G. on 15th, immediately after our meeting with H. C. M. and communicated to him the decision of Government when he came to see me on the 16th.”—he said he must have agreed to the withdrawal. “My impression is that these persons had been arrested merely for attending a meeting in contravention of section 144, and as there was considerable agitation in the city, the District Magistrate of Gujranwala contacted the Home Secretary.”

Even if this explanation is correct, Mr. Anwar Ali’s fear that Government might change its decisions was realized. But it is not correct, for we have seen in Part II of these Minutes, that no suggestion came from Gujranwala.

On the same day when the decision to withdraw the prosecution was taken, Mr. Qurban Ali Khan made a note that the convention of Ulama had a very adverse effect on people, that the Ahrar had gained their object by exciting their sentiments on, religious issues, that there was a race between the Government and the Ahrar,

Gujranwala cases withdrawn: 15th July 1952: Mr. Anwar Ali’s fears realized.

Withdrawal unjustified.

Convention of Ulama on 13th July had adverse effect: says I.G.

that the Government should be on its toes and let no grass grow under its feet. The Home Secretary wrote to the same effect and Mr. Daultana saw this file on 16th July. He was asked by the Government counsel whether, in the face of these notes, showing as they do that these officers held very strong views about the situation, he still insisted that the decision to withdraw was that of the officers and not his own. The answer was as follows: “This file came to me for information only. The question of withdrawal had nothing to do with it.” It was then pointed out to him that in this very file there was a note, dated the 16th July, by the Inspector-General that the subject was discussed at the previous day’s meeting. In other words, the subject of Mr. Qurban Ali’s note of 14th July was discussed with the Chief Minister in the meeting of 18th July, Mr. Daultana thereupon agreed that he must have been present at the meeting. The answer to the first question, however,—that officers with such strong views could not have agreed to the withdrawal of prosecution—still remains to be given. It is impossible to believe that while on paper Mr. Qurban Ali Khan agitated his mind over the tactical victory which the Ahrar had gained by the convention and warned Government to be on its toes and let no grass grow under its feet, in the conference he advised Mr. Daultana to withdraw the cases because people were upset—as, after all, they had merely defied an order. After all, an order of Government in a democratic set-up is subject to the implied proviso that the execution thereof will not agitate the public mind. We mean, Mr. Qurban Ali Khan, as a police officer, could not have worried about “justifying” the prosecution “before the people who had accepted a democratic form of overnment”. This contribution to the meeting must, therefore, have been made by Mr. Daultana himself.

Now we come to the actual “assurance”. It is well-known. Some Ahrar leaders undertook to make a statement condemning violence and Mr. Daultana in return agreed to with-draw the ban and prosecutions. Mr. Daultana says they told him it was not their intention to break the law, but the movement was an article of faith with them and it was their right to put the issue before the people constitutionally. At the same time, they were convinced that it was their political and religious duty to protect the Ahmadis, their property and their honour. It was understood that after the withdrawal of the ban, they would continue their normal political activities, but do nothing to jeopardise law and order. In answer to a question by ourselves, Mr. Daultana said that it was implied on his part that in the past the Ahrar’s normal political activity was accompanied by acts of violence, but that he was not sure if the Ahrar also admitted this position. This accounts for our earlier observation that while they promised to keep the peace, they did not promise to be of good behaviour.

The Ahrar said in their statement that neither had they in the past committed any act in breach of law and order nor did they intend committing such act in the future. This takes us back to Mr. Anwar Ali’s insistence on an apology and Maulana Sarhaddi’s insistence that there was no case for an apology. But we have no intention of devoting any time to the merits of the agreement. With Mr. Anwar Ali’s exception, the officers are all agreed, for different reasons, that it was the best course to adopt under the Ahrar’s “Assurances”: 19th July 1952.

circumstances. Mr. Qurban Ali Khan said it exposed the Ahrar to the criticism that they had no liking for the prison, Hafiz Abdul Majid said that as an administrator he would give them a chance. Mr. Ghias-ud-Din Ahmad said that on a religious question a prohibitory order could not remain effective for long. He also said that although the decision had already been taken by Mr. Daultana, when it was put before the meeting, everybody agreed.

Mr. Anwar Ali said that it was due to the wholesome effect produced by the prosecutions that the Ahrar came in a deputation to the Chief Minister and gave a written undertaking to keep the agitation within legal limits. “They did not, however, abide by the promise. If I had been consulted, I would have said that the withdrawal of these prosecutions and the release of these persons was injurious, because I knew the Ahrar to be unreliable.”

III. After The “Assurance”.

“The undertaking by the Ahrar was followed by a lull and then again a spate of objectionable speeches started. After calling off this action, if action had been taken to prosecute all the people who were delivering objectionable speeches, or if preventive action had been taken against some of them, then the agitation could have been curbed further.”—Mr. Ghias-ud-Din Ahmad.

With these remarks of the Home Secretary in mind, we can now start examining some incidents following the 19th of July 1952 and test the good faith of the decision to let the Ahrar carry on the agitation in a “constitutional” manner.

(1) At Qasur, on the 25th July 1952, after Juma prayer there was a meeting, and one of the speakers was a “bad character”, Alam Shah. Thereafter a procession was taken out, with beating breasts. One man shouted “Zafrullah Kanjar” and others joined in chorus of “Hai, hai”. Then Alam Shah and another procured a she-ass and wrote on it “Begum Zafrullah”, seated a man on it and garlanded him with shoes. He wore a top-hat with “Ghulam Ahmad Mirza” written on it. The procession halted in front of an Ahmadi’s factory and shouted: “Destroy Mirzaeeat”, “Zafrullah Kanjar”, “Zafrullah Kutta”, “Zafrullah Soowar” for about fifteen minutes.

Mr. Anwar Ali noted on the diary relating to Qasur that fanatical elements and Maulvis had gained strength and that hooligans had jumped into the arena. Mr. Qurban Ali Khan said: “This is the outcome of all agitations in defiance of law. One lawlessness breeds another lawlessness and unless some preventive method is possible, it ends in a revolution. This is a lesson of history which may be delayed but cannot be belied.”

The Chief Minister initialled the note on 12th August 1952.

Acceptance of “assurance” not per se objectionable.

At Qasur: 25th July 1952.

D. I. G. and I. G.’s remarks.

But we are not going to put any more faith in these notes. They seem to be intended to make good reading. They do not say: “But where is the Ahrar’s promise?” They don’t propose any action, and Mr. Daultana says he was not taking any action where no action was proposed, unless it was a glaring case of inaction. This certainly was not a glaring ease! Again, we have lost faith in these notes because if Mr. Daultana holds another conference, they will all agree with him in holding that this is not a democratic approach to the problem. The Foreign Minister has been grossly insulted, true enough, but unless the Central Government decide whether the demands are to be accepted or rejected, how can one say whether the abuse is or is not justified?

On 31st July, the D. I. G. made the following note on a source report: “The movement is no longer canalised, but has got into the hands of the riff-raff * * * * I am not sure about the bona fides of the Ahrar.” So far we had not heard that Government intended “canalising” the movement, and therefore do not know which way the canal was to be directed. But this word may be borne in mind.

(2) On 24th July 1952, the D. I. G. informed Government that mock funerals of the Foreign Minister had been taken out at several places in the province and that this constituted an offence under section 23, Public Safety Act. The Home Secretary said that the Safety Act should not be used, but that the Chief Minister might talk to the Ahrar leaders to abide by the undertaking, as parleys with them at a lower level had proved futile. The Chief Minister signed the note on 30th July. In his statement in Court, he said he took no action because he agreed with the Home Secretary. But the Home Secretary, when he discouraged the Safety Act, was apparently thinking of section 3, by which a person is detained without trial. Section 23, however, is on the same footing as any section of the Penal Code, and if Mr. Daultana agreed with him because Mr. Daultana also had section 3 in mind, then it is very fortunate indeed for the law-breakers that both the Chief Minister and the Home Secretary had the same conception of section 23 as they had of section 3. But even Mr. Daultana admitted that in 1952 there were ninety persons detained under the Safety Act and that none of them was a political detenu.

He added that so far as the Home Secretary’s note recommended that the Ahrar be reminded, he did not consider any further interview with them necessary as in his speech of the 27th or 28th July to the Muslim League Council he had clearly asked the Ahrar leaders to adhere to their undertaking. We think this is what they call an explanation. We come across them in press conferences, but not in law Courts.

(3) On the 26th or 27th July, there were demonstrations on a wide scale outside the Muslim League office when a meeting was being held; stones were thrown at motor But no action.

D. I. G., says movement is in the hands of riff-raff.

Mock funerals of Foreign Minister.

Action not approved under Safety Act.

Because Safety Act is a bugbear.

But no warning either: cars; quite a number of policemen and some members were injured. Begum G. A. Khan had to be carried away in an injured condition. The police had to use tear gas and lathis.

(4) A pamphlet entitled     ( مرزائيوں کے ناپاک عزايم )      came to the notice of the C. I. D. on 4th August 1952. In the first chapter, relating to fundamental beliefs, there are quotations from the writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. “Those who do not believe in me are swine and bitches”, is an illustrative quotation. In the second chapter it is stated that the Ahmadis still believe that Pakistan will reunite with India, In the third chapter it is stated that Chaudhri Muhammad Zafrullah Khan is opposed to the establishment of Pakistan.

The objects or at least the effect, of the pamphlet clearly was to rouse and maintain bitter feelings between two sections of people. The Assistant to the D.I.G. recommended proscription. The D.I.G. said on 3rd September 1952, that a month had passed since the pamphlet had first come to notice and that no useful purpose would be served at this stage by proscription. The Home Secretary agreed and the Chief Minister initialled the note.

(5) On the 21st August 1952 there was a meeting at Multan at which public servants were particularly castigated. The D.I.G. noted on the daily situation report that inflammatory speeches against public officers undermined their morale, that the leaders had been released in order that they should tell their colleagues to keep within the limits of law, that they should be called now and administered a warning, that they were utterly unreliable, though it was worthwhile warning them a second time, that the meeting which they proposed on 29th August at Multan to celebrate a “Martyr’s Day” should be banned, that since according to the report of Kayani J. on the Multan firing the officials were not at fault, if the Ahrar, still hold them up to criticism, it was against all principles of decency.

The Chief Minister did not approve the proposal to ban the meeting, but agreed to a warning being issued that they should behave at the meeting. The Deputy Secretary, Home, had proposed that press notes be issued about warnings having been administered. This also was not approved. The local leaders were warned through the Commissioner. The Home Secretary inquired whether a general warning should be administered to Ahrar leaders also, adding, in his own handwriting (the rest of the note is in type), “I think we may wait for a little longer”.

The Chief Minister said on 31st August: “I don’t think we need bother about a general warning at this stage.”

An objectionable pamphlet—4-8-52.

No action. Multan: 21-8-52.

D.I.G. suggests warning.

Warning to local leaders only.

General warning unnecessary.

- 328 -

Report Of The Court Of Inquiry Constituted Under Punjab Act Ii Of 1954 To Enquire Into The Punjab Disturbances Of 1953

We have referred to the Multan firing elsewhere. It occurred on the 19th July 1952, when the police station of Kup found itself surrounded by a threatening mob. After the firing, as a concession to public feeling, the Government directed a judicial inquiry which was conducted by one of us. It was held that the firing by the police was justified as a measure of self-defence. That should have satisfied all right-minded people, if they had any regard for judicial independence and the dignity of a judicial finding. The celebration of a Martyr’s Day thereafter implied a disapproval of that finding, and Mr. Anwar Ali rightly laid stress on decency. This point was lost on Government. The law of contempt is a law of decency.

(6) Fortnightly Report from the Provincial to the Central Government for the first half of August 1952. It was stated in this report that a certain Maulvi Ahmad Khan of Sargodha, speaking at Samundri, criticised the Pakistan Army because its officers were given to dancing and drinking, and charged high officers of Government with corruption and favouritism. The Central Government was naturally perturbed, and asked for a report, inquiring what action, if any, had been taken by the Province: The reply was that although the Maulvi had used defamatory language and endeavoured to spread hatred against the Army, since he was an unknown entity, it was better to ignore him.

(7) At an Ahrar meeting on the 25th August 1952, at Montgomery Maulvi Muhammad Ali Jullundri told his audience that the Government was compelled to give way and withdraw section 144. Mirzaeeat was no religion but a farce, and Mirzais were worse than sweepers or cobblers. The Ahrar no doubt were deadly against the creation of Pakistan, but they are loyal now, while the Ahmadis are still trying to reunite with India, The Mirza of Qadian was immoral: many murders were committed as a result of his haram sara affairs. Mirzais should not be allowed water from water taps or to sit with you in the same tonga. They should be forced to embrace Islam. It is true that Chaudhri Muhammad Zafrullah Khan’s reply to the Prime Minister’s communique of 14th August was objectionable, but he had to squeal because he got it in the bottom.” The Chief Minister saw this report on 18th September 1952.

Perhaps even “at this stage” it was unnecessary to bother about a general warning. But where was the law of the land? Did nobody feel ashamed of this speech? But we are forgetting that no action could be taken by Government because no action had been suggested by the C.I.D, or the Home Secretary. And as for the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police, we suppose they were occupied with other duties which have fallen to them since the Partition—“reception of dignitaries”, as the District Magistrate of Lahore said.

“Martyr’s Day” meeting constituted a protest against judicial finding.

Criticism of Pakistan

Army: August 1952.

The speaker was “an unknown entity”.

Montgomery speeches: 25-8-52.

No suggestion, no action.

At least we know now what the Ahrar themselves thought of the “Assurance” they had given. According to Maulvi Muhammad Ali Government had been compelled to give way. Maulana Daud Ghaznavi put the same thought, in a different form when he stated in the Lyallpur Convention of 26th—28th September that the lifting of the ban was evidence of the fact that Government had submitted.

(8) On 29th August 1952, Mr. Nazir Ahmad, S.P.(B), on a reported split between Master Taj-ud-Din’s group and Sheikh Husam-ud-Din’s group, recorded an opinion that “the Council of Action was showing signs of decadence and disunity”. This was regarded by Mr. Daultana as “interesting”, and he asked the C.I.D. to inform the Central Government “of these developments and their likely consequences”. In the report, however, S.P.(B), mentioned a fatwa given on 14th October 1952, by Maulana Daud Ghaznavi and three other Ulama to the effect that those who regarded Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet or even a mujaddad or imam were murtadd, liable to be killed according to Islam, and that a Government which does not execute this injunction should be boycotted. This was to be put up for ratification before certain Ulama who were

expected from Karachi but who did not turn up. He also mentioned objectionable speeches at Jhang, Lyallpur, Tulamba, Montgomery, Barana and Rangu (Campbellpur), winding up with the opinion that the agitation was “practically dying and the leaders were trying to keep it live for maintaining their importance and collecting money”. The contents of the report do not leave any scope for complacency, and it seems that Mr. Nazir Ahmad was misled by the reported split between the two groups. The other police officers were not so happy. Mr. Anwar Ali said on this note that although the Ahrar leaders were “a bit tired”, there was no reduction in the number of meetings and that the agitation had dangerous potentialities. The Inspector-General said on 23rd October 1952: “If it is allowed to go on in this fashion, we shall one day be faced with serious troubles and It may become difficult to control it. He sent up the note to the Governor, not the Home Secretary or Chief Minister. Mr. Anwar Ali says this was probably done in the belief that the Governor might bring the matter to the notice of the Central Government. It was because we also had that feeling that we put the question to Mr. Anwar Ali. Mr. Qurban Ali Khan apparently did not think that the Provincial Government’s treatment of the situation was satisfactory, and he took the unusual course—perhaps objectionable from the Ministerial point of view—of trying to interest the Governor.

But the Governor merely initialled the note.

(9) Between 19th August and 9th September 1952, S.P.(B), thus reviewed the situation, with reference to its effect on the Ahmadis: One hundred and fourteen Ahmadis had forsaken their faith since July 1952, principally in Multan, Lyallpur, Montgomery and Jhang.

What the Ahrar thought of the “assurances”.

Was the agitation dying?

I. G. sends a note to the Government, not to Chief Minister.

Review of situation:

August-September 1952.

Eleven Ahmadis had left residence, apparently with families. Two male and four female Ahmadi teachers had been discharged by the Wazirabad Municipality on 25th July 1952. The Deputy Commissioner had suspended the order.

Mr. Anwar Ali remarked: “Pakistan has returned to the Middle Ages”. Mr. Daultana signed the note on 17th September 1952. These conversions remind us of Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar’s observation that, while Governor of this province, he had no apprehension of a breach of the peace from the Ahmadiyya community, because it is a small community. Therefore, if threatening speeches are made against the Ahmadis, there is no fear of a breach of the peace, for they can always renounce their faith.

(10) All Muslim Parties’ Convention at Daska on 21st and 22nd September 1952.—The following is a resume of the objectionable portion of the speeches made at this convention:

M. Ghulam Nabi Janbaz: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a juggler      ( مداری )    a wretched person, a womaniser.

Maulvi Muhammad Ali Jullunduri: Chaudhri Muhammad Zafrullah Khan is responsible for the stalemate in Kashmir.

Sahibzada Faizul Hasan: Just as a jackal cannot be trusted with melons and a cat with meat, so Zafrullah and other Mirzais could not be trusted with Pakistan, as they were traitors. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was “nonsense”. He used gur for latrine use, mistaking it for clay. If Mirzais do not embrace Islam, we shall do all in our power to achieve that end. In that case they will lose their allotments of land, factories and bungalows and also Rabwah.

Sayyad Muzaffar Ali Shamsi: Mirzais are base, mean, lacking a sense of honour.

Sheikh Husam-ud-Din: Zafrullah had underhand links with India and had occasioned the division of Palestine to give a stronghold to Jews, in the interests of the Anglo-American bloc.

Sayyad Ataullah Shah Bukhari: They are a band of spies (Then there is something about Queen Victoria and the present Queen which had better be left unsaid). (11) The “Ehsan” of 25th August 1952, referring to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a “banaspati Nabi“, advertised “Janbaz Pocket Book”, containing indecent matter in relation to the religious controversy, first published in February 1952.

(12) Convention at Sheikhupura on 9th October 1952 and Chuharkana on 10th October 1952.

Sahibzada Faizul Hasan: A man who could not save the honour of Nubuwwat and the Prophet’s daughter could not protect Pakistan. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said those who did not accept him were the progeny of prostitutes. The Punjab Ministers and Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din also did not accept him. They should protect their mother’s honours at least, if they did not protect the Prophet’s honour.

Daska speeches: 21-9-52.

Sheikhupura speech 9-10-52.

Mirza Ghulam Nabi Janbaz: This snake of straw—Zafrullah—was more dangerous than external enemies.

We are fighting constitutionally. Buy my books:

Sayyed Muzaffar All Shamsi: Khwaja Nazim-ud-Din and Daultana should respect the feelings of the people, who had given them “chairs” and could take them back. Gurdaspur was lost through Zafrullah. Mirzais did not hesitate to offer girls to achieve their object. Sheikh Husam-ud-Din: Zafrullah was a spy and a traitor.

The D. I. G. wrote on this report that the Ahrar continued spreading bad blood.

The Chief Minister initialled the note.