By Yasser Latif Hamdani
December 31, 2018
Recently the Government of Pakistan under Herr Imran Khan through NADRA added a fresh new oath to the Computerised National Identity Card forms to ensure that no Ahmadi would ever register as a citizen in this country. Till now Ahmadis had been able to register as citizens of Ahmadi faith simply by refusing to sign the oath required for officially sanctioned Muslims. Now they are required to sign an affidavit saying that they consider themselves Non-Muslim as well.
This is a fresh new violation of Article 20 of the Constitution because the core belief of Ahmadi faith is that they consider themselves Muslims. While the state for the purposes of law and constitution considers them Non-Muslim, the state cannot force them to consider themselves non-Muslim. This is a violation of not just the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom but is a violation of all norms of decency and humanity. To think that the move comes days after Fuhrer Imran Khan promised to teach Prime Minister Modi how to treat minorities well.
Yet there are even Ahmadis who have decided to support this fascist government.
History is full of strange ironies. Verband national deutscher Juden and Der deutsche Vortrupp were two Jewish groups in Nazi Germany who supported Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. One such Jew was Max Naumann who posited the idea of assimilation as an answer to anti-Semitism. After Adolf Hitler’s election in 1933, Naumann issued the following statement: “We have always held the well-being of the German people and the fatherland, to which we feel inextricably linked, above our own well-being. Thus we greeted the results of January, 1933, even though it has brought hardship for us personally.” This idea of a hapless minority trying to disarm the majority by submitting to their whims has never worked. One needs to stand up to fascism not endorse it on flimsy grounds. As it turned out a year later both these Jewish groups were disbanded by the Nazis and Max Naumann himself was thrown away in a dungeon. Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar was the leader of the fascist anti-Ahmadi anti-Shia Majlis-e-Ahrar. He called Jinnah Kafir-e-Azam for marrying a Parsi, being a Shia and having Ahmadis in the Muslim League. Responding to the questions of the Munir-Kayani Commission in 1954 Azhar said that he was a Shia himself. Questioning the credentials of Max Naumann or Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar can never be an attack on their identity or faith.
Pakistan now stands closer on the brink of genocide or even a holocaust of Ahmadis. Of course the establishment has its own Gorings and Goebbels or the equivalent of squealer the pig from Animal Farm to make it more palatable to the world. PR consultants have been invited from world over to give Pakistan’s increasingly fascist tendencies and clamp down on religious minorities a palatable spin. In a recent tweet one such PR consultant justified the anti-Ahmadi sentiment in Pakistan by saying that it was the result of Ahmadis insisting that they are Muslims when their beliefs are contrary to core Islamic beliefs. All this is unfolding while politicians who once dared to question the permanent clamp down on freedom of speech are being packed off to jail on trumped up corruption charges. When it comes the Fuhrer and his coterie, including his sister, there is an exemption from corruption. To date no one has explained how the Fuhrer runs his personal 300 kanal residence, when he has no source of income. Compromised much Mr Prime Minister?
Then you have the boys in Khaki. Report positively they tell the media. Report positively on what? Is your patriotism limited to kissing up to powers that be? True patriotism is to speak truth to power. The founder of this country was fierce in his criticism of the British rulers and bureaucracy, refusing all rewards, titles, offers of judicial and gubernatorial appointments in exchange for pusillanimous surrender. Unlike Gandhi, Jinnah never recruited for the British Empire and never got the coveted Kaiser-e-Hind medal. He argued instead that if the British wanted Indians to fight their wars they would need to make them full officers. We who criticize the Khaki and the entrenched bureaucracy and deep state of the country are merely following the constitutional tradition of Mr. Jinnah. That you are even more intolerant than the British rulers of the subcontinent speaks volumes.
Pakistan cannot afford further descent into a hellhole of fascist control freakery. Give the people of Pakistan their rights. Keep the military away from politics. Stop persecuting minorities. And stop hiring PR Consultants who end up making you look bad. This is an advice from a patriot who wants Pakistan to succeed but who fears that you are treading the path that will call forth a flood and in that flood Pakistan’s very existence would come under a question mark thanks to your idiocy and stupidity.
Yasser Latif Hamdani is practicing lawyer and was a visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School in Cambridge MA, USA.