Original Articles

Horrors of a PML-N run Punjab – by Saad Mansoor

This morning I woke up to find the news of masked men entering a school in Rawalpindi and thrashing students and teachers for dressing inappropriately. The absence of the news from electronic media evidences the lack of freedom and an apparent ideological bias that plagues the Pakistani media. With such direct and indirect pressure one must salute Express Tribune and The Nation for reporting the incident.

The details of the incident are as follows:

RAWALPINDI: In a first for the garrison city, sixty masked men carrying iron rods barged into a girls’ school in Rawalpindi and thrashed students and female teachers on Friday.

The gang of miscreants also warned the inmates at the MC Model Girls High School in Satellite Town to “dress modestly and wear hijabs” or face the music, eyewitnesses said.

Fear gripped the area following the attack and only 25 of the 400 students studying in the college were present on Saturday. The school employs 30 female teachers.

Attendance in other educational institutions also remained low. After hearing about the attack, all schools in the city shut down, an official of the Rawalpindi District Administration (RDA) told The Express Tribune.

A student of the girls’ school managed to inform the administration of the nearby boys’ high school of the attack. “[However,] the armed gang was so powerful that we could not rescue our teachers and colleagues over there,” Noail Javed, a grade 10 student, said.

In-charge of MC High Schools in Rawalpindi issued a notification to the heads of all girls’ schools to take pre-emptive measures to avoid such incidents in future. According to the notification, a gang comprising 60 to 70 miscreants entered into the school from a gate that was “strangely open”.

All the MC school heads were assigned the responsibility of protecting the students by the notification. A school headmistress wishing not to be named said, “How is it possible for us to protect the students from such elements. The city administration should review its security plan.”

The notification also suggested that the heads should not inform the students about the situation, so that they are not alarmed into skipping school. “Police is investigating the matter,” the notification said. Following the notification, the heads of the schools also shared the numbers of relevant police stations with the teachers in case of any untoward situation in future.

Asjad Ali, a student of class 9 at the nearby boys’ high school, said that his younger brother Awais, a student of grade 5, was also among those who were brutally beaten by the miscreants with iron rods. “The police did not come,” he said.

A police official of the New Town Police Station, asking for anonymity, told The Express Tribune, “We were under strict instructions to do nothing.”

District Education Officer Qazi Zahoor and Rawalpindi Commissioner Zahid Saeed were not immediately available for comments.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2011.

 

The incident of harassment of women is neither one-off nor isolated, more and more women and minorities are suffering under the PML-N rule and the incident comes one day after 10 Ahmedi students and a teacher were expelled from a government school for being an Ahmedi. Needless to say the news found no takers:

 

10 students, teacher forced out of schools because of their faith.


At least 10 students, including seven girls, and a female teacher were expelled from Chenab Public School and Muslim Public School, Dharanwali area of Hafizabad, for being Ahmadis.

“It is extremely unfortunate that my daughters are being deprived of the most basic and fundamental human right such as education … all because of religious intolerance,” Khalil Ahmad, whose three daughters were expelled, told The Express Tribune. “I have no alternative to ensure that their education continues,” he added.

What about the constitutional provisions which ensure equal rights for all? What about the rule of law that says no discrimination can be made on the basis of faith, race, cast and creed, he questions.

“I’ve never seen Christians and students belonging to other religions ever having to deal with such restrictions,” the distraught father says.

“I personally opposed the expulsion on the basis of faith,” Muslim Public School Principal Yasir Abbas responds when contacted by The Express Tribune.

“This is not my decision … the entire village unanimously pressed me to expel all Ahmadis from the school, or else they would forcibly shut the school down,” he added.

A public meeting held in Dharanwali recently was spreading hatred against Ahmadis, Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan spokesperson Saleemuddin says, adding that expulsion came in the aftermath of the intolerance that some religious preachers were bent on evoking amongst locals in the area.

“They went so far as to say that they would never allow for an Ahmadi to be buried in their graveyard, let alone allow an Ahmadi to study in a school with their children,” Saleemuddin alleges.

Soon after the hate speech, ten Ahmadi students and a teacher were expelled from local schools.

The Punjab government’s initiative allowing people to register for schools online makes it mandatory for one to disclose their religion – whether they are Muslim or Non-Muslim. “This was never the case previously. It’s very simply a calculated move to subject the Ahmadiyya community to discrimination and deprive them of their right to education,” Saleemuddin says.

Ahmadis never refer to themselves as “Non-Muslim”, but that doesn’t keep them from being kept away from educational institutions. Similarly, for the first time ever, they’ve introduced this system where religion is displayed on the Roll Number slips. “It’s like they’re making a conscious effort to mentally torture us,” he says.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2011.

 

Lest we forget, not long ago a number of Ahmedi students were expelled from a medical college in Punjab only to be reinstated on international pressure. The persecution of minorities or assaulting women is increasingly becoming an underlying policy of PML-N. The terrorist Ludhianvi released by a court that shares the ideology in question is doing round all over Punjab declaring a war against Shias under official patronage.

Over past three years from Gojra to Raiwand and onwards a number of churches have been demolished while more recently a Gurduwara was appropriated and converted into a mosque.  This was only supplemented by a barbaric implementation of Ehtraam e Ramzan Ordinance this Ramzan, with dozens of arrests made on a daily basis.  The curator assaulted for wearing sleeveless and spreading fahashi was indeed the cherry on top!

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Saad

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  • جب اہل سنت کے لوگ شہید ہوتے ہیں تو یہ ہزارے کہاں ہوتے ہیں۔ چار سات بندے ناجانے کس نے ماردئے ان کے، انہوں نے آسمان سر پر اٹھا لیا۔ کیا یہ لوگ بھول گئے کہ افغانستان میں انہوں نے اہلسنت کے ساتھ کتنا ظلم کیا تھا۔ پاکستان کو ہم مٹھی بھر شیعوں کے ہاتھوں یرغمال نہیں بننے دیں گے۔ انہیں جو بدمعاشی کرنی ہے ایران اور افغانستان میں جاکر کریں۔ حد ہوتی ہے بدمعاشی کی۔

  • تیرہ احمدی طالب علم سکول سے خارج

    پاکستان میں احمدیوں پر ذیادتیوں کے واقعات ہوتے رہتے ہیں۔

    پاکستان کے صوبۂ پنجاب کے ضلع حافظ آباد میں مبینہ طور پر احمدی مسلک سے تعلق کی بنیاد پر تیرہ طلبہ و طالبات اور ایک استانی کو سکول سے نکال دیا گیا ہے۔

    جماعت احمدیہ کے ترجمان کا کہنا ہے کہ یہ تمام ان کی جماعت کے رکن تھے اور انہیں محض احمدی ہونے کی بنیاد پر سکول سے خارج کیا گیا۔

    لاہور سے نامہ نگار علی سلمان کےمطابق حافظ آباد کے نواحی گاؤں ڈاراں والی کے دو نجی سکولوں سے تیرہ احمدی بچوں کے نام خارج کیے گئے ہیں۔

    یہ ابتدائی جماعت سے لے کر بی اے تک کے طالب علم ہیں جب کہ بچوں اور ان کے والدین کا کہنا ہے کہ انہیں محض احمدی ہونے کی وجہ سے سکول سے نکالا گیا۔

    مقامی نجی سکول میں بی اے کی طالبہ فروا اعجاز کےمطابق مقامی سکول اور کالج کے استاد نے انہیں گھر پرٹیوشن پڑھانا بھی بند کر دیا ہے جس کی وجہ سے وہ امتحانات میں فیل ہوگئی ہیں۔

    گزشتہ سال اٹھائیس مئی کو لاہور کی احمدی عبادت گاہوں پر فائرنگ کر کے چھیاسی افراد کو ہلاک کیا گیا۔

    انہوں نے کہا کہ سکول سے نکالے جانے والے بچے اپنی غربت کی وجہ سے دوسرے شہر جا کر تعلیم حاصل نہیں کر سکتے اور اب وہ فارغ رہتے ہیں۔

    جماعت احمدیہ کے ترجمان سلیم الدین کا کہنا ہے کہ یہ تمام بچے اور نوکری سے برطرف ہونے والی ایک استانی گاؤں کے پانچ احمدی گھرانوں سے تعلق رکھتے تھے اور گاؤں کے مکینوں نے ان کا سوشل بائیکاٹ کر رکھا تھا۔

    سکول سے نکالی جانے والی دو بچیوں کے والد خلیل احمد ناصرنے کہا کہ گاؤں کی دیواروں پر جگہ جگہ احمدیوں کے خلاف نعرے درج ہیں جن میں ان سے لین دین اور بول چال بند کرنے کا کہا گیا ہے اور ان کے واجب القتل ہونے کے فتوے دیے گئے ہیں۔

    خلیل احمد ناصر کا کہنا ہے کہ وہ محکمۂ صحت میں ملازم تھے لیکن انہیں محض احمدی ہونے کی وجہ سے جبری ریٹائر کر دیا گیا ہے اور اب انہیں مالی مشکلات کا بھی سامنا ہے۔

    نجی سکول کے مالک اور پرنسپل ماسٹر یاسر نے بچوں کو سکول سے نکالے جانے کی تردید کی ہے اور کہا ہے کہ ایسا کوئی واقعہ نہیں ہوا البتہ انہوں نے یہ ضرور بتایا کہ محلے کے احمدی لوگوں کو سوشل بائیکاٹ کا سامنا ہے۔

    جماعت احمدیہ کے ترجمان سلیم الدین کا کہنا ہے کہ اس سے پہلے بھی فیصل آباد سے میڈیکل کے تیئس طلبہ، ٹیکسٹائل یونیورسٹی سے ایک طالبہ اور چکوال سے نو بچوں کو محض احمدی ہونے کی وجہ سے تعلیمی اداروں سے نکالا جا چکا ہے۔

    اس کے علاوہ لیئہ میں پانچ طلبہ کو سکول سےخارج کر کے ان پر توہین رسالت کے مقدمات بنائے گئے جبکہ شیخوپورہ میں سکول ٹیچر کو قتل اور چکوال میں ایک پروفیسر پر قاتلانہ حملہ ہو چکا ہے۔

    واضح رہے کہ سابق وزیر اعظم ذوالفقار علی بھٹو کے دور میں پارلیمان نے احمدیوں کو غیر مسلم قرار دے دیا تھا اور احمدیوں کا کہنا ہے کہ اس کے بعد انہیں امتیازی سلوک کا نشانہ بنایا جاتا ہے۔

    جماعت احمدیہ پاکستان کا کہنا ہے کہ گزشتہ ایک سال کے دوران ننانوے احمدیوں کو محض عقیدے کے بنیاد پر قتل کر دیا گیا جو کہ ایک سال میں ہلاکتوں کی سب سے بڑی تعداد ہے

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2011/10/111007_ahmadi_students_zz.shtml

  • @kashifnaseer:

    Shias made this countty, Quaid-e-Azam (Kafir-e-Azam for you) was Shia. So you can get the hell out of this country. Shias have more right to be in Pakistan than you deobandi terrorists.

  • “A police official of the New Town Police Station, asking for anonymity, told The Express Tribune, “We were under strict instructions to do nothing.””

    There are two Governments in Rawalpindi; Military and Punjab. Which one told them this?

  • Daily Alfazl: 98 years and counting

    It is only at mid-afternoon that most bleary-eyed sub-editors start thinking about heading to their respective newsrooms. But for the 15-member editorial team at the Daily Alfazl, that’s usually when the paper is being sent to the press.

    It is far from a conventional broadsheet. The Jamaat Ahmadiyya’s Daily Alfazl newspaper started off as a weekly in 1913. Almost a century later, the paper is still in circulation, despite the bans, threats and legal issues that followed the introduction of Ahmadi-specific laws.

    At the newspaper’s office in Rabwah, in Chiniot District, the impact of those laws is tangible.

    While proofers at other publications look for factual and grammatical errors, staffers at the Daily Alfazl have a different set of tasks. In 1984, a sign was placed in the proofers’ room, featuring a list of words the Daily Alfazl cannot use in line with the ‘Anti-Islamic Activities of the Qadiani Group, Lahori Group and Ahmadis (Prohibition and Punishment) Ordinance’, which was promulgated that year. Intriguingly, editors replace the words they cannot use with dots, leaving readers to figure out what was redacted from the original text. The prohibited words include ‘Muslim’, ‘Azaan’ and ‘Tabligh’.

    At one point, according to editor Abdul Sami Khan, there were over a hundred lawsuits against the paper’s printer and publisher. And even though the Daily Alfazl is only circulated within the Ahmadiyya community, ‘objections’ have been raised by people incensed at the mere sight of its masthead. It has been banned several times, and its printing press was sealed for a year in 1953, during riots against the Ahmadi community. Shipments of the paper are often delayed at the post office.

    This isn’t the only publication people have been ‘offended’ by. “People have had issues with the children’s magazine as well,” says Khan. According to the Ahmadi watchdog website, http://www.thepersecution.org, cases have been instituted against five monthly magazines and the newspaper itself, as well as books published by the community. The Daily Alfazl also receives no government advertisements, a key source of revenue for most publications.

    “We used to get advertisements before 1974 [the year amendments declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims were introduced in the constitution],” says Khan. “Not anymore.” Instead, the newspaper runs ads from local advertisers or large businesses run by members of the community.

    The slim newspaper — which publishes 9,000 copies daily — is primarily a journal for the community, featuring sermons and local news. A weekly edition is published in the UK.

    But were Daily Alfazl tasked with refuting the allegations made against the Ahmadiyya community in the local press, it would have to produce at least a 40-page edition daily. Coverage of the community in the mainstream Urdu press mostly ranges from vitriolic diatribes to headlines that can only be described as bizarre — and at least one such headline is recycled every year without fail. According to an official at the Jamaat Ahmadiyya press section, a story alleging that Ahmadis had enlisted in the Israeli army has been doing the rounds for several years. “When the story was first published, the government of Pakistan issued a clarification to say that no Pakistanis were serving in the Israeli army,” he said. “But that story is reprinted every year regardless.”

    The Jamaat Ahmadiyya also maintains a record of anti-Ahmadi stories published in newspapers printed from Lahore. In 2010, it recorded 1,468 news stories against the community, the majority of which were in seven of the most popular Urdu newspapers in the country.

    That’s not all. Pakistani newspapers also refused to run a paid-for advertisement by the Jamaat which detailed its reasons for boycotting the 2008 general elections.

    Ironically, the Pakistani media has unwittingly promoted the Ahmadiyya community’s places of worship, which cannot be called mosques for legal reasons. In 2009, as furore built up over a referendum in Switzerland to ban minarets, images of a mosque in the European country were published throughout Pakistan. Editors would be shocked to realise that the Swiss mosque being defended in the Pakistani press actually belongs to the same community they prefer to vilify.

    Before leaving Rabwah, my copies of the Daily Alfazl and books are wrapped up in brown paper to evade scrutiny. Or, as a Jamaat representative wryly remarks, blasphemy charges. While I only have to hide the publications for a few hours, for the editors and readers of the Daily Alfazl, this is a daily battle — one that shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

    Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, October 9th, 2011.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/267474/daily-alfazl-98-years-and-counting/

  • Mr Kashif Naseer:

    kis zulm-o-sitam ki baat kartey ho? pichley 25 saal mein latadaad Shia doctors, engineers, businessmen, teachers, officers etc ko golee sey urra dia, kitney Shia imambargah aur majalis bombs aur AK-47 ki firing mein khoon khoon kar dia, kitney Parachinar key Turi aur Hangu k Shia ko zibah kia, Irani Air Force k cadet Rawalpindi mein maar diye, Sadeq Ganji ko maar dia, kitney Hazara Shia ko Quetta mein golee sey urra dia, aur Taliban k haath Mazar-e-Sharif ki galiyan khoon sey bhar deen!

    aur tum kehtay ho Pakistan mein “shia badmaashi” hai??

  • @kashif naseer

    Har qatl qable muzamat hai par yehan baat us qatl ki sarkari srparasti ki horahi hai.

    @malik:

    I think everyone has equal right to be in Pakistan and we all know very well that Quaid was barely even a Muslim.

  • Saad, thanks for bringing this to our attention. LUBP should not step back from a bold commitment to human rights and Ahmedi muslim rights.

  • What sort of a comment that was from Kashif Naseer? Zulm is Zulm irrespective of who does it. Two wrongs dont make a right

  • PML N’s run Punjab is way far less horrifying than PPP/MQM run Sindh/Karachi 🙂

    Saad Mansoor, plase don’t be a nadaan dost. If PML N hadn’t done what it did, how would PPP have ended the electricity crisis immediately? They obviously needed a crisis for the solution they already had and hence their B team i.e. PML N came to the rescue. PML N has changed sides; no longer sitting in establishment’s lap, now they also eat Aalo gosht like their counterparts on the other side of the border.

    PS. PPP’s support for terrorism (MQM) is not hidden from ayone. Look at yourself first before showing mirror to others.

  • Stupidity has no limits .

    “The Punjab government’s initiative allowing people to register for schools online makes it mandatory for one to disclose their religion – whether they are Muslim or Non-Muslim. “This was never the case previously. It’s very simply a calculated move to subject the Ahmadiyya community to discrimination and deprive them of their right to education,” Saleemuddin says.”

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/269390/ahmadis-expelled-from-school/