Persecution

Reaction To The Ordinance

13 Reaction to The Ordinance With the exception of a few financially motivated’mullas’, the majority of politicians and fair minded leaders of Pakistan have strongly condemned the recent Ordinance and openly deplored this action of the Government of Pakistan. Their protest is indicative of the fact that the whole episode is the orchestrated product of only a few ‘mullahs’. The public in general is not interested in the Qadiani issue; they are wary of this type of evasive tactics and would not be fooled any more. For the benefit of our readers, we present a list of the several statements, comments and press reports issued by Pakistani leaders after the promulgation of the anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinance by the authorities. THE MUSLIM 30th April, 1984: Withdrawal of anti-Qadiani ordinance urged BUREAU REPORT growing involvement of the State in religious matters and controversies could LAHORE, April 30: The defunct not serve the cause of a sane society based Pakistan National Party has appealed for on the ideals of equity and justice, the withdrawal of the recent anti-Qadiani It was, therefore, necessary to arrest the Ordinance “In the interests of the nation drift towards intolerance and obscuran- and in accordance with the Quaid-e- tism and ensure that all citizens, whether Azam’s Declaration of August 11, 1947”. they belonged to the majority or any of the Syed Muhammad Kaswar Gardezi, numerous minorities, were guaranteed General Secretary of the party, in a protection of life, property, employment statement issued here today said that the and all basic freedoms, recently promulgated Ordinance on The statement reiterated that the party Qadianis was obviously the result of the stood by the Quaid-e-Azam’s fundamen- process of ostracination over the last few tal declaration of August 11, 1947, that years, “a process in clear violation of the religion was a personal matter between Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of a democratic man and God, the State had nothing to do Pakistan of free and equal citizens”. The with it, and that all citizens of the country PNP he said had no function to dabble in a were equal members of the Pakistani philosophical discussion on religious nation. issues nor to pass any judgment on the The statement therefore appealed that common view of Qadiani beliefs and in accordance with his declaration and in concepts. However, the party considers it the interest of the nation, the recent necessary to reiterate its view that the Ordinance should be withdrawn. REACTION TO THE ORDINANCE 14 “Dawn” Thursday, 3rd May 1984 In a Press statement issued here the other day, Mr. Gardezi said that the PNP had no business to dabble in a Theocratisation philosophical discussion on religious of the State issues, nor to pass judgement on the slated by PNP common view of Qadianis’ beliefs and Dawn Lahore Bureau concepts. However, the party considered it LAHORE, May 2: Mr Kaswar Gardezi, necessary to reiterate its view that the Secretary-General of the defunct PNP, growing involvement of the State in has said that the recently promulgated religious matters and controversies could ordinance on the Qadianis is obviously the not serve the cause of a sane society based result of the progressive theocratisation of on the ideals of equity and justice. the State over the last few years, a process “The PNP appeals that, in accordance in clear violation of the Quaid-i-Azam’s with this declaration and in the interest of vision of a democratic Pakistan of free the nation, the recent ordinance should be and equal citizens. withdrawn.” Tehrik-i-lstiqlal Great Britain Press Statement The Pakistan Presidential Ordinance of 26th April, 1984, prohibiting Ahmadi Muslims to declare themselves as Muslims; to say Azan (call for prayers); and to use Islamic terminologies, is one more example of illegal and autocratic rule under which Pakistan is languishing for the past seven years. The issue involved is purely a religious one, and it would seem proper that all the thinkers and divines of the Muslim world should get together along with the Ahmadi representatives to thrash out this issue in a civilised manner adequately and permanently. One may ask therefore why this issue has been raised once again at this critical juncture, and so near the proposed elections? After all, we were given to understand that the Second Amendment of 1974 to the 1973 Constitution was the final solution of this 90 year’s old issue. It would seem that because General Zia is under pressure to hold elections, and the Mullas having seen his weakness, now want to share in the loot, and register their right and power. Gen. Zia has inadvertantly succumed to their pressure, just like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. But where is Butto today? 15 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Did these Maulvis, who applauded him then for passing the Second Amendment (declaring Ahmadis as ‘Not Muslim’), spare him? No. Will they spare Gen. Zia? Of course not. But why should the political leaders share the blame for Gen. Zia’s crime? Will Shias be the next on their hit list? Because, unlike Ahmadis or Sunnis, Shia’s Kalima and Azan is different, and they call their mosques as Imam Baras? Or Agha Khani Ismailis whose creed, views and practices are totally different from other Muslims? Or American Muslims, who believe in Elijah Muhammad as their living Prophet? Incidentally, world boxing champion Muhammad Ali is Elijah’s follower. And there are many other sects similarly prone to such discrimination. I thus urge our compatriots to think carefully. No one has any right to decide how others should practice their faith, which is a matter between God and the individual. Islam declares: No compulsion in Islam. I therefore abhor this ordinance and demand its immediate withdrawal. It is totally wrong to exploit people in politics in the name of ideology, whether the ideology is presented in the holy name of religion, or in the shape of extreme tendencies belonging to the Right Wing or Left Wing. Istiqlal Party does not intend to brook any nonsense in politics, and we stand clear of this most detestable, in-human, un-civilized and un- Islamic Ordinance. Zahoor Butt Chairman THE MUSLIM people thereby escaping from the more 3rd May, 1984 fundamental obligation of restoring democracy in the country. Aitzaz decries anti-Qadiani ordinance He expressed the view that pro- mulgation of laws on religious affairs Bureau Report by the Government showed that it was LAHORE, May 2: Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan, going too far in interfering in the personal advocate, and a prominent leader of the lives of the people. “Every right thinking defunct Tehrik-e-Istiqlal has asked the person feels that the Government has no Government not to raise unnecessary concern with the private beliefs of citizens, issues causing confusion in the minds of In fact promulgation of an Ordinance for the people. Qadianis aims at diverting attention of the Talking to The Muslim here today, people from democracy and the basic issue Aitzaz Ahsan said that the martial law that martial law must be withdrawn and administration was raising several issues elections held in the country”, he added. so as to cause confusion in the minds of the The Tehrik leader said it was essential REACTION TO THE ORDINANCE 16 that the Government realised that all matters must be resolved by a democratically-elected government of the people functioning under the 1973 Constitution, and not to make laws in relation to matters which concerned the citizens’ beliefs. By raising and fanning sectarian issues, the Government actually intended to deflect the democratic aspirations of the people and to sow discord, he concluded. DAILY NEWS 9th May, 1984 Government wants to sell Islam From Our Correspondent LAHORE, May 9: Defunct NDP leader Begum Nasim Wali Khan has charged that the present government simply wants to sell Islam and its actions were resulting in creating hatred for Islam. Talking to newsmen at Lahore Press Club yesterday she said that division was being created in the name of Islam. In Hasan Abdal the repairing of Gurdwaras was being done while the Qadianis are stopped from using the name of mosque. Begum Nasim Wali Khan said that on l l th August, 1947 the father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah had declared, “henceforth in Pakistan nobody would be Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian but everybody will be a Pakistani and will enjoy equal rights.” MUSLIM 10th May, 1984 ‘Unjust restrictions for Qadianis’ BUREAU REPORT LAHORE, May 9: M. Anwar Aziz Choudhry, former Federal Minister, and a prominent leader of PPP in a statement has said that Qadianis as a minority deserve “that kind of protection, love and understanding which we extend to other minorities in Pakistan.” He said that the Martial Law authorities had handled them with anger and hate and had imposed upon them legal restrictions which are a violation of the great humanism of Islam. Their places of prayers were now under legal ambit. He said that religious spite had always proved the most destructive element in a society. He urged that Islam had been the most kindly disposed religion toward other believers declaring that there should be no coercion in the matter of religion and the new Martial Law is an open contradiction of this greatly valued system of Islam. Ch. Anwar Aziz said that our religious leaders should adopt a realistic attitude. He said that if India were to make similar laws about Muslims how would “our Ulema feel about them” and what would they be able to do for the Indian Muslims. THE MUSLIM 4th May, 1984 Anti-Qadiani Ordinance criticised STAFF REPORT MULTAN, May 3: Ch. Rehmat Ali Alvi, provincial chief of defunct Pakistan Muslim League (Pagara Group) has said that the anti-Qadiani Ordinance was totally contrary to the Pakistan resolution and August 11, 1947 declaration of Father of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Talking to newsmen at his Muzaffargarh residence he said religion was a personal matter between man and God; the state had nothing to do with it. All Pakistanis were free to worship and live according to their belief and concept and the government was bound in the light of the Pakistan Resolution and Quaid-e- Azam’s declarations to guarantee all citizens full protection of life, properties, employment and human rights. He opposed the Government’s involve- ment in religious matters and controversies of different sects as it might be harmful to the state’s integrity and solidarity. He appealed for immediate withdrawal 17 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS of the recent anti-Qadiani Ordinance in the larger interest of the nation and the country. He differed with the ulema’s call to remove the Qadianis from the services and banish them from the country. He said Qadianis were as patriotic to Pakistan as any other Pakistani. DAILY NEWS, Karachi Tuesday 8th May, 1984 Action criticised From Our Correspondent Quetta, May 8: Prominent Baluch leader Mr. Sher Muhammed Marri has said that the government was not justified in taking actions against Qadianis. Talking to newsmen here, yesterday he said that everybody should have the liberty of faith, since the religion says that every human being was responsible for his activities and actions in this world before Almighty. Mr. Sher Muhammed Marri said that nobody should have the right to issue certificates that who is a Momin and who is a Kafir since only the Almighty has the knowledge of all such actions of an individual which other human beings can’t detect. PUTNEY CHRONICLE llth May, 1984 David Mellor — Conservative M.P. for Putney. The London Mosque is the second oldest mosque in the country, and was founded in 1927. It is the British headquarters of the Ahmadiyya movement, a branch of Islam. I have said before in these columns that 1 have many friends at the mosque. Successive Imams have been very kind to me, and a number of the leading figures in the mosque are, and will always hopefully continue to be close friends and associ- ates. Hence my distress this week to learn that the movement is under threat in its home base in Pakistan. 1 am fond of the movement because it seems to me to have such a high number of interesting, lively professional people involved. Much more friendly and outgoing too than many religious groups. But the Ahmadiyyas have a problem. They are regarded as heretics by the main branch of Islam. Like any minority they are always at risk from instability in a country where they operate and of course the Government of General Zia in Pakistan is not the most secure or stable. So although Ahmadis amount to some 2-3 million in Pakistan’s population — a sizable minority — a law has now been promulgated in Pakistan removing Ahmadis’ rights to follow their own religion and depriving those employed by the state from jobs like teaching etc. of their livelihoods. In other words a wicked attack on their civil rights. I am doing what I can to help. I have already spoken to one or two of my contacts in the national press in the hope that they will take up the case as another sad example of the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and intolerance. I am also contacting the Foreign Office to see whether representations can be made. I certainly hope so. VIEWPOINT May 24, 1984 LAHORE Bar rejects sectarian move By our reporter A RESOLUTION commending the Anti- Qadiani Ordinance was defeated by the general house of the Lahore High Court Bar last Thursday. After the rejection of the resolution, Chaudhry Khalid Mahmood, President of the Bar, told the general body meeting that since the Bar, through an earlier resolution, had said that it did not recognise the de jure position of the present Government, the legal community was not willing to consider any action taken by it. According to him, the mover of the resolution, Dr. Abdul Basil, had promised that he would not table the resolution but during the meeting he came on the dais and tabled it. When put to vote, the resolution was rejected 125-12. REACTION TO THE ORDINANCE 18 THE MUSLIM 24th May, 1984 Islamabad Too harsh on Qadianis? THE RECENT MEASURES against the Qadianis have raised a number of questions in my mind as a simple Muslim not very well read in Islamic scholastics. We were taught that anybody saying the Kalima enters the fold of Islam. We were told that people believing in Allah, Malaika, the Holy books, the prophets, the measurements of Khair and Shar by God and the Day of Judgement are Muslims. We were taught a Hadith attributing to the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) saying that “Whoever said our prayers and faced towards our Qibla and ate our Zabiha is a Muslim and for him is the guarantee of Allah and his Prophet”. If all these things are true then the question arises: Do the Qadianis believe in and practise these injunctions? The Holy Quran is replete with caution and warning against ‘munafkin’ (the hypocrites). Allah has termed them “Kafirs” but apart from Abdullah Bin Ubbaye no mention has been made of any other munafiq. And it is a historical fact that the Prophet said the Janaza prayers of the same Abdullah Bin Ubbaye. We can therefore safely conclude from the conduct of the Holy Prophet that no one (including the Holy Prophet) can term a person as a munafiq so long as he calls himself a Muslim. Here then the question is whether the Qadianis call themselves Muslims or not. If they claim to be Muslims which they do, who can term them otherwise? The anti-Qadiani Ordinance prohibits the use of the word “masjid” for the places used by them for their prayers. The pre-Islam Arabs used the same word for their temples and it is not a purely Islamic term. Even the idolaters of Mecca were not disallowed to offer the pilgrimage of the greatest mosque (Masjid-e-haram) unless it was forbidden by Allah (vide Sura Tauba). The idolaters did not have the same “Arkan” of Haj as were ordained by God but even then they were at liberty to perform Haj in the way they liked, until it was forbidden by a Quranic decree. Is there then any Quranic decree in the case of the Qadianis? When the Qadianis say the same words in the same way as we do, how can they be treated as Jews, Christians or Hindus, who have different systems of prayers? Incidentally, the Sikhs in our tribal Territory, particularly in Tirah, call their temples “Jamat”, which is the Pashto word for “masjid”. It is reported that the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) allowed the Christians of Najran, when they visited Medina, to offer their prayers in Masjid-i-Nabvi. Cannot we show this tolerance to the Qadianis particularly when they do not insist on saying their prayers in our mosques? The same can be said about the curb on ‘Azan’ in the case of Qadianis. If the Qadianis say the same ‘Azan’ as we do, why should they not be allowed to imitate us? Someone should throw light on the relevant facts to make our minds clear on these matters. It is ironical that people who die as Muslims in India, can’t live as Muslims in Pakistan. — A. JAMAL, Peshawar City. THE PIONEER Kumasi, Wednesday, May 23, 1984 Page Two Editorial The Last Kicks Of A Dying Horse TO PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE, ONE THING ENORMOUSLY WRONG WITH MUSLIMS IS THEIR INABILITY TO ACCOMMODATE OPPOSING VIEWS. It is a pity that those human beings in the Muslim garb cannot often use reason to know that no two persons are alike and therefore which way you go, there is bound to be opposition. That even explains why Islam has 73 different sects — all preaching different sermons. 19 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS It is indeed a fact of life that even animals who live on instinct do not ‘think’ alike. Far away in Pakistan, a country supposed to be an Islamic country, a most oppressive law has been promulgated by President Zia ul-Haq, banning followers of the Ahmadiyya Movement from practising their faith (see story on Page One). According to the law, a punishment of three years imprisonment awaits anybody who by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, refers to the successors or companions of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement) as ‘Ameer ul Momineen’ or calls his place of worship as ‘masjid’ (mosque). The same penalty awaits any Ahmadi who directly or indirectly poses himself as a Muslim or refers to his faith as Islam or preaches or propagates his faith or invites others to accept his faith or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims. The law came into effect on April 27 this year, and already key leaders of the Ahmadiyya Movement which incidentally has its headquarters in Pakistan have been murdered, and their mosques either burnt or desecrated. ALL MEN OF GOOD WILL SHOULD CONDEMN STRONGLY THIS LAST MOVE OF PRESIDENT ZIA TO PERPETUATE HIMSELF IN PAKISTAN. LikeMaulvi Wahab Adam, Head of the Ahmadi faith in Ghana, said at a news conference in Accra last week, it is a mockery of Islam for a country which claims to have been founded on the ideology of Islam and which refers to itself as an Islamic state to promulgate a law banning the religious freedom of a minority Muslim community. It is most unthinkable for this terrible and barbaric law to be promulgated by a Muslim president in a Muslim country against a Muslim community. President Zia’s law is a cheap and mean attempt to use religion to win political favour at a time he sees an end to his rule. There is enough evidence that Pakistan’s economy is sliding down. And a desperate President Zia, wanting favour to balance the scales, has fallen on religious sentimentality to win the support of the majority of Muslims in Pakistan to prop up his dying government. President Ali Bhutto did the same thing in 1974, persecuting the Ahmadis to win support. In the end, his government did not only fall, he was hanged ignominously for his misdeeds. President Zia who hanged Ali Bhutto should take a cue from his predecessor and learn to behave like a President living in a civilised world. The Ahmadiyya Movement, the most active Muslim community in the world in the field of practice and propagation of Islam, has hospitals and schools all over the world, including Ghana. If the headquarters of this Movement ceases to exist, who is going to support the other branches rendering humanitarian services to the people of the world. We of this paper, therefore join in the call to the United Nations and all peoples of the world to condemn in the strongest terms the new law passed in Pakistan and ask President Zia to repeal them forthwith and guarantee to every citizen of Pakistan his unalienable right to profess, practise and propagate his religion as enshrined in the UN Charter of Human Rights. The world cannot fold its arms and wink at the evil empire that President Zia wants to establish in Pakistan. Viewpoint: Lahore 10th May, 1984 A bedevilled — AYAZ AMIR The wall of silence that has greeted the anti-Qadiani Ordinance has been complete, except for a few breaches here and there. The Pakistan National Party has deprecated the increasing intrusion of religion and fanaticism into everyday life, and voices of dissent have been raised by Aitzaz Ahsan and Nasim Wali Khan, but that is about all. Once intolerance in a traditional society is in full flood, few things can stand in its way. The merits of the latest decree are besides the point. The Qadianis, the REACTION TO THE ORDINANCE 20 Ahmedis and the Lahoris may deserve sulphur and brimstone for their heresy in the hereafter but that is for God to judge in Heaven not for the conclaves like the one that assembled recently in Raja Bazar, Rawalpindi. A more hardened crowd could scarcely have been assembled nor more pointless oratory heard anywhere else. It is said that the followers of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale are a fearsome lot. I can bet anything that many of my friends here would compare favourably with the best of them. More serious problems The Ahmedis are the Jews of modern- day Islam, reviled and abused by the professional agitator. But I think the man in the street would leave them alone if the pontiffs of the faith would only let him. We face far more serious problems of bread and butter, sustenance and survival, to devote our best energies to combating dragons of our own invention, but that is the way the Mullah wants it. Keeping religious passions perpetually on the boil serves his best interest. That is also sometimes the way societies that have lost their sense of direction function. The regime had staked religion as its special ground. A challenge on its own turf would threaten the central article of its legitimacy. It, therefore, concedes all the major demands of the Majlis-i-Amal, Tehrik-i-Tahafuzz-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat. On pain of imprisonment and fine, no Ahmedi, Qadiani or Lahori will henceforth call himself a Muslim or cause his place of worship to be called a mosque. Nor, on pain of chastisement, will he henceforth preach or propagate his faith. The regime succeeds in its purpose. The people disperse, the crusade is averted, but not before it has delivered another blow at the Quaid’s concept of society. The Pakistan National Party may raise a forlorn cry in defence of the secular creed, but it is fighting a losing battle. The ulema have succeeded in confounding the meaning of secularism with apostasy. The regime has succeeded in depoliticising society. In this atmosphere, it is only natural that political advance should be replaced by dogmatic regression. Outbreaks such as the one we have just witnessed become not the exception but the rule. Hard to roll back Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan may be right when he says that the regime has outlived its natural span, but that is no great consolation for its successor which will have to grapple with a bedevilled legacy. Once fanaticism is let loose it is difficult to roll it back. When the first Constituent Assembly began to meddle with the Quaid’s vision of a secular Pakistan, and passed the Objectives Resolution in 1949, it could scarcely have realised the long-term consequences of its action. Nawabzada Sher Ali Khar coined the phrase the ‘ideology of Pakistan’ to serve the narrow interest of the Yahya regime. That regime has gone but the phrase remains to torment specialists and laymen alike. Mr. Bhutto thought he could ride the tiger of untamed religion in 1974 when he amended the Constitution to declare the Qadianis as non-Muslims. But the tiger was appeased only for a while. It had tasted blood and was to be tamed by no one. Playing to the religious gallery came to a head in the summer of 1977. Much the same with the latest decree. Sooner or later, its framers will depart from the scene but their handiwork which crowns an already imposing edifice of intolerance and hate will remain. Dismantling this edifice later will not be easy. Viewpoint: Lahore 3rd May, 1984 NEWSLETTERS NA TIONAL SCENE New law against Qadianis The CMLA-President promulgated this week an Ordinance prohibiting the Ahmadis “from indulging in anti-Islamic activities”. Ulemas’ campaign During recent months, the ulema of different shades of opinion gathered 21 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS under the banner of the Khatm-i-Nabuwat movement, accelerated their campaign against the Ahmadiyya sect and demanded that the Government should remove all Ahmadis from influential and sensitive public offices, ban all literature published by them, impose restrictions on their missionary activities and arrest Mirza Tahir Ahmad, head of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat, on charges of involvement in the presumed murder of Maulana Aslam Qureshi. The ulema alleged that Maulana Aslam, a strong activist of their campaign, was kidnapped by some Ahmadis, and was feared murdered because police had failed to trace his whereabouts. A heavy police contingent was put around the only Jamiaat-i-Ahmadia place of worship on Murree Road Rawalpindi where over 200 Qadianis offered ‘Juma prayers’ without Azaan, that day. Rabwah meeting According to reports, the Ahmadia Jamaat, after a high-level meeting held in Rabwah under the chairmanship of its head Mirza Tahir Ahmad, ordered all its organisations in the country to accept the bans imposed on them. In the meantime, Qadianis have removed the word ‘mosque’ from their places of worship and abandoned ‘Azaan’ from April 27. In a message, Mirza Tahir asked his followers to remain peaceful and pray to God for the solution of the present difficulties of the Jamaat. Meanwhile, leaders, religious scholars and people from different walks of life have welcomed the Ordinance about Qadianis and praised the Government for taking a right step. Pir Muhammed Ashraf, a member of the Federal Council, while hailing the Ordinance, said that the Qadiani and Lahori groups and Ahmadis should only be allowed to perform their rites as a minority group. Maulana Obaidullah Anwar of the defunct Jamait-i-Ulema-i-Islam also described the Ordinance as a great service to the cause of Islam, adding that it would serve as a foolproof check against the anti- Islamic activites of the Qadianis and Lahori groups and Ahmadis. It ought to be clarified that no such high level meeting was held in Rabwah and the Ahmadis have not accepted the ban imposed upon them. (Editor) Viewpoint May 3, 1984. State and religion Not for the first time in Pakistan’s troubled history, it has been considered necessary for the State to interfere in religious matters that are in dispute between different communities or sects. On the last occasion, Government’s action had followed an agitation on the matter by a group of ulema; presently, the official initative was presumably meant to pre-empt such a campaign. Even if such action is demanded or taken in the name of religion, and whether the motivations are religious or political or a combination of both, the measure should normally be subjected to rational discussion — preferably in a representative assembly — before any irrevocable decision is taken. Faced with a fait accompli, it becomes difficult to argue whether the action was really necessary and unavoidable even on the premises adumbrated by the law- maker, or whether it is in consonance with the Constitution or the UN Charter of Human Rights. It also needs to be considered whether such issues can finally be determined by law, as well as the possibility that the process may not stop at any one stage and even minor differences among religions and sects can lead us to dissension and strife. Most people in Pakistan hold the view, therefore, that the State must, without any discrimination, act as protector of the rights of all citizens without regard to their creed or sect, and to guarantee equal rights to all in every secular matter as well as complete freedom to practise and follow their religion. Thus, it would appear that the demands now being made by certain ulema for depriving all Ahmedi citizens of key Government positions or for organising a social boycott REACTION TO THE ORDINANCE 22 against them are inappropriate and unjustified. Particularly in view of the fact that the Ahmedis have accepted the restrictive law and have pledged themselves to abide by it, the majority community should exhibit the tolerance and magnanimity that are part of the best Islamic tradition. This attitude is also necessary to inculcate a healthy nationalism that allows people of all persuasions to work together for the country’s prosperity and stability. It need hardly be stressed that the safety of all minorities — the protection of their lives, honour and property — is a primary duty of the State and civilised society. Finally, the warning given recently by a well- known religious leader that pursuit of communal or sectarian quarrels can only cause confusion and weaken the national cause deserves to be heeded. And it should be remembered that the zealots among different sects can, if their activities are not checked by good sense, lead the people into one crisis after another to the nation’s lasting detriment. The Ahmadis have not accepted any restrictive laws but are being coerced into accepting them under threat and duress. They do not pledge themselves to any such law which restricts their rights and obligations as Muslims (Editor). Viewpoint: Lahore 3rd May, 1984 LAHORE DIARY A reception, an Ordinance HUSAIN NAQI The most enjoyable civic reception in recent times was the one held in honour of Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. The visit was followed by the promulgation of an Ordinance. The event has been played up beyond all proportion. “One More Promise Fulfilled” “Another Leap Forward on the Road to Islamisation”, scream the headlines. In the post-independence era, the anti- Qadiani sentiment has been exploited more than once by communal elements who lay low only while Quaid-i-Azam was alive. Almost immediately after his death, they stoked the flames of frenzy, leading to the city of Lahore getting a test-dose of Martial Law. Before that, many Pakistani citizens lost their lives and belongings. The whole drama was preserved in the inquiry commission report written by the (late) Justices M.R. Kayani and M. Munir. Amendment Again, those waiting to subvert the agreed and unanimous Constitution of 1973 raised the issue soon after the enactment of the basic law of the land. The previous Government was obliged to amend the new Constitution declaring the Qadianis a non-Muslim minority. The issue subsided only for a while. The ulema gathered together once again this year and started making fresh demands. A patently sectarian issue was allowed to be publicised till a couple of incidents took place, including a fatal one, and another in which two places of worship of this non- Muslim minority were set ablaze. This had no precedent. After the seminar A lot of propaganda is being carried out regarding the Qadianis. Some of it may, perhaps, be true, but are we to believe that an entire community is constituted of fifth columnists? Imagine lakhs organised ‘subversive elements”. Patronised communalism Officially patronised communalism and sectarianism is bound to have disastrous consequences for an already dismembered nation and the vested interests would do well, in their own long-term interests, to put a stop to it. It is not within the power of man to emerge from the operation of the system of Divine decrees and determination. (The Promised Messiah).