A chip board factory in Jehlum got set ablaze by an angry mob apparently on the allegations of blasphemy. The factory is owned by the local head of Ahmadiyya Commmunity which is declared outside the pale of Islam through a constitutional amendment in 1974.
Leaving the religious side of the debate aside, if one looks at the political side of it, one can see Ahamdiyya community as a very pro establishment community back in 1947.Some of the prominent members of the community ran in elections in 1946 on the Muslim league ticket like Sir Zafrullah Khan who laterr held the portfolio of foreign minister of the largest Muslim country in the world at that time.The community shifted its headquarters from Qadian in Gurduaspur to Lahore for some time and latter in 1948 to a town called Rabwah in present day District Chiniot.
The community which had mystical non violent ideological foundations surprisingly provided a battalion called Furqan force to support Pakistani establishment’s war effort in Kashmir in 1948. Pakistani establishment too responded swiftly and went to unprecedented levels by imposing martial law to protect the community from far right extremists in 1953 in Lahore. This romance continued till late 60s when M M Ahmad a prominent Ahmedi rose to the status of National security advisor to President Yahya Khan.
Whether it was the decision of Ahmadiyya establistment’s to support Islamic socialism in 1970 elections or its reluctance to provide Armed battalion to support Pakistani war effort in former East Pakistan , it is for sure something went terribly wrong between the two establishments consequences of which were horrible initially unexpected for the cult like Ahmadiyya faith. Z A Bhutto’s govt declared the community as non-Muslims under the immense pressure of the establishment. Soon after Gen Zia’s martial law he did purge Army of Ahmedis.
Zia’s regime promulgated the Anti Ahamdiyya ordinance and expelled Ahmadiyya leadership from Pakistan. The community has always considered itself as pro establishment despite Anti Ahmadiyya stance of establishment, The community responded enthusiastically in 2002 to the call of establishment when it out rightly supported General Musharraf in 2002 referendum It seems that even that gesture of Ahmadiyya community failed to re win the hearts of establishment. The game is on between the two establishments and ordinary people are paying with the life and property.
MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA,
Australia, November 22.