RAWALPINDI - Hundreds of protesters will gather just 150 yards away from the worship place of Ahmadi community located near Holy Family Hospital today to demonstrate against, what they called, ‘Qadiani’s illegal activities’ in the area after negotiations failed to reach a settlement between the rival groups.

After failed negotiations with the representatives of a group led by Sharjil Mir, a trader by profession, who is spearheading the campaign against Ahmadis, the city administration allowed them to hold protest demonstration in favour of their demands in front of Aqsa Mosque, located at stone’s throw distance from Ahmadi’s worship place. It was started in October 2011, when a local trader, ostensibly, as a result of the cultural implications of the laws and constitutional amendments regarding Ahmadis, announced the presence of Ahmadis worship place in E-Block of Satellite Town.

 and consequently their worship activities there as unconstitutional.

At start only three to four banners were hanged within few yards area around the worship place inscribed with writing like “Ahmadis should end their unconstitutional activities in the area.” But with the passage of time this “popular slogan” caught the attention of several other Muslims. And now one can witness hundreds of banners with same-like inscriptions hanging in and around the whole Satellite Town area. The local trader who is the initiator of the move is not alone today, as representatives of two major factions of trade unions of city Rawalpindi, Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nubuwwat and some so-called social activists have also joined the hands of that local trader. The area is filled with the posters and banners calling upon the masses to actively participate in today’s protest demonstration. While some religious seminary students are frequently visiting the shops and offices located in the area requesting them to participate in the big protest gathering.

Several religious scholars (Ulemas) belonging to various schools of thought are expected to participate in the protest.

Superintendent of Police Malik Matloob Awan while talking to The Nation informed that a comprehensive security arrangement would be in place on the venue of demonstration. He said heavy contingent of police would be deployed to cope with any untoward situation.

“The protesters have been given four-hour, that is from 12pm to 4pm, to hold the demonstration. During which police deployed on the venue will remain at high alert,” Malik said. He said DCO Rawalpindi had been asked by the higher officials to resolve the dispute between the groups within a period of one month, he added.

A representative of the administration of Ahmadis worship place wishing not to be named said the worship place was registered with Anjuman-e-Ahmadia Pakistan. To a question that the worship place falls within the non-confirming use of residential unit, he said, in Satellite Town area alone dozens of mosques fell within the same category.

When asked why the Ahmadi community was not moving the court to resolve the issue, he said in Pakistan nine out of 10 cases went against the Ahmadis. “It does not mean the judges are biased but it is the fear of death which forced them to verdict against us,” he lamented.

He said the campaign was nothing new for the community members, as on the basis of such propaganda dozens of our worship places around the country have either been demolished or encroached upon by the opportunists, who launch such conspiracy.

He said as per charter of Anjuman-e-Ahmadia Pakistan we could carryout our religious activities within the premises of worship place located in E-Block.

“The charged protests could do anything including an attack on the building. We are frightened of being targeted on the basis of this propaganda. It is like playing with our emotions and already facing a social boycott like situation in the country,” he added

Earlier, the worship place administration bowing to the unjust request of the city administration had limited their activities by asking the followers not to come to the worship place to offer Friday prayers.

Now, it has been two months approximately since the decision that only a few dozen Ahmadis, mostly residing in Satellite Town, only come and attend the Friday prayers in sole worship place of Ahmadis in Rawalpindi.

The Ahmadi community was declared non-Muslim through second Constitutional Amendment adopted by the Parliament on September 7, 1974.