Rawalpindi: The impudence of the Punjab government peaked yesterday as the ruling party’s leadership joined a banned terrorist group and several other extremists, and militants from various religious groups in a protest rally against the already besieged Ahmadiyya Muslim community here.
The rally was called by the banned terrorists’ organization, Jama’at-ud Da’awa (JuD) to protest the existence of an Ahmadiyya community center for worship in Satellite Town area of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
According to the eye witnesses’ reports from the Sunday’s thousands-strong rally, the speakers gave a one week ultimatum to the Ahmadis of the Satellite Town area to cease their offering of Salawt and Jum’a prayers, the both being the Ahmadiyya Muslim acts of worship.
The rally participants, mostly consisting of youth from religious madrasas from the surrounding areas, chanted various anti-Ahmadiyya hate slogans while waving flags of Jam?’at-ud Da’awa, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Laqshker-e Jhangvi, and pro-Mumtaz Qadri posters, the infamous killer of Late Salmaan Taseer .
The leaders of many religious factions, including Brelvis, Deobandis, and Ahle-Hadith, were accompanied by the local trade unions leaders and several politicians at the rally stage – who delivered numerous fiery speeches against the Ahmadiyya community.
Pakistan Muslim League –Nawaz (PML-N) leader Zia ullah Shah specially joined the JuD rally to protest Ahmadis’ practice of their faith at their community center.
Sharjeel Mir who is also a key member of PML- N, also spoke at the rally, joining in giving Ahmadiyya community an ultimatum to stop their ‘unconstitutional activities’ which is short for keeping them practicing their faith.
The Pakistani constitution declares Ahmadi’s non-Muslim and several laws implemented during the late General Zia’s rule dictate that Ahmadis must abandon any manners of worship which might be identical to the Muslims act of worship.
Sharjeel Mir also personally sponsored the event and posted banners against Ahmadis in open streets.
The traders’ leaders and clerics who spoke at the rally openly called for aggression against the Ahmadi’s if they did not comply, it was reported.
The “Government must take notice,” demanded Chaudhary Imran, a local trade leader at the rally. “Otherwise we’ll, by ourselves, throw Qadiyanis outta this country,” Ch Imran angrily added.
‘Qadiyani’ is a disparaging term used by the extremist Muslims when referring to the members of the Ahmadiyya community who simply prefer to be addressed as Ahmadi Muslims.
Moulana Naqshbandi, a militant cleric, threatened the government with violent action if their demands were not met.
“’We warn government to respect the law and stop activities of Qadiyanis” said Naqshbandi. “Otherwise we know how to stop them”.
JuD speaker pledged to provide total logistic and moral support for any action against the Ahmadiyya community.
“We are not doing anything. This is happening by the will of God,” the speaker declared.
Another trade union leader claimed it was a peaceful rally but promised chaos the next time if the government would not take notice.
“That time is near when Muslims will kick out all Qadianis from Pakistan,” said Ghafoor Pracha, VP, All Pakistan Trade Unions in Rawalpindi. “I warn Qadianis to be in their limits otherwise there will be no limit for us also,” Ghafoor Pracha added.
“Ultimatum was issued to Ahmadi’s to abandon their activities at Ewane Tawheed, the Ahmadiyya community center, till next Friday,” it was further reported from the rally.
While it was a ‘massive’ rally, not more than 50 policemen were seen for jalsa security, and there were no women in attendance, it was reported.
Some analysts say that many religious factions known to be run with the support from the military establishments are now trying to assert their independent street power.
They also observers the religious factions might be ‘suffering from Dollars withdrawal syndrome’ as the US aid to the Pakistani Army is starting to dry up.
The members of the Ahmadiyya Community have long complained about the government’s involvement in persecution of the Ahmadiyya community.
“If there was any doubt that this whole thing had political motives then they are clear now,” say the Ahmadiyya reprehensive in Pakistan.
“PML (N) leader Zia Ullah Shah sat on the stage,” he wrote disappointedly.
“We stand in front of all the tirade against us; they can change the name of our city, we care less; they declared us non Muslim, we lived,” the Ahmadiyya representative wrote in a social media post.
“But one thing which no Ahmadi would ever tolerate is their right to pray and congregate in front of Allah.”
“Not a single Ahmadi will move,” he wrote assertively.