The channels roar with “Mohammad ka roza qareeb aaraha hay“, the building are adorned with deeyas and chiraghaan, households prepare zardas and halwas and biryanis and pulaos and mithai to send as fatiha: It is the day of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)’s birth and death anniversary, an auspicious occasion that calls for celebration in all of the Muslim world.
It is also the day a mob of over a 1000 people decided to besiege and terrorize an Ahmadiyya mosque in Dulmial, Chakwal.
The religiously charged mob was out for blood: not only looking to destroy property but also cause harm to the 40 people present in the mosque at the time.
One person is said to have passed away from cardiac arrest.
Led by cleric Sayed Sibtul Hasan Shah, the campaign was deemed as a “success” since the Ahmadis had been driven out of their mosque. The cleric led followers of Eid Milad Ud Nabi rally toward the mosque after demands of handing over the premises to the clerics had been rejected. The aggressive protestors were carrying weapons, pelting stones and caused a fire.
The situation escalated to such a dire extent that the army was contacted to intervene.
This is what the official Twitter account of Government of the Punjab has to say about the “Chakwal incident”:
So, this is a “misunderstanding” then, we suppose?
This is most definitely categorized under a “misunderstanding”:
Let’s, for once, call a space a spade.
Many called out Punjab Government for the poor semantics.
In fact, the very unfortunate “misundertanding” was immaculately planned and pre-meditated.
One that could have been avoided had the government paid heed to the communities request for added security on the given day.
Meanwhile, PTV is busy showing all the 12 Rabi Ul Awwal celebrations, minus this very important detail.
Are Ahmadis not worthy of the respect that a sane person is supposed to show to every person?
Is is not the state’s responsibility to protect her citizens against such life-threatening situations, one that unfolded with fair warning and demanded due diligence?
Just a few days have passed since the announcement of National Centre of Physics at Quaid-e-Azam being renamed to laud Pakistan’s long neglected Nobel laurette, Professor Abdus Salam. Why is it that we cannot finally find it in ourselves to protect our citizens, honour their contributions and acknowledge their service to the country?
To borrow from Usman Ahmad as he pens these powerful words in his article for The Nation:
“To be an Ahmadi in Pakistan is to be hated and forgotten at the same time.
It is to deal with extremes of existence that swing from venom to faceless otherness before beginning the loop all over again and nothing in between. That is just how history has taken its course here, so you tend not to probe too deeply into your situation in case you cannot bear the answers. The answers end up coming anyway, making a part of you stronger while the other part of you ebbs away.
Eventually you learn to live with the divisions inside of you. It is, however, not enough. There are laws which say that you cannot be yourself, no matter how fractured that self is. You can practice your faith, but only if you call it by another name; you can greet people but only with alien words; you can vote, but only if you negate your own identity; and you can breath, but only if you choke on the same air that is meant to sustain you.”
There are larger forces at play here, ones that ensure these statements seem like meaningless words and empty promises:
Cover image via: dawn.com