History of Pakistan, from the very outset, has been blemished by grisly incidents including infamous resolutions, unwanted wars and silly coup d’états. The country is not which our ancestors dreamt of. Extremism turned out to be an undefeatable monster which devoured almost everything leaving the state into a scrawny skeleton. Due to this monster, the clarity of the ideology of Pakistan faltered. This monster was a curse of our country and it still remains to be.
May you not forget 1965 when Indian troops attacked the Eastern borders of Pakistan crossing it towards Chawinda. The situation was hazardous and rivalry moves were alarming. Indians thought they would be able to cut off the supply-lines for Pakistani Army after seizing a Grand Trunk Road around Wazirabad. How shrewdly they thought and how deftly they marched, until they confronted 24 th Infantry Brigade in command of Brigadier Abdul Ali Malik. This confrontation was not a skirmish, but the world’s largest tank-battle after World War II.
May you not forget 1965 when Pakistani forces entered Kashmir and almost stamped down Indians there. Akhanoor – a place adjacent to Srinagar – was almost in our hands. General Akhtar Hussain Malik, who later was conferred with Halal-e-Jurat, was commanding the forces. He petrified the enemy. He made sure his enemies were falling on hard times. Fearlessness was there, gallantry was there but what lacked was wisdom. Mr Bhutto said;
“Had General Akhtar Malik not been stopped in the Chamb-Jaurian Sector, the Indian forces in Kashmir would have suffered serious reverses, but Ayub Khan wanted to make his favorite, General Yahya Khan, a hero.”
May you not forget the times when Pakistani soldiers encountered Indian troops at ‘Chambb Jooriyan’ in 1971. The war was a colossal loss to the country; however ‘Chambb Confrontation’ is overwhelmingly recollected by the nation. This particular battle at ‘Chamb’ is famous in Pakistan because Pakistani soldiers successfully contended and let down the Indians. In this battle General Iftikhar Khan Janjua lost his life for the country. (Give me a single name of a General from Pakistan who embraced martyrdom fighting with rivals! Is there anyone else? But General Iftikhar Khan Janjua, Shaheed!)
May you not forget the times when Squadron Leader Khalifa Munir Uddin rendered his life for his country. He knew he would be no more, yet he did not waver in offering his life to the country. He had to pilot a never-to-return plane. He did so.
May you not forget the time when, not long ago but just in 2009, Major Afzal Mehmood Shaheed so honourably embraced martyrdom in Bannu fighting against extremists – the most sinister threat to our land.
May you not forget Dr Salam – the only Noble Laureate from Pakistan and the first from Muslims –who turned down citizenship of different countries across the world offered to him. He wished Pakistan over anything.
All these figures are Ahmadi Muslims. Few are mentioned or the list may go unending. These people proved that they belonged to Pakistan and Pakistan belonged to them. They did anything and everything for their country. They fought at every front and they stood by their country in times of trouble. (How can we disown them?)
Yet, the way these heroes have been rewarded in is cheap and unspeakable. Those who died, their deaths were made unmemorable. Those who survived, their lives are made miserable. Today, it has been unerringly 28 years since the following Ordinance was promulgated;
“Any person of the Quadiani group or Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name) who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible presentation, refers to the mode or form of call to prayers followed by his faith as ‘Azan’, or recites Azan as used by the Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine. 298C. Person of Quadiani group, etc., calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith.
Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name) who directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine…. (Ordinance No XX of 1984, The Gazette of Pakistan Islamabad,Thursday, 26 April 1984 No.F.17(1)84-Pub.)
The reward given to Ahmadi Muslims is pathetic and shames our country.
The Ordinance ordained the state to cease rights of Ahmadis, if they had any. It was an effort to disown Ahmadis of their homeland.
The ordinance is unfair. The ordinance is unjust. The ordinance is a disgrace. But it is only so, if we feel so or else it is a law of a country – a law which ceases freedom of expression, freedom of possession, freedom of passion.
For what reasons do we not annul it?