Follow-up: Elderly Ahmadi lawyer beaten up in Karachi and arrested over ‘Syed’ prefix in his name

Karachi; May 2023: We reported earlier in our report for April 2023 the police case against Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq, Ahmadi, a 77-year-old senior advocate of the Supreme Court and his arrest. A brief up-date is given below.

This is not the first time Mr. Tariq has been targeted for being an Ahmadi. Last year, on November 21, 2022, the police registered a similar case against him under the anti-Ahmadiyya sections 298 B & C of PPC and 34 for having “Syed” in his name. Both cases were registered against him for the same reason, in the same police station.

Mr. Tariq was sent to jail on judicial remand. He had difficulty in finding a lawyer to defend him. Eventually, Tariq found Advocate Salahuddin who submitted his post arrest bail application in the Sindh High Court (SHC). The case hearing was scheduled on May 15, 2023 in the court of Mr. Justice Omar Sial.

Before May 15, the opponent lawyers group launched a hostile campaign on social media against Ahmadis, Mr. Justice Omar Sial and Advocate Salahuddin. They agitated the issue both on social media and in their Bar Association, threatened consequences and urged fanatics to attend the court proceedings. As a result, they gathered around seventy lawyers in the courtroom. They shouted anti-Ahmadi slogans, indulged in violence and severely beat up Advocate Suleman Mirza, an associate of Advocate Salahuddin, and wounded him severely in the face. The print media and the digital media including the daily Dawn, Friday Times, vernacular Naya Daur, as also the social media reported this atrocious incident that occurred in the court room.

The next day, Honorable Mr. Justice Sial passed the order, “I have had to adjourn all bail cases today because of grave apprehension of a law and order situation developing within the court premises in connection with a post arrest bail application, pending adjudication.

“2. In the previous hearing of this case, extremely unprofessional, in fact, despicably aggressive behaviour was resorted to by some advocates. The Sind Bar Council, Sindh High Court Bar Association, Karachi Bar Association and Malir Bar Association, in particular, should take immediate action to address the unacceptable behaviour of some of its members. Their behaviour was a slap on and a disgrace to the prestigious profession of law. It is shameful that such persons are permitted to even use the word “advocate” with their names. Their conduct was a black mark on the pride, dignity and reputation of the entire legal fraternity.

  “3. Let a copy of this order be sent to the Sind Bar Council, SHCBA, KBA and MBA so these entities can play their respective parts in weeding out the black sheep amongst them.

“5. Let this file be placed before the Honourable Chief Justice with the request that the Registrar be directed to put appropriate security measures in place on each date of hearing in this case. Only the parties and their counsel should be allowed in Court so that this Court can ensure that a fair trial is given to the accused.

“Members of the press will also be allowed so that a transparent hearing takes place.”

(Order Sheet, Cr. Bail Application No. 937 of 2023)

This Order Sheet is land mark and memorable, so we produce it in Annex I. It is judges like Honourable Omar Sial who bring embellishment and illustriousness to the noble institution of judiciary.

            On May 22, the lawyers’ gang attempted to enter the courtroom but they were not allowed, so they chanted anti-Ahmadi and other slogans outside the courtroom to pressurize the judge. The judge heard the case and granted post arrest bail to Syed Tariq,the next day.

            The honourable judge recorded in his Order, “As for as merits of the case were considered, learned Additional Prosecutor General was of the view that the applicant deserved no mercy and was guilty of an offence under sections 298-B and 298-C PPC.” The APG represented the provincial government that is led these days by PPP under the chairmanship of Mr Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

A police case was registered against Syed Tariq 30 years ago, under PPCs 295-A, 298-C for saying Islamic greetings, in police station Shahdadpur, District Sanghar. This case was still pending. The opponents approached the civil judge/ judicial magistrate Shahdadpur for this pending case who issued production orders against Syed Tariq.

Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq was expected to be released on May 27, 2023 in the latest case, but due to this new production order in the case of October 20, 1992, his release has stalled. The septuagenarian gentleman is still in prison, simply for being Syed and wishing Salaam. Zindah Baad, the Islamic Republic!