Ahmadi arrested in religion-based case (DG Khan, Punjab)

Basti Ahmadpur Jhakkar Imam Shah, District DG Khan, Punjab; February 2, 2022: The police booked Mr. Muhammad Yousaf, Ahmadi, here under PPC 295-A in Police Station Jhak Atra, and arrested him the next day. He allegedly took off a panaflex of religious content.

            Opponents of Ahmadiyyat have agitated communal feelings in this village recently. They put up a panaflex with the Quranic verse Khatam an Nabiyyeen on top, and wrote underneath, “As per Islamic Shariah, and a consensus of all schools of thought it is utterly forbidden and Haram to deal with, trade, socialize, have meals with, participate in ceremonies and rites, visiting the sick and console over death of Qadianis who are the enemies of Allah and His Prophet. Total boycott of Qadianis is the foremost religious duty of Muslims.” This message has nothing to do with the verse Khatam an Nabiyyeen of the Holy Quran. Allegedly, Mr. Yousaf tore the poster. At this, opponents assembled and demanded that the police register a criminal case against him. The police detained him overnight at the police station and let him off the next day.

            The opponents persisted in agitation. Mr. Yousaf was told to present himself before the DPO. He was then booked and arrested.

            This incident raises a few important questions. The incident happened after a group put up an extremely hateful sectarian message in public on a panaflex, so:

  1. Putting up this panaflex was a flagrant violation of Pakistan law PPC 153-A and 295-A. What action the police took against the perpetrators of this outrage?
  2. If the police take no action against such bigots who promote intense hate against a small community in a village, how is it possible to restrict all Ahmadis to tolerate public incitement to hate and likely consequential violence?
  3. Is it not for the state to effectively discourage violent extremism and open calls for social and communal boycotts?