BBC Urdu: Life in Pakistan’s only all-Ahmadiyya town of Rabwah


Welcome to BBC Urdu’s Programme “Sairbeen”
From our London studios I am Aliya Nazki
This month marks 40 years since Ahmadiyya were declared non-Muslim
The community has faced attacks and dangers since
Anyone, anytime can make a case against us
For example false cases of Penal Code 295-C can be made against us [Ahmadis]
Punishment for which is Death
This month marks 40 years since the Pakistan Penal code was changed for the second time
thrgough which the Ahmadis were declared non-Muslim
Since this Law the Ahmadiyya community has faced
continued discrimination and faced attacks by extremist organizations
Just this week an Ahmadi Doctor was murdered in MirpurKhas
Attacks on Ahmadis in Okara and Gujranwala and deaths as a result are all part of this oppression
Ahmadis face danger all across the country
Then there is this city of Rabwah where Ahmadis relatively feel safe
Our correspondent Nosheen Abbas travelled there to see everyday life of the residents
This graveyard is unlike any other graveyards
In a separate area of this graveyard in Rabwah, people who were killed due to their religious beliefs are buried
Father of Usama Munir is also buried here
He was killed four years ago in an attack on the Ahmadiyya Mosque in Lahore
After the killing of his father, Usama decided to move to Rabwah
Because a lot of Ahmadis consider this city relatively safe
Rabwah even though better than other cities still has threats from different organizations
In form of “Fatwas” Islamic decrees issued against [Ahmadis] that term them “Wajib-ul-Qatal” (Liable to Death)
So any Terrorist organizations or Individual can take action [attack] using these Fatwas as a base
Just this year an Ahmadi doctor was shot dead outside a graveyard in Rabwah
After this security was tightened in the city
Specially outside the hospital where Dr Mehdi Ali travelled to from America to volunteer
Experts say religious and racial discrimination is increasing day by day in Pakistan
One of the leaders of Ahmadiyya community says that
Even though the Government does not actively encourage violence against Ahmadis
But due to the discriminatory Laws against Ahmadis
Society that’s already afraid and divided is getting more divided
On the basis of the Ordinance XX, anyone anytime can make up any case
For example false cases are made up using the 295-C Law
The punishment for which is Death
My Grandson is in Canada, i went to visit him a few years ago
At the time he was 18, I asked him if he would like to come visit Pakistan with us
He said when you go there they shoot you !
But the head of Pakistan Islamic Cleric Council says that Laws against Ahmadis are not discriminatory
This Law has stopped violence against “Qadianis” [derogatory term for Ahmadis]
And has stopped force
And has given Muslims the right of using the Law instead of force and violence
Rabwah is a safe haven of sort for Ahmadis but
still a lot of people don’t consider it safe for their children
And want them out of Pakistan for better opportunities and more safety
Nosheen Abbas, BBC News. Rabwah
Many cases of violence against Ahmadis have been reported in Punjab recently
Our correspondent Shumaila Jaffri met up with Minister of Minority Issues Tahir Khalil Sidhu
And asked him as to why the Government has failed to protect Ahmadis
Whoever one might be, God has not given him life without a purpose..Number 1
Number 2….Ahmadis okay ! whatever their [Belief] problem is
i don’t want to go into [their belief] that. That’s their personal matter
I shouldn’t interfere either [into their belief]
But as a Humanbeing
This is our duty and we do too that they should be saved
But as i have given you different examples
Churches, Mosques, Imam Bargah’s have been atacked
For about a year things have died down but before there were continued attacks
Forces (Police, Army) many people have given their lives
This means the Government is functioning
Look at Babu Sabhu, you might remember where four personnel died and four others came in to replace them
So what i am saying is that the Government and not just our Government
Whatever Government there is , its duty , its main duty is to give protection to its people for which we try our best
But still incidents like these do happen, i am not saying incidents that like this never happen
They are happening but to control them we need a better plan and better legislation
We see that rallies & conventions against Ahmadis are happening publicly
Speeches are made in which violence is provoked
Why doesn’t the Government stop these Rallies and Speeches ?
The loud speaker was already in the Law, people who do these hate speeches, it still is
We are trying to increase the punishment and to increase amendments in that law
But here i will say two things
Two words Severity & Certainty
If a person is certain that if he committed this crime, if he made a hate speech against someone
and if he made provocative remarks and hurt someone’s feelings, he will get punished
You will see that crime ratio will fall
In severity no matter how much we increase the punishment but we need to create a certainty that you will be punished
And then the create a sense of protection, we need to convert that sense of helplessness into sense of protection
Shumaila Jaffri was talking to Province of Punjab’s Minister for Minorities Tahir Khalil Sidhu
On this issue people are also discussing on our social media pages
Maqbool Sasooli writes that
Government has washed its hands off the responsibilities by declaring Ahmadis non-Muslim.
And has left them to the mercy of extremists
While Raja Taskeen Ahmad says
If Ahmadis can accept themselves as non-muslim they can be protected.
Maroos Sanaullah thinks
The root of the problem is the 1974 amendment. Which is a way to take right to live from every weak person.

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