A school in Punjab’s Attock district on Friday expelled four Ahmadi students over their confession.
Tahir Khan*, a relative of the students, said they had been expelled for simply being Ahmadi. He said a class fellow of one of the students had been harassing one of the students for some time. The students, Khan said, were expelled after some parents prevailed on school principal Kulsoom Awan.
He also presented a document on the expulsion reading that the students had been expelled due to their confession. “The following students who were studying in this institute are being withdrawal (sic) on the basis of Qadianiat* Religion,” the document read. The institution, the document read, was not in a position to let them continue.
On being reached by The Friday Times — Naya Daur for comments, principal Awan said she could not comment on the development since the school had closed for the day. She further said she would not comment on the matter till approached in person at her office during school hours.
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya (JA) press in-charge Amir Mehmood told The Friday Times — Naya Daur that instances of anti-Ahmadi discrimination in Pakistan had become routine. He said scores of Ahmadis had been expelled from educational institutes in separate instances earlier. Terming the expulsion unfortunate, he said anti-Ahmadi sentiment was rife in Attock district. Widespread hate for the community prevailed nationwide. He said the time was ripe for the nation’s enlightened to raise awareness on this.
Pakistan’s tiny Ahmadi community is subjected to routine persecution which often enjoys legal and state sanction. An Ahmadi was killed by a religious fanatic earlier. Sixty-year-old Ahmadi Naseer Ahmad was waiting at the Chenab Nagar Bus Stop when Shahzad Hassan forced him to raise slogans in praise of deceased TLP supremo Khadim Rizvi. He also asked the deceased to chant “Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah’! He attacked Naseer soon after.
Hassan was overpowered at the spot and handed over to police. In a statement, the JA said Ahmad had no personal rivalry with anybody. He was simply killed for being Ahmadi, the JA said.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) vice-president Malik Ilyas Awan separately demanded Ahmadis to be evicted from Khushab.
In a letter to district authorities dated July 30, the party vice-president, who is also a member of the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Supreme Council, claimed the Constitution of Pakistan proscribes public acts of devotion on part of Ahmadis. He alleged that this was exactly what was transpiring at the residence of one Ahmadi where weekly prayers were regularly organised. The venue, much to Awan’s chagrin, was secured by police.
The PML-Q vice-president said such instances constitute a flagrant violation of the Constitution. Police deployment at the residence, he said, was tantamount to compromising the force’s confession. This, he added, did not bode well for minors either. Awan concluded his letter by calling for Ahmadis to be expelled from the district.
Two Ahmadis have been killed in targeted attacks this year. The burial of two Ahmadis was impeded separately over the year. An Ahmadi worship place was sealed in Mirpur Khas. The graves of 189 Ahmadis have been desecrated. Thirty-one confession-based cases have been lodged.
*Name changed to protect identity.
**The term ‘Qadiani’ is a derogatory slur employed for Ahmadis.