Constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan renders the Ahmedis as Non Muslims ,this however, “do” not take their freedom to exercise their religion without any fear under the same constitution’s abiding “Fundamental Rights” Chapter for citizens of Pakistan. It does not allow the “Society” no matter how Islamic to either stop them from praying , or ritual sacrifice or deny them the right to be buried. In my childhood , I used to hear about Ahmedis being some alien race and demonic people who are Kafir and we are not suppose to mingle with them. I hadn’t encountered any Ahmedi by then and yet it was the era of Shariah Imposition in Pakistan.
Then I met Faiza , she was my Roommate at my Training Academy . She was a scarf wearing , a five times praying rather shy girl who never believed in breaking rules as we tried to find ways rather shamelessly around the prep time and lights off rules. I never bothered to ask her about her sect, I didn’t cared as much. Over a period of time we became good friends and companions. One day, around Eid Milad ul Nabi, the girls planned to feminize the rather patriarchal military academy by arranging a Quran Khuwani and A Naat programme. There was a rather fanatic cult that didn’t want her to attend the event, that day I got to know that she doesn’t belong to my “sect”. After some negotiations that, how could Islam spread if people were kept out of the congregations and message of religion on the basis of their beliefs, by the branded liberals like me( we were branded liberals the same day). She was allowed to sit and listen but not touch the Quran or read it. The attitudes of the people however changed after some time and It never effected my love and respect for her and my faith was never threatened by her different beliefs neither did I considered her faith to be a threat to the Islam of the whole Pakistani nation.
As a matter of fact, I started to research the background of this constitutional exclusion of the Ahmedis and found Maulana Maududi of Jamaat e Islami at the heart of the Anti Ahmedi movement. It is interesting to know that Jamat e islami opposed the creation of Pakistan vehemently . A quote from his speeches in opposition to Pakistan is:
” Who are the Muslims you are claiming to be a separate nation? Here, the crowd called Muslims is full of all sorts of rabble. There are as many types of characters in this as in any (other) heathen people”.
In fact not a single Religious Party of the time supported the creation of Pakistan. Pakistan was created by the Middle class, students, peasants and the farmers for there they could live peacefully without discrimination. Majority of the backing for Pakistan came from the provinces of Bihar and UP whose Muslims knew they cannot be part of Pakistan due to their geographical location but still supported creation of Pakistan. The general belief had been that if they were persecuted in India they could still have a place to find refuge. This meant Pakistan ‘s Constitution had to be a liberal, humanized and protective constitution. In the face of it it initially remained till 1973, when in order to get consensus constitution among otherwise praiseworthy Articles, religious faith was made a subject of the constitution. This may be done in good faith has caused more harm and bloodshed than ever before. Ahmedis did exist before 1973 and were living amongst us the pious Muslims , and no one had a serious problem with it. Declaration of them as non Muslims , if was aimed at securing the purity of our faith than Islam means peace and I fail to find much peace afterwards. Here , I remember going through the Post- Genocide Rawanda ‘s Constitution The Constitution has been a colossal humanitarian achievement in aftermath of the hate literature of “Hutu Ten Commandment” (refer our hate literature castrating Shias, Ahmadis, Minorities, Transsexuals, so on and so forth) . It starts with the phrase…“We, the People of Rwanda, in the wake of the genocide that was organized and supervised by unworthy leaders and other perpetrators and that decimated more than a million sons and daughters of Rwanda; Resolved to fight the ideology of genocide and all its manifestations and to eradicate ethnic, regional and any other form of divisions…” . People of many Nations learnt their lesson the harder way.. we are going through a hard time our selves, when will we learn to live and accept people different from us and make peace with the fact as a nation.