For the last couple of years the clerics and their followers in Pakistan have intensified their efforts in order to persecute Ahmadis and in this venture the law enforcement agencies and the Courts have become their allies.
Since 2019 number of cases have been registered against Ahmadis in Cybercrime Wing, Lahore in which 6 Ahmadis are now behind bars. They are facing serious charges including the charge of defiling of Holy Quran which offence is punishable with sentence of life imprisonment and defiling the name of Holy Prophet (PBUH) which offence is punishable with capital sentence.
Four out of six Ahmadis are life devotees (waqaf e zindagi) and from Rabwah. Previously the Ahmadis living in Rabwah would considered to be safe but Cybercrime Wing of FIA is trying to rope in Ahmadis from Rabwah including the office bearers of Ahmadiyya Community. In the cases mentioned above many officials of community have been cited as accused and the authorities are planning to arrest them.
Instances of violation of fundamental rights of Ahmadis at the hands of judiciary:
One out of six Ahmadis namely Muhammad Mahmood Iqbal Hashmi was released on bail in the year 2019 on the orders of Additional Sessions Judge, Lahore. He was appearing before the trial court on each and every date of hearing and was fully cooperating with the court. After almost two years his bail order has been cancelled by the Additional Sessions Judge, Lahore just because of pressure of religious opponents of Ahmadiyya Community. This order of cancellation of bail has exposed the prelious situation of Ahmadis who are not only facing the persecution at the hands of their opponents but also the judges who have become their accomplices in order to penalise Ahmadis just because of their religious beliefs. Muhammad Mahmood Iqbal Hashmi is now again in custody of Cybercrime Wing, Lahore on an illegal order of physical remand passed by Judicial Magistrate who could only send him to jail on judicial remand but he also being compromised has handed over the custody of this gentleman for four days and there is every likelihood of extension of this period through subsequent orders.
It is very much important to highlight here that five Ahmadis who are behind bars for the last 10 months to 15 months have not been released on bail and Additional Sessions Judge, Lahore has declined their request of bail. Now their bail petitions are pending in Lahore High Court. These petition are pending for the last 4/5 months. As per law these petitions need to be decided within shortest possible time preferably within two weeks but no judge in High Court is ready to decide these cases just because of pressure of the opponents and lawyers of Khatam e Nabuwat forum. In two petitions five judges has heard cases and none of them had the courage to decide the cases. The other cases have been heard by six different judges of High Court who have failed to decide the same so far. If judges of High Court are not independent and brave enough to decide bail applications of Ahmadis then how an Ahmadi can get justice from the lower judiciary.
During trial of all these cases the Additional Sessions Judge, Lahore has not provided the copies of evidence including the forensic and technical analysis reports regarding digital media devices allegedly recovered from the accused Ahmadis despite written requests. The accused Ahmadis and their lawyers have been pressurised by the judge to cross examine the statement of witnesses without providing them the copies of evidence. How a lawyer can cross examine a witness if he has not in possession of his report which he has prepared during the investigation? Such an act on behalf of the judge is glaring example of violation of right of due process and fair trial.
In all these cases the prosecution department requested the court to take cognizance of case under sections 295-B and 298-C of Penal Code. There was no request of charging the accused Ahmadis under section 295-C of Penal Code but the Additional Sessions Judge, Lahore, on the dictation of complainant party has framed charge under 295-C which carries with it capital punishment. This shows the gravity of the situation for the Ahmadi accused who are facing trial in an intimidating atmosphere where they are being deprived of their basic rights.
Three Ahmadis from Bhoewal District Sheikhupura were sentenced to death in 2017 on false and fabricated allegations of blasphemy and their appeal has not been decided by the Lahore High Court, Lahore as no Bench wants to hear this “sensitive” case. These Ahmadis are behind bars for the last seven years.
One teenager from Peshawar is in jail in similar allegations.
Couple of months ago the Lahore High Court, Lahore has passed a judgment in which it has been held that having possession of Holy Qur’an by an Ahmadi in his worship place is an offence of defiling of Holy Qur’an (295-B PPC) while reading the Holy Qur’an by an Ahmadi is an offence of defiling the name of Holy Prophet (PBUH) punishable with death sentence under section 295-C PPC. Having possession of books of founder of Ahmadiyya Community has also been declared as offence under section 295-C PPC. The judiciary in Pakistan especially in Punjab has become a tool in the hands of anti Ahmadiyya antagonists and there is now zero hope of justice available to the Ahmadi accused.
Now, in Pakistan the State and its organs have started penalising Ahmadis not for any act, rather they are roping in the Ahmadis just because of their beliefs. They cannot practice their religion even in private as they may be intruded upon by their opponents and they may be booked under different provisions of Penal Code and other laws including cyber laws and there is no chance of any relief from the courts who are now partner of crime against humanity.