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Plight of the Pakistani Ahmedi: a timeline

Plight of the Pakistani Ahmedi: a timeline

The persecution of Ahmedis is deep-rooted and dates back to pre-Partition India. Even so, the massacre in Lahore on May 28 was one of the worst in the history of the Ahmedi Movement since 1953. Here is a timeline of important events that took place since the beginning of the Ahmedi Movement:

March 1889: The Ahmedi Movement, founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, began in northern India in the city of Qadian, and spread across northern India (including present-day Pakistan’s Punjab province).

1890: In Delhi, religious scholars sign a fatwa against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his beliefs.

May 1908: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmedi Movement, passes away.

October 1947: Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, an Ahmedi who was influential during the separation, became Pakistan’s first Foreign Minister. Khan went later onto become the first Asian judge to sit on the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

March 1953: Post-Partition, the backlash against Ahmedis became violent in Pakistan. Riots broke out in Lahore after the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, criticised the Ahmedi movement. As a result, an estimated 300 people died and a disputed number were injured, and martial law was imposed in Lahore for 70 days to stabilise civil unrest.

1954: The Munir Report – a historic state-run investigation stirred by the riots – concluded that if the state left the decision of who is or isn’t a Muslim than according to the ulemas and fatwas, every citizen would be declared a non-Muslim.

1962: Religio-political groups gained ground when the ulema and Advisory Council of Islamic Ideology added a clause in the constitution, which stated that no future and existing laws should contradict the teaching and requirements of the Quran and Sunnah.

1974: In a response to the backlash from religious groups and pressure for votes, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s regime amended the constitution to include the definition of a Muslim and listed groups that were consider non-Muslim, explicitly listing the followers of the Ahmedi Movement as non-Muslims.

1979: Dr. Mohammad Abdus Salam, an Ahmedi and a Pakistani citizen, won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on the Electroweak Theory. Dr. Salam became instrumental for Pakistan’s nuclear plants as well as outer space projects. After Dr. Salam passed away his tombstone which had “Muslim” carved in it was scratched out by officials.

April 1984: The constitution was amended yet again when President Zia-ul-Haq included the full Sharia Law. Ordinance XX included restrictions on religious minority groups. Ahmedis were restricted to: the misuse of epithets, descriptions, titles, etc reserved for certain holy personages or places of Islamic origins. Ahmedis could not call themselves Muslim or propagate their faith – these practices were punishable by death, life imprisonment, and a fine. The public was also refrained from referring to Ahmedis as part of a ‘Muslim sect’ or their places or worship as ‘mosques.’ If a person was found guilty, they could serve up to three years in prison and pay a fine.

1993: Ahmedis who were charged with blasphemy appealed the law eight times but the court maintained that Sharia Law was to be upheld, and even likened them to notorious writer Salman Rushdie.

April 1995: In the town of Shab Qadar in Peshawar, two members of the Ahmedi community were stoned – one of whom died, the body was stripped and dragged through the town, while the second was critically injured – all while the police watched the debacle with the rest of the town.

October 2000: Gunmen opened fire during prayers; five worshippers were killed as several others were injured.

October 2005: Eight people were killed and 18 injured when three men on motorbikes opened fire on them as they were offering prayers. Two of the attackers entered the place where prayers were being offered and sprayed the 26 worshippers with bullets.

June 2005: All Ahmedi students expelled from a medical college in Faisalabad. Dr. Asghar Ali Randhawa, Principal of Punjab Medical College rusticated all Ahmedi students, 15 female and eight males, from the college as well as hostels.

September 2008: “Aalim Online,” a show hosted by Aamir Liaqat Hussain on GEO TV, incited religious hatred and violence against Ahmedis along with two guest panelists, Maulana Mohammad Ameen and Dr Saeed Inayatulla, who referred to members of the Ahmadiyya community as kafir (infidel) and maintained that anyone who holds beliefs as Ahmadi Muslims is wajib-ul-qatl (deserving of death). As a result, religious zealots murdered two eminent leading members of the Ahmedi community.

May 2010: Militants attacked two Ahmedi places of worship during the Friday prayer service. According to government officials the death toll was 80, while the Jamaat-i-Ahmadiya Pakistan spokesman put the toll at 95. More than a 100 parishioners were injured.

Sadef A. Kully is an  Reporter/Associate Producer for

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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146 Responses to “Plight of the Pakistani Ahmedi: a timeline”

  1. murassa sanaullah says:

    if the government in 1953 had taken strict measures, & had punished the culprits,such incidences would never had taken place. it was Ayub who made Pakistan islamic republic Quaid-e Azam always claim everybody can live freely without any discrimination.Ahmedis also left their homeland &came to Pakistan.they were among those who supported Pakistan.SirZafarullah fought the case of many muslimswho were under European rule &fighting for freedom.his speeches are in record of UNO.then ahmedis fought the 65&71 wars .you cannot deny Brig. Abdulalis brave command in sialkot sector&general akhtar in kashmir.dr.salam whose work can not be forgotten .only his fellow country men denied him. all muslim countries respect and are proud of him.

  2. Rana Mohsin says:

    i know many Ahmadies, they are very loving and peaceful people.plz we should change our minds.
    Thankyou dawn for beautiful Article.

  3. O J DEEN says:

    O ye who believe ! fear Allah as HE should be feared; and let not death overtake you except when you are in a state of submission.
    And hold fast, all together, to the rope of Allah and be not divided; and remember the favour of Allah which HE bestowed upon you when you were enemies and HE united your hearts in love, so that by HIS grace you became as brothers; and you were on the brink of a pit of fire and HE saved you from it. Thus does Allah explain to you HIS commandments that you may be guided.
    And let there always be among you a body of men who should invite to goodness, and enjoin virtue and forbid evil. And it is they who shall prosper. (3:103-105)

  4. O J DEEN says:

    If you are mindful of your duty to Allah, He will bestow upon you a mark of distinction, and will remove from you your ills, and will forgive you. Allah is Lord of great bounty. (8:30)

  5. ALI RAZA QULI says:

    DAWN Publication/Producers

    Subject articles about AHMEDIES wonderfully described. Few points for all minority settled where is rate of illiteracy is great.

    A. Ideology, different sect, religious back ground are the main base of action. keeping in view all this factors minority cannot survives because there is no voice.

    B. Form groups among minority who settled in Pakistan, start co-ordination, communications, have corner meeting take your agenda to a political party that you trust that party will help you to solves yours issue. Participate in coming election. become the members of parliament, don’t forget you are tax paying citizens.

    Sound very weird

  6. saleem b says:


    Some of the comments are down right pathetic. People are more concerned on why Ahmedis, why not others, this side and that side. Pity the nation that has stooped so low in morality and humanity! It is disgusting and shameful.

    Dawn should be commended to encourage columnists who provide some light in this darkness.

  7. usman says:

    Someone must become the first drop of rain…

  8. usman says:

    Its a great step that dawn is taking, highlighting what has been hidden for ages, buried deep within.

  9. gpkhan says:

    I think we Paks give lot of importance to the religion. There is much more beyond religion. We kill each other on Religion. Its atrocitious

  10. shahid says:

    I respect Ahmadis but I wonder whether Ahmadis have really read the writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad or they are just following their own Mullahs.
    Let us be honest.

    • Saira says:

      If you know anything about Ahmadis, you would know we have no Mullahs. Maybe you should study what you oppose and condemn BEFORE announcing your ignorance.

    • syed anwar ahmad says:

      Dear, one naturally will consider and ponder again and again if there is an open danger to his life his dear ones his property and above all his future. Thus right from the boy hood an ahmadee per force considers and reconsider he belief.

    • Waleed Khan says:

      Unlike other sects in Islam, it is only Ahmadiyyat that encourage individuals to investigate into one’s belief and not to follow blindly. The first step to find truth is to question. Most of the Ahmadis read not only Mirza sahibs books but anything that can satisfy their urge to get an answer. This is the difference between Ahmadis and many Non-Ahmadis, we know firsthand what we believe in and are not blind followers.
      I am not sure how many Ahmadis you know well, but if you befriend a few you’ll be surprised to see how much more common Ahmadis know about not just their own beliefs but also about other Muslim sects and religions than the followers themselves.
      As far as our Maulvis are concerned, they are nothing like what you see in your mosques. Our Maulvis are well taught in religious and secular subjects. They not only study religion but get degrees from regular universities, nationally and internationally and spend their lives in researching a variety of topics.

      It is the teachings based on Holy Quran and Sunnah, by Mirza sahib and many other elders of Ahmadiyyat that even after this incident you do not see Ahmadis running around and burning down everything that comes in front of them. Don’t you see Ahmadis submitting to God at the time of atrocity and not taking matters into our own hands? Even in the past, have you ever heard Ahmadis creating disorder in society? Don’t you see the difference in maturity of Ahmadis and Non-Ahmadis? Do you ever wonder why?

    • DAP says:

      The point here is not whether the Ahmedies have read and understood what their beliefs really are what we need to understand is that every one has the right to choose and practice. And it is the responsibility of the govt to protect them but if the govt is itself involved in prosecution…….Since Ahmedies have been declared non Muslims but those of us who are now officially Muslims should behave like one.

    • Srinivasan says:

      No religion preaches hatred against people of other faiths.Those who have read and understand the religion they follow will not show intolerance of people of other religeous faith.However most of the followers of any religion do follow the religeous belief as per tradition and very few understand the broad aspects of religeon.

    • shakoor says:

      All literature of ahmadies is sitting on internet you can read it….most of ahmadies are encouraged to read it and most of them have read it.
      Extremists mullahs have associated wrong beliefs with ahmadis. They have published wrong literature and talks with ahmadis. If you read the ahmadi literature truth will come in-front of you instantly.

  11. love4all says:

    Quran says” there is no compulsion in religion” Ahmadis should be able to practice what they believe in. If they are wrong show the strong arguments and convert them to the true Islam. One should wonder about the hadith regarding the fact that there will be time when there will be 73 sects and only one will be true. Surely the one that is true has to be considered the Kafir by the other 72. Yes Pakistan is the only example of state sponsored horrifying acts based on there beliefs.

  12. Skhan says:

    Ahmadis are Pakistanis too and it is Govt. duty to protect “All” citizens regardless of their Faith, Believes, Color, Race and Sect. I fully condemned these fresh attacks which were, apparently planned to achieve certain goals. My point is Muslims or Non-Muslims we are all Pakistani’s, and its not changing. I think Pakistan Govt. needs to grill all the extremist Mullahs who are spreading their own version of Islam. Even though, Ahmadis are not accepted, as Muslims by majority of Pakistan Society, it’s simply does not justify any abhorrence and physical violence against them.

  13. BADSHAH says:

    Hi all, sorry that I don’t agree with the Ahmedi’ism. I concluded this after doing significant amount of research back in the 70′s. With that said, it is NOT at all correct to harm any human being in this world, right or wrong.

    Mirza Ghulam Ahmed was a learned person planed by the British to destroy the Muslim religion – and to make them move away from the very basic beliefs – Mohummad Mustufa (PBUH) being the last prophet. This is our belief and any deviation from that is wrong, simply put wrong. The problem is that since this movement is based in Pakistan, it is very dangerous for the teachings of Mrira Gulam Ahmad to move around openly. There is a difference. There are several other religions in Pakistan. Non of them belief in our prophet (PBUM) and that is OK. The wrong is to believe in our prophet (PBUH) and then extending your own teaching and distorting the original facts is what I consider to be wrong and that is why I do not agree with the teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed. Sorry, that is how I feel and belief. Again, this does not give a right for anyone to harm these or any humans and their belongings. On the other hand, these (people who say that they believe in Prophet Muhmmad (PBUM) and then extend and distort his teachings) should be allowed to spread their point of view in an Islamic based civilization….

    • Jehangir says:

      Sir, as Quran says ” there is no compulsion in religion”, so you have all the right to go by your beliefs. You have very rightly commented on the rights of the minorities but we all know that what Pakistan is facing at the moment is all done in the name of religion. Ahmedis have never resorted to any violent way of spreading their message or stopping anyone from doing that, but what happens daily in our mosques, Imam Bargahs, churches and other places of worship is a complete antithesis of the teachings of our Prophet PBHU who was made ” Blessing for all worlds”. I would like you to tell me the name of the religion which let people do all this because I am sure it cannot be Islam. Also give me one example where the Prophet PBUH declared a person non-Muslim when he declared himself a Muslim. I am sure you must have read the story where a Sahabi killed a kafir in a “Ghazwa” who recited “Kalma” when he was about to be killed. You look literate enough to know the response of our Prophet PBUH on this incident.

    • Muhammad says:

      Mirza Ghulam Ahmed spent all of his life in small unknown village Qadian. He was not planned by british. I have personally read his many books he beleived that Muhammad SAW was best of prophets and best of human being in this universe. He considered himself a slave of Muhammad SAW.

      Mirza Ghulam Ahmed did not change the teachings of Islam. Fact is that today’s mullah has forgotten teachings of Quran. Look at the situation of Muslim Ummah today …..all you see is…dishonesty, terrorism, corruption, fighting with each other….can this be situation of righteous people who follow the religion of Muhammad SAW…I don’t think so!!!!!!

      • Dr.Inam says:

        Badshah. You need to read the Qaseedah of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad written in honor of Prophet Mohammad (saw)and then realize how much love he had for Rasoole pak Mohammad Mustafa (saw). Khatim in Arabic language mean stamp and Khatamun Nabiyyan means that Islam is the final religion and no other religion or law bearing prophet is going to come. Thats what Ahmadis believe in. Please do not be carried away by the thoughts provoked by the mullahs. All the Ahamdis in this Islamic world have converted from Sunnis go and ask them why this happened, what made them change their thoughts about the teachings of Islam.visit Pray for yourself listen to the official TV of Ahmadies and then decide for yourself.

  14. Mustafa says:

    @ arshad

    You said “They have complete consensus on their (Ahmadis) being non-Muslims.

    Only Allah knows whether what you call Ulemas are fully learned Ulemas or half learned Ulemas. Have you read the saying in Farsi. Neem Hakeem Khatra-e Jaan. Neem Mullah Khatra-e Eemaan. Meaning: A half learned physician is a danger to life and a half learned Mullah is a danger to faith (Islam). Do these Ulemas are more learned than Hazrat Imam Abu Haneefa (rbuh) who had made this rule and decree (we should not condemn as kafir the people of Qibla). He asserted that no one can be considered infidel “Kafir” till he refuses the Oneness of Allah Kareem and the existence of his Messenger Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him).

    You tell me if Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his followers refused to accept “Oneness” of Allah and existence of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Be Peace on him).

    I wish to assure you I am not Ahmadi, Qadiani or Mirzai but I believe regardless of what sins Mirza and his followers have done, they say the same Kalimah Shahada in every salaat when they read At-Tahi-Yat. To call them Non-Muslims or Kafirs is the worst sin that I can think of.

    • Sabahat says:

      Mr. Mustafa I appriciate your thoughts and your saying is absolutly write. Thankyou

      • Mustafa says:

        Mr. Sabahat, you are most welcome.

        • Mr. Mustafa you are absolutely right. I have also observed the same. Our Mullah have very small knowledge of Islam. These Mullah were against Quaid-e-Azam and creation of Islam. They called a good man Quaid-e-Azam (R.A) as Kafir and work against Pakistan.

          We should pray Allah Subhana Tala show them right path. But our people should not follow them.

          • Mustafa says:

            Mr. Maqsood Abdullah. I appreciate your comments. The Mullahs also declared Sir Syed Ahmad Khan the founder of Muslim University, Aligarh as Kafir. They are the root cause of problems for all Muslims in the world.

  15. ram lakhani says:

    there are 73 (ta)firqa …… more or less makes no difference

    Born in any faith is just a chance……like inheritence….not hard earned.

    False pride and possessiveness of born faith is false arrogance…….unless search learn compare……

    No time/need for than….What i say/do right!!!

  16. Nadeem says:

    Hats off to DAWN management and editorial staff to have the courage to publish these articles.

  17. Ali Rana says:

    Who are humans to classify anyone as Muslims or non-Muslims. Faith comes from the heart and only Allah is all knowing and holds the power to decide.

  18. Bushra Syed says:

    These attacks have been considered in the most terrible ones.
    This was one big incident, as you might know many Ahmedis have been killed like this before as well.
    That’s the only reason everyone is so much bothered about it. It’s time we should call for the rights of our Ahmedi brothers and sisters.
    I know Ahmedis, they are very peaceful people.

    Above all, they do believe in Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) as a last Prophet. People need to do a little more research on what they actually believe.
    I wish those people would stop spreading misconception regarding them.
    I have so much to say and prove.
    I know many Ahmedis and and I have myself researched a lot.
    God bless Pakistan.

    • Ahmed Tariq says:

      Thanks Bushra for you comments i just want to know why most of the people are afraid of saying the truth as you have mentioned here…why other people say what they hear without even searching for what is right or it enough to hear what Ullamas of this country are saying? is it really true that what they are saying is really true?

  19. Musawar says:

    I agree with Mahmood

  20. Usama says:

    The attack on a non-Muslim minority such as this one sparked world-wide criticism on Pakistan and its treatment of minorities. Why does the world turn a blind eye to the atrocities took place in the name of War against terror?? Ahmadis have a right to live freely in Pakistan but they must avoid trying to justify their status as being a minority.

  21. nabeel says:

    Thank you for posting this time line.
    Love for all, hatred for none.

  22. Iman Faris says:

    Well done Sadef

  23. kavithai says:

    Do Pakistan has space for people who do not believe Islam and Mohammad? You should not push religious belief down the throat of other people in the 21st century.

  24. R A Warriech says:

    The shocking fact is that Ahmadies are not given the right of speaking about their views openly on media. One can easily find the resistance and views of fanatic mullahs right after broadcasting of few programs on channels. I couldn’t understand that if these mullahs consider themselves on righteous path then why they are so scarred on giving right of speaking to Ahmadies. It means they do not have courage to face them and they do not have any thing to falsify logically the views of Ahmadies. These Mullahs have not converted any non-Muslim to Muslim but they declared a huge number as Non-Muslims and they should be ashamed on this.
    Islam is a religion of peace, harmony and tolerance but these fanatic Mullahs have portrayed the wrong image of this beautiful religion. I feel sorry for this country now and I am really afraid of its horrible future of my country due to this intolerance and fanatic attitude of the nation as a whole.
    May Almighty Allah save my country from these worst creatures (mullahs) under the sky..Amen!

  25. noor says:

    Pakistani constitution has a point of every minority rights equally then why atrocities are always made against ahmadiyyat ?? their are other religions too which are dangerous to Islam. If these like atrocities committed against ahmadiyyat them obviously ALLAH is watching us all and ALLAH obviously do justice that’s why Non ahmadi’s are in trouble either they are of shia group Or sunni group. Pakistani Government should took a step to protect each Ahmedi and they should be look upon their own laws which are fully accepted by ahmedi’s. Ahmedi’s never do anything against any law. They are innocent. Then why all cruel activities are always being made against ahmadiyyat ? every one should know the actual teaching Of Quran and Hadees.

  26. ASad says:

    Shall we stick to the blog and suggest a resolution to this problem ?? A whole world of definitions lies between the “truth” and “false” boundaries . We should leave Allah as a decision maker and shall do our best .

    So what is the solution to eliminate the extremism from our society and create tolerance .
    According to me ,Islam is religion of peace. It teaches peace and motivate every Muslim to be peaceful.

  27. larka says:

    ” Ahmadis” Non muslim in Pakistan and Muslims in rest of world????? this is demonstrating Pakistan as a country which is under the rule of mullahs who don’t even know themselves what they say… Don’t you think that We are not still mature enough to guess what is right and what is wrong?? do you think that it is just right to close your eyes, bend your knees in front of those mullahs and accept and obey them whatever they say without even using a bit of our to guess what is wrong and what is right??? people Open your eyes.. dont act like illiterate people. open up your mind and choose yourself instead of following those mullahs…and stop treating Ahmadis like animals.. they are PAKIS AND NEED All the rights what every body in PAk has.

  28. Noumana says:

    i would like to say thanks to Dawn news for taking one step in the favor of ahmadee community.
    I would just point out one aspect here, and would like to figure out the main motive of ahmadees by this:

    You must have observed if this would have happened in any other place of non ahamdee community, people there would gather on roads to shout and yell and to burn tires and roads and government properties. but NO ONE CAN FIGURE OUT ONE SINGLE REACTION LIKE THIS BY AHAMDEE COMMUNITY.
    that’s what we believe in:


    we believe in the prayers and more prayers and this cruel event has firmed our belief far more than before.

    JazaAllah to dawn news and Sadef one again.

  29. Harris Malik says:

    I am very impressed with the greatness of daily ” Dawn” that they have covered very well the Masacre of peaceful Ahmadiyya Muslims. It seems they are not afraid of Mullahs backlash. Mullahs has destroyed Pakistan. Nothing is left now. It would also a good Idea to have an Ahmadi scholar write an article and clarify their belief upon Jesus and Khatamun Nabiyeen in details. I know they have a great site Alislam.Org on Internet but everyone does not have a computer.

  30. farhat says:

    Ahmadees are whatever no problem! but why they hide themselves? they use terms of Islam but they are against the beliefs of it. So they are more dangerous than any other community. Read the reports of BBC and Dawn news that a complete suspicious environment in the hospital where injured ones are kept. They were not all to communicate with reporters, and interrepted by Mirza Tahir Mahmood. Why they conceal their teachings and worship places, not utilize security by the state.? It all indicate that they are wrong, mysterious and mischieves.

    • shafqat satti says:

      What ever they are don’t they have a right to live in Pakistan peacefully? they do like any Sunni, Shia, Christian or any other minority.

      • Dr.Inam says:

        What beliefs you are talking about Farhat that Ahmadis believe in are against Islam? Be open, this is an open forum, do not use vague thoughts and ideas. What suspicious environment you have seen?We do not conceal any thing . go and visit www. and find out yourself. What is there to hide. Ahmadis dont make conspiracies against Pakistan or any other country in the world. They have been taught to be honest with the country in which they live. Learn to solve your mysteries and the mischievous minds and thoughts that Mullah provokes in your mind.

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