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September 7, 2018

Khatm-e-Nabuwat judgment: Non implementation causing controversies, divisions


September 7, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Non implementation of a recent judgment of Islamabad High Court (IHC) judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in Khatm-e-Nabuwwat case is likely to generate controversies like the one already making waves on social and mainstream media involving the induction of a Qadiani, also known as Ahmadi, in the PTI government's Economic Advisory Council.

Identifying the causes which trigger such controversies and divisions, the judgment noted that the September 7, 1974 is a big occasion for the Muslims as on the same day Parliament unanimously carried the 2nd Amendment Bill declaring Qadianis non-Muslims.

On the contrary, it said, Qadianis through different devices and maneuvering tried their best to frustrate the objects of the amendment. After declaring Qadianis/ Lahoris as non-Muslims, there should have been some steps for their separate identity, recognition, and scrutiny, as Qadianis ais are not like other minorities who could be easily identified through their appearance, names, beliefs and mode of prayers, it said. On the contrary, Qadianis have same names, appearance and even their prayers are like Muslims, therefore, confusion about their separate identity resorted to declare them non-Muslims but the purpose could not have been achieved e.g. name “Ahmad” is somewhat specified for Qadianis and the basis of same they are also termed as Ahmadis which cannot be permitted. Name “Ahmad” refers to the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). Muslims are possessive about this name, and in first interaction or introduction name of an individual indicates about the religion of any person, it said.

Therefore, it is only in the fitness of things that Qadianis may be referred to as Ghulaman-e-Mirza/ Mirzai etc. but not as Ahmadis and they should also be stopped using Muslim names, the IHC bench said. The bench in its order said that during dictatorial regime of General (R) Pervez Musharraf, Qadianis access to power corridors was being felt by everyone and remained matter of concern.

The court judgment said It goes without saying that that every citizen of Pakistan irrespective of race, cast, creed or religion has a right to life and to profess their own religion within the contours of the Constitution. However, having already constitutionally declared Qadianis to be non-Muslims, it is only justified that they be treated on the same footing as other minorities who are easily identifiable by, least of all, their names and they fortunately do not imposter themselves to be from a religion they are not.

The bench noted that the report of the FIA with respect to individuals who have travelled abroad after affecting a change in their religion in the records of Nadra is alarming. In the larger interests of the country, the court is avoiding disclosing the names of many who held high positions in the bureaucracy, judiciary, military, naval, and air forces and other sensitive and important institutions having Qadianis beliefs while hiding their real religious identities as it would bring bad taste but this practice has to be brought to a halt, the order said. It said that last but not the least, the defender(s) in whose hands the defence of Islamic Republic of Pakistan rests belongs to which religion? This was the responsibility of the State, and the federal government in particular, but it has badly failed to discharge it, which necessitated this court to issue directives, the IHC said.

A person who is non-Muslim and conceals his religion is actually an open defiance to the words and spirit of the Constitution, it said. To prevent this disobedience, the state needs to take immediate measures. It said, “The matter of absolute and unqualified finality of Prophet-hood of Muhammad (SAW) is the nucleus of our religion.”

The IHC has directed Nadra to must fix time duration for any citizen who intends to make correction/change in the already given particulars, especially religion. Parliament should do a legislation and also do requisite amendments in the existing laws to ensure that all the terms which are specifically used for 'Islam' and 'Muslim' are not used by the persons belonging to any of the minorities for hiding their real identity or for any other purpose, the IHC bench said. Justice Siddiqui had also directed that an affidavit must be sworn by applicants of the computerized national identity card (CNIC), passport, birth certificate, electoral rolls, and appointment in government and semi-government institutions especially the judiciary, armed forces and civil services.

“When any member of the minority group conceals his/her religion and belief through fraudulent means... is actually an open defiance to the words and spirit of the Constitution,” the judge said. To prevent this disobedience, the state must take immediate measures, he declared that a citizen doing so would betray the state, resulting in exploitation of the Constitution.

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