Pakistan’s Ahmadiyya community: ‘Fatwa has come, take this girl out of the grave because our dead are tormented’

A man came forward and asked my father to come with us because people are taking your daughter out of the grave because a fatwa has been issued against her.’

This was said by Fauzia (pseudonym), who told the story of a difficult night in her life to the BBC.

He said that at one o’clock in the night, we were all sleeping when suddenly more than a dozen police personnel jumped over the walls of our house and came inside. We felt that maybe India had attacked because our area shares the border with India.’

‘The intruders opened the main gate of the house after which more people entered. They took me and my sisters aside and then grabbed my brothers and father and took them out of the house.’

Take this girl out of the grave because our men are tormented’

Fauzia belongs to the Ahmadiyya community.

Fawzia claims that ‘when my sister died, we buried her in the graveyard of our area where other members of our family are also buried. Ten days after her death, the people of the area came with a fatwa that this girl should be removed from the graveyard because our (Muslim) men are punished.’

According to Fawzia, she was not shown that fatwa while her father refused to remove the deceased from the grave.

She says that at that time, so many people gathered around our house that it seemed that the people of the surrounding villages had also gathered. The police took my brothers and father to the cemetery under their supervision. He told the people gathered around my sister’s grave that you people should go back because the girl’s father and brother have come.’

Fawzia explains that in this difficulty, ‘we contacted the people of the Jamaat and informed them about the incident, so they arranged a new place and then we went there and buried him.’

According to Fauzia, many years have passed since this incident, but even today, the pain of this incident has not diminished for her. However, she still has only one complaint our living people are having a hard time, but why are our dead not allowed to rest in peace in their graves?’

Intolerance against the Ahmadi community has increased in the last two years

The Ahmadi community in Pakistan faces difficulties in achieving their basic rights, including the admission of their children to schools or the protection of their places of worship. Not only this, it has also become an ordeal for Ahmadis to bury their dead loved ones in Pakistan.

According to the data received by the Ahmadi community, since 1984, more than a hundred dead bodies have not been allowed to be buried in cemeteries, while there have been about 40 such incidents in which the graves have been destroyed after burial. Removed from

Rafiq (pseudonym) is a resident of the suburbs of Sialkot. His family has been living in this area since before the establishment of Pakistan. According to him, two of his relatives died in the past and were not allowed to bury them in the nearby local cemetery.

He says, ‘My mother-in-law’s health deteriorated, so we took her to Lahore where she died at five o’clock in the morning. We were bringing his dead body from Lahore to our home when some people reached the graveyard before we reached home so we could not bury them there.’

He said that ‘we went to the local police and got permission that we want to bury in the cemetery of our area. The SHO did not stop us, but when we dug the grave, people from around came together. The police and AC also came to say that you cannot bury here.’

According to Rafiq, his family members asked why they could not bury him. ‘Our ancestors are buried here, so what has happened that they cannot bury their dead here?’

Rafiq claims that the authorities replied that ‘there is an order from above that this will not happen.’

Rafiq says, ‘We had a heated argument with them, but then they requested us that you are good people and please agree for the peace and order of the area. We promise to find a solution to this problem. ‘

He said that one day after that, after keeping the dead body in the house, it was taken to Rabwah and buried.

‘We have to bury our dead in about 2 lakhs’

Rafiq says that his painful story does not end here because a month and a half after the death of his mother-in-law, another relative of his died, and on the occasion of his burial, the same thing happened once again that he was not allowed to bury him in the local cemetery. Went.

He claimed that this dead body was also kept at home for three days and then had to be taken to Rabwah and buried.

Rafiq says that ‘taking the dead there is also a very difficult task. The travel fare and all the expenses become so high that it costs about one and a half to two lakhs. We still bear this expense, but for those of our brothers and sisters who cannot afford it, it is difficult to bury their loved ones.

They say ‘Now even the people of Raboah have forbidden us that you should not bring any dead body here because we have run out of space.’

He further explains, ‘On the one hand, we feel pain when our loved ones die, on the other hand, immediately after their death, we get worried about where we should bury them.’

He claimed that no elder of the area has come forward on this matter. We have also asked these elders to sit together and talk for peace and order so that such incidents can be prevented. ‘

‘The state does not help us in preventing such incidents

We visited different cities for this BBC report and found the situation to be almost the same everywhere. Even when we visited such graveyards with a few Ahmadis, a few people approached and asked what are you doing here?

Apart from this, we also visited a few cemeteries where miscreants attacked more than once. In the graveyard of one such village near Faisalabad, we saw burnt coffins, uprooted graves, and broken books.

A person who takes care of such a cemetery showed a poster and said that this poster had been hung in a cemetery that morning.

On this poster it was written ‘Now if anybody is buried here, you will be responsible’.

Karamat (pseudonym) said ‘We took the complaint to the police three times, and the police replied that it is a religious matter and we cannot do anything about it.’

He also claimed that ‘in all such incidents, the police and the state collude with the miscreants. And no case is registered against us.’

When we asked IG Punjab about this allegation on the police and the state, he replied that there is no incident of desecration of graves in my presence and if there is any such incident, legal action will be taken. Is.’

IG Punjab further said ‘Our effort is to resolve such matters between the parties by mutual consent so that the situation of law and order can be maintained.’

It may be recalled that recently a notification was issued by the district administration of Kasur district under which a committee has been formed to examine the books on the graves of Ahmadis to see if there is anything written on them. Be related to Islam.

In this regard, caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar, while giving an interview with journalist Munizeh Jahangir, said in response to a question about the involvement of the state in the attacks on Ahmadis, that there is no evidence of the involvement of the police or any agency of the state. They will definitely conduct an inquiry.

(The real names of all characters in this story have been withheld for their protection and pseudonyms have been used.)

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