Tribune News Service
Qadian (Gurdaspur), Dec 30
The curtains came down on Sunday on the three-day annual Ahmadiyya convention (Jalsa Salana), which was attended by more than 20,000 people, including those from Pakistan, Jordan, Libya, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US. Out of these, 6,000 had crossed the Wagah Border.
There are nearly 17 lakh members of the community scattered across the globe with over a lakh settled in India. Rabwah (Pakistan) was the community’s headquarters before members were shifted to Qadian after Partition.
The consensus at the convention “was to be loyal to India, a nation that offers shelter to all”.
“The rules at the gathering are strict. Discussions about the pros and cons of other religions are firmly banned. The only religion we know is of universal brotherhood and that is what we discuss in the conference,” said spokesman K Tariq Ahmad.
The town has been abuzz with activity since Friday when the conference commenced. Community-run guest houses sprung up in every nook and corner and community kitchens started operations almost everywhere.
There are stories abound of how Ahmadiyyas are humiliated in Pakistan.
“Pakistan is the only country which has not accepted our link with Islam. We are treated as third-class citizens and as such we are always exposed to humiliation. We are obliquely referred to as the ‘Qadnani group’. We find solace here in India. Whatever knowledge we have gained is spent on making India a better place to live in,” said Shiraz Ahmad, Secretary of Education.