7 September 1974 was a day celebrated by the clerics and the right-wing politicians of Pakistan as a victory of “Islam” against Ahmadiyyat; the day when the infamous declaration of Pakistan’s national assembly came out declaring Ahmadis as a non-Muslim minority.
This did not just happen overnight. This declaration of heresy took two decades of jealousy. Ahmadiyya literature is full of explanations of what went on and what it took for the Pakistani legislative body to intervene in purely theological differences; what it was that united the extremely disunited clergy against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. Today, we would like to present the viewpoint of a neutral, fair-minded historian and political analyst to see how they trace the roots of this infamous, inhumane declaration of the Pakistani government.
The following are extracts from Husain Haqqani’s book Reimagining Pakistan.
Al Hakam is thankful to Mr Husain Haqqani for granting permission to include these extracts:
Husain Haqqani, USA
A major manifestation of the pitfalls of religion-based politics came in January 1953, when clerics of various Muslim denominations demanded that the Ahmadi sect be declared non-Muslim for legal purposes. Widespread riots soon followed, resulting in dozens of deaths and considerable loss to property. Reflecting what has been a consistent pattern in Pakistan’s history, the religious demand also had a worldly purpose. Punjabi politicians had instigated the clerics in the hope of dislodging the government of Bengali prime minister, Khawaja Nazimuddin, who had taken office after Liaquat’s assassination two years earlier.
Nazimuddin turned down an ultimatum from the ulema to declare members of the Ahmadi sect as a non-Muslim minority and to dismiss Foreign Minister Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, who was an Ahmadi. The ulema also demanded that other Ahmadis occupying key posts in the state must also be removed from their offices. Punjab chief minister Mumtaz Daultana had activated the protestors in the hope of bringing down the federal government and becoming prime minister …
Nazimuddin’s decision to refuse the ulema’s demands had wide support at the time across the …read more at source.