Ahmadiyya sect puts off annual meet at Qadian amid anti-CAA protests

 

Dec 23, 2019

HT Correspondent

The Ahmadiyya community, which has been declared non-Muslim in Pakistan, has put off its 126th Jalsa Salana, an annual congregation, at the sect’s headquarters in Qadian town of Gurdaspur district from December 27 to 29 in view of the protests against the citizenship amendment act (CAA).

“The decision to postpone the meet has been taken keeping in mind the security of the community members in the current circumstances in the country. Things are not stable. Most of our guests were supposed to come to attend the meet by train via Uttar Pradesh, which is one of the most affected states in the unfavourable circumstances,” said K Tariq, the community’s spokesperson.

The annual gathering is attended by members of the sect from across world. “We have also asked our guests from abroad not to come now,” he said.

Another representative of the community said the meet will be rescheduled after a month or two “once things stabilise”. “We would not like to compromise the security of our guests,” he said.

In 1974, then Pakistan prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had passed the second amendment to Pakistan’s Constitution, declaring the sect, founded by Qadian-born Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, non-Muslim.

Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa of the Congress had raised the issue of their citizenship during the recent debate in the House. Bajwa, who represented Gurdaspur in the Lok Sabha from 2009-14, said that Ahmadiyyas should be included under the CAA as the community has also been persecuted in Pakistan after it was declared “non-Muslim” by the government there.

 

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