Friday | June 05, 2020
BY SHAHID RAO
ISLAMABAD – Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Thursday, turned down a writ petition challenging the federal cabinet’s decision of not including Ahmadis as non-Muslims in the National Commission for Minorities (NCM).
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition and rejected the same by terming it as non-maintainable after the arguments of Tariq Asad Advocate, the counsel for the petitioner.
In his petition, the petitioner requested the court that the decision of not including the Ahmadis in NCM be set aside and pleaded court to issue directions for inclusion of Ahmadis as non-Muslim in the NCM.
Shohda Foundation of Pakistan’s trustee Hafiz Ihtesham Ahmad filed the petition through the foundation’s counsel Tariq Asad Advocate and cited Federation through Secretary, Ministry of religious Affairs, Prime Minister through its Principal Secretary, Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, Minister for Religious Affairs, National Commission for Minorities through its Chairman, Cabinet Division through its Secretary, and Jamat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan through its Spokesperson as respondents.
Petitioner adopted in the petition that the cabinet had considered the summary, submitted by the Religious Affairs Division, titled ‘Re-constitution of National Commission for Minorities’ dated April 15, 2020 and had approved the reconstitution of the National Commission for Minorities to give representation to Qadiani and Lahori known as Ahmadi, in the NCM, being a non- Muslim minority in accordance with law, but after the protests of some religious scholars ignorant of law of the land, the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on 05-05-2020 had withdrawn the decision to include Qadianis in the NCM.
He maintained that those wgho suspect that in case the Qadianis were included in the list of NCM, they would get an opportunity to propagate and practice their beliefs like Muslims were entirely mistaken.
The petitioner maintained that to curb such practice, sections 298-A, 298-B and 298-C had been inserted in PPC by promulgation of the Anti-Islamic Activities of Qadiani Group, Lahori Group and Ahmadis (Prohibition and Punishment) Ordinance, 1984.
He further said that from bare reading of the said provisions, any doubts shold be removed. He said that by virtue of those provisions, they would not be allowed as suspected. He said that the aforementioned sections made it a criminal non-bailable offense for Qadianis to refer to any person other than a caliph or companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.H.) as Ameer-ul-Mumineen, Khalifat-ul-Mumineen, Khalifat-ul-Muslimeen, Sahaabi or Razi-Allah-Anho, any person other than the wife of the Holy Prophet (P.B.H.) as Ummul-Mumineen and any person other than the family of the Holy Prophet(P.B.H.) as Ahle-bait; to refer or call his place of worship as Masjid; to call people to prayer by reciting Azan or to refer to his mode or form to call to prayer as Azan; to call or pose as a Muslim or refer to his faith as Islam; to preach or propagate his faith or to invite others to accept his faith or in any manner whatsoever to outrage the religious feelings of Muslims.