Parliament’s decision will not fade the Ahmadi contribution to Pakistan

Today 7th September would mark the 39th anniversary of the infamous decision by Bhutto’s parliament to declare Ahmadis ‘non-Muslims’ for the purpose of constitution. By meddling in religious matters and pandering to Mullahs, the progressive Pakistan of 1960s eventually turned into a hotbed of extremism with a divided society that is confused about ideology.

What people has Pakistan disowned in these 39 years? Following is a list of a few of the many sons of the soil – all of whom happen to be Ahmadis – who were Pakistan’s true heroes and whose contribution to the nation is being maligned and erased by people whose own loyalty to the land is dubious.

1. Dr. Muhammad Abdus Salam: A Physicist of world acclaim who won the Nobel Prize in 1979 and was also the founder of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy. He also initiated the country’s civilian nuclear and space (SUPARCO) programs under Ayub Khan.

2. Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan:The author of the memorandum of the famous Lahore Resolution of 1940 which ultimately formed the basis for the creation of Pakistan. He was a close lieutenant of Quaid-e-Azam and diplomat and jurist of the highest order. He was handpicked by Jinnah himself to serve as the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan. Later on, Sir Zafrullah Khan served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.N., as President General Assembly U.N. and as President International Court of Justice. He has the rarest privilege of having held the highest international diplomatic and judicial positions in the world. Moreover, Jinnah himself asked Zafrulla Khan to represent Pakistan’s interest before the Boundary Commission.

3. Imam Abdur Raheem Dard: The Ahmadi missionary who persuaded Jinnah in 1933 to return to India and assume the leadership of the Indian Muslim minority. Quaid-e-Azam not only returned to India, but also publicly acknowledged the “eloquent persuasion of the Imam” which he admitted, left him no way of escape. Dard frequented as a liason between the Ahmadiyya community and Jinnah during those crucial times.

4. Professor Qazi Muhammad Aslam: A leading and pioneer educationist from Lahore who had a tremendous role in the field of education in Pakistan.

5. Lt. Gen. Akhtar Hussain Malik (Hilal-e-Jurat): A general who successfully led the Pakistan Army in its campaign in the Kashmir sector during the 1965 War.

6. Lt. Gen. Abdul Ali Malik (Hilal-e-Jurat): Another general who led the Pakistan Army in its battle on the Sialkot sector during the 1965 War.

7. Squadron Leader Khalifa Muniruddin Shaheed (Sitara-e-Jurat): A daring ace fighter pilot of the PAF who laid down his life during the air war of 1965.

8. Major General Iftikhar Janjua Shaheed (Hilal-e-Jurat): He successfully led the Pakistan Army at the Rann of Cutch sector during the 1965 War. He again successfully led the Army at the Chamb sector during the 1971 War. While Pakistan lost the war in 1971, in this particular battle Pakistan won. During this campaign, General Janjua led his troops from the front and finally attained martyrdom on the battlefield. He is the only general of the Pakistan Army to have died during combat.

9. Major General Nasir Chaudhry: A general who led the Pakistan Army from the front and was wounded on the battlefield in 1971 war. His death came not at the hands of outsiders but from fellow citizens during the terrorist attack on the Ahmadi mosques in Lahore on May 28, 2010.

10. M. M. Ahmad: A leading finance expert who served the Pakistan Government in various capacities including as the Head of the Planning Commission under Ayub Khan. He has been credited for arranging funding for major hydro-electrical projects such as Tarbela and Mangla dams. Later on he served as Director World Bank.

11. Last but not least – Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad: The second Head of the Ahmadiyya community who led and inspired an entire generation of Ahmadis to serve Pakistan and the wider Muslim cause both in the Indian Subcontinent and the world over. He successfully led the Kashmir committee at the request of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal in early 1930s. He put the weight of his entire community firmly behind Jinnah during the Pakistan movement. Moreover, he propelled the formation of an all-Ahmadi volunteer force called Furqan Battalion that fought on the Kashmir front in 1948 on Pakistan’s behalf.

Some may find it inconvenient to acknowledge the facts as they stand. Nevertheless, these details can be left to the conscience of the reader.

(This is a re-post of an old article:
The article represents the views of the author (@amaarahmad on Twitter) solely and does not reflect the opinions of the Pakteahouse editors.)

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