Anti-Ahmadi campaigners demand Ramazan bazaar’s relocation

Published: June 8, 2016
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Ramazan Bazaar. PHOTO: AFP

Ramazan Bazaar. PHOTO: AFP

Ramazan Bazaar. PHOTO: AFP Ramazan Bazaar. PHOTO: APP/FILE

LAHORE: A Ramazan Bazaar set up in Chenab Nagar has attracted attention of some self-described anti-Ahmadia campaigners who persuaded the district administration to relocate it once and are now threatening public agitation if the facility isn’t shifted away from land owned by the Jamaat-i-Ahmadia.

The Bazaar was initially planned to be set up near a railway crossing on Aqsa Road but the plan was changed over opposition from some clerics. It was then set up at a plot owned by Jamaat Ahmadia about 100 metres away from the initial site.

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Speaking to The Express Tribune, Chaudhry Islam, one of the two men spearheading the campaign against the bazaar, said he was mobilising the public to press the administration to move the bazaar to a place where only Muslims could benefit from it. “The plot where the bazaar is located is owned by the Ahmadis. This is against the injunctions of Islam,” he said. Islam said the bazaar should be moved to the Muslims Colony [a residential area adjacent to Chenab Nagar]. “Ramazan has nothing to do with Ahmadis. Only Muslims should benefit from such facilities,” he said.

Islam said he had filed a petition in the Lahore High Court in this regard but the court had referred the matter to the office of Chiniot DCO Shaukat Khichi. He said the bazaar had been shifted from the plot closer to the Ahmadi community’s neighbourhood because of their warnings that they would construct a mosque on the plot if it was used for the purpose.

Saleemudin, Jamaat-i-Ahmadia spokesperson, told The Express Tribune that when the DCO approached the Jamaat for some plot in the area to set up the bazaar he had suggested that it should be set up at a plot owned by the Jamaat on Aqsa Road. He said the establishment of the bazaar was abandoned on resistance from anti-Ahmedia clerics and elements that had illegally occupied the land. He said the bazaar was then set up at its current location near a car parking before the railway crossing. He said the Jamaat had no objection if the facility was shifted to some other place.

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He said Ahmadis comprised about 98 per cent of the population in Chenab Nagar. Around 20 plots owned by Ahmadis had been illegally occupied by people supported by anti-Ahmadi clerics.

DCO Shaukat Khichi said there was no mass opposition to the decision to set up the bazaar at its current location. He said Chaudhry Islam and Zulfiqar Ahmed were not residents of the area. “They are just two trouble makers. They want to defame me because I took action against them for blackmailing the administration of a sugar mill,” he said. He said he would take action against the men if there was an imminent threat.

The DCO said he had received no complaint against the bazaar’s location from any resident of the area. He said there were eight other Ramazan Bazaars in the district.

On the relocation of the bazaar, he said he had to do so under pressure from some clerics. He said the bazaar was now fully operational in a tent set up at the current location.

The DCO said there was no restriction on people of other faiths to shop at the Ramazan Bazaars. “Christian citizens in the neighbourhood too shop at Ramazan Bazaars. There is no reason why Ahmedis should not.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Hanif
    Jun 8, 2016 - 2:36PM

    Give me a break please, everything in this country is an issue as if we had less challenges to tackle. Let them live for God sake. Ahmadis are also humans and Pakistanis.Recommend

  • MA
    Jun 8, 2016 - 7:57PM

    Seriously!! And that too in this holy month?? People, pray and repent.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Jun 9, 2016 - 12:06AM

    imbecilesRecommend

  • Jun 9, 2016 - 1:02AM

    Dipak@Hanif: Agree, Ahmedias are best communities of Pakistan besides Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Parsis. Recommend

  • Babar Awan
    Jun 9, 2016 - 9:00AM

    As an Ahmadi (Muslim), I am in total obedience to fast during the month of Ramadaan. Sice age 7 , I have not missed a single day of fasting. I do not care what some uneducated clerics may say or even what the State says. My obligation is only to Allah and I shall always fast during the Holy month of Ramadan.

    If following Allah’s commandments are a sin for some people with little knowledge then so be it. No one can ever stop me from following Allah’s commandment.Recommend

  • RK
    Jun 9, 2016 - 7:34PM

    We always blame outsiders for our poor image, but maybe we deserve it for this sort of discrimination.Recommend

  • Sajida
    Jun 21, 2016 - 7:11AM

    Anti-Ahmedi campaigners are Salafis who do not believe in Da\y of Judgement. That right belongs to God, not to them. Recommend

  • Qasnat
    Jun 22, 2016 - 4:49AM

    How can this country receive Gods mercy when inocent citizens are being killed almost every time and their government is not bringing the papetrstors to justice. Even in the holy month of Ramadan when they should be repenting, they are busy killing. How to receive Allahs mercy in this kind of situation. A Doctor gives you life and best thing is to reward him by killing just for his faith. I remember an attack years ago when close to 100dreds of this same Ahmadis were killed while praying jummah on friday, by muslims. Immagine, muslims who does not know their faith in the sight of Allah, but deciding others peoples faith. And still their government is silent. I hope the wrath of God does not decend on this country and their genetations when they continously kill those whom Allah loves. If you love Allah you will never take a soul of a human unjustly. Be it muslim, christain or any religion whatsoever. PeaceRecommend

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