No Rest in Hell

Published: December 8, 2012
The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co 
in Lahore 

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@

Towards the end of Hamlet, two gravediggers are engaged in an absurd discussion of whether Ophelia deserves a Christian burial or not, having committed suicide. However, they soon realise the futility of the conversation and move on to their job of digging the grave. One gravedigger asks, “What is he that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright or the carpenter?” The fellow gravedigger replies, “The gallow-maker, for that frame outlives a thousand tenants.” The first after some musing ends saying, “A grave-maker. The house that he makes last till doomsday”. The gravedigger is wrong in Model Town, Lahore; not all graves last till doomsday. Some are vandalised earlier. We, unlike the jester gravediggers, have not realised the futility of discussing the legitimacy of burials yet. We today are worse, we attack graves.

Token outrage has been expressed and perhaps some more will be expressed. However, are we really outraged? I don’t think so. Being outraged in this country is becoming too exhausting a job. However, it does lower the spirit that this happened in Model Town, Lahore. Not only because it literally, physically happened in the backyard of the Chief Minister of Punjab’s palatial residence/s. It is also disheartening because this is the Lahore of Madhu Lal Husain. The great Sufi poet Shah Husain and his Hindu friend Madhu Lal are buried together in one shrine. Such is the oneness that not only the shrine but Shah Husain himself is now commonly referred to as Madhu Lal Husain. Shah Husain would not have survived a week in today’s Lahore. This is the Punjab of Baba Guru Nanak, where his birth anniversary is still celebrated by devout Muslims. To this day, Baba Nanak remains a saint (as he should be) to many of the faithful. This is the land where the Kalam of one of the greatest ‘Muslim’ Sufi poet of all times, Baba Farid, has reached us only through ‘Guru Granth Saheb’. I am not sure, how many of those who go to Baba Faird’s urs at Pakpattan know that.

One can go on — however, not convincingly. This is not their land, not anymore. This is where mediocre bureaucrats decide to mutilate the tombstone of our first and only Nobel laureate from, “Abdus Salam, the First Muslim Nobel Laureate” to the ridiculous, factually incorrect, “Abdus Salam, the First Nobel Laureate.” What great service to Islam. We seem today to be living in a Garcia Marquez novel. This is where Hazrat Bulleh Shah wrote such verses, which today, I cannot reproduce here, for the fear of some faithful interpreting it too literally and acting on his “faith”. Lahore today does not need the Taliban to burn down schools (although they are always there to help); we do quite an admirable job ourselves, as displayed recently. This is where historic temples are razed with no commotion. This is where having the wrong sounding name will get you killed. This is the Punjab where the leaders of banned sectarian outfits openly proclaim that the ruling party in Punjab won the by-elections with their support.

Now, let us consider our response to these challenges. We decide to ban YouTube because of one substandard, idiotic video made thousands of miles away. If a fraction of anger displayed at that one video is devoted to the vandalism of the dead and the murder of the living, only if. The Military Intelligence (MI) has apparently decided to do what it does best. What else, to collect detailed information on journalists. Sure, obviously they pose the greatest threat to our ‘national security’. Once the MI has successfully completed the dangerous mission of gathering door-to-door information on journalists, I am sure it will direct its attention to lesser matters like militant organisations, terrorist groups, etc. This is closely followed by ‘immoral’ text messages sent and received by ‘late-night’ cellular phone packages, the transcripts of which are being discussed at the highest state level. Then their other matters of grave concern like should it be mandatory for female television anchors to cover their heads. Lest we forget that egregious assault on the moral fabric of our society, i.e., the Katrina Kaif advertisement. The message is clear: the Shias, Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus should not be impatient. Once we have tackled the important issues stated above, we will be glad to attend to their continued murder and persecution.

While media oscillates between juvenile frolics of the PTA and Young Arsalan, it is open season on minorities and soon it will be for everyone. Ladies and Gentleman, this is how nations sink, this is how people die. Everybody has a stake in this quarrel. The Ahmadi graveyard vandalism and the Shia killing is everyone’s problem. I cannot propose a solution to all of this and am condemned to repeat clichés. Yet, this hate will get to everyone, to you and me, eventually it will.

‘Rest in peace’ will never mean quite the same thing in Lahore again. The attack on the graveyard in Lahore reminds me of some lines of Faiz Ahamd Faiz on death as a liberating experience, “Fikr-e-sood au ziyaan tau chhootay gi: Minnat-e-ee au aan tau chhootay gi. Khair dozakh mein mai milay na milay: Sheikh sahib se jaan tau chhootay gi.” (One will be rid of the anxiety of gain and loss, of seeking this and that. A drink in hell, there may not be, but one will be rid of sermon mongers). Not anymore, it seems.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (46)

  • Akhtar Khan
    Dec 8, 2012 - 10:34PM


    As you mentioned, Ophelia of qadiani-ism is brainchild of same shakespares’s UK, so better move yourself and your grave to your founders british.


  • Nadir
    Dec 8, 2012 - 10:51PM

    Very well said, the writing is literally on the wall, everyone in their respective bubbles thinks that these sorts of tragedies only happen to “others”. Yet no one is spared and we are all fair game. If the zealots have their way, all that will be left of Pakistan, is a country where the self-righteous can display their love for God by killing their fellow human beings. Sorry, they have already declared the unbelievers as sub human.


  • sabi
    Dec 8, 2012 - 10:54PM

    Buhuliya o’hdi o’u janay-menu apni t’or nibhawan de
    Unlike this great man they say,
    o’hdi assi janiye sanu apni t’or nibhawan dou
    Greater the pace of inhuman acts, greater the level of insensitivity of this nation.Immuned to death!
    Brilliant article.Kdos and regards.


  • sabi
    Dec 8, 2012 - 10:59PM

    @Akhtar Khan:
    Shame on you.Don’t forget you have to die one day and answer for your crimmes against humanity.


  • sabi
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:06PM

    Brilliant.Cruel can not read writings on wall for, their fate is seald.Let us wait how they fall in their own pits of fire.Not too far now.


  • Syed
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:25PM

    @Akhtar Khan

    Be decent! Your views are the cause of problems in Pakistan


  • kanwal
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:25PM

    The Garcia Marquez analogy is looking so real now.


  • peru
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:30PM

    hats off to Saroop Ijaz!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Milestogo
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:44PM

    Saroop ijaz

    Very true!


  • Parvez
    Dec 8, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Very strong and I must say a depressing read but at the same time so essential that people with a conscience and good common sense, must speak up as you are doing because it seems that all the organs of the State appear paralysed and unable to do right.


  • shahid
    Dec 9, 2012 - 12:30AM

    So what exactly have the “liberal”, “progressive” rulers that you have been supportive all along done in this regard? All three of the political parties who place themselves in this category have been in power for five years now and what do you have to show for their record in this area? When you have some time left from berating and putting down the judiciary can we hope that you will hold these parties and their supporters such as your self to account?


  • imran bhatt
    Dec 9, 2012 - 12:41AM

    No RIP for Ahmedis in Pakistan.


  • Prerna
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:23AM

    This is where mediocre bureaucrats decide to mutilate the tombstone of our first and only Nobel laureate from, “Abdus Salam, the First Muslim Nobel Laureate” to the ridiculous, factually incorrect, “Abdus Salam, the First Nobel Laureate.” What great service to Islam.

    You would have religion,not nationality,as identity – and yet, you wonder why things in Pakistan are as they are.


  • Brig. Ahmad Gujjar
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:23AM

    Ahmadis Have given Life for the creation of this Country, They have the Right to live their life and practise their relligion, May God Bless Pakistan and make it a better place to live for people from any caste, any relligion as said by our Qaid (M.ALI JINNAH)


  • Syed Hasan Mustafa
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:25AM

    @Saroop Ijaz Solute to your courage and righteous approach towards inhuman behaviors in the name of Islam etc. Your words are voice of may patriot Pakistanis. You are not alone, keep it up.


  • sattar rind
    Dec 9, 2012 - 1:51AM

    things getting worst


  • Concerned
    Dec 9, 2012 - 2:40AM

    The Pakistani state appears to be undergoing some form of violent, self-righteous and thoroughly unsophisticated procrastination instead of focusing on the real, very threatening issues that face us. You can cry hoarse in Pakistan but the government and the zealots won’t change – we’re living in the Islamic Dark Ages, clearly.Recommend

  • gujranwala789
    Dec 9, 2012 - 3:18AM

    I really do not understand these western influenced columnists when they use terms like Lahore of shah hussain, punjab of nanak. In my view, Lahore is of every lahori and punjab is of every person living in punjab and their ancestors who lived there, you cannot confine a city to a specific personality.


  • j sarwar
    Dec 9, 2012 - 4:11AM

    If we want to progress and save Pakistan from further break up and turmoil then we must get rid off all sorts of hate. Just look at India you will seldom hear the hindues are fighting or killing hindues. Even muslms in India living and existing despite of religion,sect,caste and lanuage differences. Stop hating humanbeings because of religions,caste,culture of lanuage otherwise Pakistan will be nowhere on the map.


  • Feroz
    Dec 9, 2012 - 7:05AM

    This cry of anguish by the author is shared by many who may be too fearful to openly voice their opinions. There are just too many who want to protect their faith from non existent attackers by shedding innocents blood. When human beings start acting like Vampires needing their daily dose of blood, fate of that society will be doomed. It is too sad to see places of both rest and worship meant to provide spiritual solace being targeted. The public cannot afford to show such callous indifference to such monumental issues.


  • ali
    Dec 9, 2012 - 9:58AM

    Dear saroop.

    keep writting about this as electronic media can not cover it because of ratings so God bless us and u.


  • Mirza
    Dec 9, 2012 - 10:10AM

    What a great Op Ed by SI. Thanks for that ET.
    All I can say to the victims of terrorists: Tujh se sharminda hain ae shaheedon ke khoon kiya karain nazar tujh ko tahi dast hain hum
    Love you man!


  • M. A. Kamran
    Dec 9, 2012 - 11:04AM

    Saroop, you are a voice of reason in this haunted land. Hope there will be at least a few people who will heed to what you write so passionately.


  • wonderer
    Dec 9, 2012 - 11:39AM

    ?Has Pakistan a future? If so, what?

    What Saroop Ijaz hints at is a future not worth having. Does any one of the many learned commentators have an different answer? If yes, I would be deeply interested in knowing.


  • Dec 9, 2012 - 12:05PM

    The nature of Pakistan began to change from the day Pakistan was asked for. The idea of division is taking its logical course. Now, the point of division is not only Hindu-Muslim, but Sunni-Shia-Ahamdi,etc.

    A land which formed on the ideas of division of people purely because the different set of people belonged to different Religion is further divided. Is that really a surprise?


  • Leopard
    Dec 9, 2012 - 12:27PM

    @Akhtar Khan:
    As long such creature exists all efforts to reform the society will go waste.


  • Hadi Khan
    Dec 9, 2012 - 2:33PM

    Excellent start to a brilliant article. I wish you could have exposed Jamat e Islami hypocritical rallies in support of Palestinians being killed in Gaza when Shias are being killed in cold blood right, left and centre all over Pakistan. You are so very right in saying that this hate, in the end, is going to haunt all of us. In fact, it is doing it already. Could we have even imagined a Pakistan of today just 10 years back.


  • Burhan
    Dec 9, 2012 - 4:02PM

    Well written Saroop.!


  • faheema
    Dec 9, 2012 - 4:15PM

    @ Brute force, thanks for pointing out the actual base of such propensities. Division of 47 was based on same inhuman obsession, Ahmadis were forerunners in this movement followed by Shais, Ismailiats. But course changed after 47, first Ahmadis were targeted, brute force of worst opponents of Pakistan movement was in action. Later in 70 this force got State patronage. Emboldened by their first achievement, these forces started targeting Shias but their patron this time were Kadiman of Harm. This course is not likely to change as long as we have amongst us mindset like @ Akhter Khan, for such creatures if Ahamdis are creation of UK then Shias are extension of Iran so must be dumped near Iranian borders.


  • Mirza Imran Ahsan Karim
    Dec 9, 2012 - 4:30PM

    @Akhtar Khan:
    As an Ahmadi just let me tell you that we are not afraid your kind. We are resourceful, disciplined and highly organised community with nearly 100% literacy amongst our members in Pakistan. We stick to our motto “Love for all hatred for none” and will never work against Pakistan and will never react with force or violence, although we practice obdeience and discipline of the highest order one can imagine. OUr Imams have always promoted peace in the name of Islam taught to us. We know now other Islam. We are the creaters of Pakistan alongside Jinnah and supported him by all means possible during the struggle of Pakistan movement. We are the ones who took note of Kashmiri plight and offered help in 1920s and 1930s duly recognised by Allama Iqbal. Your kith and kin Mullahs were always against Pakistan in 1930s and 1940s favouring the unified India, and unfortunately till this day they are working against Pakistan’s creation by all such cruel actions harming this great Muslim potential of the world wasted so far. Ahmadis will never fear you and will always remain loyal to Pakistan despite your alleged rhetorics of us being British agents. God bless Pakistan and long live Pakistan. We are here to stay alive or dead.


  • zohaq
    Dec 9, 2012 - 5:06PM

    The country’s future is hopeless. Akhter Khan clones are in the majority. We have to find strength to endure what we cannot change. Death in this cursed land of bigots and mullahs is a release.


  • Azra Shahnaz
    Dec 9, 2012 - 6:47PM

    Imbeciles can’t be analysts!


  • Anonymus
    Dec 9, 2012 - 7:32PM

    What a brilliant piece. Salute to your courage to challenge your people in back yard


  • choptocut
    Dec 9, 2012 - 8:02PM

    Excellent piece Ijaz sahib. Just to add a little:
    In every action Pakistanis demand “will of God” believing that nothing happens without His will. Logically, it implies that they dont have their own will. When they dont have their own will they dont take responsibility of/for anything. When they cant be responsible for anything they do not want to understand anything. So even our so called PhD’s talk similar to our illiterates. It reflects in our society.


  • MSS
    Dec 9, 2012 - 8:18PM

    Well written and thoughtful. Salute.


  • Ahmad
    Dec 9, 2012 - 10:20PM

    Your article reminded me of this poem by Pastor Niemollaer:

    First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.


  • Wasim A. Khan
    Dec 9, 2012 - 11:16PM

    I have a great feeling that terrorrism against jamaat Ahmadiyya in punjab and specially the the distraction in Ahmafi graveyard in Model town Lahore is happening with the help of Punjab government . These people are also responsible destruction of Ahmadiyya Mosques & removal of Kalima from Mosques. These people are the brothers of Kuffar who has no fear of Allah.


  • choclat85
    Dec 9, 2012 - 11:40PM

    Well done Saroop Ijaz. I am your Fan.


  • Taimur
    Dec 10, 2012 - 12:16AM

    Very true – Well written. For sure, militant organizations, terrorism, target killings etc etc are least important issues for our agencies.


  • Shahab
    Dec 10, 2012 - 12:25AM

    @Akhtar Khan: and leave Pakistan in the hands of idiots like you?


  • Tahir Ali
    Dec 10, 2012 - 12:27AM

    An excellent thought-provoking piece but I fail to understand the title. Since the article is concerning ‘vandalism in Ahmadi graveyard’, the title ‘no rest in hell’ seems odd


  • Mohammed Iqbal
    Dec 10, 2012 - 12:55PM

    “Ahmadis Have given Life for the creation of this Country” That precisely is the problem. They probably thought M A Jinnah and his liberal legacy was going to last forever. They are now paying the price for their ill advised lending their shrill voice for the creation of Pakistan.


  • Aziz Bhatti
    Dec 10, 2012 - 9:25PM

    Ahmadiyya human rights! “Not anymore, it seems.”
    Ahmadiyya is the most severely persecuted section of the Pakistani society. They are literally like a football being kicked again and again from every corner of the country. Punjab, Sindh, Quetta, NWFP….Dr Aamir Liaqat, Dr AQ Khan, Mullahs, Media, courts, police, schools, universities, social media, civil society, and so forth and so on. I wonder what would happen to them if Ahmadis start defending themselves?!?


  • Sultan Ahmad
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:03PM

    @ Akhtar Khan
    A Question – What are the major acheivments of Pakistan after independence. Please list down and also write the names of the persons who did that:

    1. By whome efforts UN accepted Kashmir as disputed territory and passed UN resolutions
    2. Who played an integeral role in the liberation of Libya, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Tunis, Morocco, Palestine and Indonesia in UN
    3. Who was the fisrt and last to date Pakistani “Secretary General” of UN
    4. Who was the first and last to date Pakistani president of “International Court of Justice”
    5. Who was the right hand of Quaide Azam and first foreign minister of Paksitan
    6. Who was the first and last to date Pakistani Nobel Laureat
    7. Who was the founder of SUPARCO, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission,
    8. Who started the idea of development of peaceful use of nuclear energy in Pakistan
    9. Who was the only Pakistani General who gave his life in the War
    10. Pakistan was only able to win war against India in two sectors in 1965 i.e. Akhnor and Chawinda. Who were two person who led the war in these sectors
    11. Who negotiated the Indus Basin Treaty and managed the financing of the Trabela and Mangla Dam in 1967 which are now life line of Pakistan
    12.Pakistan acheived historical progress during 60s. Who was heading the Planning Commission during this period

    Now feel the shame that all of the aforesaid persons were Ahmadi Muslims naming Sir Zafarullah Khan for Sr. No. (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), Dr. Abdus Salam for Sr. No. (6), (7), (8), General Iftikhar Janjua for Sr. 9, General Akhtar Malik and General Abdul Ali Malik for Sr. 10, Mirza Muzaffar Ahmad (M.M. Ahmad) for Sr. No. 11, 12.

    Please explain what your Mullah did for the well being of Pakistan?


  • Ex-Ahmedi
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:27PM

    AOA All,
    I strongly believe incident like this and many other which have killed over 5,000 only in Karachi recently are due to politically polluted police and obsolete judiciary system.

    Mobs are all around the world, So this will be unfair to corner Pakistan only. I appreciate Ahmedies for their patience on this incident and its incredible.

    @Sultan Ahmad: Sir who denied to be a part of Quaid janazah. ans what was his statement.
    Ahmedies preach hate for other factions of Islam and you know it . i know it as i was Ahmedi since i was born. I was told every one else but Ahmeids are barbarian and killers.

    My Chachu and uncle did not attendant funeral of my “TAYA” as he was not Ahmedi they were requested to do so they denied. My cousins do not offer namaz if i am leading they think i am not muslim( search youtube Mirza Tahir specifically said non ahmedies are not muslim and no namaz is acceptable if non ahmedi is leading.

    We apologize for the incident. I pray wish and hope we had better police and those ill nature grave diggers were brought ti justice .
    And i request you ahmedies to stop over propagating mazloom role now


  • Dec 12, 2012 - 4:57PM

    @Akhtar Khan:

    Exclusive video of Brother Mohammad Tahir Mansoor Khan exposing Qadianiat. Shocking Facts about Qadiani Dr Abdul Salam and his Wife Dr Dame Louise Napier Johnson first time in Public. Slap on face of Ahmadiyyat Religion.

    Ahmadiyyat Exposed – Wife of Dr Abdul Salam Qadiani, Dr Dame Louise Napier Johnson has Died [URDU]


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