1953 Lahore riots

The Lahore riots of 1953 were a series of violent riots against the Ahmadiyya Movement, an Islamic sect marginalized in Pakistan, mainly in the city of Lahore, Pakistan as well as the rest of Punjab, which were eventually quelled by the Pakistan Army who declared three months of martial law.[1] The demonstrations began in February 1953, soon escalating into citywide incidents, including looting, arson and the murder of somewhere between 200[1] and 10,000 people,[2] while thousands more were left displaced. According to the official inquiry conducted by the Punjab Government the actual number killed in these riots were around 20 people. The page one of the inquiry says "Before the declaration of Martial Law, the police had to resort to firing in several places and at least two persons were killed on the night of 4th March and ten on 5th March, Sixty-six persons more must have been injured in the firing because that number of wounded persons admitted to the Lahore hospitals had gunshot wounds. The number of casualties admitted by the military to have been caused in quelling the disturbances in Lahore was eleven killed and forty-nine wounded. In some other towns also there were a number of casualties caused by firing by the police or the military.".[3] Official Unable to contain the increasingly widespread civil disorder, Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad handed over the administration of the city to the army under Lieutenant General Azam Khan, imposing martial law on 6 March.

Lahore riots of 1953
Badshahi Mosque July 1 2005 pic32 by Ali Imran (1)

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore
Date1 February 1953 – 14 May 1953

Decisive military suppression of riots

 Pakistan Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Pakistan Army Azam Khan
Flag of the Pakistan Army Rahimuddin Khan
Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari
Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi
Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah
Syed Abuzar Bukhari
Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar
Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari
Abul Ala Maududi
Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi
Casualties and losses
between 200[1] and 2,000 Ahmadis killed[2]
3 Jawans and 1 NCO of Baloch Regiment killed in riots

Background and causes

One of the major controversial differences between Ahmadis and mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims is their different interpretations of Khatam an-Nabiyyin. Sunni and Shia Muslims are awaiting the coming of the Mahdi and the Second Coming of Jesus and reject the claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad whom Ahmadis believe to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. The Ahmadiyya Community was a vocal proponent of the Pakistan Movement and were actively engaged with the Muslim league having strong relations with many prominent Muslim Leaguers and were opposed to the Congress backed Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam.[4] After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Ahmadis prospered and reached many high ranking Government and Military positions in Pakistan, due to an extremely high Literacy rate. They held up stay as an important political force in Pakistan, due to its support for secularism and acted as a counterbalance to Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam.[4] This group was disillusioned and disorganized after 1947 and politically isolated. Even before partition one of its primary targets was the Ahmadiyya movement. However, in 1949, the Majlis-e-Ahrar launched countrywide campaigns and protests resulting in a ban on Majlis-e-Ahrar in 1954.

Demands and culmination

Disturbances began after an ultimatum was delivered to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on 21 January 1953 by a deputation of ulama representing Majlis-i Amal (council of action) constituted by an All-Pakistan Muslim Parties Convention held in Karachi from 16 to 18 January 1953. (Including Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat — under Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam) The ultimatum stated unless three demands were met:

  • Removal of Zafarullah Khan from the foreign ministry;
  • Removal of Ahmadis from top government offices;
  • Declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslims.

... Majlis-e-Amal would resort to direct action (rast iqdum).[3]

Disturbances and aftermath

The ultimatum was rejected and disturbances commenced.[3]

On 6 March martial law was declared. Two people were killed by police prior to martial law and casualties "admitted by the military" caused in "quelling the disturbances in Lahore" were eleven killed and 49 wounded.[3]

Marking the military's first foray into civilian politics, the 70-day-long military deployment saw Lahore return to normalcy under Azam Khan's coherent leadership ; the Secretary General of the Awami Muslim League, Maulana Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, was arrested and sentenced to death, but his sentence was subsequently commuted. The riots also brought unprecedented political consequences; Ghulam Muhammad first dismissed Mian Mumtaz Daultana from the post of Chief Minister of Punjab on 24 March, allegedly for manipulating the religious element in anti-Ahmadi violence for political benefits. Next on 17 April, using his special powers under the Government of India Act 1935, Ghulam Muhammad dismissed Prime Minister, Khwaja Nazimuddin and the entire federal cabinet. Muhammad Ali Bogra (Pakistan's ambassador to the United States) replaced him. Bogra, who did not know why he was being called back, took the oath as new Prime Minister within hours of Nazimuddin's dismissal.

On 19 June 1953 a Court Of Inquiry was established to look into disturbances, known as the Punjab Disturbances Court Of Inquiry. The inquiry commenced on 1 July and held 117 sittings. The evidence was concluded on 23 January 1954 and arguments in the case lasted to 28 February 1954. Conclusions were formulated and the report issued 10 April 1954.[3]


  • Jan After the convention of the All Pakistan Muslim League at Dhaka, anti-Ahmadiyya elements threatened to take direct action after 22 February 1953, if their demands were not met.
  • 1 Feb - Burial of an Ahmadi was resisted by anti-Ahmadiyya elements in Sargodha.
  • 23 Feb - Anti-Ahmadiyya riots broke out in West Pakistan specially in Punjab Province.
  • 27 Feb - Publication of Alfazal, a publication of the Ahmadiyya community, published from Lahore, was banned by the Government for one year. The vacuum was filled by the publication of Farooq. The first issue of Farooq was published on 4 March but after the second issue, it was forced to stop publication on 11 March.
  • 5 Mar - Master Manzoor Ahmed, a teacher was killed in Baghbanpura, Lahore.
  • 6 Mar - Ahmadiyya Noor Mosque, Rawalpindi was attacked and set on fire by a mob.
    • Press belonging to an Ahmadi was burnt.
  • Many shops and houses belonging to Ahmadis and the President of Jamaat Ahmadiyya, Rawalpindi were ransacked.
  • 6 Mar - Countrywide riots including torture, murder attempts and arson started against the Ahmadiyya especially in Lahore.
  • 6 Mar - Martial law was declared in Lahore[5]
  • 8 Mar - Havaldar Abdul Ghafoor and another Ahmadi perfumer were killed in Lahore.
  • 12 Mar - Additional Magistrate Jhang prohibited the Supreme Head of the Ahmadiyya Community from commenting on anti-Ahmadiyya riots and the anti-Ahmadiyya movement.
  • 1 Apr - Mirza Shareef Ahmad and Mirza Nasir Ahmad were arrested in Lahore during the riots. They were released on 28 May.
    • Superintendent of Police Jhang searched Qasre Khilafat and the central offices of Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Chenab Nagar.
    • Nazir Tableegh was arrested.
  • 7 May - Martial law authorities passed the death sentence on Maulana Abdus Sattar Niazi.
  • 11 May - Martial Law authorities passed the death sentence on Abul Ala Maududi for writing Qadyani Masla, and certain press *statements delivered in February and March.
  • 13 May - Maududi's and Niazi's death sentences were changed to life sentences.
  • 14 May - Martial law was lifted.


  1. ^ a b c Ali Kadir. "Parliamentary Heretization of Ahmadiyya in Pakistan". In Gladys Ganiel. Religion in Times of Crisis. Brill. p. 139. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Blood, Peter R. (ed.). Pakistan: A Country Study. Diane Publishing Company. p. 217. Retrieved 30 October 2014. In order to rid the community of what it considered to be deviant behavior, the JI waged a campaign in 1953 against the Qadianis in Pakistan that resulted in some 2,000 deaths, brought on martial law rule in Punjab, ...
  3. ^ a b c d e "Report of the Court of Inquiry - Introductory". The persecution.org. 10 April 1954. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan: An Analysis Under International Law and International Relations" (PDF). Harvard Human Rights Journal Vol 16. September 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2005.
  5. ^ "07 Mar 1953 - Martial Law After Lahore Riots". nla.gov.au.
1974 Anti-Ahmadiyya riots

1974 Anti-Ahmadiyya riots was the single largest killing and looting of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan's history. The Islamist parties and some mainstream parties sided together to persecution of Ahmadis.

Abdus Salam

Mohammad Abdus Salam (; Punjabi, Urdu: عبد السلام‎, pronounced [əbd̪ʊs səlaːm]; 29 January 1926 – 21 November 1996), was a Pakistani theoretical physicist. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for his contribution to the electroweak unification theory. He was the first Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize in science and the second from an Islamic country to receive any Nobel Prize (after Anwar Sadat of Egypt).Salam was science advisor to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Pakistan from 1960 to 1974, a position from which he was supposed to play a major and influential role in the development of the country's science infrastructure. Salam contributed to developments in theoretical and particle physics. He was the founding director of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and responsible for the establishment of the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) in the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). As Science Advisor, Salam played a role in Pakistan's development of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and may have contributed as well to development of atomic bomb project of Pakistan in 1972; for this, he is viewed as the "scientific father" of this programme. In 1974, Abdus Salam departed from his country, in protest, after the Parliament of Pakistan passed unanimously a parliamentary bill declaring members of the Ahmadiyya movement to which Salam belonged non-Muslims. In 1998, following the country's nuclear tests, the Government of Pakistan issued a commemorative stamp, as a part of "Scientists of Pakistan", to honour the services of Salam.Salam's notable achievements include the Pati–Salam model, magnetic photon, vector meson, Grand Unified Theory, work on supersymmetry and, most importantly, electroweak theory, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize. Salam made a major contribution in quantum field theory and in the advancement of Mathematics at Imperial College London. With his student, Riazuddin, Salam made important contributions to the modern theory on neutrinos, neutron stars and black holes, as well as the work on modernising the quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. As a teacher and science promoter, Salam is remembered as a founder and scientific father of mathematical and theoretical physics in Pakistan during his term as the chief scientific advisor to the president. Salam heavily contributed to the rise of Pakistani physics to the physics community in the world. Even until shortly before his death, Salam continued to contribute to physics, and to advocate for the development of science in Third-World countries.

Azam Khan (general)

Lieutenant General Muhammad Azam Khan (1908–1994) was a senior general of the Pakistan army who was a minister under Field Marshal Ayub Khan, the first military ruler of Pakistan. Azam Khan was also a former Governor of East Pakistan.


Majlis-e Ahrar-e Islam (Urdu: مجلس احرارلأسلام‎), also known in short as Ahrar, is a religious Muslim political party in the Indian subcontinent that was formed during the British Raj (prior to the Partition of India) on 29 December 1929 at Lahore.The group became composed of Indian Muslims disillusioned by the Khilafat Movement, which cleaved closer to the Congress Party. The party is based in Punjab and gathered support from the urban lower-middle class. Chaudhry Afzal Haq, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi and Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari were the leaders of the party.Religious leaders from all sects Sunni Barelvi, Deobandi, Ahle Hadith, Shia Progressive and politically Communists were the members of Majlis-e-Ahrar. Chaudhry Afzal Haq, Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari, Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, Mazhar Ali Azhar, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and Dawood Ghaznavi were the founders of the party. The Ahrar was composed of Indian Muslims by the Khilafat Movement, which cleaved closer to the Congress Party.The party, being a member of the All India Azad Muslim Conference, is associated with opposition to Muhammad Ali Jinnah and establishment of an independent Pakistan..Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah was the only ahrari leader who participated activly in the pakistan independence movemente.

After 1947, it separated into the Majlis-E-Ahrar Islam Hind (مجلس احرارلأسلام ہند) , based in Ludhiana and led by descendants of Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, as well as the Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam (مجلس احرارلأسلام اسلام), based in Lahore and led by descendants of Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari.

Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat

Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat ("The Assembly to Protect the End of Prophethood") is the programmatic name of a Pakistani Barelvi organization and Islamic religious movement in Pakistan aiming to protect the belief in the finality of prophethood of Muhammad based on their concept of Khatam an-Nabiyyin. The political party opposes any change in the blasphemy law of Pakistan and also claims the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri was unjustifiable. They demand that Sharia law be established as law of Pakistan through a gradual legal and political process. This is a Sunni majority group and most of its members belong to Barelvi school of thought.It was founded by Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi in 1950 with Zafar Ali Khan, Abdul Hamid Qadri Badayuni, Khwaja Qamar ul Din Sialvi, Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah, Ahmad Saeed Kazmi, Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, Pir of Manki Sharif Amin ul-Hasanat, Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari, Sardar Ahmad Qadri and Muhammad Hussain Naeemi. Later on the prominent Barelvi leaders Shah Ahmad Noorani, Shaikh ul Quran Allama Ghulam Ali Okarvi, Muhammad Shafee Okarvi, Syed Shujaat Ali Qadri, Iftikharul Hasan Shah and Khalid Hasan Shah also joined them oppose the Ahmadiyya Movement.

Mumtaz Daultana

Mian Mumtaz Daulatana

(Urdu: مِیاں مُمتاز دَولتانہ ‎),

(born 20 February 1916 - 30 January 1995) was a Punjabi politician who supported the Pakistan Movement in British India, and was the second Chief Minister of West Punjab in Pakistan.

Persecution of Ahmadis

The Ahmadiyya sect of Islam has been subject to various forms of religious persecution and discrimination since the movement's inception in 1889. The Ahmadiyya Muslim movement emerged from the Sunni tradition of Islam and its adherents believe in all the five pillars and articles of faith required of Muslims. Ahmadis are considered non-Muslims by many mainstream Muslims since they consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the movement, to be the promised Mahdi and Messiah awaited by the Muslims.The Ahmadis are active translators of the Qur'an and proselytizers for the faith. However, in a number of countries, Ahmadis have faced strong resistance in many Muslim-majority nations. Ahmadis have been considered heretics and non-Muslim, and subjected to persecution and systematic, sometimes state-sanctioned, oppression.The Second Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan and Ordinance XX declare Ahmadis to be non-Muslims and further deprive them of religious rights. Hundreds of Ahmadis were killed in the 1953 Lahore riots and the 1974 Anti-Ahmadiyya riots. The May 2010 Attacks on Ahmadi mosques, infamously known as the Lahore Massacre, resulted in the murder of 84 Ahmadis by suicide attack. The 1974 riots resulted in the largest number of killings of Ahmadis.

Rahimuddin Khan

Rahimuddin Khan (born 21 July 1924) is a retired four-star general of the Pakistan Army who served as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee from 1984 to 1987, after serving as the 7th Governor of Balochistan from 1978 to 1984. He also served as the 16th Governor of Sindh in 1988.

Born in Qaimganj, United Provinces, British India, Rahimuddin opted for Pakistan at Partition, enrolling as the first cadet of the Pakistan Military Academy. He was part of military action during the 1953 Punjab disturbances, and later commanded 111 Brigade in Rawalpindi, 8th Division in Sialkot, and II Corps in Multan before being appointed Chairman Joint Chiefs. He rejected the future military plan for the Kargil conflict in 1986.As the longest-serving governor of Balochistan in Pakistan's history, Rahimuddin ended the 1973 operation in Balochistan, declaring a general amnesty and military withdrawal in 1978. His tenure saw widespread economic development, the construction of nuclear test sites in Chaghai, and the halting of the Baloch insurgency, but was controversial for suppressing the Afghan mujahideen entering the province during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Sectarian violence in Pakistan

Sectarian violence in Pakistan refers to attacks and counter-attacks against people and places in Pakistan motivated by antagonism toward the target's sect, usually a religious group. These attacks are carried out by different Deobandi terrorist groups. Targets in Pakistan include the Barelvi Sunni, Shia, Sufi, and the small Ahmadi, Hindu and Christian religious groups. As many as 4,000 people are estimated to have been killed in Shia-Sunni sectarian fighting in Pakistan between 1987–2007. And since 2008 "thousands of Shia" have been killed by Sunni extremists according to the human rights group Human Rights Watch.

One significant aspect of the attacks on Shi'a in Pakistan is that militants often target Shi'a worshipping places (Imambargah) during prayers in order to maximize fatalities and to "emphasize the religious dimensions of their attack".

Human Rights Watch also states that in 2011 and 2012 Pakistan minority groups Hindus, Ahmadi, and Christians "faced unprecedented insecurity and persecution in the country". Attacks on Sufi shrines by Salafis have also been reported.Among those blamed for the sectarian violence in the country are mainly Sunni militant groups, such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (affiliates of Al-Qaeda), Jundallah (affiliates of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). Lashkar-e-Jhangvi "has claimed responsibility for most attacks" on Shia according to Human Rights Watch. Sunni militant groups are also blamed for attacks on fellow Sunnis, Barelvis and Sufis. These attacks sometimes result in tit-for-tat reprisal attacks by Shia victims.

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