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The politics of relief: Aliens in their own land

500 flood survivors from Ahmadiya community denied shelter, relief goods

The government and local clerics refused to shelter around 500 flood-affected families belonging to the Ahmadiya community in South Punjab’s relief camps. Not only that, the government also did not send relief goods to the flood-hit areas belonging to the Ahmadiya community, The Express Tribune has learnt during a visit to the devastated Punjab districts of Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur.

For its part, the government claims that all relief goods are being distributed among survivors without discrimination. And that all survivors have been sheltered in relief camps without distinction. The flood-devastated families from the Ahmadiya community have strongly criticised the government’s “discriminatory attitude” even at a time when the entire country is reeling from the ravages of the worst flooding in living memory.

Of the 500 Ahmadi families, 350 belong to DG Khan, 60 to Muzaffargarh and 65 to Rajanpur district. According to Ahmadiya community leaders, over 2,500 members of their community have been displaced and are now living with their relatives while some of them have left for Rabwah, the community’s headquarters.

Aziz Ahmad Khan, a local leader of flood victims from the Ahmadiya community in DG Khan, told The Express Tribune that all members of his family have complained of discrimination in DG Khan. He said 200 families from Basti Rindan and Basti Sohrani, 60 from Chah Ismaeel Wala, three from Rakh Mor Jangi, 18 from Ghazi Ghat and 12 from  Jhakar Imam Shah of Ahmadpur. Khan alleged that 200 families, who have been displaced from Basti Rindan and Basti Sohrani by flooding, took shelter in a state-run school at Jhok Utra but within days the local administration forced them to leave the school. He said the local administration later told them that people from the surrounding areas did not want the Ahmadis in the relief camp. And that the administration could not allow them to stay at the camp as it could create a law and order situation.

“So we left our cattle and other belongings in the area and took refuge in the homes of our community members on higher grounds,” he said, adding that some of them even migrated to Chanabnagar.

Muhammad Iqbal Sohrani, a member of the Ahmadiya community told The Express Tribune that around 40 Ahmadi families who took shelter in a state-run school at Jhakar Imam Shah near Sumandri, some 40 kilometres from DG Khan, have not received any relief either from philanthropists or from the government. He alleged that relief packages were being distributed through local lawmakers who have been told by the district administration that the Ahmadis are not eligible for any support.

Saleem Chandia, another Ahmadiya community member, said that he along with 40 other community members rented a house but after two days their landlord was forced by local clerics to evict them. Chandia said they were offered help by their own community members after wandering for several days in search of shelter.

Mansoor Ahmad, a resident of Muzaffargarh, told The Express Tribune that over 800 members of the Ahmadiya community were displaced from Bait Nasirabad, Masroornagar, Hussainwala and Shahjamal. At least 100 members of the community, from Hussainwala and Masroorabad, were trapped at Shahjamal. He claimed that they had asked the district police officer (DPO) and the district coordination officer (DCO) to provide them a boat or to rescue the trapped people but they did not take notice.

Ahmad claimed that the trapped Ahmadis were rescued by their fellows on a broken boat. He said local clerics have issued an edict that the Ahmadis should not be provided help.

Naseem Ahmad, from Rajanpur, told The Express Tribune that their 500 community members from the areas of Basti Lashari, Basti Allahdad Dareeshak and from Basti Azizabad were displaced. Their houses were washed away and the government and local clerics ignored them. He said that they were not allowed to stay in state-run schools or in camps, therefore the majority of them were living on the rooftops of their inundated houses.

“The Ahmadiya community itself rescued trapped people and delivered relief to them,” community spokesperson Saleem-ul-Din told The Express Tribune by phone.

He said that the community did not want any relief package from the government for its members. However, the government should protect the property and livestock of the Ahmadis.

Hassan Iqbal, Commissioner DG Khan, told The Express Tribune that he would check the situation. He asked the Ahmadis to directly approach him if they face discrimination anywhere in the district. However, DCO Muzaffargarh Farasat Iqbal said that the Ahmadis have not contacted him.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2010.

Abdul Manan 2 days ago

Reader Comments (141)

  • if the author of the article says “The government and local clerics refused to shelter”. When and who is the individual representing the government or local clerics that categorically refused? I did not read this in the article. Since the beginning of Tribune, I have found it a very good source for news considering how quick and the professional approach towards good journalism. If the purpose of stating the word “refuse” is to grab attention, you are doing more harm to your news organisation’s credibility than good journalism.

    Hassan 2 days ago
  • Are ahmadies are not citizens of Pakistan?

    shy 2 days ago
  • good story…we are a shameless nation indeed

    Asiya 2 days ago
  • and than we wonder why this devastating flood

    NoNameInGame 2 days ago
  • Read again, its says “a local leader of flood victims from the Ahmadiya community in DG Khan, told The Express Tribune….”

    An Ahmadi religion leader told this story and Express Tribune posted without verification. By the way do you people know that Qadyani leaders also claim that there are over 170 million qadyanis in all over the world? Do not go after claims, go for the facts.

    Rizwan Ahmad 2 days ago
  • Time and again, attitude of Government, judiciary and society, led by extremist clergy, has proved that Ahmadis are stepchildren of state. They have been denied every right from religion to life yet they stick to loving Pakistan. This should not be surprising for anyone. Absence of Government agencies from relief work has provided excellent opportunity for extremist/terrorist organizations like JuD (incarnation of LeT) to start poisoning the masses, recruit Jihadis and distribute their propaganda material (otherwise banned) along with relief goods. MNA’s, MPA’s of South Punjab are well known for having close ties with Jihadi organizations and have been instrumental in creating chaos and getting false cases registered against Ahmadis living in Leyyah, D.G.Khan, Rajanpur, Muzzaffargarh and surrounding areas. What else can be expected from them?

    At this time of worst disaster in Pakistan’s history, we have not forgotten to treat our minorities unjustly and show no mercy to them; then we beg for mercy from our Creator.

    Anwar Ahmad 2 days ago
  • Now this makes me sick!! :@ what is the government doing? promoting hatred.. and they talk about fighting terrorism :/ To hell with such people!! :@

    Sakina 2 days ago
  • One of the reason Pakistan in this state today.

    Umer Farooq 2 days ago
  • Utterly shameless and despicable. The government and the clerics have not learnt their lesson. These people need to study the biography of the Holy Prophet(saw) in more detail and follow it.

    Tauseef Khan 2 days ago
  • “local clerics have issued an edict that the Ahmadis should not be provided help.”

    Remember, it is always Satan who stands on the straight path and diverts people to go into other directions. When will the people of Pakistan wake up???

    Qasim Rashid 2 days ago
  • Previous comment was not from gilgit, but from America.

    Qasim Rashid 2 days ago
  • 500 families of Ahmedia community are not being given any help, either from the government or from other philanthropists. This is the height of absurdity; however an enquiry into this matter would reveal the real facts. No one should discriminate in these times of need, but the growing extremist ideologies are perhaps the real contributing factors in making people go against their own fellows.

    Zainab Ali 2 days ago
  • and then they wonder that why they should do Tubha and Astakfar on this azab?? this is the sole reason!! Pakistanis are the most racist and discriminating nation of the world!!!

    Allah reham kare Pakistan peh/… aur inn ko hadayat deh! Ameen!

    Sabahat 2 days ago
  • Ahmadis all over the world are raising money and collecting tents and other amenities to help alleviate the hardships that the flood victims are suffering. The aid will not go to just the Ahmadis but to the whole population. Ahmadis do not discriminate against those in need, unlike the holy clerics and their loyal government officials.

    Humanitarian 2 days ago
  • When punishment from God descends, one should ask why? Is it perhaps because we are denying basic human rights to some of our citizens who, if they had been in the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad salAllahoalaihiwasallam, would have been given full protection and succour by him and his sahaba.

    Shabir 2 days ago
  • How low can people stoop? According to this news piece, the clerics and authorities are in this atrocity together. All I say is that they should fear the day that God decides to pay them back in the same coin and they find themselves aliens in their own land.

    Bin Ismail 2 days ago
  • @Rizwan Ahmad

    Read the first paragraph again. “The Express Tribune has learnt **during a visit** to the devastated Punjab districts of Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur.” The story stands verified or is it that you are questioning repute of Express Tribune? Probably you should read Urdu papers only who tell you only *all pious Muslim and Qadiani, Yahood-o-Hanood conspiracy theories*.

    Anwar Ahmad 2 days ago
  • they are welcoming another disaster!

    iqbal 2 days ago
  • @ Rizwan Ahmed – is that all you took from this article? I mean who cares what their claims are about their population numbers, fact is that Pakistanis are trying to decimate their numbers in Pakistan.

    europa 2 days ago
  • It reminds of the time of Pharoh and his people. Calamaties struck them 9 times because of their trangressions, and still they could not see it. They rejected the warnings of a God fearing prophet of Allah and would not mend their ways. Now, we indeed are behaving not one bit disimilarly. We simply dont realise that we are not practising or upholding the values of Islam of 1400 years ago. Why wouldnt calamaties befall upon us and try to warn us to mend our ways before Armageddon finally becomes the solution??

    Shabir 2 days ago
  • thanks to the Law in 1984,,,,,, The result of which is very obvious today……………..But a law was passed on wine too… no one listedned to that while opening a wine shop?

    SadafFayyaz 2 days ago
  • Basically everyone in Pakistan is complaining about government not being there for them, and not helping them with basic needs such as shelter, food, and medicine. They have been complaining in some areas that they get provided with rotten and old bread by the government, which they can not even eat, in some areas they complain that they get treated like animals, and some complain that there is no one to look after them. So is every sect going to complain that we are not being treated just and that they are being discriminated? Anyhow, if this really is happening to the Ahmedis, it is indeed a shame, because right now Pakistanis need help regardless of their national or religious identities.

    Fizza imam 2 days ago
  • To all those that agree with this despicable behavior, you need help right along with those discriminating. As an Ahmadi i have sent money AND goods over to Pakistan. And many other Ahmadis i know have done the same. Are we asking that only Ahmadis be given the money/goods. no we are not. To all those that agree to this rediculous behavior, you should feel ashamed. and you will, for being so inhumane. It brings tears to my eyes to read about the Ahmadis being helped by other Ahmadis on broken boats when there are so many resources available. Pakistan has started its demise.

    Hibba 2 days ago
  • Sir,
    Was pained to read the news..I am from India but our heart reaches out to everyone in distress..I thought Indian politicians were the most stone hearted but Pakistani leaders take the cake..reading about your President jaunting away in Europe at the time of national crises..

    Harpreet 2 days ago
  • At least stop maligning this country now. Enough damage has been done to the aid-efforts for this poor country already by such “journalism” that people around the world have stopped to even think about helping the 20 million affectees of the devastating floods. Responsible and positive journalism is the need of the hour and not unfounded blabbering for cheap publicity.

    merk 2 days ago
  • This is DISGUSTING. 500 families or 1, how dare they discriminate against citizens of the country. I am ashamed to be Pakistani.

    A.G.B. 2 days ago
  • This is appalling, but not surprising. Pakistan has been dragged this slippery slope vis a vis Ahmadis for most of her existance, These attitudes makes a total mockery of the values of the Founder of the country, and many of those who heeded his call. Let us not forget that many people in what comprises Pakistan today never shared the Quaid’s view of what compromised a secular, puralistic, free thinking state, and that most of his support came from the Muslims of Bengal and Central India and what was known as the United Provimces. The majority of those from the four provinces of modern Pakistan were extremely lackadaisical in their support of Jinnah’s Muslim League and its ideals.

    midnight's child 2 days ago
  • “As you sow, so shall you reap”
    The reason for our misery
    This is just one story, There are many others, and many have been or will be, silenced

    Fauzan Naeem 2 days ago
  • No wonder there is little sympathy for Pakistani government and these Mullahs abroad…
    and no wonder God continues to punish the people for these sins.

    Amaar 2 days ago
  • It is a huge shame that brother Rizwan would not save a soul until a verification method was applied.

    Bushra Malik 2 days ago
  • Utterly outrageous and callous! While the whole country is in mourning and misery these people can only discriminate.
    They have not learnt anything from this disaster. If they continue to behave like this then I am afraid there will be further Divine punishment.

    Syed 2 days ago
  • This is exactly the reason God sends floods to Pakistan to punish them for thier corruption, cruelty and bigotry.

    Bangash 2 days ago
  • In the name of Allah , The Gracious, The Merciful….
    Have the people of Pakistan suffered enough at the hands of the Taliban, mullahs, local officials or whatever you want to call them? The Ahmadi Muslim Community consists of human beings. The inhumane treatment is bringing retribution to this country. This level of barbarism defies Allah’s natural laws of all levels of compassion….Black Orchid

    halehma naseer 2 days ago
  • Although the Ahmadis will be helped by their community, a community that is helping all Pakistanis in this time of need. My heart really breaks for the people of Pakistan who will suffer calamity after calamity but will not change their ways of discrimination,hate,lies,deception… Abhi bhi khuda se nahi darte????

    Farhat 2 days ago
  • I fail to understand how people can post comments on here somehow blaming the Ahmadi Muslims. It seems many people’s conditioning and hatred run very deep – so deep that they cannot accept the clearly DOCUMENTED facts that Ahmadis are brutally persecuted – even their existence is legislated against in Pakistan.

    One can only surmise that Pakistan’s days are numbered if they don’t quickly get their act together.

    Ronald 2 days ago
  • These misguided peopele need to study the life of the Prophet, Mohammad S.A.W. to see how he treated people who did not agree with him. The Prophet, S.A.W., would cary the bags of an old Jewish Lady just to be helpful. In Pakistan, the so called leaders in a so called Islamic Nation who promote themselves as guardian of Islam, the religion that Mohammad S.A.W. founded, are so cruel. It is hard to find the words to discribe the attrocities they committ against Ahmadies. For the sake of themselves and their generations, they should change their ways and follow the example of the Prophet S.A.W. in order to avert any further punishment from Allah, subhantala.

    Arshad Rashedi 2 days ago
  • Trust this nation. Please, keep proving that you’re animals and not human beings!

    Sanaa Zubairi 2 days ago
  • Can you please verify and tell us it is all trye what you are saying. I don’t believe you

    Basheer 2 days ago
  • wait for another disaster ppl!!y making ALLAH more angry???

    mehreen 2 days ago
  • I am utterly disappointed at the twisted and mal-intentioned reporting in this article. At a time when the entire country is effected in one way or another, you are creating controversies. Obviously the intent was not to highlight a problem, it was to create disharmony. There are still thousands of people that are without aid and are desperate for food and shelter. Nobody ever pointed out if they were Muslims, Ahmedis, Christians or hindus. The entire nation is suffering and you have the guts to spread disharmony from the comfort of your airconditioned studies! A thoroughly disappointing article at a time when we are searching for every straw that may unite us! Sad!

    Rizwan 2 days ago
  • Dude this is true

    Wahab riaz 2 days ago

    Sonia 2 days ago
  • A question?
    Do Pakistanis read the Holy Quran? If not they should read.
    Mullas: If you read the Holy Quran, that will not go beyond your throat (Holy Prophet Sallaho alaihe wasallam’s words for latter day’s Mullahs). So they should not be blamed.

    Abu Omar 2 days ago
  • As someone who has publicly debated against Ahmadi leaders in favor of traditional Islam, I find these types of discriminatory acts disgusting and abhorring. Yes, their religion is false, but are they not human beings? Do they not deserve shelter, food and assistance?

    Even if you are against their misguided religion, realize that you are only garnering sympathy for them, while strengthening their convictions that all Muslim authorities are “jahil mullahs”.

    We are working hard here in the US with Islamic Relief for the flood victims. I support Humanity First, their humanitarian organization. We must all come together to aid whoever was hit by this flood, be they Muslim or Ahmadi.

    Farhan 2 days ago
  • There is definaely some truth to this story. It is well known Ahmadies are discriminated against in Pakistan. But so are the poor and destitute of Pakistan. No one gives a damn about them except for noble heart NGO’s. Even in Rabwah, where poverty is common, the general society of common Ahmadies generally treats them with discrimination. So I would say, relatively speaking Ahmadies do better than other Pakistani, but still way off when compared to western christian societies (relatively speak please no need to argue here).

    MMA 2 days ago
  • This again is a repeat of what happened with he followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammed saw. Clearly 72 sects are grouping together and going against the 73rd as the Holy Prophet saw had prophecised 1400 years ago. Ahmadis globally will continue to support all the flood victims regardless of religious background.

    Sanaullah Mir 2 days ago
  • I am shocked but sadly not surprised. How long will the Pakistani government and others continue to misrepresent and neglect what is a peace loving community. Ahmadi Muslims all over the world are donating money to buy food a resources for those in need, without prejudice. I hope and pray for the safety and well being of all those effected by this tragedy and also that the Pakistani government wakes up to its responsibility and stops the discrimination of Ahmadi Muslims.

    Noor 2 days ago
  • This discrimination act of these uneducated people is leading the countries reputation towards ground.
    May god help them to serve humanity and understand each other well.

    Masroor 2 days ago
  • we stoop so low once again , shame on us ! are Ahmadis not human? God is punishing us …. for sure !

    Erum Malik 2 days ago
  • Do not forget what happened on May 28th, 2010 in Lahore. Innocent blood was spilled in the name of religion. People were massacred for simply being Ahamdi.

    The Ahmadies had asked for help from the local police to stop this madness, but did they help???? NO! They took their sweet time in responding. I wonder if their response would have been the same if it was a Sunni mosque (some how I doubt it).

    AND today when people of Pakistan are asking for help with the flood, the internation community is shying away from it. WHY? Maybe its because they realize that most of the aid will never reach the people who need it. The majority of it will pocketed by the greedy politicians and religious clerics who have made religion a business.

    It is sad that because of the actions of a few ignorant individuals, millions are being made to suffer.

    I urge everyone reading this. Please donate and help the Pakistani people and pray for their well being.

    XYZ 2 days ago

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