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September 14th, 2013

Mr N.A. Faruqui’s letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan during Bhutto case appeal

I translate below an article by Mr N.A. Faruqui published in Paigham Sulh, dated 9 August 1978, at the time when the Supreme Court of Pakistan was hearing the appeal of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto against his death sentence which had been awarded to him in the Lahore High Court. (In this Urdu article Mr Faruqui noted that he wrote his letter to the Chief Justice in English, which was translated into Urdu in the article. As I do not have access to the original English letter, I have translated the Urdu translation of the letter back into English.)

Zahid Aziz.


Correction of a Misunderstanding

In one of the proceedings during the hearing of the appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the case of the murder of Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan, published in the daily Nawa-i Waqt of Lahore, the impression has been given that I am a Qadiani. Consequently I considered it appropriate to have this misunderstanding cleared by writing a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The Chief Justice has given me satisfaction by reading out my letter in open court, for which I am grateful to him. However, the manner of its reporting in Nawa-i Waqt of 30th July created again the possibility of a misunderstanding. Therefore I believe it essential to publish, in the newspaper of our Jama'at, the correspondence which I carried out in this connection, so that no misimpression may remain in the minds of our members. Some have also asked me what I have done about this.

My letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan

Lahore, 20th July 1978.

My dear Chief Justice,

I am daring to address you directly because I do not wish this matter to become public before you have considered my application. After that, I leave it up to you to take whatever action you may consider fit.

In the daily Nawa-i Waqt of Lahore, dated 19th July 1978, there is a column headed 'In the Supreme Court'. This is a column which carries news of interest to the public arising in court during the hearings of the appeal in the case of the murder of Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan. I am enclosing a cutting.

The news which was printed stated that the senior counsel for the appellant, Mr Yahya Bakhtiar, had said about me, in passing, that I am a Qadiani. Upon this, the senior counsel for the Government of Pakistan, Mr Ijaz Batalvi, corrected this by saying that (during the hearings in the High Court) Mr Masud Ahmad was asked if he, I, and Chaudhry Abdullah are members of the Jama'at Ahmadiyya Lahore, upon which Mr Masud Ahmad denied it about himself but said regarding the others that he did not know. Upon this, an honourable judge of the Supreme Court said: "But everyone knows that N.A. Faruqui is a Qadiani."

With due respect I state that I am not a Qadiani, but I am certainly a member of the Jama'at Ahmadiyya Lahore.

Our Jama'at had long ago, that is, in 1914, under the leadership of Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Ali, whose English translation and commentary of the Holy Quran and book 'The Religion of Islam' are of world-wide fame, and Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, who is well known in the world because of the Woking Muslim Mission, separated from the Qadiani Jama'at on those two very points due to which there was agitation in the minds of Muslims in 1974, namely:

1. The Qadiani members attribute a claim of prophethood to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib.

2. The Qadiani members regard those who do not believe in Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib to be kafirs.

We have spent the past sixty years debating with and countering Qadiani members, and have proved that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib did not make a claim to prophethood, and that he himself stated more than once that no Muslim becomes a kafir by denying him. By our separation and our combating them, we have brought upon ourselves the disapproval of the Qadiani members.

Due to the above facts, for me to be called a Qadiani in the highest court of Pakistan, and for this to be confirmed by the words that "everyone knows this", is an injustice against me which has caused me great pain and has created a misimpression about me among my friends and the general public.

I know that ordinary people by mistake consider both the Qadiani Jama'at and the Lahore Jama'at to be the same. But most of the educated and well-informed people are aware of the difference between these two Jama'ats which is fundamental and of principle. Considering in particular that Mr Ijaz Husain Batalvi had corrected the misunderstanding about me, for an honourable judge to say that "everyone knows that N.A. Faruqui is a Qadiani" is a serious misrepresentation of my position. I am aware that the honourable judge did not know the real position. Nonetheless, the fact remains that a wrong impression about me has not only entered the Supreme Court record but has also been published in the press.

I therefore respectfully submit that you take the action which you consider appropriate so that the stain upon my name of being a Qadiani in the Supreme Court record and the press is removed. I would be grateful.

Yours sincerely, N.A. Faruqui

————————-

It was very kind of the Chief Justice of Pakistan that he read out my letter in open court, which clears me. May Allah reward him. However, the report of this event as printed in Nawa-i Waqt of 30th July contained some words which could again give rise to a misunderstanding. Accordingly, I wrote a letter to the Editor of Nawa-i Waqt on the same day, which is given below:

Lahore, 30 July 1978.

Respected Editor of Nawa-i Waqt,

Assalamu alaikum. In your paper of today, 30th July, under the heading 'In the Supreme Court', you have again published a news about me which can create a misunderstanding. Your correspondent writes that in my letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, clarifying my position, I have written that I "do not believe Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be the last prophet". This could be taken to mean that I believe him to be a prophet, but not the last prophet. I did not write any such words in my letter to the Chief Justice.

I belong to the Jama'at Ahmadiyya Lahore, whose members believe Muhammad mustafa, Ahmad mujtaba, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, to be the last prophet from the bottom of their hearts, and do not accept that a prophet can at all come after him. And we consider everyone who recites the Kalima to be a Muslim.

Please publish this letter of mine in a prominent place to remove the misimpression that has been created about me. I would be grateful.

Your servant, N.A. Faruqui

———-

This letter was published in Nawa-i Waqt but not in a prominent place.

2 Responses to “Mr N.A. Faruqui’s letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan during Bhutto case appeal”

  1. A friend informs me:

    I remember this event of decades ago that you have published on your blog. I also remember that after this clarification was sent to the Supreme Court, Mr Yahya Bakhtiar stated that the National Assembly had declared both jammats non-Muslim – in other words Mr Farooqi's clarification was of no consequence as far as the abominable Bakhtiar was concerned.


  2. This reminds me of the Pakistan press misreporting of the Cape Town court case in November-December 1985. As this misreporting also extended to the London edition of Jang, I wrote them a letter in December 1985 correcting the false propaganda. They did not publish my letter. So I filed a complaint to a body in the UK then known as the Press Council (later it became the Press Complaints Commission, a name which reflects its role). When they took up the case, and asked the editor of Jang to respond, my letter was suddenly published by Jang in the issue of 19 February 1986, although they condensed and re-worded it. Please see the image below.

    I still have the full record of my letters to the Jang, my correspondence with the Press Council, and the defence put up by Jang of their behaviour. I intend to scan it all and place it online for permanence.

    Please notice the editorial note added by the newspaper saying that "according to him (i.e. me), in the news of the court judgment some facts were distorted". But it was not simply "according to me". What I wrote was not my opinion but facts which could be easily verified independently. The defence they have offered of why my letter was not published before (i.e. "the discussion was closed because it was highly likely to create controversy") is so obviously a false excuse.


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