Master Abdul Qudoos lost the battle of his life and died a martyr. But if Pakistan loses this battle, it will instead be a suicide
On March 30th, 43-year-old Master Abdul Qudoos lost the battle of his life in Rabwah, Pakistan.
He did not die of a heart attack, nor did he die of a fatal accident, neither of a lethal bomb explosion. Instead, he was tortured to death.
His tormentors were not the Taliban nor do they belong to any banned militant organization. They were not even his opponents from a never-ending land dispute. Instead, his tormentors were the very policemen committed to protecting him.
Master Abdul Qudoos was born as a Muslim in the 1960’s Pakistan with every basic human right. But in the 1970’s, Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took away his right to call himself a Muslim. In the 1980’s, military dictator General Zia ul Haq denied him his right to ‘pose’ as a Muslim under threat of imprisonment and death.
In the 1990’s, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif re-christened the name of his town, Rabwah, because it was too Islamic a word to be used by the non-Muslims and posers.
By the 2000’s, General Musharraf snatched his and his Ahmadi compatriots right in Pakistan to vote freely.
Earlier this year, Pakistan refused Master Abdul Qudoos’ right to live.
What could a person like Master Abdul Qudoos have done to deserve such atrocious treatment from the police? Perhaps his social work in saving people from drowning in the Chenab River angered their egos. May be his compassionate nature that obliged him to take up teaching as a career offended their ignorance. Perhaps his loyalty to Pakistan and decision to stay despite the persecution frustrated their vain desires. It seems this third option is the most likely cause.
Master Abdul Qudoos was taken into police custody on February 10th after the murder of one Muhammad Yousuf whose business was to write stamp papers. There was no apparent reason why Master Abdul Qudoos was involved in the murder case, besides him being an Ahmadi and a soft target for the police.
No warrants were issued, no FIR was registered against Master Qudoos. For weeks he was brutally tortured. He was hanged upside down for extended periods, beaten with lashes, and a heavy wooden rolling-pin was used to crush his body.
He was not the only suspect arrested in this case. However, others were all released after an initial investigation. Master Abdul Qudoos, on the other hand, was kept in police custody for several weeks. He was released only a fortnight before his demise.
After his release from illegal police custody, he was admitted to a hospital in Rabwah. While the story of his arrest fails to explain the reasons behind the brutal torture, Master Abdul Qudoos’s dying words at Rabwah hospital unveil the Punjab Police’s bigotry, inhumanity and injustice.
The police tortured him to sign a statement that accused prominent Ahmadi personalities in the murder case. He refused. They further continually used swear words and vulgar language against the elders of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. He bore it in patience. Finally, seeing that he would not comply, and their intentions to vilify the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan for the murder proving fruitless, they let him go as he gasped for life.
But—and as shocking as this may sound—the police are not solely responsible for this crime. Equally responsible for Master Abdul Qudoos’ murder is Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He is the responsible for enmeshing religion with state. Ziaul Haq’s hands are not clean either; He pushed Pakistan into the black hole of religious intolerance. Likewise, Maulana Maududi, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Kausar Nizai, Tahir-ul-Qadri, and the entire freemasonry of fanatic politicized Ulema are uniformly responsible for his murder. They have been issuing Fatwas declaring the Ahmadis Wajibul Qatl (liable to death in line with Sharia). Nawaz Sharif and Gen. Musharraf are just as guilty.
Our judiciary does not have a clean record either. The lordship always gives a cold shoulder to Ahmadi pleas for justice and upholds the illegal anti-Ahmadi laws.
And our more-than-ever free media are answerable to Master Abdul Qudoos’ children too for conveniently censoring the whole brutal episode of his murder altogether.
Pakistan’s citizenry should not consider itself innocent either for blindly following the Mullahs. Master Abdul Qudoos’ blood is on the hands of every Pakistani politician, judge, lawyer, journalist, and citizen who turned a blind eye to his suffering.
Master Abdul Qudoos lost the battle of his life and died a martyr. But if Pakistan loses this battle, it will instead be a suicide.