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Summary of Itinerary and Meetings
KARACHI: Arrival on Saturday, 13th February 2010
Visited Ahmadiyya Community at 5 pm.
Sunday, 14th February
Visited two Shia meetings to hear about their grievances for being treated as minorities.
First group represented Ja’affria Alliance of Pakistan and included:
Allama Abbas Kumaili, President, Ja’affria Alliance (JA)
Second Meeting Representatives of various schools from Shia community:
Maulana Mohammad Abbass Abid, Chairman, Majlis-e-Ullama-e-Islamia Pakistan
Their grievances were similar to those expressed at the first meeting.
These meetings lasted from 10 am till 2.pm
Lunch was provided by the courtesy of MQM at their headquarters.
In the afternoon, the delegation was taken to the Command and Control Centre of Karachi and were received by Mr. Mustafa Kamal, the Mayor of Karachi who gave the delegation briefing on its function.
In the evening, the delegation visited the Governor of the Sind Province, Mr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad. Also present was Mr. Raza Haroon, Minister for Information Technology, Government of Sind.13 They both promised to look into the Report of the delegation and provide whatever help they could.
Departure by air arriving in Faisalabad in the afternoon of 15th February.
FAISALABAD, arrival on 15th February
Arrival in the afternoon.
Meeting with the Bishop Joseph Coutts, RC Prelate in Faisalabad, at the Faisalabad Cathedral. The meeting lasted well over 3 hours. The archbishop explained:
Tuesday, 16th February
Full day at Rabwah, the headquarters of the International Ahmadiyya Community.
Arrival at 11 am. During the morning the delegation had detailed meeting with many departmental heads of the administration. Mirza Khurshid Ahmad, Chairman, Chaudhry Hamidullah, Chief Administrator, Mr. Mansoor Khan, Foreign Affairs and, Capt PN (retd) Shamim Ahmad, Head of Human Rights and many other assistants.
The meeting was very detailed and informative, with the Mission delegates being able to receive answers to many questions. The Mission members were also provided with a number of documents.
In the afternoon, the delegation interviewed some of the victims of the persecution.
The members of delegation were also taken on a visit to see the educational institutions that are still in the possession of the government and the state of neglect of Rabwah because Ahmadis have no say in the local Council. They also saw other main buildings like hospitals and graveyard that are privately maintained by the Ahmadiyya community.
Returned to Faisalabad at about 7 pm in the evening.
LAHORE, arrival on 17th February
Left Faisalabad at 8 am to arrive in Lahore at 11 am. The delegates met the Governor of the Punjab, Mr. Salman Taseer. For nearly one hour.
The meeting finished at 12 am.
The Chief Minister of the Punjab had agreed to meet the delegation at 12.am but at the last minute, he had to withdraw the invitation because of some other urgent business.
Afternoon at the Baituz Zikr, one of the main Ahmadiyya mosque and headquarter in Lahore.
Hosts: HC Judge (rtd.) Munir Ahmad Sheikh, the Amir of the Lahore Ahmadiyya community, Maj. Gen. (rtd.) Nasir Ahmad, president of Model Town Chapter, Mr Muhammad Aslam Bharwana, member of the executive. (The Mission notes with regret that, unfortunately, all three died in the attack that took place on the Ahmadiyya Bait-uz-Zikr mosque on 28th May 2010).
The delegation was given the briefing about the situation in Lahore and the activities of the ‘banned’ organisations who are operating actively and sometime with support from the Provincial Administration. They explained that frequently complaints are lodged but these are ignored by authorities. The delegation interviewed some of the victims of persecution.
Thursday, 18th February
Morning was spent with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Hosts: Mr. I.A. Rehman, President
The meeting lasted for two and a half hours. The delegation returned to the hotel and in the afternoon at 3 pm visited Lahori Jamaat.
Mr. Kamran Michael, Punjab Provincial Minister for Minorities could not see us because of other engagements.
4.30 pm onward, meetings were held with representative/interlocutors of several organisations, including CLAAS. Mr Nadeem Anthony and Mr Peter Jacobs also visited and briefed the members of the Mission on Gojra atrocity.
ISLAMABAD, arrival on Friday, 19th February
Travel to Islamabad. Arrived around 2 pm.
Visit to the Ahmadiyya Headquarters in Islamabad.
Hosts: Mr. Munir Ahamad Farrukh, Ameer, Islamabad Region
The morning session was dedicated to meeting in which
In the afternoon the delegation members interviewed various victims of persecution from Azad Kashmir. The cases are referred to in Report.
This meeting lasted all day and finished at 6.30 pm
Saturday, 21 February
The Mission was due to meet a representative of the British High Commission [“BHC”]. Unfortunately she had other engagements and could not see the Mission neither did the BHC organise anybody else to brief the Mission. Omission of official point of view of the British High Commission is regretted.
The Federal Minister of Minorities was not available but he appointed to the Joint Secretary of the Ministry to meet the Mission on his behalf.
The delegation was given a video presentation of the minorities in Pakistan and how well the ministry is trying to look after them. Unfortunately when it came to specific points of the minorities, the answers were vague and at times appeared patronising.
The delegation’s next meeting was with the Deputy Secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Having recently returned from his tenure in the Pakistan Embassy in New Zealand, he was nevertheless aware of the religious intolerance and persecution of minorities including Ahmadis. He argued that the government was wishing to make changes, but could not achieve much because it was not strong enough.
Return to London, arrival on 22nd February
Flight back to England at 11 am, arriving at Heathrow at 3 pm.