We have covered in detail how Ahmadi’s were the most trusted group of minorities in all of India. We have found yet another story.
On October 14, 62-year-old Mr Latif Alam Butt, an Ahmadi retired Pakistan Air Force (PAF) serviceman was gunned down at Kamra Air base, Attock District. He was shot due to his religious beliefs. My father was also an Ahmadi and a retired PAF serviceman, who also happened to die at the age of 62. But my father was not killed, only marginalised, for his religious beliefs. But he and Mr Butt share more than meets the eye.
In 1965, when Mr Butt was only 13-years-old, my parents, newly married at the time, were making plans to start their married life at my father’s post in Risalpur, Pakistan. While my mother anxiously awaited her husband, Pakistani and Indian forces came face to face at the border. Without thinking twice about his young wife and their plans, my father headed to Sargodha where the PAF played a vital role in defending Pakistan from Indian forces. To honour PAF’s spectacular performance at Sargodha base, September 7th was declared as PAF Day.
Nine years later, in the summer of 1974, when Mr Butt was 22-years-old and was about to join the PAF, my father was transferred to Peshawar. While he was trying to settle down his young family in Peshawar, nationwide riots erupted against Pakistan’s Ahmadi community. My father put his children in a relatively safer place and patiently waited for the government’s verdict on the “Ahmadi issue”. He was certain that this turbulence would be short lived just like 1953’s riots. He unwearyingly took all the sarcastic comments from some of his colleagues in the hope of getting justice from the government. In his eyes, the Pakistan he proudly served was far above the religious intolerance the Mullahs were spewing.
Unfortunately, and to his dismay, on September 7, 1974, Pakistan’s elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto declared all Ahmadis to be non-Muslims. My father returned to work with a broken heart and shattered confidence in the government. Yet, his love for Pakistan was unwavering and his loyalty to the PAF was unquestionable. Since then, extremists celebrate September 7th as a victory for their intolerance. Every year on September 7th, PAF pilots show their stunts with fighter jets and bigoted Mullahs show their stunts of spewing venom against Ahmadis.
In the remaining years of my father’s service, he faced passive marginalisation on every front. His not-so-popular religious beliefs became the yardstick for his success in the Air Force. His professional expertise, decades of service, commitment to his assignments, hardworking nature, honest demeanour, and even his loyalty for Pakistan, nothing mattered because he was no longer a “Muslim”. Hence, the chances of him moving up in rank gradually died. Towards the end of his career, he felt like an unwelcomed guest in PAF. Yet, his love for Pakistan was undeterred.
Ahmadis have proudly served in Pakistan’s armed forces and have valiantly fought for their country. But sadly, my father and Mr Butt are not the only Ahmadis who served Pakistan’s armed forces and faced religious discrimination. Most Ahmadis in Pakistan’s armed forces have faced second class treatment. General Akhtar Hussain Malik is a 1965 war hero who launched operation Grand Slam in Kashmir. Although bestowed with Hilal-e-Jurat, the second highest military award, his name never made it to the Pakistan Studies text books. Same year, Major General Abdul Ali Malik led Pakistan’s largest tank battle since World War II. How many kids and adults know his name? Major General Iftekhar Janjua, the highest ranked officer of the Pakistani Army to be killed in action was denied the Nishan-e-Haider, the highest military gallantry award. Captain Mumtaz Anwar of Pakistan Navy gave his life during the 1971 war with India but never received the recognition he deserved. Major Afzal Mehmood sacrificed his life during the Swat operation in 2009. In 2010, 90-year- old Major General Nasir Ahmad Chaudhry died at the hand of religious extremists while he was offering Friday prayers. He was the only Pakistani general to be injured in active war duty during the 1971 war. He fought three wars for Pakistan, but in the end, died at the hand of those very people he protected all his life.
Sadly, this list is endless.
Pakistan’s latest hero, Latif Alam Butt, leaves behind five children to carry on his legacy. One of his four sons is also serving in PAF. One day, soon enough, Pakistan will look back and mourn what it allowed to happen to my father, to Latif Alam Butt, and to all Ahmadis who have given their lives in the service of Pakistan.
Mr Butt may just be another random killing for some, but for Ahmadis, it’s the gradual destruction of the country they’ve given their best heroes to protect.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________The famous Ahmadi Generals
The first ever Ahmadi General was General Nazir Ahmad (1947), he was mentioned in the famous list of 199 Ahmadi officers that was presented to the boundary commission in 1947. Colonel Mirza Daud Ahmad was also mentioned in the list, he is a grandson of MGA. After him came General Abdul Ali Malik and General Akhtar Hussain Malik (these 2 are brothers), Zafar Ahmad Chaudhry, Major General Iftikhar Janjua, Major General Ijaz Amjad, Brigadier General Ijaz Ahmad Khan, Brigadier General Waqiuz Zaman, the Lahori-Ahmadi Major General Abdul Saeed Khan, and we are still adding to the list. There were also those were super trusted by the colonist back in 1947, they were Major Malik Habib-ullah (who died at the age of a 100) (from Dhulmial), Captain Nizam ud Din (he was the father of Brigadier General Mohammad Iqbal Khan) and Captain Umar Hayat (father of Commander Yousaf), Major-General Nasir Ahmad Chaudhry is another. In terms of Medical Doctors, Dr. Major Shah Nawaz, Commander Dr. Abdul Latif (ww-2 era) were some of the first. During Zia’s era, Lt-Gen Mahmood-ul-Hassan and his protege Major General Dr. Mahmood ul Hassan Noori who was probably the last Qadiani to make it to the rank of General.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________Famous Ahmadi officer’s who almost made General
Major Syed Maqbool Ahmad was a colleague of Zia and one of the founders of ISI.
Captain Nazeer Ahmad Sahib
Another Ahmadi, Captain Nazeer Ahmad Sahib served in the Pakistani Army. He joined the Pakistani Army in 1953. He got martyred at the Khem Karan front during the 1965 war. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 23, pp. 94-96)
Squadron Leader Khalifa Muniruddin Ahmad Sahib
Squadron Leader Khalifa Muniruddin Ahmad Sahib, son of Hazrat Dr Khalifa Rashiduddinra, served in the Pakistan Air Force. In 1949, he got admission in Flying Club Lahore. He got selected for the Air Force in 1951, and worked as a Flight Lieutenant in Karachi and Risalpur. He became a top fighter pilot in a very short time, and was promoted as the Squadron Leader in 1963.
He was posted at Sargodha as the Wing Ops Officer during the 1965 War. From 4 to 11 September 1965, he took part in ten operational missions. He got martyred on 11 September 1965. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurrat (Star of Courage) for his services. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 23, pp. 97-106)
Major Munir Ahmad Sahib
Major Munir Ahmad Sahib was another Ahmadi who served in the Pakistani Army, and got martyred during the 1965 war. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 23, pp. 106-113)
Major Qazi Bashir Ahmad Sahib
Major Qazi Bashir Ahmad Sahib was an Ahmadi who served in the Pakistani Army. In 1950, he was posted as the Second Lieutenant at the Frontier Force Regiment. He was posted as the Company Commander, during the 1965 war, where he got martyred while fighting bravely. (Ibid, pp. 113-115)
Flying Officer Muhammad Shamsul Haq Sahib
Flying Officer Muhammad Shamsul Haq Sahib was born on 31 October 1947. During the 1971 war, he was stationed at the 14 Squadron in Dhaka. In appreciation of his heroic services during the war, he was awarded with Sitara-e-Jurrat (Star of Courage). Shaheen magazine of Pakistan Air Force also published his article titled “My War Experience” in its May-August 1972 issue. (Tarikh-e-Ahmadiyyat, Vol. 27, p. 108)
Lieutenant Mumtaz Anwar Sahib
Lieutenant Mumtaz Anwar Sahib was martyred during the 1971 war. For his heroic services, he was awarded with Sitara-e-Jurrat (Star of Courage). (Ibid, p. 104)
Lieutenant Mahmud Akhtar Zubairi Sahib
Lieutenant Mahmud Akhtar Zubairi Sahib was the son of Ihtiaj Ali Zubairi Sahib of Rawalpindi. He was martyred during the 1971 war. (Ibid, p. 105)
Brigadier Muhammad Mumtaz Khan Sahib
During the 1971 war, Brigadier Muhammad Mumtaz Khan Sahib was given the command of the Hussaini Wala Sector, which he bravely defended, and thus, he was awarded with Hilal-e-Jurrat (Crescent of Courage). (Ibid, pp. 109-110)
Major Afzaal Mahmood Sahib
Another Ahmadi, Major Afzaal Mahmood Sahib was martyred while fighting against the militants in Bajaur Agency, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on 19 June 2009, when he went on patrol with his men on the Pak-Afghan border. Near Bajaur, their convoy was attacked and he was shot in the head. On 20 June 2009, his body was brought to Rabwah and was buried with full army protocol.
Major General (retired) Nasir Chaudhry Sahib
Major General (retired) Nasir Chaudhry Sahib, was another Ahmadi who served in the Pakistani Army. He was martyred during the Lahore attacks of 28 May 2010.
These were only a handful of examples. The reality is that Pakistani Ahmadis have always been at the forefront in serving their homeland.
The opponents of Ahmadiyyat can stop Pakistani Ahmadis from holding key positions, but they can never erase the stories of great milestones achieved by the Ahmadis of Pakistan.
The Ahmadis of Pakistan were, are and always will remain true defenders of Pakistan.
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