LAHORE: In the wake of appointment General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the new Pakistan Army Chief, propagandists have begun conspiring that new Pakistan COAS belongs to Ahmadi community.
It all started when a few days before the appointment, Pakistani senator and politician Sajid Meer suggested that Bajwa has Ahmadi relatives, followed by many religious hardliners then objecting to his promotion. In the past, people have been persecuted for being followers of the Ahmadiyya sect in Pakistan.
Ahmadis are followers of the Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani. In 1974, Pakistan passed a constitutional amendment declaring Ahmadis ‘non-Muslim’.
Often referred to as kafirs or non-believers, Ahmadis are prohibited by law to identify themselves as Muslims. The law was enacted in 1984 after the National Assembly ratified it
Before the appointment, the controversy spilled over to social media and many prominent activists and journalists expressed their concern over how religious discrimination was overshadowing merit.
Sad as it may be, the outrage over a potential Ahmadi COAS misses a basic pt – he got to three stars with the same background.
— cyril almeida (@cyalm) November 24, 2016
Where does it say that the Chief of Army Staff cannot be an Ahmadi? Are Ahmadis not Pakistani? Is Pakistan Army not a national army?
— Jinnah’s Republic (@theRealYLH) November 23, 2016
Some of them argued that it does not matter whether Bajwa was an Ahmadi or not and that there have been Ahmadi officers in the past.
LTG Qamar Bajwa is NOT Ahmadi. but wait. let’s suppose he were. so FUCKING what. MJ Akhtar Malik/Abdul Ali Malik were. great officers, both.
— EH (@ejazhaider) November 23, 2016
While some of them were of the opinion that whether it matters or not, Bajwa’s father-in-law is an Ahmadi, but that does not make him a follower himself.
@cyalm Not he, but his father in law, is an ahmadi. (Shouldn’t matter if he is). What matters is that he is known as a great commander.
— Farhat Javed Rabani (@Farhat_Javed) November 24, 2016
Sajid Mir called Gen Bajwa an Ahmadi because he is married to the niece of Maj Gen Iftikhar Janua Shaheed, hero of Chamb & he was an Ahmadi.
— Shakil Dregoon (@ShakilDregoon) November 26, 2016