13 MARCH 1953, Page 2

Religious Rioting in Pakistan

. The anti-Ahmadiya rioting in Pakistan has obviously been on an alarming scale. In many towns the police fired into the crowd, after attempts to disperse it with tear-gas had failed, and casualties have been heavy. For three days in Lahore the rioters had it their own way, and the ordinary life of the city came to a standstill. But the disturbances seem now to have been brought under control by the swift application of martial law. They were inspired partly by fanatical mullahs and partly by politicians who have their own non-religious reasons for opposing Sir Zafrullah Khan, the Foreign Minister and a leading member of one of the two Ahmadiya sects. Apart from such side-lines as looting and burning the object of the rioters was to bring about the resignation of Sir Zafrullah, and the naming of his sect as a non-Muslim minority. The Ahmadiya movement, which has been the cause of trouble before, was founded some sixty years ago by one Mirza Ghulam Ahmad shortly after his self-proclamation as Prophet and divinely inspired teacher. He attracted a considerable following, but a few years after his death in 1908 the movement split in two, one party simply accepting him as a teacher, the other claiming that he had indeed been a prophet. Both sects are regarded as heretical in the eyes of orthodox Islam (they have their martyrs—in Afghanistan their missionaries have been stoned to death), but while the first is held to be not much more than a nuisance, the second is held in abhorrenceby orthodox fanatics. It is to the second sect that Sir Zafrullah Khan belongs.