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Lahore riots of 1953
Badshahi Mosque July 1 2005 pic32 by Ali Imran (1).jpg
Badshahi Mosque, Lahore
Date1 February 1953 - 14 May 1953
LocationLahore, Pakistan

Decisive military suppression of riots

  • mass anti-Ahmadiyya violence ended
  • lifting of martial law over Lahore
  • dismissal of the Khwaja Nazimuddin government by Ghulam Muhammad
 Pakistan Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Pakistan Army Azam Khan
Flag of the Pakistan Army Rahimuddin Khan
Syed Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari
Syed Abuzar Bukhari
Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar
Master Taj-ud-Din Ansari
Abul Ala Maududi
Casualties and losses
about 200 Ahmadis killed
3 Jawans and 1 NCO of Baloch Regiment killed in riots

The Lahore riots of 1953 were a series of violent riots against the Ahmadiyya movement in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, quelled by the Pakistan Army. The demonstrations began in February 1953, soon escalating into citywide incidents, including murder, looting, and arson targeting the Ahmadi community. The attacks were incited by the Jamaat-e-Islami political party led by Abul Ala Maududi, a Sunni theologian and strong ideological critic of the movement.[citation needed] Unable to contain the increasingly widespread civil disorder, Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad handed over the administration of the city to the army under Lieutenant General Azam Khan, imposing martial law on March 6.


Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat — under Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam had three demands:

  • Removal of Muhammad Zafarullah Khan from the foreign ministry;
  • Removal of Ahmadis from top government offices;
  • Declaration of Ahmadis as non-Muslims.

In 1949, the movement launched countrywide campaigns and protests resulting in a ban on Majlis-e-Ahrar in 1954.

Marking the military's first foray into civilian politics, the 70-day-long military deployment saw Lahore return to normalcy under Azam Khan's coherent leadership. Purported agitators Maududi and then-Secretary General of the Awami Muslim League, Maulana Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, were arrested and sentenced to death, but their sentences were subsequently commuted. The riots also brought unprecedented political consequences; Ghulam Muhammad first dismissed Mian Mumtaz Daultana from the post of Chief Minister of Punjab in March, before dismissing Prime Minister, Khwaja Nazimuddin and the entire federal cabinet, on April 17 and swearing in Muhammad Ali Bogra in his place.


  • Jan After the convention of the All Pakistan Muslim League at Dhaka, anti-Ahmadiyya elements threatened to take direct action after 22nd Feb. 1953, if their demands were not met.
  • Feb 01 - Burial of an Ahmadi was resisted by anti-Ahmadiyya elements in Sargodha.
  • Feb 23 - Anti-Ahmadiyya riots break out in West Pakistan specially in Punjab Province.
  • Feb 27 - Publication of Alfazal, published from Lahore, banned by Government for one year. The vacuum was filled by the publication of Farooq. The first issue of Farooq was published on 4 March but after the second issue, it was forced to stop publication on 11 March.
  • Mar 05 - Master Manzoor Ahmed, a teacher was killed in Baghbanpura, Lahore.
  • Mar 06 - Ahmadiyya Noor Mosque, Rawalpindi was attacked and set on fire by a mob.
    • Press belonging to an Ahmadi was burnt.
  • Many shops and houses belonging to Ahmadis and the President of Jamaat Ahmadiyya, Rawalpindi were ransacked.
  • Mar 06 - Countrywide riots including torture, murder attempts and arson started against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, especially in Lahore.
  • Mar 06 - Martial Law declared in Lahore[1]
  • Mar 08 - Havaldar Abdul Ghafoor and another Ahmadi perfumer were killed in Lahore.
  • Mar 12 - Additional Magistrate Jhang prohibits the Supreme Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from commenting on anti-Ahmadiyya riots and the anti-Ahmadiyya movement.
  • Apr 01 - Mirza Shareef Ahmad and Mirza Nasir Ahmad were arrested in Lahore during the ongoing riots. They were released on 28 May.
    • Superintendent of Police Jhang searched Qasre Khilafat and the central offices of Sadar Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Rabwah.
    • Nazir Tableegh was arrested.
  • May 7 - Martial law authorities pass death sentence on Maulana Abdus Sattar Niazi.
  • May 11 - Martial Law authorities pass death sentence on Abul Ala Maududi for writing Qadyani Masla, and certain press *statements delivered in February and March.
  • May 13 - Maududi's and Niazi's death sentences have been changed to life sentences.
  • May 14 - Martial law lifted.


On March 24, Punjab CM Daultana is forced by PM Nazimuddin to resign, allegedly for manipulating the religious element in anti-Ahmadi violence for political benefits. On April 17, using his special powers under the Government of India Act 1935, Governor General Ghulam Muhammad dismissed the Prime Minister. Ghulam Mohammad nominated Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Mr. Mohammad Ali Bogra, to be the next Prime Minister. Bogra, who did not know why he was being called back, took the oath as new Prime Minister within hours of Nazimuddin's dismissal.

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