Aftab Khan Sahib, former Amir of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, was also present on the train journey from Delhi to Qadian and was interviewed by Naseer Ahmad Qamar Sahib. The transcript of Atfab Khan Sahib’s words to illustrate the atmosphere at the time has been produced below:
“I am indeed privileged to be on this historic journey in the company of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV, may Allah strengthen his hand, to participate in the 100th Jalsa Salana Qadian. I also consider it a great honour for the UK Jamaat to be associated with the arrangements for this journey as well as the arrangements for Jalsa Salana. As Amir of the UK, I consider myself most fortunate to be a part of this historic development.
“We were privileged in 1984 when Syedna Hazrat Amirul Momineen decided to come to Britain because he could not function as Khalifatul Masih in Pakistan due to the persecution of Ahmadis in Pakistan. And since his arrival, not only has the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in the UK undergone a revolution and reformation in every aspect but it has also been a historic event for the international Ahmadiyya Community which has now grown and spread to over 130 countries of the world. It is our privilege that we have this opportunity to serve our beloved Imam in different capacities, and it is in this context that we consider ourselves very humble servants of our beloved leader who has been pleased to give us this privilege to be a part of his entourage on this historic journey. Our hearts are full of deep emotion because starting from Delhi this morning, we are retracing – metaphorically speaking – the steps the founder of the movement as well as of the Khulafa of Ahmadiyyat who had travelled on this route. The cities through which we have passed like Ambala and Ludhiana are milestones in the progress of Ahmadiyyat.
“We also believe and it is our faith that this journey is also a turning point; it is not only a historic moment, but also an epoch making event in the sense that there are certain events that [form] history, there are some that are part of history but certain events [make] history, and we believe that this journey of Hazrat Syedna Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IV is a history-making event. And it will Insha-Allah not only give great potency to the Ahmadiyya Movement in this country and in this part of the world, but throughout this world where Ahmadiyyat is already growing very fast and where Ahmadiyyat is already achieving great successes. Insha-Allah, with Allah’s blessings and grace, the forthcoming Jalsa Salana and the presence of Hazrat Amirul Momineen in that Jalsa – where he is going accompanied by representatives of so many countries – will be a very important milestone in our progress. God has promised us success, and day by day we witness with our own eyes how God blesses us with success.”