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LAHORE: Special Representative to Prime Minister on Religious Affairs Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi has said that followers of all religions and religious parties in the country strongly condemn the Sialkot lynching of a Sri Lankan factory manager and want the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to treat it as a test case and order a speedy trial for it.

Addressing a press conference at Quran and Seerat Academy, along with the religious leaders from different schools of thought on Sunday, he said that perpetrators of the Sialkot incident should be awarded exemplary punishment to avoid recurrence of such incidents in future.

He said that all leaders of religious organizations expressed grief and concern for linking the sad incident with religion. Those involved in the incident had not only brought bad name to the religion but the country as well, he added.

The special representative said that as per the information, so far 19 key suspects had been arrested. He said the case would be tried in an anti-terrorism court.

Tahir Ashrafi said that law of Tauheen-i-Namoos-e-Risalat and Tauheen-i-Mazhab were there in the country; therefore, no one was allowed to take the law into his hands. The courts and legal procedure were there to decide the complaints in that regard, he added.

He said that a delegation of ulema, headed by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, would visit Sri Lankan embassy to express their grief over the tragic incident.

He said that Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Sikh communities of Pakistan wanted to tell it to the Sri Lankan people “we are ashamed of the incident and we apologize to them on this incident”. He said that all-out efforts would be made to eliminate the culture of extremism from society. He said the incident was an action of an individual and it did not represent the whole nation.

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