ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Interfaith Harmony and Middle East, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Wednesday, while dispelling the propaganda and rumors against the blasphemy law and Namoos-e-Risalat has said that these laws had been instrumental in maintaining peace and tranquility within the country.

Ashrafi, who is also Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman, while addressing a press conference here at the National Press Club emphasized that the blasphemy law had never been misused in history and would continue to be protected at all costs in the future. Ashrafi reaffirmed that the Ulema and Maskaykh (religious scholars) stood united in their defence of these sacred laws.

Regarding the unfortunate incidents of violence on May 9, Ashrafi denounced the perpetrators as terrorists engaged in anti-state activities. He urged that they must be brought to justice through military courts.

Responding to a question regarding talks with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, Ashrafi said that the PTI chief should have condemned the May 9 mayhem in the strongest possible way when he appeared before the Supreme Court of Pakistan to disassociate himself from the mutineers; but instead of condemning them, he (Imran Khan) is coming up with a justification.

Responding to another query, Ashrafi said that when Rana Sanaullah was arrested by the PTI government on drug trafficking charges, he (Ashrafi) had expressed dismay over the matter by requesting the people at the helm of the affairs to refrain from such actions. He said that in the recent arrest drive taken against the elements involved in May 9 death and destruction, he has asked the government not to harass anyone not involved in any anti-state activity.

While expressing concern regarding the current judicial system, Ashrafi said that the present judicial system was not serving the interests of the common people, saying the judicial system must be reformed as per the Islamic guidelines. He said that hundreds of thousands of cases are pending with the Supreme Court and High Courts which are not receiving adequate attention, particularly those affecting the underprivileged segments of society.

Ashrafi also drew attention to certain individuals with dual nationalities who were conspiring against Pakistan and calling for international sanctions based on alleged human rights violations.

He condemned the attacks on the residence of the corps commander in Lahore, the Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar, and the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. Furthermore, Ashrafi expressed his dismay at the torching of a mosque, located in the corps commander’s house during the May 9 unrest. He emphasized that such actions disrespected the sacrifices made by national heroes who laid down their lives for the country’s security and sovereignty.

He called upon the government and judiciary to expedite the trials of those responsible and ensure that they would face exemplary punishment, aiming to prevent the recurrence of such heinous acts in the future.

Ashrafi shared that the Pakistan Ulema Council would host a grand gathering in Lahore on Sunday, June 11. This convention aimed to foster interfaith harmony, address human rights concerns, and develop strategies to prevent the misuse of the blasphemy law in relation to the desecration of religion and Namoos-e-Risalat, he added.

In solidarity with the national security institutions, Chief Allama Akbar Saqi and Secretary General Allama Sibtain Sherazi of Jamiat Islamiya Pakistan also spoke at the conference.

The upcoming gathering organized by the Pakistan Ulema Council would hold great significance as it would bring together a thousand Ulema, Mashaykh, religious scholars, and representatives from various segments of society to address critical issues and promote harmony.

The event would serve as a platform to reaffirm the commitment to protect the nation’s honor, combat human rights violations, and ensure responsible use of the blasphemy law while safeguarding the sanctity of religion and Namoos-e-Risalat.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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