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Seminaries plan drive against raids, arrests

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Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhari.—Dawn/File
Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhari.—Dawn/File

LAHORE: The Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia has decided to launch a mass contact drive against raids on mosques and arrests of religious leaders.

Wafaq General Secretary Qari Hanif Jalandhary said this at a press conference on Monday.

The first step of the drive would be holding of two conventions – the first at Jamia Ashrafia in Lahore on March 15 and the second at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi on March 19, he added.

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He said if the prime minister, the army chief and the interior minister could convene a multi-party conference of political parties against terrorism, they should also meet the representatives of religious schools.

He condemned terrorism, saying as violence in the name of religion and Islam was unacceptable, similarly action against the religion in the name of anti-terrorism was also unacceptable.

Mr Jalandhari said that acts of certain individuals must not be attributed to seminaries without proper investigations and proofs.

He said though seminaries were cooperating with them, government agencies and institutions were treading on a collision course with religious institutions.

Referring to media reports, he said why the government was banning foreign students from studying in Pakistani seminaries and they were being deported without any proof of their involvement in any law-breaking incident. He said if foreign students could study in universities and colleges, then why not in seminaries.

Pakistan Ulema Council chief Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi said that though only one point in the National Action Plan was related to madaris, the authorities ignoring all other plan were focusing only on this point to attribute terrorism to mosques, madaris, beard and turban.

He questioned that why those acting against mosques did not act against those burning the national flag in Balochistan and burning of 250 workers in Karachi.

He said as promoting Afghan jihad was the policy of the government, why the jihadis were now being called terrorists.

Pir Saifullah Khalid alleged that the government’s policy and measures were aimed at turning Islamic Republic of Pakistan into a secular country.

Published in Dawn February 24th , 2015

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