MANSEHRA: Scholars of different schools of Islamic thought have formed a peace committee to help the law-enforcement and security agencies fight terrorism in Balakot tehsil.

“We will stand with our security forces and law-enforcement agencies in their fight against terrorism and will never allow anyone to penetrate into our ranks for subversive activities on our soil. We have established a peace committee to help eliminate terrorism,” Maulana Khalilur Rehman told a jirga of ulema and religious scholars on Thursday.

The participants, who belonged to Dalola area located on Abbottabad-Mansehra border, later named Maulana Khalilur Rehman as the patron-in-chief of the committee, Maulana Haroonur Rasheed deputy patron-in-chief, Qazi Noman president and Maulana Shamasur Rehman secretary general.

They also decided other office-bearers of the committee would be named afterwards. The participants said ulema and religious scholars wouldn’t discuss sectarian matters in mosques and other places.

“Nobody will be allowed to be part of mosques or seminaries until the peace committee verifies his credentials,” said Mr Rehman.

Mr Qazi Noman said the provincial had formed reconciliatory committees at village and union council levels but ironically, ulema and religious scholars were not made part of them.

He said the inclusion of religious scholars would have made reconciliatory committee very effective to further the cause of peace.

Deputy superintendent of the police, Balakot, Mukhtar Shah, who also in attendance, praised religious scholars for standing with the police and security forces against terrorism.

Meanwhile, the Jamaat-i-Islami, Mansehra chapter, has announced it will field honest people for the elections to be held for two national and five provincial assembly seats in the district. The announcement was made by JI district chief Sajjad Ali Shah while addressing the oath-taking ceremony for the party’s newly-elected youth body members in Oghi on Thursday.

Mr Shah said the party’s politics was meant to serve the people and that the honest and modest people could best serve the people and therefore, such people would be fielded for the next elections in Mansehra.

He said the plunderers of national wealth had long been ruling the country and therefore, the there was no rule of law and justice in the country and instead, corruption was rampant.

The JI district chief said after coming to power, his party would ensure the development of the people and dispensation of justice to them by enforcing Islamic laws. Earlier, he administered the oath to the new members of the JI youth body.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2017