The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Monday termed as "fabricated" a document being shared widely on social media that lists a set of instructions allegedly by the party to the participants of its upcoming anti-government protest in Islamabad.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has announced to set out on a long march against the government on October 27 that will culminate in the capital, where the party plans to hold a sit-in.
The alleged document, purporting to have been issued by the information department of the JUI-F, instructs participants on how they should prepare for the protest sit-in and sets guidelines for their conduct during the demonstration.
Among the 10 'instructions', number six pertains to directives on engaging in "sodomy" and states that participants "will completely refrain from [engaging in] sodomy without the permission of their emir (leader)". It says the violators of this instruction would be thrown out of the sit-in and their belongings will be seized.
Also circulating on social media is an "application form" for sit-in participants to seek permission before engaging in sodomy.
JUI-F central secretary general Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri strongly denied that the party ever issued such instructions, accusing the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) of being behind it.
"The fake instructions have been made viral by PTI activists," he alleged while talking to DawnNewsTV.
He said the document was based on "lies" and the JUI-F had nothing to do with it.
Haideri alleged that the PTI has "always carried out negative conspiracies against Maulana Fazlur Rehman and JUI".
He asked party workers to continue preparing for the so-called Azaadi March.
Also on Monday, a notification purporting to have been issued by the office of the Islamabad district magistrate was making rounds on social media. This notification, dated October 7, states that the Islamabad City Police has received several complaints from citizens in which they expressed their concerns about "a possible massive wave of homosexuality in Islamabad after a political gathering planned on 27th October". It, however, did not name the JUI-F protest.
"It is hereby announced that the city officials will enforce Pakistan's law and the regulations set out in Islam; and the workers of the political party are advised to refrain from such sinful deed during their gathering," reads the document, bearing fake signature of Islamabad district magistrate Hamza S. Chaudhry.
The notification conveyed to government officials and the public that "homosexuality is strictly prohibited in Islam and hence, cannot be tolerated in any form, whether in a political gathering or during private meetings".
However, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat in a tweet termed it as a "fake notification".
In a subsequent tweet, Shafqaat said that a first information report is being registered against the issuance of the fake notification. He requested the public to not propagate the said notice.
He also shared a letter he sent to the director of the Federal Investigation Agency's cybercrime wing, requesting that "strict legal action" be taken under the cybercrime law against the person(s) who circulated the notification.
According to Shafqaat, the name of his office was used in the fake notification.