Ulema trying to form interfaith harmony body, says Hafiz Ashrafi

Updated 18 Oct 2020

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Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Religious Affairs and chairman Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi addresses a press conference in Karachi on Saturday. — PID
Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Religious Affairs and chairman Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi addresses a press conference in Karachi on Saturday. — PID

KARACHI: Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Religious Affairs and chairman Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Saturday said that ulema from different schools of thought and representatives of other religions were striving to promote religious harmony in the country along with fighting sectarianism.

For this purpose, a common religious platform named Interfaith Harmony Council Pakistan was being set up and it would have representation down to the union council level throughout the country.

“We are mobilising Ulema and representatives of other religions and streamlining the things to successfully operate the council. Very soon, Prime Minister Imran Khan will be given a detailed briefing on this most important national initiative,” he added while addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club.

Hafiz Ashrafi said the initiative was necessary to fight conspiracies and terrorist acts by anti-state elements and terrorists.

These forces were very active to destabilise the country politically and economically through their negative propaganda and creating hurdles in the smooth functioning of the government, which was committed to strengthening the economy, carrying out development and improving the living standard of the people in the country, he added.

He regretted that these anti-state elements even did not spare the armed forces of the country from criticism and were maligning them for their personal gains.

They had been trying to create rift between the government and the armed forces to weaken the country, he added.

“The people charged with national spirit and patriotism through their unity shall frustrate all your conspiracies,” he warned the “anti-state elements”.

Hafiz Ashrafi said India was spending millions of dollars to destabilise Pakistan and using different tactics for the same.

He was critical of the opposition parties announcing agitation against the elected government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

All this, he said, would only serve the interests of outside forces who were hostile to Pakistan.

Responding to a question, the PUC chairman said the PTI government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan would complete its tenure of five years and the opposition’s wishes and plans would not materialise.

“It is an old tradition; opposition political parties do give deadlines and spread rumours about the end of governments, but now the people have become mature and do not pay attention to them,” he said.

Replying to another question, he said the prime minister and his team were very concerned about the sudden increase in inflation and making every effort to overcome the challenge and provide relief to the people.

The prime minister might make an important announcement in that regard very soon, he said.

He condemned the killing of Maulana Dr Adil Khan and demanded earliest arrest of the murderers.

However, he was satisfied over the efforts being made by the Sindh government for arresting the maulana’s killers.

“Maulana Adil’s murder is a big tragedy and big loss to the religion and the nation,” he added.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2020