LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Affairs Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi says the power corridors of Islamabad are still too far for Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Speaking at a press conference here on Sunday, he said he respected JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman but he wished to make it clear to the opposition leader that the corridors of power in Islamabad were still far from his reach.
Referring to Maulana Fazl’s threat of sit-in in Rawalpindi, he said that if the JUI-F leader wished so, he could be presented halwa along with tea there.
Answering a question about the opposition parties’ proposed protest outside the Election Commission offices in Islamabad, he said he could only request the protesting parties not to bring innocent students of religious schools to the protest.
He told a questioner that Maulana Ajmal Qadri had claimed that he had visited Israel after taking into confidence Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif and asked what action against Maulana Qadri was taken by the then rulers for visiting a country not recognised by Islamabad.
He said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government was making efforts for international legislation against blasphemy. He said violation of code of conduct and hateful speech by Ulema and Mashaykh would no more be tolerated. He said that interfaith harmony councils would reinforce interreligious dialogue in the country.
Ashrafi said ties with Arab Muslim countries would be improved by expanding cooperation in different areas. He made it clear that Saudi Arab never intervened in internal and external issues of Pakistan, adding that sources had confirmed that Saudi King Shah Salman had not invited Nawaz Sharif to visit his country.
Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2021