Govt resolves issues with Maulana Aziz through dialogue to maintain normalcy in Islamabad: interior minister

Published September 20, 2021
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday said that the government resolved issues with Maulana Abdul Aziz through dialogue, as it wanted the situation in the capital to remain normal.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said that there were several cases against Maulana Aziz but the government wanted the situation in the capital to remain normal. "That's why we keep talking to them," he said, adding that Maulana Aziz had an issue every other day.

"Every day he has an issue and every day we try to resolve it," he said, adding that there were 511 madrassahs and 1,000 mosques in the capital.

"Out of 511, we have issues with only one which we resolve through dialogue."

Without naming the entity he was referring to, the minister said that the government had made such efforts with another religious organisation. "However, the result of that was not a good one," he said.

The minister's statement comes days after police registered a case against Maulana Aziz, his collaborators as well as seminary students under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and different sections of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) after flags representing the Afghan Taliban were found hoisted on the rooftop of Jamia Hafsa in G-7/3.

Maulana Aziz had also openly threatened police with dire consequences by using the name of the Afghan Taliban.

However, after registering the first information report (FIR), it was decided to seal it. This was the third time since Aug 21 Afghan Taliban flags were hoisted on the seminary.

'Security provided to NZ in Pakistan outnumbered their forces'

Commenting on the New Zealand cricket team's recent decision to abandon its Pakistan tour minutes before the first match was scheduled to begin, the minister said that it was rich of the opposition to blame the government.

"Don't throw stones at Sheikh Rashid of the Ministry of Interior while living in a glass house," he said, adding that the cabinet had provided the New Zealand team with security by the Pakistan Army.

"They don't have as many [people in their] forces as the number we provided for their security," he said, adding that it was the government's "responsibility" to do so.

He said that other teams had visited Pakistan in the past without any issues. He also called on the nation to not be disappointed, stating that the day will come when international teams will want to play in Pakistan.

The minister also questioned the "Five Eyes" alliance", asking "where were the security experts when the New Zealand team was practicing here for three days".

He reiterated that Pakistan's security forces were among the world's strongest agencies, saying there was no threat alert that prompted the Kiwis to abandon the tour at the last minute.

'We have no refugee camp'

Rashid said Pakistan's borders were peaceful, adding that "we have no refugee camp".

He recalled that the prime minister had also expressed his intent during his Tajikistan visit to speak to the Taliban for forming an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

He called out India and others for hatching conspiracies against Pakistan over "their failures in Afghanistan".

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