ISLAMABAD: Ulema belonging to the four mainstream schools of thought on Tuesday denounced self-declared vigilantism and demanded strict legal action against those behind lynching of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot last week.
The clerics not only termed the killing an extrajudicial murder but also called it un-Islamic after a condolence meeting with Sri Lankan High Commissioner Mohan Wijewickrama at the Sri Lankan High Commission in Islamabad.
The ulema’s delegation was led by Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and Middle East. He said that members of the delegation represented the country and they belonged to various schools of thought from all regions of the country.
After the meeting with the Sri Lankan ambassador, the chairman of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), Dr Qibla Ayaz, read out a joint declaration and said that the entire situation was against the teachings of holy Quran and Sunnah, the Constitution of Pakistan and the laws prevailing in the country.
CII declaration affirms there is no place of extremism in Islam
“It was an inhumane act and to accuse someone of blasphemy without proof is not in accordance with Sharia,” Dr Ayaz said.
Dr Ayaz said accusing anyone of having committed blasphemy without proof was illegal.
He said this act of some people had brought shame to the nation.
The joint declaration said that strictest possible legal action must be taken against the culprits.
The CII chairman said there was no place for extremism and violence in Islam. He urged religious scholars to play their role in uprooting the menace of extremism from society.
The joint declaration said that Paigham-i-Pakistan was a national document under which all such violent actions had been banned.
“Today’s representative meeting of ulema declares that there is no place for violence and extremism in Islam,” the declaration said.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner Wijewickrama called the Sialkot incident a horrific and horrendous act, but added that he was satisfied with arrests of suspects made so far and the launch of investigations.
“At the same time, I have seen over the last three days that Pakistanis belonging to all walks of life have been condemning the sad incident,” the high commissioner said.
He acknowledged that Pakistan and Sri Lanka had both assisted each other on a number of occasions, adding that the incident in Sialkot would not have any negative impact on relations between the two countries.
“Our relations are very old and time-tested, since our independence as Pakistan became independent in 1947 and we became independent in 1948,” Mr Wijewickrama said, adding that Mr Kumara’s family would be provided an adequate compensation.
The delegation included Maulana Abdul Khubair Azad, chairman of Ruet-i-Hilal Committee; Maulana Abul Khair Zubair, chairman of Milli Yakjehti Council; Hamid Saeed Kazmi, former minister of religious affairs; Mufti Taqi Usmani, Allama Amin Shaheedi, Allama Arif Wahidi and Senator Sajid Mir.
Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2021