ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Monday noted that a serious issue facing the country was implementation of laws and that the judicial system needed improvements to stop a recurrence of the Sialkot-like incident.
The CII observed that taking the law into one’s own hands was against Quran and Sunnah, Sharia and the Constitution. It said if a person took the law into his own hands, the state should take immediate action against him.
The CII held a special meeting, calling it a brainstorming session over the Sialkot lynching incident in which Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara was tortured to death and his body set on fire by a mob over allegations of blasphemy.
The meeting was briefed by District Police Officer Omar Saeed Malik on the action taken after the tragedy and the current status of the case.
The CII members noted that there was room for improvement in the country’s judicial system.
“Legislation is needed to prevent such incidents. Those responsible for the Sialkot tragedy should be punished,” CII chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said while talking to the media after the meeting. He said the purpose of the session was to determine and understand the causes and factors behind the tragedy.
“But we all understand that despite all shortcomings in the system it’s the responsibility of the state, as well as the citizens, to end the rising incidence of violence,” he added.
The meeting was attended by experts in psychology, sociology and law, besides police officers.
Allama Tahir Ashrafi, a member of the CII, said the state was very clear that another Sialkot-like incident would not be tolerated. “But at the same time we all need to understand that it will take time to get rid of the disease that has taken 40 years to mature,” he added.
A declaration issued by the CII called for punishing all those found guilty of involvement in the Sialkot tragedy after a thorough legal process.
The meeting decided to continue the consultation process with experts to eradicate extremism from the country.
The declaration said the council had previously stated that the problem was non-enforcement of the law and that ensuring punishment for those involved in such incidents under the existing laws was more important than formulating new laws. The system should ensure that those involved in the Sialkot tragedy or any other such incidents are punished.
At the same time, the CII was of the opinion that the growing violence in the country was also due to the presence and dissemination of anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan content on social media. The council said it was working with other agencies in this regard as a coordinated strategy was required to counter it.
The CII stated that there was room for substantial reform in the existing judicial system in such a way as to restore public confidence in these institutions. It said there was an urgent need for creating awareness among the masses against the tendency of taking the law into their own hands.
The council suggested to the government to take steps to table the Paigham-i-Pakistan declaration in parliament for approval.
The 2017 unanimous declaration termed terrorism, suicide attacks and killing someone haram in Islam. It was endorsed by all schools of thought and madressah boards in the country.
The CII meeting praised the government for its handling of the situation after the Sialkot incident to the satisfaction of the government and people of Sri Lanka.
The meeting welcomed the decision by Prime Minister Imran Khan to award Certificate of Merit and Medal of Courage to Malik Adnan, who tried to save his Sri Lankan colleague from the mob.
Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2021