KARACHI: In a rare move, religious scholars have announced that they would stand by a female Christian official of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who had been threatened by a Muslim colleague of implicating her in a false blasphemy case to settle a “personal dispute” in the metropolis recently.

Religious leaders from both Muslims and Christians said that the move aimed at showing solidarity with the victim that she was not alone.

A viral video showed a CAA official, identified as Salim, threatening a female colleague to accuse her of allegedly committing blasphemy for disallowing entry of a vehicle without number plate in the cargo area at Karachi airport. Later, a CAA spokesperson said the male official had been suspended.

In the latest move, a delegation of ulema from different sects led by Allama Ziaullah Sialvi, the chairman of the Ulema Amn Council Pakistan, met with the woman.

“We met our sister and assured her that we stand by her both on the religious as well as legal grounds,” Allama Sialvi told Dawn.

“If she wants to take a legal action and lodge an FIR of the incident against the CAA official, we will fully support her during the investigation and in court as well,” he declared.

He said that no one would be allowed to misuse religion against ‘our non-Muslim brethren’ since it not only defamed the country, but also set wrong examples to victimise anyone for personal benefit.

Bishop Khadim Bhutto, who is leading an interfaith initiative with Allama Sialvi, told Dawn that on his request the ulema had also visited the CAA office and submitted a joint application with the director general, requesting him to take disciplinary action against the official involved.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2023

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