Sherpao warns clerics

Published May 21, 2007

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao on Sunday termed the kidnapping of four policemen by Jamia Hafsa students a heinous crime.

He warned the seminary clerics to release the remaining two police officials forthwith or “be ready to endure the fallout of such crimes”.

The government is persistently showing patience to avoid bloodshed as women are also present in the seminary, he said, adding that the management of Jamia Hafsa would be responsible for the consequences as such acts could not be tolerated.

He said PML president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had visited the seminary clerics several times in a bid to reach a negotiated settlement but his efforts remained fruitless.

The kidnapping of police officials is regrettable and contrary to the commitments made with the PML president, he said.

Rejecting reports that the government had released some persons on pursuance of Jamia Hafsa, he said it was just a coincidence because the court had accepted their bail petitions.—APP

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