KARACHI, June 3: Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad on Thursday assured ulema that the government was sparing no effort in restoring normalcy to Karachi. He told them that the culprits of bomb blasts at Hyderi Mosque and Imambargah Ali Raza would be arrest soon and punished.

"There is no sectarian issue involved," he said, adding, "neither Shia nor Sunni are against each other... it's just a matter of terrorism." The governor was talking to a representative delegation of the ulema at Governor's House where Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Ijazul Haq was also present.

"We are confronting with the law and order situation created by acts of terrorism, and not by a crime or sectarian unrest," Dr Ibad observed and told them: "We all have to fight against this curse together."

Terrorists are working in a very planned manner with an aim of pitting Shias and Sunnis against each other and to create lawlessness, however, because of ulema's efforts and people's cooperation, they did not succeed in their nefarious designs despite carrying out a series of attacks, Dr Ibad acknowledged.

He deplored incidents of violence after each terrorist act and this context referred to his visit to the Quaid-i-Azam Academy on Wednesday. He said that mischief-makers not only caused an extensive damage to the building but also did not spare even copies of the holy Quran.

He mentioned that during his meeting with ulema at Binnori Town mosque and another meeting with the ulema of Shia sect, he was told that their followers had nothing to do with those indulged in violence and sabotage. He urged ulema to extend their full cooperation in the government's fight against terrorism.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ijazul Haq said the government was equally concerned over the prevailing situation in Karachi as expressed by President Musharraf and Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali.

He said that the unity and cohesion demonstrated by Shia and Sunni sects in spite of such tragedies were exemplary. He particularly referred to the situation at Hussaini Blood Bank, after the Imambargah blast, where blood donors in queues included both Shias and Sunnis.

He was critical of the MMA for giving a strike call amid charged sentiments, and said: "But we will hold a peace march with ulema to observe 'Yaum-i-Azm' and 'Yaum-i-Doha' on Friday."

The minister made it clear, with reference to the strike call, that the government would not allow anyone to take the law into his own hands and if anyone did so, the government would deal with him strictly.

Dr Ibad told the meeting that besides observing Yaum-i-Azam and Yaum-i-Doha on Friday, he himself had declared Sunday as Yaum-i-Yakjehti and a 'Yakjehti rally' would be taken out on the day. People from all walks of life would participate in the rally, he added.

Various Sunni and Shia ulema, including Haji Mohammed Hanif Tayyab, Allama Aun Mohammad Naqvi and Senator Abbas Kumaili expressed their views on the occasion.

They criticized the performance of intelligence agencies and said that while taking action against the administration for its failure in maintaining law and order, heads of intelligence agencies should also be held accountable.

The governor replied that it had been because of the intelligence agencies' efforts that 171 terrorists had been arrested over the past 18 months and more than 3,000 kilograms of explosive material recovered.

He pointed out that 375 kilograms of explosive material had been used in the blast at the Hyderi mosque and one could imagine the catastrophe if the terrorists had succeeded in using the seized quantity of 3,000 kgs of explosives.

Besides prominent ulema from various schools of thought, Among others present at the meeting were Sindh Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Irfan Gul Magsi, CM's Adviser on Home Affairs Aftab Ahmed Shaikh, Chief Secretary Dr Mutawakkil Kazi, DG Rangers Maj-Gen Javed Zia and IGP Syed Kamal Shah.

FATWA: The Ulema belonging to various schools of thought issued a fatwa at a representative meeting held under the chairmanship of Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad here on Thursday.

The unanimously issued Fatwa said: "We, Ulema of all schools of thought belonging to Ahl-i-Hadith, Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahle Tashi unanimously announce that it is Kufr to trample the dignity of human life considering it Halal and to carry out Qatle Nahiq as Halal.

"In an Islamic state, the protection to the life, property and dignity of all Muslims and non-Muslims fully observing the constitution and law and land, is the responsibility of the state and the people should fully cooperate with the state in the discharge of this responsibility.

"This is the unanimous Fatwa of all Ulema". The Fatwa was signed by Maulana Mohammed Asad Thanvi, Mohtamam Jamia Ashrafia, Mufti Mohammed Usman Yar Khan, Jamia Darul Khair, Allama Mohammed Arshad Zahid, Ahl-i-Hadith, Nisar Ahmed Qalandari, Shabbir Ahmed Azhari, Ahl-i-Sunnat Jamaat and Ali Raza Shah Naqvi. -APP