A larger number of Ulema and Mashaikh attending the National Ulema and Mashaikh Convention by Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) at the Convention Centre in Islamabad. -APP Photo/Javed Quershi

ISLAMABAD The government on Sunday announced setting up of a 7-member 'Sufi Advisory Council' (SAC) with an aim to combating extremism and fanaticism by spreading Sufism in the country.

Interestingly, the SAC replaces an earlier such exercise when the PML-Q government had notified constitution of a 'National Sufi Council' with party president Chaudhry Shujaat as its president and taking some progressive intellectuals on it to give Sufism a chance to flourish.

The said NSC however became dormant after holding a 'Sufi gala' — a semi-music festival — in Lahore's Qala and printing calendars in the name of council.

According to an official handout Haji Muhammad Tayyab who heads one of several factions of Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) will be the chairman of the SAC which will be holding its first meeting at the ministry of religious affairs on Tuesday June 9.

Other members of the SAC include Sahibzada Sajidur Rahman, Maulana Syed Charaghuddin Shah, Rawalpindi, Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi Islamabad, Hafiz Muhammad Tufail Islamabad, Iranmullah Jan, Director General Ministry of Religious Affairs and Abdul Ahad Haqqani Deputy Director R&S) MORA.

While two last named persons were ministry's officials Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi is a retired government official, Sajidur Rahman is a close relative of Raja Zafarul Haq (PML-N) and Charaghuddin Shah is a member of PML-Q's Ulema Mashaikh wing.

Haji Hanif Tayyab remained part of former military dictator Ziaul Haq's regime in various capacities including a minister.

It is not clear whether another religious body could be set up in presence of Council of Islamic Ideology which is a constitutional body.

Opinion

Living in Karachi
19 Jan 2021

Living in Karachi

The poor often end up paying more than middle-income segments.

Editorial

Updated 19 Jan 2021

LNG contracts

It is important for industry to reconnect with the national grid and for gas to be allocated for more efficient uses.
19 Jan 2021

Murdered judges

THE continuous violence in Afghanistan has raised serious questions about the sustainability of the peace process, ...
19 Jan 2021

K2 feat

A TEAM of 10 Nepalese mountaineers made history over the weekend as they scaled the world’s second highest peak K2...
Updated 18 Jan 2021

More ignominy for PIA

Decades of mismanagement, nepotism and political opportunism were bound to take their toll.
18 Jan 2021

Agriculture woes

AGRICULTURE is the lifeline of Pakistan’s economy. It is a source of livelihood for two-thirds of the country’s...
18 Jan 2021

Internet access

AS the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, and shows few signs of dissipating, one of the many lessons policymakers should ...