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Deoband elders` warning to Punjab govt

July 14, 2010

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Elders of Deoband school of thought have demanded a judicial commission headed by the CJP to probe Data Darbar tragedy.—File photo
Elders of Deoband school of thought have demanded a judicial commission headed by the CJP to probe Data Darbar tragedy.—File photo by Reuters

LAHORE Alleging that the Sunni Ittehad Council is attempting to ignite sectarian riots in the country, elders of Deoband school of thought have warned the Punjab government to stop 'patronising' their rival sect or be ready to contest the next election on divisions along Deobandi and Barelvi sects.

“Fazle Karim (council chairman) & Co is conspiring to cause Deobandi-Barelvi riots while the khadm-e-ala (Punjab chief minister) seems to be khadm-i-Barelvi and if the Punjab government does not stop patronising (the Barelvis), a campaign will be launched to make the next elections a contest between Deobandi and Barelvi schools of thought,” declared a meeting of the Deoband leaders held here at Jamia Manzoorul Islam in Cantonment on Tuesday.

It demanded a judicial commission headed by the chief justice of Pakistan to probe Data Darbar tragedy and public hanging of those found involved in the terror act at the Minar-i-Pakistan.

Prominent among those in attendance was Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, a former member of banned outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and accused of having links with Al-Qaeda. His new outfit, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, had supported the PML-N in a recent Jhang by-poll.

Ludhianvi said he would accept any punishment if any arrested member of his outfit was found involved in terror activities otherwise he himself would suggest penalty for those calling him and his colleagues militants.
 
Alleging that some people were conspiring to pitch Deobani and Barelvi schools of thought against each other in the garb of Data Darbar suicide attack, he warned that such a scenario would be destructive for Pakistan.
 
Urging the government to take the situation seriously and act against the conspirators, he alleged that Fazle Karim and his colleagues were planning sectarian unrest.

Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Pakistan Ulema Council chief, challenged Interior Minister Rehman Malik to prove link of any militant with Deoband school of thought.

Through a resolution, the meeting urged moderate Barelvi parties to join hands with the Deobandis for maintaining peace in the country.

Another resolution demanded that representatives from different schools of thought be included in the committee probing the Darbar tragedy, and yet another sought removal of Fazle Karim as chairman of the Punjab Ulema Board and banning the Karachi-based Sunni Tehrik.