Hate speeches, material not to be tolerated: Ashrafi

Staff Reporter

Special Aide to Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi Monday said that no one would be allowed to create unrest through hate speeches and literature against other sects and minorities. Briefing the media about Muttahida Ulema Board meeting at the Punjab Institute of Quran and Seerat Studies, he said that minorities could lodge their complaints against any threats, faced by them in freely practising their religion, adding that a complaint cell had been established in Islamabad where the minorities could submit their complaints.

“Islam is a religion of peace, security and compassion, which guarantees protection of minorities’ rights in a Muslim state,” he added. He said that minorities played very effective role in Pakistan development. Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi said minorities living in the country were not second class citizens, as they have all the rights and privileges as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan, he said and added that the government and state were responsible for ensuring protection of minorities’ rights in the country.

He said that statistics on forceful conversions and forceful marriages were being misinterpreted. “We want to make Pakistan a prosperous, stable and developed country with the help of all minorities,” he added. He said that legal action would be taken against elements responsible for religious extremism, and anarchy in the country. “In any civilised society, no one could be allowed to make hateful speeches to stir sectarian violence and chaos in the country,” he said.

To a question, he said that any conspiracy to create unrest in the country would be foiled through the support of ulema, adding that the members of Muttahida Ulema Board would meet foreign delegates and ambassadors of various countries to eliminate the wrong perception of forceful conversions.

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