Islamabad’s Ulema, Mashaikh announce campaign against sectarianism

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Zubair Qureshi

Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) and Majlis Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) have announced a nationwide campaign against sectarianism and terrorism in the country. The call has been given in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Parachinar and rest of the country. Denouncing terror attacks in Quetta and Parachinar leaders of various religious sects, imams, scholars and mashaikh belonging to Islamabad and Rawalpindi have decided to hold conferences across the country to denounce sectarian violence in the country and to forge unity and oneness among the followers of various religions.
Talking to media here on Saturday, PUC Chairman Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi said the religious leadership of Pakistan was united and committed to the stability of Pakistan and unity of the Muslim ummah.
“The decision to observe Pakistan Stability Day was made in an earlier meeting with the leadership of different religious sects and religious organizations,” Ashrafi said. He further said that congregations in various cities, prayer leaders from mainstream sects, including Shia, Deobandi, Barelvi and Ahle Hadis in Friday prayers, had vowed to carry out a nationwide campaign to annihilate terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence from Pakistan.
“We all understand that any conspiracy to create divisions in Pakistan on account of sectarian differences will be foiled with unity and religious harmony,” he said. In Jamia Masjid Mahaz bin Jabal Sector I-8, while addressing a congregation, Ashrafi said a nationwide campaign would be carried out for the annihilation of terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence, and added that the entire nation was united with the people of Parachinar. He said terrorist attacks in Quetta and Parachinar were not against any particular religious sect, but against the people of Pakistan.
Mr Ashrafi also announced a meeting of representatives from sects and religious organisations on July 3 in Islamabad, to decide the future course of action to eradicate sectarian violence from Pakistan. He said the Unity of Ummah Conference will also be held on July 6 in Faisalabad. Meanwhile, religious scholars, leaders and Ulema of the federal capital have termed the Parachinar attacks a conspiracy against the Ideology of Pakistan and an attempt at creating differences among the followers of various religions.
Central Secretary General of the Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafari while addressing the media said people of Pakistan were suffering because of Gen Ziaul Haq’s policies. “We want Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan back,” he said. Quaid-e-Azam struggled for a pluralistic society and according to his vision Pakistan would be a country where followers of every sect, religion and faith will have equal rights. “Shia Community is the second largest community but unfortunately, it is being persecuted unendingly,” said Allama Jafari. He also criticized the political leadership for its insensitivity and indifference toward the victims of the Parachinar attacks. The Ulema and Mashaikh, however, welcomed Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s recent move to visit Parachinar and listen to the grievances of the protesters there. Army Chief he said has addressed the concerns of the Parachinar affectees and every Pakistani views his gesture as a step towards peaceful, prosperous Pakistan.

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