The government on Tuesday invited representatives of a religious group, protesting and staging sit-in at Faizabad junction of Rawalpindi and Islamabad for the last eight days, for talks to end the sit-in and made it clear that no Muslim could even think of any compromise on the issue of finality of the Prophet-hood (Khatme Nabuwwat). Addressing a joint presser here, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, Minister of State for Interior Talal Chaudhry and Minister for State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Chaudhry said the government wanted to end the sit-in peacefully through dialogue.
‘We request them to end the protest as they have got registered their protest. The government has already rectified the error in the nomination paper for election and now there is no justification to continue the sit-in, which is causing great inconvenience and hardship to people of twin cities,’ they said. They categorically said that firm belief in Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) as the last Messenger of Allah Almighty, is the fundamental part of Islamic faith, which was also an integral part of the Constitution. They said the matter had already been settled once for all and it should not be politicized, keeping in view of its sensitivity as the error in the Electoral Reforms Bill-2017 had been undone, they added.
Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said the government took prompt action after identification of the mistake and rectified it by summoning a special session of the Parliament. ‘Pakistan was created in the name of Islam and as per the constitution, no law can be framed against the injunctions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah,’ he said. However, if the protestors still have any reservations in this regard, the government was ready to remove them through talks, adding ‘Islam does not allow anyone to cause inconvenience for the general public. Blocking the roads has no morale and constitutional justification.’
The minister said Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat was a non-political entity and its leader Allah Wassaya, along with a delegation, had had a meeting with him, who appreciated the government’s immediate action for rectifying the mistake. Minister of State for Interior Talal Chaudhry said the government was trying to resolve the issue through dialogue and there should be no political point-scoring on such a sensitive issue. He said both the Punjab and Federal governments engaged the group in talks from the day one and no hindrance was created in their way from Lahore to Islamabad. He said that they had promised the government that neither they would block any road nor create any hurdles which could cause inconvenience to the general masses.
However, he said they violated the commitment made with the government. Talal said the government exhibited great patience while dealing with the protesters as their 12-point demands were totally illegal and unconstitutional, which could not be fulfilled. The minister said the government did not want to use force against the few hundred protesters but it would not allow them to prolong the sit-in any more. ‘Now this or that way, the issue has to be resolved to end the week long miseries,’ he said. Talal Chauhdary said detailed traffic plan was devised to ease the commuters’ problems. He regretted inconvenience to the general masses.
The minister also lauded the media for responsible reporting of the protest. Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry apologized with the citizen of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad for the inconvenience they faced due to the sit in of the religious group. He said ‘if you want to get something right, your intention should be good as at the end of the day, its (intention) will be counted.’ He said former Prime Minister and President PML-N Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, keeping in view the sensitivity of the issue, had constituted a committee comprising senior members of the party. The minister said leaders of Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat, during dialogue with the government, had reposed confidence in the committee.
He said due to the prolonged sit-in students, patients, employees and businessmen faced great hardship. Tariq Fazal Chaudhary said that Hazarat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is the last Messenger of Allah Almighty as the blessing for the entire humanity Responding to a question, Talal Chaudhry said PML-N Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had constituted three- member committee to probe the reported negligence while drafting the elections bill. To an another query, Talal said the protesting group was a registered political entity and participated in two by-elections.—APP