Only state has right to declare Jihad: Ahsan


Religious scholars should condemn Fatwas posted on social media
Sophia Siddiqui


Federal Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Friday called on religious leaders to denounce “the fatwas for jihad” posted by people on social media.
“Only the state can declare jihad; no group of people has the right to declare jihad against another group,” the minister said while addressing the National Assembly. He added that enemies of the state want Muslims pitted against each other.
“We need to prevent that from happening and I humbly request religious leaders to condemn the fatwas posted on social media,” he said, adding that if we let this go on, the country will turn into a battlefield with various groups and ethnicities pitted against each other.
Iqbal announced that the government will take action against individuals involved in hate crimes under cyber crime laws.
He said that no one has a right to raise questions over the faith of legislators who have signed on the declaration of Khatam-e-Nabuwwat on their oath.
“No one has a franchise to judge anyone’s faith. The terror incidents remind us that we need unity in this country,” Iqbal said.
Referring to the recent suicide attack which killed 21 people at a Jhal Magsi shrine on Thursday, Iqbal said: “The terror incident once again reminds us that unity among the nation is the need of hour.”
He said that security forces were working towards arresting the facilitators of the blast, adding “The country is telling the sponsors of terrorism that their cowardly attempts [at creating fear] will not crush our defiant spirit.”
At least 21 people lost their lives in the suicide explosion that took place at the entrance to the shrine at a time when scores of people had gathered to pay their respects. Thursdays are usually busy in terms of attendance at shrines as the day is considered spiritually significant, but the day was also significant for the shrine as it was hosting a bi-monthly event.
The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed amendments to the Election Bill 2017, restoring a Khatam-i-Nabuwwat (finality of Prophethood) declaration required to be signed by public office holders to its original form.
The controversy had arisen when the ruling party had passed amendments to the election law earlier this week, with opposition parties claiming the bill moved by the government had also changed the contents of a form regarding belief in Khatam-i-Nabuwwat (finality of Prophethood), which is required to be signed by public office holders and election candidates. The amendments passed were agreed upon by members of parliamentary parties after NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had accepted the government had made a ‘clerical error’ and invited them to discuss the matter in his chambers.

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