KARACHI – Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Religious Affairs and Chairman of the Pakistani Ulama Council (PUC) Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said on Saturday that scholars from various sects and representatives of other religions were stepping in to promote religious harmony in the country, along with fighting sectarianism.
To this end, a joint religious platform called the Council for Interfaith Harmony, Pakistan is being formed, he said, adding the body would have representation down to the level of union councils across the country.
“We are mobilizing clerics and representatives of other religions, and streamlining things to form and run councils successfully. Very soon, Prime Minister Imran Khan will be given a detailed explanation of this most important national initiative, ”he reiterated while speaking at a press conference here at the Karachi Press Club.
Hafiz Ashrafi said such an initiative was necessary to counter conspiracy, provocation and acts of terror by anti-state and terrorist elements.
These forces are very active in shaking the country politically and economically through their negative propaganda and creating obstacles in the smooth functioning of the government, which is committed to strengthening the economy, carrying out development and improving the lives of people in the country, he added.
He regretted that these anti-state elements did not even prevent the country’s armed forces from being criticized and slander for their personal gain.
They have tried to create a rift between the government and the armed forces to weaken the country, he added.
“People who are charged with national fervor and patriotism through their unity and as a nation of maturity will thwart all your conspiracies,” he warned anti-state elements.
Hafiz Ashrafi alleges that India spent millions of dollars to weaken Pakistan and used different tactics for the same.
He is critical of opposition parties announcing agitation against Pakistan’s elected government Tehreek-i-Insaf and has come up with a program of rallies and protests across the country.
All of this, he said, would only serve the interests of outside forces hostile to Pakistan.
To the question, the PUC chairman said the PTI government, under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s leadership would complete his five-year term and the opposition’s wishes and plans would not materialize.
“This is an old tradition, the opposition political parties did give deadlines and spread rumors about the end of the government, but now people are very mature and don’t pay attention to them,” he said.
On other media inquiries, he said that the prime minister and his team are very concerned about the sudden increase in inflation and are making every effort to overcome the challenges and provide assistance to the people; especially for the poor. The prime minister will probably make important announcements in the near future, he said.
He condemned the murder of Dr. Maulana. Adil Khan and demanded the arrest of the killers as early as possible. However, he was satisfied with the efforts made by the Sindh government to catch Maulana’s killers. “The murder of Maulana Adil is a great tragedy and a huge loss for religion and the nation,” he said. He appealed to the federal and provincial governments to provide security to clerics and other clerics who face life threats.
He appealed to people from different schools of thought to show unity and jointly defeat anti-social and anti-state elements that promote hatred in the name of religion.
Pakistan’s Council of Ulama and other religious bodies and forums have signed codes of conduct for the same, he added.
He said that during his visit to Karachi, he had meetings with many other clerics and scholars to advance the above agenda.
Hafiz Ashrafi said Pakistan is considered an important and progressive Muslim country, and enjoys the best relations with other Arab and Muslim community in the world.