Islam provides unparalleled rights to minorities: Ashrafi

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Thursday said Quran and Sunnah provided extraordinary rights to minorities, which has no parallel in any other law or constitution of the world.

Addressing a National Dialogue, organized by the Centre for Research and Dialogue in connection with National Minorities Day here, Ashrafi who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, said the leadership of all schools of thought were agreed upon that they would extend formidable support to minority communities and would not let them provide any harm at any critical juncture of life.

Shedding light on various incidents of religious extremism, he said the misuse of desecration of religion and blasphemy law had been abrogated with collective efforts of the Ulema and Mashaykh and the government’s apparatus across the country.

Pakistan believed in religious coexistence as it was the land of the faithful of various sects and religions who were spending a peaceful and prosperous life without any fear and anxiety, he added.

On the contrary, Ashrafi said, nobody was safe and sound in India as more than 150 churches had been set on fire, more than 200 Christian religious leaders had been killed and the same situation was with rest of the minorities including Sikhs and Muslims there.

He said on the eve of New Year, Indian police strictly prevented Christian community from the New Year’s celebrations and religious rituals in the Churches.

Recently, the Indian occupational forces did not allow holding any event of procession or religious gathering in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in connection with Muharramul Haram, he regretted.

He said the world should look into the matters on humanitarian grounds as one side, Israel was killing innocent children of Palestinians and the other side; India was murdering the Kashmiris in the holy month of Muharramul Haram.

He said he did not believe that ‘all is well’ but as compared to India, Pakistan had a far better living conditions for all segments of the society.

Regarding forced conversion, he made it clear that if someone committed this crime, it would not be associated with Islam because there was no room for such inhuman practices in the religious of peace and love.

He opined that we should point out such social evils with one voice instead of blaming the religion of Islam adding besides state; it was also our responsibility to provide adequate security to the temples and churches, located at every nook and cranny of the country.

Ashrafi said on this day, we had to pledge to make Pakistan the most beautiful country of the world with collective efforts and avoid becoming part of any disinformation campaign for personal gains or grudges.

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