Most religious parties avoid outright condemnation; Sajid Mir, Piracha assail murder
KARACHI: Leading Ulema of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan (JASP) in a joint statement have asked Muslims not to offer Namaz-e-Janaza nor try to lead funeral prayers of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer.
In a joint statement issued here they have also asked not to express regrets or sympathies over his assassination. Those issuing the statement include the JASP Central Ameer Prof Syed Mazhar Saeed Shah Kazmi, Allama Syed Riaz Hussain Shah, Shah Turab-ul-Haq Qadri, Allama Zamir Sajid, Pir Khalid Sultan, Pir Ghulam Siddiq Naqshbandi, Allama Syed Khizr Hussain Shah, Alhaj Amjad Chishti, Allama Ghulam Sarawar Hazarvi, Allama Syed Shamsuddin Bokhari, Pir Syed Ashiq Ali Shah Jilani, Mufti Muhammad Iqbal Chishti, Allama Fazal Jamil Rizvi, Agha Muhammad Ibrahim Naqshbandi Mujaddidi, Maulana Muhammad Riaz Qadri, Maulana Gulzar Naeemi, Allama Syed Ghulam Yaseen Shah, and over 500 other ulema and honorable muftis attached to the JASP.
Those favouring the person indulged in blasphemy are themselves blasphemous, they announced. Paying glowing tributes to Malik Mumtaz Hussain, and his courage, who killed Governor Salman Taseer, they said he is lover of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and is a ‘Ghazi’. Mumtaz had revived the 14-century-old tradition of Islam and put their head high in pride. It was only Prophet (PBUH) who could forgive any act of blasphemy but none other could ever do it.
They asked the rulers to save their faith by announcing that they would desist from attempting to amend the law of blasphemy. Asim Hussain adds from Lahore: Leaders of majority of religious parties desisted from expressing their views on the murder of Salman Taseer, while others gave a guarded response, saying the slain Punjab governor had been inviting such kind of reaction for quite some time.
He had continuously been violating the constitution of Pakistan by supporting an amendment to the blasphemy laws and interfering in the judicial process of the blasphemy convict Aasia Bibi, though he knew well that Muslims were very touchy on the matter, they said while talking to The News.
Some religious leaders like Jamiat Ahle Hadith President Prof Sajid Mir and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Dr Farid Piracha, however, condemned the murder saying Islam forbids people to punish even the criminals by taking the law into their hands.
Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) President Abdul Khair Mohammad Zubair said Islam strictly forbids taking the life of anyone without judicial or state order, but added that Salman Taseer had shown utter disregard for the religious sentiments of the entire nation.
The mobile phone of Sahabzada Fazal Karim, chairman Sunni Ittehad Council, remained switched off throughout Tuesday evening. A spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Syed Munawwar Hasan said he was not feeling well and could not be available on phone. The spokesman also expressed his helplessness to obtain any formal statement on the issue saying that any statement on the matter would be issued on the next day after consultations. Other main leaders of the Sunni Ittehad Council - Haji Hanif Tayyeb, Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali, Sarwat Ijaz Qadri - were also not available.
Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat Mahaz (TNRM) leaders held an emergency meeting after receiving the reports of murder of Salman Taseer. The meeting, chaired by Razaul Mustafa Naqshbandi, continued for two hours. Later, in a statement the TNRM said Taseer had been violating the laws of the land by supporting a blasphemy convict, Aasia Bibi, from day one. His irresponsible acts from the high office of the Governor of Punjab were inappropriate and offending 170 million Muslims of the country.
Meanwhile, Sunni Tehrik Lahore President Mujahid Abdul Rasool said Muslims should not attend the funeral prayers of Salman Taseer since he had wilfully committed blasphemy and shown disrespect towards protecting the honour of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).