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National

AH
Asim Hussain
October 13, 2017

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TSM leader reaches LPC for debate with Sajid Mir

TSM leader reaches LPC for debate with Sajid Mir

LAHORE: Despite police presence and ban on religious debate (munazra), Tehrik Sirat Mustaqeem (TSM) leader Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali forcibly entered the Lahore Press Club along with hundreds of party activists.

He said he had reached the venue for debate on the oath of the finality of Prophethood (SAW) with Prof Sajid Mir but he was not there. 

Some arrests were also made from the head office of Jamiat Ahle Hadith on the Ravi Road, including arrest of the party’s spokesman, Babar Farooq Rahimi. Police also besieged the offices of Tehrik Labbaik Ya Rasoolallah (TLYR) on the Multan Road. 

In view of expected violent protests, a large number of police had besieged the offices of Tehrik Sirat Mustaqeem (TSM) and Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith (MJAH), the two parties whose leaders had challenged to hold a debate on the connotations of the amendments made by parliament last week regarding the oath of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. 

The challenge of debate was originally made by MJAH President Senator Sajid Mir which was accepted by TSM leader Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali who fixed the time of debate at 5pm at the Lahore Press Club on Thursday. 

This issue aggravated a couple of days back after the statement of Law Minister Minister Rana Sanaullah which allegedly supported Qadiyanis' stance despite their controversial beliefs. 

This statement outraged the Muslim scholars and workers irrespective of the differences of schools of thought who termed the statement an open violation of the the Constitution of Pakistan and the basic belief of Islam. They demanded the minister apologise to the countrymen, otherwise, he be dismissed from his office. 

Despite the police siege, Dr Jalali had managed to reach the Lahore Press Club at the fixed time and the workers accompanying him began raising slogans against Punjab Minister Rana Sanaullah and Senator Sajid Mir. 

The police tried to arrest him which led to scuffles between the workers and police. However, Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali turned himself to police without much resistance, and police also rounded up nearly 10 workers accompanying him while the rest managed to escape. They were initially kept at the Qila Gujjar Singh police station and later shifted to Kotwali police station. 

The police also arrested three workers of rival MJAH who managed to reach the press club, including Hafiz Salman Azam who is president of MJAH set-up in Holy Makkah, and is on a visit to Lahore these days. Two workers Hafiz Qaseem and Qari Irfan Ahmad who were accompanying him were also arrested. In addition to that, the police arrested seven other party workers, including MJAH spokesman Hafiz Babar Farooq Rahimi at the party’s office on Ravi Road. 

The news of the arrest of Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali caused strong resentment among the religious scholars and workers affiliated with his school of thought who had threatened to stage protests across the country on Friday (today) unless Rana Sanaullah tendered an apology and Dr Ashraf jalali was released. Similar announcement of staging protests today were also made by scholars of Ahle Hadith school of thought. The scholars also said that Rana Sanaullah must renew his faith as he had committed an act against Islam.

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