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March 2, 2015

Clerics want meeting with PM,CM on action against seminaries


March 2, 2015

ITTEHADUL Tanzeemat-e-Madaris, an umbrella organisation of the five Wifaqs of religious seminaries at a meeting at Mansoora decided to strongly resist the government measures against the seminaries and reject all unconstitutional steps of the rulers pursuing the agenda of the imperial powers.
The meeting held at the Jamaat-e-Islami Headquarters demanded an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to enable them to remove the misgivings regarding the seminaries and the clerics on this score.
The religious leaders called for stopping the arrests of the Ulema and immediate release of those already arrested.
Later, addressing a press conference, heads of the five Wifaqs said Pakistan is an Islamic state and the Constitution did not allow any anti-Islam activity but the government was bent upon advancing the designs of the US and the West against Islam.
The speakers included Maulana Abdul Ma’lik, Mufti Munibur Rahman, Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhry, Yasin Zafar and Syed Kazim Naqvi. They said seminaries were fortress of Islam and not factories of terrorists, and the nation stood united in their defence.
They said nobody objected to the seminaries registration, but the government was neither registering these institutions nor had it named the institution allegedly involved in terrorism. On the other hand, they said, an anti-Islam agenda was being pursued through the harassment and arrests of clerics and the ban on the use of loudspeakers of mosques.
Mufti Munibur Rahman said the government was deliberately pushing the country towards turmoil and chaos. He said that after the Peshawar tragedy, the clerics and religious circles had fully supported the National Action Plan against terror, including the military courts although they had reservations due to the inclusion of the words ‘religion and sects’ in the plan. He said the negative effects of the Amendment had become evident by now. He said

terrorism was of different forms; however, only the seminaries were being targeted. He said that on one hand, the government was bemoaning huge losses caused by sit-ins in Islamabad but on the other hand, it was opening a new front against the religious forces in the country.
He said their talks with the government were also going on and they had already held talks with the federal secretaries of religious affairs, education and interior, but crackdown on the seminaries had not been suspended even for a single day. He said they had called upon the interior minister to release the names of the seminaries and the individuals involved in un-constitutional activities so that the nation could know those involved in terror and assured that they would not defend such elements. ‘The survival and the defence of the state is the collective responsibility of all of us and we stand shoulder to shoulder with the government in this regard, and will not defend any act of tyranny, lawlessness and terrorism’, he added.
He said that they had written to the Prime Minister, the chief minister, besides the heads of sensitive agencies but they had not received any reply from any quarter. He said the monitoring of the seminaries had been going on since Pervez Musharraf era. Allegations had been levelled against seminaries for the last 18 years but no evidence had been produced ever. He said if they were not given reply on time, they would be compelled to stage protest.

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