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Karachi

September 12, 2018

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Sindh govt ready for talks to review list of 200 Ulema facing speech ban

The Sindh government has shown willingness to hold negotiations with religious organisations to review the list it recently notified containing the names of over 200 Ulema/orators for restricting their movement and barring them from delivering speeches anywhere in the province during the next 60 days.

The speech and movement restrictions are part of a number of security steps which the provincial government has taken to ensure foolproof security during The willingness to hold talks was expressed as a ministerial committee constituted by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah held a meeting with religious leaders of different schools of thought at Sindh Secretariat on Tuesday, a day before the commencement of Muharram-ul-Haram.

Last week, the home department had issued a notification to impose a ban on the movement of certain Ulema belonging to different sects and to restrain them from making speeches anywhere in Sindh to maintain peace and sectarian harmony during the holy month.

“Yesterday, the Sindh chief minister himself expressed reservations over the issue and today’s meeting has been convened on his direction,” said Works and Services Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah while speaking at the meeting.

“The case of each one of the religious scholars whose names have been included in the notification of the ban will be reviewed with your consultation. The names of Ulema who have been unduly included in the list would be omitted accordingly.”

Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, who also attended the meeting, said Ulema or members of the public were never responsible for creating problems related to law and order. He added that undesirable situations had always been created by a handful of miscreants and terrorists that caused trouble for the residents of the province.

He said that due security measures were being taken to ensure the safety of Majalis and processions of Muharram, and the government was thankful to the religious scholars for extending cooperation in this regard.

Religious Affairs Minister Faraz Hussain Dero said the government would take immediate steps to resolve the issues pointed out by the religious scholars in the meeting, be they related to the departments of local government, home, works of services.

The meeting between the ministers and the religious scholars decided that such consultations would continue after Ashura and would take place after every three months to review problematic issues.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said the government would surely implement all the recommendations of Ulema regarding their unresolved issues.

He assured the participants of the meeting that the government as per directions of the apex judiciary would constitute committees for a proper review and to assess the security needs of religious scholars so as to give a proper security cover to them.

Earlier, security had been withdrawn from the religious scholars as per the directives of Supreme Court, he said. He appealed to the Ulema to play their due role in the ongoing drive of the Sindh government to fully implement the National Action Plan and defeat the menace of terrorism.

The works and services minister said Sindh had taken lead among the provinces in implementing the National Action Plan. He said the newly constituted provincial government of the Pakistan Peoples Party had the resolve to completely overcome public issues in the province by December 2019.

The local government minister said that a committee had been constituted under the additional commissioner to resolve the municipal issues in the city as pointed out by religious scholars. He said Ghani would provide utmost support to the civic and municipal agencies of the province to resolve the pending civic problems as being identified by religious organisations.

The provincial home secretary, the Karachi commissioner, the additional commissioner, deputy commissioners from different districts of the province, senior police officials also attended the meeting.

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