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July 27, 2020

Shia Ulema Council rejects bill, warns of protests

Lahore

July 27, 2020

LAHORE : Shia organisations on Sunday continued protesting and condemning the Tahaffuz Bunyad-e-Islam Bill passed by the Punjab Assembly, terming it an encroachment upon their basic faith and conspiracy against the liberal kind of Pakistan envisioned by Quaid-i-Azam.

After a major Shia group, Majlis Wahdat Muslemin (MWM), announced withdrawing political and electoral support in future to all those parties who backed the bill in assembly, another Shia organisation, Shia Ulema Council (SUC), warned of sectarian strife and protests just ahead of Muharram if their reservations on the bill were not removed.

SUC Punjab president Allama Sibtain Haider phoned Punjab Assembly Speaker Ch Pervaiz Elahi on Sunday and, on behalf of SUC chief Allama Sajid Ali Naqvi and other central leaders, conveyed him the reservations of Shia community over the bill. He expressed wonder how Punjab Assembly members were taken in by some hardliners to make a controversial legislation which was totally unacceptable to Shias. He said both Shias and Sunnis greatly respect and honour the companions of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and had always been writing ‘Alaih-e-Salam’ with their names as mark of love and respect, adding both Shias and Sunnis have reservations against this bill.

He later told the media that Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch Pervaiz Elahi assured that the reservations of Shia community over the bill would be resolved. He said on the invitation of Ch Pervaiz Elahi, a delegation of SUC would meet him at his residence on Monday (today) and convey reservations of Shia community to him over the bill.

Meanwhile, the central secretary general of MWM, Allama Raja Nasir Abbas, announced totally rejecting the bill, terming it contradictory to the constitution of Pakistan and a conspiracy to make the country a sectarian state. He said in the presence of the Constitution of Pakistan, there was no need for enacting such a controversial legislation.