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Tahaffuz-e-Bunyad-e-Islam Bill will be signed after consensus: Sarwar

By Faizan Bangash
July 27, 2020

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Ch Sarwar has said the Tahaffuz-e- Bunyad-e-Islam Bill 2020 will become an act after consensus. Talking to The News over Tahaffuz-e-Bunyad-e-Islam Bill that was passed by the Punjab Assembly on July 22, the governor said the bill is very sensitive and it would be signed after consensus is developed over it. Under the law, a bill after being passed by a provincial assembly is referred to the governor and after he signs the document, it becomes law.

The Tahaffuz-e-Bunyad-e-Islam Bill is very much likely to be referred back to the Punjab Assembly’s Standing Committee again as the governor is not going to sign it in a hurry. Already, the bill, which was tabled in the House by the PML-Q MPA and minister, has sparked a controversy which was obvious from the press conference of Majlis-e-Wahdat Muslimeen leadership which completely rejected it while expressing serious reservations on it. The MWM leadership holds the view that this bill was passed at a time when the House wasn’t even able to meet the quorum and most of the members didn’t even turn up at a session when this bill was being debated.

Moreover, some politicians while expressing their reservations even said the timing of this bill has been very sensitive as just a few days later, the month of Muharram is commencing and sectarian divide could be disastrous for country at this hour.

On the other hand, the Punjab government bigwigs like Law Minister Raja Basharat have termed it a step towards the ‘PM’s vision of Riyast-e-Madina’. Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi being the key player behind this bill also believes that this legislation would increase harmony amongst different sects. He has also contacted different religious scholars to build consensus over the bill.

Our correspondent adds from Islamabad: Central Secretary General of Majlis-e-Wahdat Muslimeen (MWM) Pakistan Allama Nasir Abbas Jaffary Sunday termed the Tahaffuz Bunyand-e-Islam Bill as against the Constitution of Pakistan and fundamental human rights.

He emphasised that the promotion of tolerance and brotherhood was cardinal and the document prepared under the tag of ‘Message of Islam’ would go a long way in maintenance of sectarian harmony and mutual respect. Extremism, he pointed out, had claimed more than 70,000 lives in Pakistan in the last three decades. He said that Shia Ulema and Sunni clerics were not consulted before introducing the bill in the Punjab Assembly.

Speaking here at a news conference at MWM Secretariat along with central and provincial leaders, he said that no other bill was required in the presence of the Constitution of Pakistan. “The Shia community rejects it outright. A fatwa of disbelief was imposed on Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal before the establishment of Pakistan.”

Meanwhile, Patron-in-Chief of Supreme Shia Ulema Board Quaid-e-Millat Jafaria Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi announced that a peaceful protest day would be observed all over Pakistan on Friday (July 31) against the bill in the Punjab Assembly.

He was addressing the office-bearers of Tehreek Nafaz Fiqh-e-Jafariya Punjab who called on him. He pointed out that the Article 227 of the Constitution clearly indicates that interpretation of the Quran and Sunnah will be considered acceptable as is interpreted by any sect, accordingly.