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September 22, 2020

MQM-P leaders meet scholars in bid to maintain sectarian harmony in city

Karachi

September 22, 2020

Worried about the recent escalation in hate campaigns and sectarianism in the country, particularly Karachi, leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan have met influential scholars of various sects and schools of thought in a bid to restore and strengthen sectarian harmony.

After a committee was formed under Amir Khan, the party’s senior deputy convener, the MQM-P leaders met religious scholars and appealed to them to preach religious tolerance and sectarian harmony.

On Monday, an MQM-P delegation, led by Khan, visited the office of Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), a key Shia political party, and met their leaders, including Allama Baqir Zaidi.

Leaders of both the parties in the meeting expressed grave concerns over the conspiracy to stoke sectarian violence and agreed on maintaining sectarian harmony in Karachi. The participants of the meeting included MQM-P MPA Abbas Jaffery, coordination committee members Abdul Haseeb Khan and Javed Akhtar, and MWM leader Ali Hussain Naqvi.

Addressing a joint press conference at the MWM’s provincial office in the Soldier Bazaar area, Khan and Zaidi said that the elements who wanted to divide the people along sectarian lines for their contemptible objectives and destroy the peace of Karachi could not have any soft feelings for Islam and humanity.

A few days ago, the MQM-P delegation, led by Khan, had also met Allama Shah Abdul Haq Qadri, the head of the Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan, a key Barelvi party. The MQM-P has also planned to meet other influential religious scholars in upcoming days, sources of the party said.

MQM-P leaders claim that since 1983, the party has been working to unite the people of different sects and end sectarianism. Syed Aminul Haque, MQM-P’s central leader and federal minister, said the party leadership has been concerned over the rise of hate speeches and sectarianism in the city and consider it a conspiracy to incite sectarian violence in the city by fanning religious sentiments.

“It was the reason that the party decided to play its role in maintaining peace in the metropolis and started meeting with religious clerics,” Haque told The News. The federal minister added that the MQM-P enjoyed good relations with religious scholars of every sect and schools of thought, and no one could understand the city’s religious dynamics better than it.

“It was our political party which played its role in maintaining peace in the sectarian violence of 1983 in Karachi and stood against the Sawad-e-Azam Ahl-e-Sunnat [a hardcore religious group],” he remarked. He said that the MQM-Pakistan leaders in their meetings had been appealing to religious leaders not to invite religious scholars from outside the city to their events.