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Appeals for strictly observing SOPs: Ashrafi warns of Covid threat at Eid congregations, cattle markets

Appeals for strictly observing SOPs: Ashrafi warns of Covid threat at Eid congregations, cattle markets

LAHORE: PM’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Affairs Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi has appealed to all Islamic scholars and clerics to observe SOPs and precautionary steps against COVID-19 during Eidul Azha, and also ask the public to follow them.

Eid is the occasion to include the deserving, poor and the destitute in joys and celebrations, but the fourth wave of COVID-19 was becoming a serious threat to the country with spike in corona cases, he said while addressing a joint press conference Monday along with noted scholars including Maulana Abdul Wahab Ropari, Maulana Muhammad Khan Leghari, Maulana Asadullah Farooq, Maulana Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, Maulana Muhammad Rafiq Jami, Allama Syed Ziaullah Shah Bukhari, Allama Zubair Abid, Allama Muhammad Hussain Akbar, Allama Tahir-ul-Hassan, Maulana Muhammad Aslam Siddiqui, Maulana Abdul Qayyum Farooqi, Qari Abdul Hakim Athar and Maulana Qasim Qasmi.

Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, who is also chairman Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) said safety against coronavirus was only possible with precautions and vaccination process. Therefore, during Eidul Azha, precautionary measures should be taken with social distancing and face mask wearing in cattle markets, shopping malls, public places and Eid congregations.

The scholars warned that cases of coronavirus were increasing during fourth wave, asking public to take all precautionary measures on the occasion of Eidul Azha and wear masks while going outdoors. They also urged the people to perform ablution (Wuzu) and bring their prayer mats from home before going to mosques. They also appealed to clerics and mosques administrations to educate the public during the sermons of Eid prayers to observe precautionary measures against coronavirus, ensure cleanliness and include the deserving, the poor, the destitute and the needy in the festivities of Eidul Azha. They said Islam emphasised on cleanliness, terming it half faith, adding that non-hygiene was one of the reasons of outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

They also appealed to ulema, Mashaikh and prayer leaders to offer special prayers on the eve of Eidul Azha for the unity of Muslim Ummah, freedom for the oppressed people of Kashmir and Palestine and for deliverance from the pandemic. The leaders thanked the Saudi government for excellent arrangements for the Haj and paid tributes, saying that next year Allah willing, Haj and Umrah will be offered normally as in the past.

To a question, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi said we appeal to all groups in Afghanistan for peace, reconciliation and dialogue. He said Pakistan never believed in blame games since peace in Afghanistan was necessary for peace in Pakistan, and the prime minister and ISI chief made Pakistan’s position clear to the world. He said the daughter of Afghan ambassador is also the daughter of Pakistan, and the entire nation stood by the stance of the foreign affairs ministry and interior ministry in this connection.

To another question, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi said efforts have been started at all levels on the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan for the establishment of law and order during the month of Muharram and countrywide visits will be made after Eidul Azha to maintain religious harmony during the holy month. Muttahida Ulema Board members will visit Punjab with coordinated support of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and to implement code of conduct of ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’