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January 20, 2016

Govt opposes restoration of Friday as weekly holiday


January 20, 2016

ISLAMABAD:  The government on the floor of the National Assembly on Tuesday opposed restoration of Friday instead of Sunday as weekly holiday.

“ It is not mentioned in the Holy Quran that Friday should be declared as weekly holiday,” Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, while responding to a resolution moved by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) parliamentarians in the lower house of Parliament.

He said it should not be made a religious issue, adding that he was in favour seven working days in a week.Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said that Islam allows routine business of life before and after Juma congregation, adding that break is also observed for Juma prayers in Parliament. “We should adopt balanced attitude instead of taking path of extremism,” he said.

Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah was of the opinion that the resolution should be sent to standing committee on religious affairs instead of sending it directly to the government so that it could be discussed there.

Earlier, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab did not oppose the resolution sought to moved by Sahibzada Tariqullah, Sahibzada Muhammad Yaqoob, Sher Akbar Khan and Aisha Syed of JI.  Maulana Amir Zaman of JUI-F and Nafeesullah Khattak of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also supported the resolution.

Sahibzada Tariqullah said that Friday enjoyed utmost importance in Islamic practices. He said then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had declared Friday as official weekly holiday but the decision was reverted by the later Nawaz Sharif government. 

Sher Akbar and Aisha Syed also said that Friday is observed as weekly holiday in most of the Muslim countries. They said the business community also prefers to close their business on Friday.

Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf said the government had not opposed the  resolution. He said his ministry had also initiated ‘Nizam-e-Salaat’ in Islamabad.

Captain (R) Muhammad Safdar of PML-N said there could be no two opinions on Friday as weekly holiday.  However, the federal government was ready to pass a resolution in the National Assembly in this regard if a similar resolution is also passed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.


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