Nazim-e-Ala of Wifaqul Madaris Pakistan Maulana Hanif Jalandhari has demanded the government to withdraw all fake and baseless cases against clerics, saying the followers of all sects will be forced to take steps against the government if it continued to oppress the religious circles.

Addressing a press conference along with the representatives of other schools of thought here at local JI office, he added that some members of bureaucracy, who worked for some other powers, were bent upon creating a rift between government and religious schools. He maintained that many actions taken under the umbrella of National Action Plan were condemnable. He lamented that the workers were being arrested and included in fourth schedule without any reason. He was of the opinion that dispensation of justice was the only guarantee to peace while tyranny and oppression caused unrest and terrorism. He warned that targeting religion under the guise of action against terrorism was not acceptable at any cost.

He said that the religious institutions or leadership were not consulted on the topic of ban on admissions of foreign students or funding. “Deporting all students, who are completing their studies, is a cruel decision. The government should extend their visas and let them accomplish their studies,” he demanded.

He further asked the government to withdraw amended ordinance in amplifier act. He claimed that the religious circles adopted a highly cooperative stance while the government and institutions had the policy of conflict.

He said that at time when all forces were in action against terrorists, incidents like Shikarpur blast and target killing of clerics in Karachi were a question mark on the performance of these institutions. He asserted that the government needed to further strengthen its intelligence system. He was of the opinion that use of power would not deliver positive results in eliminating terrorism, suggesting to the government to launch an ideological effort to win this war.

He warned that the efforts to push the clerics to wall would weaken country’s foundation. He added that the representatives of all sects had unanimously decided that a joint line of action would be adopted if the government continued its oppressive acts. He demanded the Prime Minister to hold an APC of all religious parties and consult their leadership.

Representatives of Shia and Barelvi sects Syed Ali Raza Gardezi, Ayub Moghal, JI leader Asif Akhwani, Maulana Sultan Mahmood Zia, Hafiz Zafar Qureshi and Arshad Iqbal Niazi were present on this occasion.

ANTI-POLIO DRIVE: A three-day round of polio vaccination drive was kicked off here amid tight security on Monday. The District Coordination Officer Multan Zahid Saleem Gondal said that over 600,000 children below the age of five would be vaccinated during this round across the district.

A total of 1893 teams of Lady Health Workers (LHWs) have been designated for the campaign while supervisors will be monitoring the district-wide drive which is to be ended on Wednesday. EDO (Health) Multan briefed that of 1893, as many as  1450 teams are mobile and they are going door to door to administer polio drops  to the kids below the age of five.

As part of the security measures taken up for a smooth execution of the drive, DCO has imposed under Section 144 of the criminal procedure code a ban on the display of weapons throughout the district.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared that Pakistan is responsible for nearly 80 per cent of polio cases reported globally and had imposed strict travel restrictions on Pakistan last year to prevent the possible spread of the polio virus to other countries.