ISLAMABAD    -   Prime Minister’s Special Representa­tive for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehm­ood Ashrafi on Sunday said that he had filed a petition in Lahore High Court challenging his removal as Muttahida Ulema Board (MUB) chairman.

In an exclusive talk with APP, he said the termination of his services as the MUB chairman was against the law as he was appointed the board’s chairman on February 19, 2019 and reassigned the portfolio on March 31, 2022. Ashrafi who is also the chair­man of Pakistan Ulema Council, said as per law, the board’s chairman could not be removed till the comple­tion of his constitutional term. 

He said the Auqaf Department had illegally terminated his services as the MUB chairman on September 19, through a notification.

He further said the notification of new appointment also did not men­tion the logical reasons of this abrupt change in the religious organization.

He said the court had sought jus­tification from a provincial law of­ficer that under which law the new appointment of the MUB chairman was made. The prime minister’s spe­cial aide said the MUB was a religious body and it must not be used for po­litical purposes.

He said throughout his tenure as chairman, the board was kept away from politics and the misuse of blas­phemy laws were discouraged at all levels of the society. He said during his tenure, not a single case of blas­phemy law was registered on ficti­tious grounds against any individual or group.

Shedding light on the board’s per­formance, he said it achieved many a milestone for the provision of inter­sect and interfaith harmony under his supervision during the last two and half years. It was not only ac­claimed at the national level but also acknowledged internationally for handling the sensitive issues pertain­ing to blasphemy laws, he added. 

Taking to twitter, Ashrafi said he was grateful to Allah Almighty that the Muttahida Ulema Board’s deci­sions were accepted by all the courts and praised by the entire world. “Scholars are inheritors of the right path and the position of Muttahida Ulema Board chairman cannot hinder in the way of truth,” he maintained.