No one can 

force anybody to change faith

FAISALABAD   -   Special Representative to Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and Central Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi has said Pakistan will become a model Islamic state like Riyasat-e-Madinah if every segment of society plays its religious and constitutional role.

Addressing the Ulema Mashaikh Pakistan Solidarity Convention at Jamia Masjid Kutchehry Bazaar here on Sunday, he said the recent changes in neighbouring country (Afghanistan) had foiled nefarious designs of those who were conspiring against Pakistan. He said after 20 years, a major world power had been defeated in Afghanistan. Ashrafi said that India was still conspiring to initiate a hybrid war so that a chaotic situation could be created in the region, but Ulema would foil all those conspiracies with their vision and religious insight.

Tahir Ashrafi said, “We give equal respect to all religious leaders. It is our ideology to make Pakistan a model Islamic state.” He said no one could force anybody to change his faith.

He said that government was striving to transform Pakistan into Riyasat-e-Madinah. “Pakistan will become a model Islamic state when we will start realising our individual obligations,” he said.

He urged all faithful to follow in the footsteps of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him). He said, “In Riyasat-e-Madinah, the great Caliph Hazrat Umar (RA) was also accountable to a common man, but we have failed to do so because of the influential segments of our society.”

He said in 1990, during the Benazir era, the slogan of accountability was raised, but not even a single case was decided. He said, “It was our own faults that we could not make Pakistan a model Islamic state.”

Hafiz Ashrafi said much hype was being created about the new faith conversion law, but everyone should rest assured that we would not allow any law to be enforced in Pakistan which was contradictory to Quran and Sunnah.

He said that some so-called feminists were criticising Pakistan, but they did not feel any pity for the plight of Aafia Siddiqui. Similarly, millions of women were tortured and raped in Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K), but the international community kept silence on that issue, adding that Islam was the only religion which had given due respect to females.

Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said, “We will not allow going back to the decade of 1990-2000 when killings of the opponent sects was on the rise and thousands of Ulema were martyred.” He said religious scholars would foil all these conspiracies through their unified approach and firm belief in Islamic values.

About uniform education syllabus, he said that some elements were upset over it, but the government had ensured that students must learn the Holy Quran along with their other contemporary subjects. Mufti Zia Madni, Maulana Farooq, Allama Tahirul Hasan, Maulana Haq Nawaz Khalid, Qari Ismatullah Muavia, Maulana Riaz Ahmad Kharl, Ubaidullah Gurmani and others also spoke.