ISLAMABAD   -   Some renowned Ulema and religious scholars have demanded an apology from former prime minister and Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) over his alleged controversial remarks about Islam, which were made at a public gathering.

The Ulema in separate statements showed their serious concerns over the use of “religion card” in the public rallies of PTI saying that the controversial comments that are being made at the rallies of the opposition party were fast moving the country to a dangerous situation.

Earlier this week, a video of the PTI Chairman Khan while addressing the party workers’ convention in Lahore had gone viral on social media drawing criticism from people belonging to different walks of life.

Former special assistant to then prime minister Imran Khan on interfaith harmony Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi in a video message from Saudi Arabia said that he had been requesting Khan many times in meetings and privately that he (Khan) should always seek advice or guidance or at least study the Islamic literature before talking about Islam, and its prophets and sacred personalities as well as places.

“Khan sahib, it is not correct” to resemble any kind of work with that of prophets,” said Ashrafi who is the Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council. “For God’s sake, millions of people hear you. Youth gets influence from you,” he said.

Markazi Ulema Council Pakistan (MUCP) in a statement sought an apology from Chairman PTI Khan and said that he should seek forgiveness from God over his “controversial talk”. The Council condemned the remarks made by Khan at a public place.

MUCP Chairman Sahibzada Zahid Mehmood Qasmi in the statement directed central and provincial office bearers of the organization to ask PTI leaders not to give such insulting statements in future that “provoke sentiments of public”.

The Council said that former prime minister Khan had been making such insulting and controversial statements in the past that hurt sentiments of Muslims. The former prime minister has been using the slogans of Amr-bil-Maroof (enjoining good & forbidding evil) and State of Madinah, it added.

“The use of religion for political purposes should be banned,” it said. The statement also said that Islam was not meant only for sloganeering but to bring change in the entire world. “We have serious concerns over the use of “religion card” in the rallies of the PTI.” It added that the use of religion for politics has always harmed the society and promoted extremism.

The Council said that Khan’s controversial talk would lead the country toward further polarization. “The use of the term of State of Madinah by Imran Khan and his party is a joke and an insult to the religion,” it said, adding that the term was used for political purposes during around four years rule of PTI.