LAHORE: Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) chairman Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Sunday said the blasphemy law cannot be amended.
“The legislation related to blasphemy cannot be annulled or amended. The people of Pakistan are guardians of the law,” the PUC chairman said.
“Any bid to transform Pakistan into a liberal country will be foiled,” Ashrafi said at an Ulema Convention. Representatives of various schools of thought attended the convention that the PUC had organised at Darool-Uloom Hanifia.
Ashrafi said the provincial government had agreed to amend the Protection of Women against Violence Bill.
“This is a good omen,” he said, adding that the legislation had been deliberated upon at the Provincial Assembly for two years but assembly members took no interest in expressing their reservations on the bill.
Ashrafi praised the government for constituting a committee consisting of clerics and scholars to address proposed ambiguities. “It would have been better had the decision been taken earlier,” he said.
PUC Vice Chairman Maulana Muhammad Ayub Safdar said that conspiracies were being hatched against Islam and the Muslim world. Muslims should unite to foil conspiracies to turn Pakistan into Iraq and Syria, he said.
Other speakers said violence against women was strictly prohibited in Islam. They said the bill was not altogether against Sharia. They said no organisation could be allowed to permit violence against women on any account. The speakers urged the government to also legislate regarding girls education and to end the dowry culture.
They stressed the need for unity among the Islamic world to annihilate challenges of terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence. They called Saudi Arabia’s efforts to form an Islamic Militarily Alliance a good omen.
Participants of the convention agreed to organise training workshops and seminars for students and teachers of Madaris-i-Arabia in May and June.
The speakers said that Message of Islam Conference had already called extremist and terrorists elements Khawarij. They urged clerics to play their role to aware Muslim youths of propaganda of terrorist organisations.
Participants of the convention condemned an attack on PUC Islamabad chapter president Maulana Abdul Hameed Sabri.
It was announced that a meeting of the PUC central executive body and the next Ulema Convention would be held in Faisalabad on March 27.
Maulana Hafiz Shoaib, Maulana Ashfaq Patafi and Maulana Zahid Hussein were among the participants.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2016.