Tableeghi Jamat gathering: Govt accused of denying visas to 5,000 preachers

Published: January 9, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Religious scholars belonging to the Deobandi school of thought have accused the government of not issuing visas to 5,000 preachers from over 100 countries, willing to participate in the annual religious meeting of Tableeghi Jamat, scheduled to take place in Raiwind this year.

“Last year, half of the participants were not given visas for this purpose. However, this time 5,000 people belonging to Tableeghi Jamaat have been denied visas by Ministry of Interior’s secretary. The secretary was of the view that there is no need of preaching by international preachers so they should not be issued visas,” Mufti Muhammed Naeem, founder of Jamia Binoria, alleged.

He told The Express Tribune that he did not believe that the government had taken the decision under any political pressure.

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“Pakistani bureaucracy is more powerful than any other segment of society,” he said, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not playing its role in the context.

“Even governments of India and Bangladesh are not denying visas to foreigners for the Tableeghi Jamaat gatherings and the Indian government is facilitating the foreigners with visas at the airports while Pakistan is imposing restrictions in issuance of visas to the preachers of Islam,” he commented.

He stressed that people from all around the world come to Pakistan to participate in the religious gathering at their own expenses.

“When they return to their respective countries, they act as representatives or ambassadors of Pakistan,” he added.

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According to Mufti Naeem, the authorities concerned were assured that the hosts would keep passports of the foreigners in their possession on their arrival and would submit copies to the interior ministry.

He said the offer was made so that local authorities could be assured that these people would not slip away into Pakistan.  The proposal, however, was turned down by the authorities.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Haji Atiya
    Jan 9, 2017 - 8:54AM

    Less preaching, but more research, development and commercialization instead.Recommend

  • Carlos
    Jan 9, 2017 - 9:25AM

    @Haji Atiya:
    No one is stopping you or anyone to research, development and commercialization. Pls. don’t find excuses and scapegoats for failed science and development policy. Most of the funds for educations and research end up going as interest payments abroad for loans.

    Blaming visas for science policy is not a bright thing to do.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ebad ur Rehman
    Jan 9, 2017 - 10:33AM

    It is indeed a good news that government has stopped importing these fundamentalist. These gatherings at Raiwind later becomes part of terrorist outfits. We have already seen in past the top preachers of Raiwind having photo shots with banned outfit personnel.

    I wish government maintains this act of bravery which is indeed very important for better Pakistan. Recommend

  • Sara
    Jan 9, 2017 - 10:59AM

    These visas were denied for good reason. We all know what they were coming to Pak for. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jan 9, 2017 - 12:34PM

    As I said, we are up to our necks in preaching and sermonizing.Recommend

  • Mohammed Mirza
    Jan 9, 2017 - 2:46PM

    @Muhammad Ebad
    Why do you jump to conclusions. All these photos are photoshopped. Tableegh do not associate with these banned outfits. So you say whoever joined in the tableegh must associate with the banned outfits. If you listen to the sermon you will enjoy them. So stop criticizing them.Recommend

  • FS
    Jan 9, 2017 - 5:37PM

    Sad to see the hatred towards preachers in the comments. Recommend

  • Omar
    Jan 9, 2017 - 6:03PM

    @Mohammed Mirza:
    People enjoyed Hitler’s sermons. People also enjoyed Trump’s sermons. Doesn’t mean they were right. Recommend

  • Carlos
    Jan 9, 2017 - 6:18PM

    @Haji Atiya:
    Only thing being preached is neo-liberal serfdom. Getting loans from IMF and paying interest on them instead of spending money on education and science.

    Even CPEC which is suppose to develop Pakistan is being used as mortgage for more loans. Blaming preachers for governance failure for the last seventy years is insult to common man’s intellect.Recommend

  • Mohammed Mirza
    Jan 9, 2017 - 6:39PM


    So what are you trying to tell me that you don’t believe in tableegh jamats? When you listen to Ml Tariq Jameel you will understand.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ebad ur Rehman
    Jan 9, 2017 - 6:47PM

    @ Mohammed Mirza

    Brother unfortunately I had an association with tableeghi jamaat and lost one of my dearest friend in the hand of fundamentalists. He was the only son of ageing parent. So whatever I am writing is backed by my personal experience. But it does not mean that all the people involved with tableeghi jamaat are bad. My only point is that the likelihood of getting involved with banned outfits is quite high as tableeghi jamaat does have fundamentalist elements in them to much extent. So its better to have conservative approach by avoiding these kind of gatherings and we must be happy that our authorities are keeping an eye and making sure that Pakistan remains safe from this infection. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jan 9, 2017 - 10:05PM

    There are preachers then there are preachers. 90% of them are functionally illiterate and don’t really understand what they are talking about. Their primary interest appears to be hearing their voices over a PA system.Recommend

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