LAHORE: Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), while making a pledge to ensure that “Gilgit-Baltistan remains a Sunni province”, called for a protest on Tuesday against a change in curriculum which will have the names of the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) companions removed from textbooks.
The reaction came after the arrangement of changing the curriculum entered its final stage, as claimed by ASWJ. The curriculum will be implemented in all public-sector schools and colleges.
According to ASWJ’s Media Coordinator Ubaidullah Usmani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik during his visit to the province after the Kohistan tragedy took place, gave his assurances that the Shia community’s demand of the removal of names of the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) companions and other demands will be fulfilled.
Usmani said that after the names of the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) are removed, G-B will “formally” become a Shia state.
He said that Malik told the Shia community that directives to implement this change were given to the Chief Secretary of G-B.
Usmani revealed that this demand was thwarted in 2003 when a file containing all the paperwork was snatched from then federal education minister Zubeida Jalal by then chief of Sipa-e-Sahaba, Maulana Azam Tariq in the assembly who made it public.
In the paperwork, the Shia community had cited chapters of different college and school textbooks which had the name of the companions and demanded that they be eradicated.
He said that four months after the incident took place, Maulana Tariq was murdered and then leader of the Shia community Ziauddin Rizvi was one of the accused nominated in the case.
The organisation’s leadership said that it was their responsibility to “declare Pakistan as a Sunni state” and stand up against the “increasing activities of Shias in the province”.
Usmani further said that being a Sunni-majority state, Pakistan should protect the interests of the Sunni community and in case, if that is not done, then the ASWJ will go to Iran, a Shia-majority country and demand for rights for the Sunni community.
ASWJ also alleged that desecration (toheen) of the Holy Quran and mosques across G-B by the Shias had become a routine practice.