Ashraf urges ulema to speak up against sectarian violence

Published: November 14, 2012
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They kill people as if it's a normal thing and then justify it in the name of religion, says PM. PHOTO: AFP / FILE

They kill people as if it's a normal thing and then justify it in the name of religion, says PM. PHOTO: AFP / FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf held a roundtable conference with religious scholars on Wednesday, where he urged ulema of all sects to speak up against sectarian violence “before it is too late”.

Highlighting the importance of statements given out by the ulema, the prime minister said that religious leaders have more influence over the masses as compared to politicians.

“You can give a more influential statement when people try to justify crime in the name of religion,” he said while referring to incidents of targeted killings across the country which are termed as a conflict between the Shia-Sunni sects. “They [terrorists] kill people as if it’s a normal thing. They spill people’s blood, slit their throats… and the worst part if that they justify it in the name of religion.”

“If you keep giving them space, then I can say that even you’re not safe. Our mosques, imambargahs are not safe today either. Our schools are not safe. Offices of law enforcement agencies and hospitals are targeted,” he stated.

Every time a target killing takes place, it is said that either Shias are killing Sunnis or Sunnis are killing Shias but, the prime minister emphasised, that two sects have been living together peacefully for a long time and it can happen now as well. He vowed that the government will go to the last limits to fight against the menace.

The premier also urged the people of the country to take action. “Every Pakistani, no matter which religion or sect he belongs to or where he lives, should stand up against them [terrorists] before it is too late.”

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Jat
    Nov 14, 2012 - 5:18PM

    Mr Prime Minister understand the order of precedence before speaking

    Ishq-e-rasool
    Ishq-e-watan
    Ishq-e-insaniyat
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  • Kahif
    Nov 14, 2012 - 5:39PM

    i Hate to say but i love his statement …..

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  • ahmed41
    Nov 14, 2012 - 5:59PM

    Will the ulema listen and act ??

    If they do not , then what is the next step to take ?

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  • Uqaab
    Nov 14, 2012 - 6:01PM

    Yes, everybody – ulemas, people need to do their part. The govt. can rest, relax and pass the buck to them.

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  • Umber
    Nov 14, 2012 - 6:17PM

    @Jat : No one can justify killing each other based on those priorities. Rasool was blessing for all and preached and practised peace and tolerance.
    No wonder you have Jat as a name.

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  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Nov 14, 2012 - 6:31PM

    @Jat,

    So it means for Ishq-e-Rasool you have kill fellow muslims !!???

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  • Hairaan
    Nov 14, 2012 - 6:39PM

    Every time a target killing takes place, it is said that either Shias are killing Sunnis or Sunnis are killing Shias

    But sir in Karachi you do not need Ulemas’ help at all to stop target killings. You just need to shun militant wings of your coalition partners.

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  • Jat
    Nov 14, 2012 - 6:47PM

    @Naeem Siddiqui: “@Jat,
    So it means for Ishq-e-Rasool you have kill fellow muslims !!???”

    It is for you Pakistani Muslims to decide, right ?

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  • Jat
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:03PM

    @Umber: “@Jat : No one can justify killing each other based on those priorities.”

    You are hurt and angry, good you are almost an Insaan. Now if only you would feel the same pain and anger when your state uses humans as tools…

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  • A J Khan
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:08PM

    “If you keep giving them space, then I can say that even you’re not safe. Our mosques, imambargahs are not safe today either. Our schools are not safe. Offices of law enforcement agencies and hospitals are targeted,”
    Prime Minister is 100 % right what he said, but missed to mention Judiciary for not only releasing the terrorists in hundreds, but also asked Governmet to pay compensation to those who killed our soldiersf and media for giving them coverage and kept them alive in the news. .

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  • Syed
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:22PM

    Well Ulema relish sectarianism. Why would they speak out? Can they speak in favor of Ahmadis?

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  • km
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:26PM

    Too Late, My Dear PM you are begging peace from those who have deliberately created this situation. And now this is out of control. They will never condemn the sectarian killings and growing trend of violence and might in the name of religion.
    You should Try to show courage and implement the laws(whatever they are) of the country in a proper way. start it from any where and be firm on the principals of justice and equality for each Pakistani,DO NOT POLARIZE THE NATION IN THE NAME OF SECTS AND CASTS ETC.
    let us start it from Malala case. Allah bless you.

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  • Nasir Mahmood
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:26PM

    Mr. PM, why ulema only? First of all mend your party’s politics in Liyari and other parts of Karachi, everybody will follow then. Action is louder than words.

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  • az13
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:27PM

    @Jat: If you claim to love the Holy Prophet (PBUH), you should realize that love for your country and love for humanity are an all inclusive part of love for the Prophet (PBUH). Loving him (PBUH) means following his teachings as well, not just protesting on the streets, burning the country up in his name, and then ignoring everything else thats going on because you have so conveniently expressed your love for him (PBUH).

    Stop living in your smug, delusional and ignorant life and wake up!

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  • Enlightened
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:38PM

    The Pak PM raising an important issue of sectarian violence with Islamic scholars is a welcome step towards solving this burning problem. However, it is unlikely that these fanatics would obey the ulema’s instructions passed on to them. Until sectarian killers are arrested and cases of murder processed against them the situation would remain unchanged in the country.

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  • Oho
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:45PM

    In today’s Pakistan Terrorism is a brand that is being sold to the citizens as a justification against the drones and opression by Samraj. To counter it we have to show the victims afffected by this brand, display the consequences to the society of closing their eyes when someone from the other sect get murdered and they dont say a word, media and judiciary should make the terrorists villians instead of making them a hero. Stop giving them space or else they will find your throat, Pakistan.

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  • ALI
    Nov 14, 2012 - 7:51PM

    firstly preach to ISI

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  • LuvPak!
    Nov 14, 2012 - 8:17PM

    It’s a rare & interesting meeting stressing the Target_ Peace-full Co-existence. I wonder what politicians are good for if they can’t bring enemies to become friends in the name of peace. I mean all “politics & diplomacy” stands for is just that_ How to keep moving forward in the worst of times, in the toughest weather, in the extreme circumstances, in face of rejection, hardship, road blocks, hatred, turmoil, etc etc. I urge our political leaders to play their game with sportsmanship, with big heart and stop playing like Kinder Garten or nursery kids. No one said, game of politics will be easy when there are 40 masters throwing their tricks in the ring. But that’s what the game is all about. Treat the opponent like you want to be treated. To the religious leaders I say, we love and respect you, please don’t endorse our killings or leave us at the mercy of extremists. The sectarian killing will definitely drop to half if it’s denounced by you gentlemen. In the end, the innocent’s life you save might save your own or your loved one’s too one day!

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  • Something Clever
    Nov 14, 2012 - 8:21PM

    I’m pretty sure speaking out and disagreeing with religiously motivated militants only gets you the Munafiq label. I do hope a non-Muslim doesn’t have to tell you what happens to those with that label.
    You’re actually gonna have to do something physical and I don’t mean hide and pray they go away.

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  • Aviator
    Nov 14, 2012 - 9:09PM

    Good move

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  • Nov 14, 2012 - 9:26PM

    Great statement – BUT look at this in a realistic way, are these ULEMA – Real Islamic Scholars or politicians after POWER… Most of them do not care for Pakistan or its future let alone Islam – so maybe its time the government, media, military ceased treating them as part of the solution – they are part of the problem.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 14, 2012 - 10:50PM

    @Jat:
    Everyone is born as a human without religion. Any religious belief you have is by choice and at the end the day it is just belief. You can change religion not biology.

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  • Jat
    Nov 14, 2012 - 11:05PM

    @It Is (still) Economy Stupid: Even biology has failed in Pakistan. There are two species of humans, 98% Homo slaves and 2% Homo rulers. The rulers use religion and propaganda to control the slaves to further their interests.

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  • Hairaan
    Nov 14, 2012 - 11:47PM

    @Mohammed Abbasi:
    I have serious doubts about your perceptions on Ulema.

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  • Hairaan
    Nov 14, 2012 - 11:51PM

    @It Is (still) Economy Stupid:
    No sir. Quran clearly tells us that every child is born as Muslim. Its their parents who make him/her Christen, Jew, etc.

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  • KPK.GB.KHI
    Nov 15, 2012 - 1:32AM

    @Hairaan:
    So where are these Muslims who are as full of love, innocense and care as human children are? If all children were born as Muslims then why they turn into intolerant & blood thirsty humans? Who corrupted their innocence?

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  • sabi
    Nov 15, 2012 - 5:47AM

    @Mohammed Abbasi:
    “Great statement – BUT look at this in a realistic way, are these ULEMA – Real Islamic Scholars or politicians after POWER… Most of them do not care for Pakistan or its future let alone Islam – so maybe its time the government, media, military ceased treating them as part of the solution – they are part of the problem”
    looking at their behaviours I doubt whether they believe in life hereafter (although I believe so).

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  • shakrullah
    Nov 17, 2012 - 3:26PM

    @Syed:

    You are spot-on . Sectarian conflict is what the ulema thrive on , from which they derive

    their socio-political clout . They are the cause of the problem, and it is being simple-

    minded to expect solutions from them . Ulema put up sham ‘ittihad banil-mulimeen’ , only when they launch campaigns for grabbing political power. Being

    fake , it never lasts long and does little to reduce sectarian violence . Ulema

    must be seen as what they really are : the instigators and perpetrators of sectarianism .
    Imagine sectarian strife is miraculously eliminated from our society . What will it mean for our ulema ?

    It will be a death-knell for them .They will fade away as a socio-poiltical force Asking

    them for sectarian harmony is to ask them commit hara-kiri .

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