Will Protest for measures against Seminaries -Tanzeemat -i- Madaris
LAHORE: The Ittehadul Tanzeemat-i-Madaris, an umbrella organisation of the five Wifaqs (federations) of religious schools, has decided to strongly resist the government measures against madressahs and reject all “unconstitutional” steps of the rulers who, it alleged, are pursuing the agenda of the imperial powers.
The decision was taken at a meeting held at Mansoora, Jamaat-i-Islami’s headquarters, here on Sunday.
The body sought an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to remove the misgivings regarding madressahs and religious scholars on this score. They also called for stopping the arrests of ulema and immediate release of those already in custody.
The decisions were announced by the heads of the five Wifaqs at a joint press conference after their meeting. They said Pakistan was an Islamic state and the Constitution did not allow any anti-Islam activity. But, they alleged, the government was bent upon advancing the designs of the US and the West against Islam.
Maulana Abdul Malik, Mufti Munibur Rahman, Qari Hanif Jullandhry, Yasin Zafar and Syed Kazim Naqvi were among those who spoke. They said nobody objected to the madressahs’ registration but the government was neither registering these institutions nor had it named the seminaries allegedly involved in terrorism.
They said an anti-Islam agenda was being pursued through harassment and arrests of the ulema and the ban on the use of loudspeakers of mosques.
Mufti Munib said the government was deliberately pushing the country towards turmoil and chaos. He said that after the Peshawar tragedy, the ulema and religious circles had fully supported the National Action Plan against terrorism including the military courts although they had reservations due to the inclusion of the words “religion and sects” in the plan.
He said the negative effects of the 21st amendment had become evident by now. He said terrorism was of different forms and shapes, however, only the madressahs were being targeted. He said that on one hand, the government was bemoaning the huge losses caused by the Islamabad sit-in and on the other, it was opening a new front against the religious forces in the country.
Mufti Munib said their talks with the government were also going on and they had already held talks with the federal secretaries of religious affairs, education and interior but the crackdown on the seminaries was not suspended even for a single day. He said they had called upon the interior minister to make public names of the madressahs and individuals involved in unconstitutional activities so that the nation could know those involved in terrorism and assured that they would not defend such elements.
“The survival and defence of the state is the collective responsibility of all and we stand shoulder to shoulder with the government in this regard and will not defend any act of tyranny, lawlessness and terrorism.”
He said they had written to the prime minister, the Punjab chief minister and heads of agencies but received no reply from any quarter. He said monitoring of the seminaries had been going on since Musharraf era. Allegations had been levelled against madressahs for the last 18 years but no evidence had been produced.
He cautioned that if they were not given reply on time, they would be compelled to stage protest.
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