A PTI provincial minister leans on religion
Peshawar; August 07, 2019: The PTI government has been lately accused of short of delivery on important national aims and objects. True or not, it has surely leaned on religious susceptibilities and sensitivities for support. In the Punjab, its subservience to the controversial Mutahiddah Ulama Board is noteworthy. In KPK, the statement of Mr. Shaukat Yusufzai, the Information Minister betrays the same weakness. We translate below a three-column news from the daily Islam of August 8, 2019 in this context:
None can even think of any change to the law on Khatme Nabuwwat: Shaukat Yusufzai
Whoever is called kafir in the Constitution, is a Kafir; no middle position. The Ulama should promote unity.
Political sermons are delivered in some of the mosques. Ulama will soon be paid monthly allowance: Information Minister KPK
Peshawar: Mr. Shaukat Ali Yusufzai, Information Minister KPK stated that none can even think of change in law; whoever is called Kafir in the Constitution is a Kafir, and there is no middle position. The role of respected Ulama is paramount in intra-religion harmony and reformation of society…. He said that the End of Prophethood is the foundation of our belief system, and there can be no change to the foundation… . He was addressing a provincial Seerat Conference on the theme of “End of Prophethood and Muslims’ responsibilities…”. He stated that all religions enjoy freedom in Pakistan and their rights are protected. Minorities face no danger here. Minorities face discrimination in the largest democracy in the world – India. We get deceived at times over ethnicity and at times over religion….Ulama will soon start being paid monthly allowance (Wazifah).
The above report calls for some comment:
- Mr. Yusufzai is wrong in conveying that Constitution has termed Ahmadis Kafir. It hasn’t; there is difference between a Kafir and a Not-Muslim – the minister ought to know that.
- End of Prophethood is indeed an important element in the Islamic faith, but it is not the foundation; it is not mentioned in the Islamic creed, the Kalima.
- The minister has complained over political sermons in mosques. He is right there, but equally wrong is to invoke religion in political discourse.
- The Conference reportedly was a Seerat Conference, however its theme was fabricated into “End of Prophethood and Muslims’ responsibilities”. This is obviously shady and dishonest. It is unbecoming a political government to get manipulated by sectarian mullas. This trick was first used in a similar conference in Islamabad where in the presence of the Prime Minister, mulla Ali Siraj veered off to call for sectarianism, extremism and indeed – bloodshed. KPK should have learnt a lesson from that experience to avoid the mulla’s trap.
- The minister claimed: i) Minorities face no danger here, ii) We, at times get deceived in the name of religion. The two statements are contradictory; only one of these can be true.
Note: This attitude of state functionaries raises issue of identity for Ahmadis in Pakistan.