- Fazl had said if state does not take action against those accused of blasphemy, then such incidents will continue to happen.
- Ahsan Iqbal says such incidents should be unconditionally condemned.
- Mustafa Khokhar says condemnation should not be accompanied by ifs and buts.
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday commended PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal and PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar for calling out JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on his statement issued a day prior regarding the Sialkot lynching incident.
Fawad said that whatever happened to the Sri Lankan national was a matter of shame for the nation, adding that the prime minister, as well as the citizens of Pakistan, have condemned extremism.
“The way everyone condemned the incident is commendable,” said Fawad, adding that he hoped the 220 million people of Pakistan, who hold moderate views, would come forward and condemn the incident.
Such incidents will continue if state doesn’t take action against blasphemers: Fazl
Following the Sialkot incident, where a Sri Lankan national was lynched and his body was burned later by an angry mob because of “blasphemy” allegations, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had said that while the incident was reprehensible and shameful, such incidents would continue if the state doesn’t take action against blasphemers.
“The incident in Sialkot is reprehensible and shameful. There should be a comprehensive investigation. However, if the state does not take action against those accused of blasphemy, then such incidents will continue to happen,” Fazl had said in a Twitter statement.
He went on to say that in the past, there had been a similar backlash against “government-sponsored fugitives accused of blasphemy.”
“Under the guise of such incidents, the international establishment conspires against the religious class and tries to make the Islamic provisions of the Constitution controversial,” he said.
“A comprehensive investigation should be carried out to find out who are the people behind this and for what nefarious purposes they hold.”
Ahsan Iqbal, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar call Fazl out on statement
Senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal and PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar took to Twitter and called Fazl out on his statement.
“With due respect, Maulana Sahib, such incidents should be unconditionally condemned as Islam does not allow such fanaticism and illegal killings by mobs in any case,” said Ahsan Iqbal. “The nation expects religious scholars to guide them in such matters.”
Akin to that, Khokhar wrote that when it comes to condemning such incidents, there should be no ifs and buts.
“Maulana Fazlur Rehman Sahib is a respectable figure but, on this occasion, he should have condemned the Sialkot tragedy by taking a stand in blunt and clear words instead of using ifs and buts,” he wrote.
Diyawadana Priyantha, working as a manager at a private factory in Sialkot, was lynched on Friday by a mob after being accused of blasphemy.
The gruesome incident was dubbed by Prime Minister Imran Khan as “a day of shame for Pakistan”.
Workers of a garment industry, located on Sialkot’s Wazirabad Road, had alleged that the foreigner had committed blasphemy. He was subsequently lynched and his body set on fire.
The mob had also vandalised the factory and blocked traffic, according to police.
The brutal murder drew widespread condemnation from senior government functionaries, including the prime minister and president, as well as the military’s top leadership, who promised to bring all those involved to the book.