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Qazi campaigns for religious harmony
Unity against terrorism is need of the hour, Qazi says
By Abdul Nasir Khan
LAHORE – Seeking to form a non-political alliance between different religious sects and establish sectarian harmony in Pakistan, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, former amir of Jumat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan, has begun a series of meetings with religious and political leaders and ministers.
“I don’t agree with the Taliban’s way of Islamisation; we cannot implement nor spread Islam with terrorism and blasts,” Qazi said in Lahore. “Islam does not mean fear, and we can’t spread it by terrorising the masses. We need a national policy to combat terrorism.”
Qazi began by meeting with Senator Professor Sajid Mir, chief of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadis, in Lahore. They have agreed to forge an alliance between religious parties to fight sectarian terrorism.
“It is very necessary for all parties to get united against common enemy in shape of terrorism,” Qazi and Sajid Mir said after their meeting. “By this, we can thwart the conspiracies of our foreign enemies, who are trying their best to bifurcate Muslims of Pakistan,” Qazi said.
Qazi’s JI is known for sectarian harmony and opposing Taliban-style Islam. One of Qazi’s closest aides, Haji Dost Muhammad, and other party activists were killed in a suicide blast this year while protesting in Peshawar.
Qazi vowed to unite religious parties on one platform. “I am sure that I will get together all religious parties against terrorism and sectarianism,” Qazi said after visiting the Hazrat Mian Mir shrine in Lahore.
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik expressed support for Qazi’s efforts. “We appreciate such activities of Qazi sahib and assure him full co-operation from government if he needs,” he said at a meeting with Qazi at JI’s headquarters in Mansoora, Lahore.
But not everyone is ready to join with Qazi.
“Qazi has a political agenda, and the Sunni Ittehad Council will not become a part of that agenda,” Sahibzada Fazal Karim of the Sunni Ittehad Council told Central Asia Online. “The people belonging to Sunni sect are already oppressed and can’t rely on anyone under cover of a non-political alliance.”
Fazal views Qazi as a politician and said the alliance will have certain political aims.
“We are against terrorism and want to live in peace, but we can’t become a part of anyone’s political agenda,” Fazal said.