State will take action against those calling others infidels: Nisar

Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday said the state will now take action against those calling others kafir (non-Muslim), adding that the government had already tackled hate speech and glorification of terrorists in the first phase.

Briefing the media after the government’s talks with representatives from Tanzeemul Madaris, which includes office bearers from different seminaries across the country, the interior minister said both sides had agreed to take the madressah reforms process further, adding there was consensus on major issues.

Nisar said the clerics had condemned terrorism and vowed to eliminate the menace from the country in coordination with the government.

He said it was agreed in the meeting that any individual or organisation involved in terror will be dealt with according to the country’s laws.

He said there was no conflict on the registration of madressahs, with the clerics agreeing it was essential. “But the process should be made easier and a committee will be formed by the interior ministry to prepare a registration form for seminaries so that all ends can be achieved.”

Nisar said the clerics had also agreed to present audit reports of their funds, adding that the government will come up with a process to regulate foreign funding.

“Lawmaking on seminaries should be done after taking into confidence the Tanzeemul Madaris and there was a consensus on this.”

He said both sides agreed that force alone was not enough to eliminate terrorism, with efforts on an intellectual level equally important.

Nisar said a committee representing all sections of society will be formed by the interior ministry to review madressah curriculum and present recommendations.

Nawaz urges for madressah reforms

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for immediate reforms in curriculum of religious seminaries in order to provide students with a world view which may help the nation counter extremism.

Presiding over a session on Monday, attended by religious scholars from different school of thoughts and representatives of seminary boards ‘Ittehad-e-Tanzeemul Madaris’, the premier stressed upon the need for voluntary reforms in the curriculum of madressahs (seminaries) — both for imparting better education and countering extremism.

He told the religious scholars that it was necessary to consult them to effectively execute the national anti-terror plan.

“Religious seminaries are a valuable source of religious education but spreading hate against other sects, religions shall not be allowed”, Nawaz told the session.

He said consultation with management of religious seminaries was necessary for meaningful implementation of National Action Plan.

The religious scholars assured their full cooperation with the government in the reforms process.

The prime minister said the nation would jointly eliminate terrorism from the country and the war being fought in North Waziristan has achieved success.

All stakeholders should cooperate with each other for implementation of the NAP and the government would extend full cooperation to the seminaries in this regard, he said.

Nawaz expressed the resolve to implement the NAP regardless of politics and in the larger national interest.

The prime minister assured the Ulema that government was ready to assist seminaries to introduce reforms in their education system.

He said the seminaries might play their role to discourage sectarianism and terrorism and a joint campaign should be launched to eliminate such tendencies.

Religious scholars belonging from different sects including Mufti Muneebur Rehman, Maulana Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Muhammad Hanif Jalandari, Sajid Mir, Syed Muhammad Najfi and Maulana Ataur Rehman attended the session.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudary Nisar Ali Khan, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousuf, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Minister of State for Interior Balighur Rehman and senior government officials were also present on the occasion.

COAS speaks at Kalam Festival

General Raheel Sharif while speaking at the concluding ceremony of Kalam Festival appreciated the people of Swat for playing a vital role in support of Security forces’ efforts of bringing durable peace in the valley making such festivals possible.

According to ISPR, the the army cheif maintained that Malakand valley was submerged into the darkness of terrorism until a few years ago.

“Sacrifices and firm commitment of the valiant soldiers of Pakistan Army, civil forces and the local people has eliminated terrorism from Malakand Division and we would not allow terrorists to enter the area again”, remarked General Raheel.

Expressing the hope that tourism will flourish in the beautiful land of Swat, General Raheel assured that army will always stand by people of Swat and help build capacity of civilian institutions.

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