Hudood and blasphemy laws not to be repealed -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Hudood and blasphemy laws not to be repealed

KARACHI – Religious Affairs Federal Minister Muhammad Ijazul Haq said on July 27 that the government was not trying to repeal blasphemy laws and the Hudood Ordinance.

He was speaking as chief guest at the concluding session of a two-day seminar on Islamic education curricula for madressahs and university students, organized by the Faculty of Islamic Learning, Karachi University.

Mr Haq said that the hue and cry over alleged repeal of Hudood and blasphemy laws was unnecessary, as the government just wanted to improve the said laws by removing flaws in these, with the consultation of all quarters concerned.

Referring to the curricula conference, the minister said that it was a good effort towards initiating a debate on controversial subjects openly from academic angle. He said that his ministry would make all possible efforts for the acceptance of the conference recommendations at the government level.

He informed the participants that the government wanted to introduce reforms in madressah education with a view to make their degrees acceptable to other educational institutions and organizations.

The madressahs were the most effective NGOs which imparted religious education, besides providing thousands of needy people with shelter, clothing and other amenities, he added.

While advocating for modern education system at madressahs, he also stressed the need of introducing a system of religious education for the students of those private and public schools claiming to impart “liberal or secular” education.

He said that western countries and American government, due to some fear or phobia, wanted to get rid of the Muslim world. However, the Muslims should not to be carried away by emotions, but use intellect and reason with the belief that Islam was to stay there, he added.

In regard to concerns raised by certain quarters on the issue of madressahs, changes in curricula and amendments in textbooks, the minister said that the apprehensions were unfounded, and were being hyped by certain media and NGOs.

He criticized the foreign-funded NGOs claiming to be working for human rights and social reforms, and alleged that those were playing in the hands of ‘anti-Pakistan forces.’ They were trying to distort the image of madressahs and impressed upon the world that these were the places where terrorists were nurtured, which was wrong, he observed.

The KU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Pirzada Qasim, said that time had come that varsities should play their due role in reformation and development of the society. They should not be apologetic but come up with their observations and suggestions boldly, and prove that they were the real guards of the society, he added.

Dean, faculty of Islamic Learning, Dr Abdul Rashid, Dr Hisamuddin Mansoori and Prof Raees Ahmad also spoke at the concluding session, which was also attended by Sindh minister for religious affairs Manzoor Ali Panwar.

Those who were awarded shields and certificates at the end of the conference, included Prof Dr Mahmood Ali Shah, Dr Mrs Mumtaz Bhutto, Dr Abdul Rauf Zafar, Dr Shams Basr, Qari Abdul Haq Azhari, Dr Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Hafiz Munir Ahmad and Dr Nooruddin Jami.

Source: Dawn

Date:7/28/2004