Ahrafi rejects EU resolution – invites EU, US ambassador to visit, judge reality of religious freedom

ISLAMABAD:Special Representative to Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Saturday rejected European Union resolution and invited ambassadors of EU and United States to visit Pakistan to ascertain religious freedom in Pakistan.

Ashrafi flanked by representatives of different religious scholars said, the European Union resolution was contrary to the facts, based on ignorance, as not a single case regarding misuse of blasphemy law reported in Pakistan during the last six months.

Blasphemy law is not being misused, some individuals and institutions wanted to damage Pakistan’s dignity, honor and relations by spreading false and baseless propaganda, said a media statement.

For Muslims, the honor of all the prophets and the sanctity for preservation of the heavenly books is part of the faith. Pakistan wanted international legislation to respect the sanctity of all religions, Tahir Ashrafi remarked.

The difference between freedom of expression, freedom of religion and blasphemy was very explicit and clear which did not mean to desecrate the other religions.

The protection of minorities’ rights was the responsibility of the state which was being fulfilling.

The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees the protection of rights of all citizens of the country.

Pakistan could not support riotous writings and hateful speeches and the entire Pakistani nation stood with the Prime Minister of Pakistan in his stance for the elimination of Islamic phobia and blasphemy.

According to a survey by Al-Jazeera TV, the Muslim Ummah has termed Prime Minister Imran Khan as the representative and leader of the Muslim Ummah on the stance taken to eradicate Islamophobia and blasphemy.

The judiciary of Pakistan has made decisions in accordance with the constitution and law of Pakistan, said Ashrafi adding that the instances regarding forced conversions has reduced significantly.

Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi said the Prime Minister Imran Khan on the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Ameer Muhammad bin Salman leaving Saudi Arabia on a three-day visit where he would meet Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and political and religious leaders of Saudi Arabia and perform Umrah and would also visit the Roza-e-Rasool Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Responding to a question, Hafiz Ashrafi said that during the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan would discuss practical steps on legislation regarding Islamophobia and Blasphemy with Saudi Arabia’s political and religious leadership and secretary general OIC

(Organisation of Islamic Cooperation).

Ashrafi was flanked by Maulana Asadullah Farooq, Allama Zubair Abid, Maulana Hafiz Kazim Raza, Maulana Muhammad Khan Leghari, Maulana Abdul Wahab Rupari, Pastor Emanuel Khokhar, Maulana Muhammad Shafi Qasmi, Maulana Muhammad Ashfaq Potafi, Maulana Aslam Siddiqui, Maulana Abdul Qayyum Farooqi, Qari Shamsul Haq, Maulana Qari Abdul Hakim Athar, Qari Mubashir Rahimi and others.