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Home > News > PTI

Those who want to dance should go to India: Pak cleric

April 21, 2007 15:38 IST

Notwithstanding the nationwide rallies which are being held against attempts to enforce strict Islamic law in Islamabad, a radical cleric has said that dance and music would not be permitted in Pakistan and those interested in these should go to India.

"We will not wait more... it will now be Sharia (law) or shahadat (martyrdom)," said Maulana Abdul Aziz, one of the clerics of Lal Masjid who have threatened to impose the strict Islamic law in a month's time in the capital.

In his Friday prayer sermon, he said those interested in dance and music should go to India, the media in Islamabad reported.

Aziz vowed to enforce Sharia in the country even if the government did not itself do so, saying the Sharia would be enforced at any cost for which the whole nation should support the mosque's management.

"We don't need the government's help for the enforcement of an Islamic system because we are capable enough to do it without its assistance," he said.

His comments came as moderate political parties like Muttahida Quami Movement, Pakistan People's Party and human rights and women rights groups held massive rallies all over Pakistan, opposing threats by the Lal Masjid clerics and their supporters to resort to moral policing and impose Sharia law.

Maulana Aziz invited exiled MQM chief Altaf Hussain for dialogue, but at the same time he accused him of murdering "thousands of people."

He said that the MQM had staged a rally against the Lal Masjid administration on the government's orders. "He (Hussain) should not see the Quran and Sunnah movement through western spectacles... he should come to Pakistan and know the facts after meeting us."

Maulana Aziz said that no untoward incident had occurred during their ongoing movement, but added that the Lal Masjid administration was ready to sacrifice everything, including their lives, for the enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan.

The Lal Masjid head urged clerics across the country to enforce Sharia in their respective areas. "Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, but Islamic laws have not been enforced in the country even after 60 years of its independence," he said.

Aziz criticised the Wafaqul Madaris, which controls thousands of madrassas in Pakistan for cancelling the affiliation of the Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Fareedia madrassas - whose militant students have indulged in moral policing in Islamabad.

He said talks were continuing with the government negotiator and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to resolve the stand-off amicably.

He said the process of dialogue will remain suspended unless all the seven demolished mosques in Islamabad were rebuilt by the government.

Recently, the government had provided alternate plots for reconstruction of three mosques.

For his part, Hussain said in a press statement that most of the matters about reconstruction of demolished mosques had been settled.

Hussain said no one could even think about refusing enforcement of Quran and Sunnah. "We will take more measures for the improvement of the system in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah under legal demands," he said.

It was a good omen that the administration of Lal Masjid wanted to settle issues with dialogue instead of confrontation, he said.


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