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MUB recommends ban on books carrying hateful material


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In a major development, Muttahida Ulema Board (MUB) Punjab has recommended a ban on certain books authored by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and Ahmadi leaders for having hateful content.

According to local media reports, Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said that the representatives of Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab decided unanimously on Monday to ban five books, including manifesto of banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, monthly journal of Pir Afzal Qadri, ‘Awaz Ahl-e-Sunnah’, ‘Kashtiy-e-Noah’ of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadyani and other five books collectively for having hateful and objectionable content.

Mr. Ashrafi also said that Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab has always played its due role in countering terrorism and menace of extremism from Pakistan. He also informed the media that the central board meeting of Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab has recommended filing case against the publisher of this book under section 295/C.

In line with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that has declared the proscribed organizations operating in Pakistan a “high risk”, the government will take action against these outfits in the next three to four months.

Pir Afzal Qadri is the chief of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) and a firebrand speaker who along with Khadim Hussain Rizvi was taken into custody for using abusive language against the judiciary and threatening judges of the superior courts after the verdict of Ms. Asia Bibi. Bail requests of the both TLP leaders have already been rejected by an Anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore.

It is pertinent to mention that the government had taken the TLP chief and others into “protective custody” on November 23 from Lahore. However, later, they were handed over to police for investigation and then were sent on judicial remand.  Mr. Rizvi, Mr. Qadri as well as Allama Farooq ul Hassan and Allama Aijaz Ashrafi are facing charges of fueling the protests, inciting followers to damage property and making hate speeches targeting state institutions.

Read more: No to extremism in Naya Pakistan: Government goes after banned outfits

Moreover, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi also pointed out that Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab is handling 279 other cases moved to it from other departments of the province. 30 cases were looked into in the last meeting of Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab, out of which judgement on 10 cases has been made.

He added that Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab has also allowed publication of five books including monthly journal ‘Mohaddis’, Ali’s (R.A) Shia, Islamic Ideology in the light of Kitab-O-Sunnah, ‘Fazail-e-Jihad’ and Azkar-e-Nabi (S.A.W). Publication of all these books has been allowed and recommendations in this connection have been forwarded to the Punjab government.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also said during a meeting of the federal cabinet that his government was taking action against the banned organization in the best national interest.

Furthermore,  Mr. Asad Umar, the minister for finance, has said that Pakistan is all set to take action against banned organizations across the country. He said it while giving a briefing to Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs of the National Assembly on March, 13 this year. In line with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that has declared the proscribed organizations operating in Pakistan a “high risk”, the government will take action against these outfits in the next three to four months, he added.

It is important to mention here that the government has announced to implement the NAP in letter and spirit. The government has banned some organizations and arrested several leaders and members of various organizations. Besides, several mosques and religious seminaries have been taken into the control of the state to regulate them.

Read more: National Security Committee meeting: FATF challenge ahead?

Prime Minister Imran Khan also said during a meeting of the federal cabinet that his government was taking action against the banned organization in the best national interest. PM Khan reportedly made it clear that anybody who challenges the writ of the state shall not be spared. It is worth noting that while chairing a PTI’s parliamentary party meeting, the premier clarified that the crackdown on banned militant outfits was an internal security matter and the government had taken the decision without any external pressure.

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