| Welcome to Global Village Space

Sunday, April 14, 2024

SAPM Tahir Ashrafi calls for an exemplary punishment for Mufti Aziz

Special assistant to the prime minister said that child abuse is a crime whether it happened in a madrassah, a college, or a university, and such a crime calls for public punishments for those convicted of child and sexual abuse.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi on Sunday said former JUI-F leader and cleric Mufti Azizur Rehman, who is accused of sexually assaulting one of his students, should be given exemplary punishment.

Addressing a press conference, Ashrafi said child abuse was a crime whether it happened in a madrassah, a college, or a university, and called for public punishments for those convicted of child and sexual abuse.

Rehman was arrested at a house in Mianwali on June 20 after a disturbing video clip showing the cleric allegedly sexually assaulting one of his students was widely shared on social media. He had gone into hiding after the Lahore police registered a case against him but were subsequently apprehended along with his sons.

Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani, after the cleric’s arrest, had said that police would take it as a “test case”.

Read more: I was drugged to be trapped in rape incident, Mufti Aziz-Ur-Rehman

In his presser, Ashrafi, who was flanked by other religious scholars, also said ulema fully supported the recent statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding women’s dressing and hijab.

The premier’s controversial remarks in a recent interview on HBO, in which he stated that “if a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men unless they’re robots,” had triggered widespread criticism from civil society and political circles, which accused him of victim-blaming and equating women’s dressing to rising incidents of rape.

Ashrafi said Islam was the protector of women’s rights and insisted that the prime minister’s remarks about women’s dressing were “legal and in accordance with the Holy Quran and Sunnah”.

He said the premier’s comments were targeted by some elements for “political reasons”, adding that the instructions in the Quran about hijab were equally applicable to men — that they should keep their eyes down.

Ashrafi said the government should set up a helpline to register secret complaints about sexual assaults of children. He suggested that public punishment should be given by setting up special courts to prevent cases of child abuse.

He added that pictures of offenders who abused children or women should be shown on television channels and published in newspapers. He also appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to award public and immediate sentences to such culprits.

He urged parents to educate their children on how they should react and how they should seek help if somebody attempted to abuse them.

To a question, Ashrafi said that religious scholars across the country were with the government on the issue of Muharram observance. The prime minister has ordered the expansion of peace committees for Muharram, he added.

Read more: Saba Qamar posts deep Quranic verse after leaked video of Mufti Aziz

Ashraf said a committee was working on a proposal about amending the Waqf Property Act, and added that some elements were doing politics on the Waqf Property Board issue.

“We are the guards of mosques and madrassahs and no one can frighten us,” he told the press conference, noting that police had not visited any mosque or madrassah even once in the three years of the PTI government.

Speaking about regulating the media, the SAPM highlighted the need for a mechanism to filter what he called negative content. “We are not against modern media, but there should be a system for filtering the content being shown there,” he said, adding that mobile phone technology had its own problems and also spread “obscenity”.

About the decision to not allow the United States to set up bases in the country, Ashrafi said the government had represented the public sentiment through the move. He said Pakistan had always helped the Afghan people and it was a facilitator for peace in Afghanistan, but the problems were created by the “Afghan people and political parties”.

Read more: Mufti Qavi grabs attention with another controversial video

He urged the media not to create “suspicion” about the curriculum for madrassahs, saying the Muttahida Ulema Board’s job was only to stop “anarchist material”. He insisted that no restrictions would be imposed on teaching science subjects in seminaries.

Courtesy: APP