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Rioters had ulterior motives they had nothing to do with Islam: Fawad Chaudhry

06 November, 2018

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LAHORE: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Monday said the rioters merely used the name of religion for their ulterior motives and they had nothing to do with Islam.

“The protestors merely used the name of religion and they had nothing to do with Islam. How the followers of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), who was sent by Allah Almighty as a blessing for the universe, could cause pain to others,” he said at a press conference here. To a question, Fawad regretted the moral degradation of protestors, who looted a fruit-seller also and insulted womenfolk on roads without remorse.

To a query, the minister took the credit for resolving the recent crisis through wisdom and sagacity, saying the government wanted to resolve the issue amicably rather than using force. He said the federal government has decided to pay compensation to the affectees of the sit-ins staged by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and the provincial governments have been asked to submit details in this regard.

The minister hailed the political parties and the opposition for their support on the issue of TLP sit-ins against Asia Bibi’s acquittal by the apex court. All the parties showed political maturity and sent a strong message that the national leadership was on one page on the issue, he said, adding that the opposition parties were taken into confidence on all matters of national security. The government was in close contact with the respective focal persons of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), he said.

The minister said the European Union Human Rights Court had decreed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) as illegal. It was a great victory of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which had taken up the case with the governments across the globe, he added.

About the prime minister’s devotion to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Fawad said Imran Khan was an ‘Aashiq-e-Rasool’ (Devotee of Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him). He always landed in Madina bare-foot and making Pakistan like the State of Madina was his ideal.

On the issue of media censorship, the minister said the PTI government had ended censorship on the state media. The government had only asked the social media websites (Twitter, etc) to take into account the sensitivity on the issue of religious hatred. The Facebook has blocked some accounts for hate content on the request of the government, he added.

To a question, the minister said the government and the opposition parties are in unison on almost all matters. The only reason of discord is the government’s unwillingness to grant an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to the corrupt politicians. The looters would have to return the stolen money, he added.

Fawad said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s landmark visit to China is a great success which has opened up new vistas of cooperation on the economic and strategic fronts. He said Pakistan and China have decided to do trading in Chinese RMB instead of American dollar, adding that Pakistan-China current trade volume stands at 15 billion dollars. He said the switchover will reduce burden on the country’s dollar reserves.

He said Pak-China cooperation in the space programme was another achievement in the scientific relations, adding that the first Pakistani astronaut would be sent to the space with the help of China in 2022. He said the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) would invite applications from the interested individuals by 2019. In a lighter vein, he said all the corrupt politicians and mischief-makers should be dispatched to the space for good. The SUPARCO should be tasked with this mission for greater good of the country, he added.

The minister said Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and other regional countries as well as the United States were improving. On the international front, he said, Pakistan has emerged as a leading Islamic state. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has been playing the role of a mediator in the Middle East crisis. The Islamic world is looking towards the prime minister for the resolution of Yemen issue,” he added.

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