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Some forces trying to spark sectarian conflict: PUC

24 December, 2013

LAHORE: The government should take immediate measures to practically implement the code-of-conduct of the Punjab government and Milli Yakjehti Council, said representatives of more than 30 political and religious parties in their address at Istihkam-e-Pakistan Conference [conference for stability in Pakistan], organised by Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC).

The conference was presided over by PUC Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi. According to participants of the conference, some forces are trying to spark Shia-Sunni and Deobandi-Barelvi conflict in the country "but we will not allow these forces to succeed".

Culprits behind the tragedies of Rawalpindi, Karachi, Gilgit-Baltistan, Chiniot and Lahore should be arrested, they said. The 10-point joint declaration of the conference announced the launch of a nationwide campaign to ensure that the code-of-conduct is given a legal status and practically implemented. It also urged the prime minister of Pakistan to convene an All Parties Conference to decide an effective course of action to put an end to growing sectarian violence in the country.

The joint declaration also announced the decision to hold joint gatherings at the public level to promote religious tolerance and interfaith and inter-sectarian harmony. The joint declaration expressed grave concern over the fact that "academic institutions are being provided to Ahmedis in Chenab Nagar".

"Such measures will create more hatred and turmoil in the country. Therefore, the Punjab government should immediately reverse this decision." The joint declaration hailed support to the code-of-conduct promised by representatives of all other religions attending Istihkam-e-Pakistan Conference. The joint declaration says that it is the government's responsibility to protect the lives, properties, honour and worship places of non-Muslims. The sense of insecurity among non-Muslims should end, it added.

During the conference, Sunni Ittehad Council leader Allama Syed Mashhadi expressed his support for the decision to present the code-of-conduct in the provincial assembly. The joint declaration calls for the implementation of the formula of "abiding by one's own faith without tampering with others' faith".

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