Pakistan Ulema Council
urges political, religious
leaders to work for
harmony before Muharram

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) on Sunday urged the country’s political and religious leadership to work towards harmony among different faiths and schools of thought ahead of Muharram.   

During Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Shia Muslims across Pakistan hold gatherings and organize processions to pay homage to Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).  

In the past, militant groups have targeted these gatherings and procession and stoked sectarian tensions in the South Asian country. 

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, center, heads meeting regarding peace and security in Muharram, on July 24, 2022.

On Sunday, PUC Chairman Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi urged people to respect each other’s faith and ensure harmony during the months of Muharram and Safar. 

“We appeal to the leaders and supporters of all political and religious parties in Pakistan to work for harmony, unity, for a better environment by avoiding provocative statements and abuses,” Ashrafi said at a press conference in Lahore.  

The PUC chairman said it was only the state’s prerogative to take a decision on matters relating to Islamic injunctions.   

He said non-Muslims living in Pakistan should also have the freedom to pray at their places of worship and enjoy all rights enshrined in the constitution.   

On Friday, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), Pakistan’s official pandemic response body, also issued a list of guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus through religious gatherings that take place across the country during Muharram. 

The NCOC asked people to follow officially prescribed health precautions during Muharram congregations, wear face masks and maintain a distance of six feet from one another.