ISLAMABAD: Two days after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi distanced himself from the anti-Ahmadi tirade by retired Captain Mohammad Safdar on the floor of the National Assembly, PML-N president Nawaz Sharif has also distanced his party from it.
“I declare it in categorical and unequivocal terms that all minorities living in Pakistan enjoy complete fundamental rights, including protection to their lives and property, under the Constitution and Islamic teachings,” Mr Sharif said in a statement issued from London and released to the local media by PML-N spokesman Senator Asif Kirmani here on Sunday.
“Any negative expression in this regard has nothing to do with the ideology and policy of the PML-N,” Mr Sharif clarified, without elaborating or mentioning the speech of the party MNA, who also happens to be his son-in-law.
During a television interview last week, Prime Minister Abbasi had stated that neither he nor Nawaz Sharif or the PML-N was responsible for the views expressed against the Ahmadi community by Capt Safdar.
“We should stay away from such statements which create unrest in the society,” Mr Abbasi had said while agreeing that being the son-in-law of Mr Sharif he should have behaved more responsibly.
Mr Sharif in his statement said that belief in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) as the last Messenger of Allah Almighty (Khatm-i-Nabuwwat) was the fundamental part of Islamic faith, which was also an integral part of the Constitution.
The former prime minister said the matter had been settled once for all and it should not be politicised, keeping in view its sensitivity. He said the mistake in the Electoral Reforms Act, 2017, had already been rectified. He also thanked all the political parties for their support in rectifying the mistake.
Mr Sharif said the people had elected him prime minister thrice and during all the tenures he and the PML-N had served the masses and protected their rights regardless of any ethnic, racial and religious bias and ensured the rights of the minorities. He said the PML-N had the honour of being known as the party of the Founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam.
“The Father of the Nation had guaranteed complete religious and social freedom for all the classes of the people, particularly the minorities, which was now a constitutional obligation and no-one could even imagine to deviate from it,” he said.
Capt Safdar had last week launched into a virulent tirade against the country’s Ahmadi community while speaking in the National Assembly, accusing the faith group of acting against the country’s interests and called for action against its members.
The MNA’s outburst against the minority community had drawn widespread criticism from almost all the mainstream political parties, including his own party, and the social circles.