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Bid to assassinate Tahir Ashrafi foiled

19 May, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Central Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi last week escaped an assassination attempt by a terrorist group that was plotting a suicide attack against him.

The suspects, arrested by Lahore Police, have revealed that they tried to target Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi twice, but he remained unharmed. The task to carry out this attack was assigned to them by the leaders of an outlawed organisation based in Afghanistan. Suicide jackets and ammunition were also sent to them from Afghanistan. The suspects said that Ashrafi talks about promoting inter-faith harmony and ending sectarian violence, due to which he is detested by outlawed organisations and takfiri groups.

It was because of the efforts of Ashrafi that the issue of Ramsha Masih was resolved. The stance that he has adopted on women and other contemporary matters at the behest of liberal forces stands in sharp contrast to the viewpoint of extremist circles. His stance on the assassination of Salmaan Taseer and the recent killing of lawyer and human rights activist Rashid Rehman was also different from the viewpoint of religious groups.

The PUC's spokesperson said that the stance adopted by the PUC has always been in line with the holy Quran and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He said, "Our stance over inter-faith dialogue, terrorism and extremism is in line with Islamic principles." He said Ashrafi has always played a positive role for Muslims and Pakistanis by providing guidance to clerics and Muslim leaders.

"Extremists have carried out attacks on him in the past as well. Our morale is high after this latest assassination attempt. We will continue our struggle for the triumph of the religion of Allah according to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)."

Meanwhile, there are concerns among religious and public circles after it was revealed that a terrorist group is planning to target Tahir Ashrafi. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam [S] chief Maulana Samiul Haq, ANP leader Asfandyar Wali, MQM leader Altaf Hussain, Sunni Ittehad Council chief Allama Pir Mahfuz Mashhadi, Shia Ulema Council's Allama Kazim Raza, Jamiat Ahle Hadeeth's Qazi Abdul Qadeer Khamosh, Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaquat Baloch, Tehreek-e-Insaf Secretary General Arif Alvi and other national, political and religious leaders have expressed deep concerns over these reports and demanded the government provide foolproof security to Ashrafi.


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