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PUC demands judicial probe into Christian couple's killing

07 November, 2014

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LAHORE: The leaderships of all religions and sects in Pakistan strongly condemn the incident whereby a couple was burnt alive in Kot Radha Kishan, and demand the government to set up a judicial commission which must publicize the report of its findings within 15 days.

The culprits behind this tragedy should be tried in anti-terrorism court, and the chief justice of Pakistan should instruct the court to issue its verdict within one month. This was stated by Pakistan Ulema Council [PUC] Central Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi and the leaders of other religions and sects while addressing a press conference in Lahore.

Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi said that the Kot Radha Kishan incident was the worst example of brutality and oppression. Those behind this incident have neither served Islam nor Pakistan. In fact, it is because of these people that the reputation of both Islam and Pakistan is being tarnished.

He said that the constitution has granted rights to all citizens of Pakistan. Nobody has the right to become self-appointed petitioner or judge, and commit murders on the basis of religious, sectarian or personal prejudice. He said the irony is that the criminals in Ramsha Masih case, Joseph Colony tragedy and other similar incidents were not punished, due to which the Kot Radha Kishan incident took place.

Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi further said that even if the couple had committed a crime, only court had the authority to punish them. Nobody in Pakistan can be given the right to award punishments to people in the presence of mobs. If measures are not taken to control them, the situation in Pakistan will become worse than that of the jungle. We welcome the announcements made by the prime minister and chief minister but these announcements should be put into effect.

He said that the PUC and scholars belonging to all four sects in the country have issued clear edicts that no individual has the right to murder people on the basis of his ideology or viewpoint. If someone does that, he will be a criminal in the eyes of both Allah and people. Legal action should be taken against such people.

He said that Muslims have the responsibility to protect the rights of non-Muslims living in Pakistan. We must bear in mind that Christians had staged nationwide protests against the burning of holy Quran by Terry Jones. He added it is very unfortunate that some elements start carrying out propaganda against Islam and Pakistan whenever such types of incidents take place.

The actions of a group or individual do not represent any religion. We have always raised our voice against oppression throughout the world, and will continue to do so in the future as well. A committee consisting of Muslim and Christian leaders has been formed, which will look into the facts and analyze this incident from every angle.

Responding to a question, he said that the way Pakistani clerics, religious circles and people complied with the joint code-of-conduct in Muharram al-Haram and saved the country from any unfortunate incident was commendable. By the will of Allah, we will continue our struggle to try and resolve issues through dialogue in the future as well.

End.

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