According to the initial investigations of Punjab police, the attack on interior minister Chaudhry Ahsan Iqbal was religiously motivated. The main accused that fired bullet at Ahsan Iqbal was arrested by the police on the spot. The accused confessed that he tried to kill interior minister on the issue of Khatam-e-Nabuwat (PBUH).
This attack is the result of hate speech. Many religious leaders exploit the religious emotions of the ordinary Muslims on the very sensitive issue of Khatam-e-Nabuwat and blasphemy. When the religious leaders spread hatred in their speeches against certain individuals then they become target of emotional and hard line religious people.
No individual or group has the right to implement any law in the country. Only state has the right to implement blasphemy and other laws. Pakistan is not a banana republic ruled by war lords and mobs. Pakistan is a civilized country with a constitution and democratic rule. If anyone has a complaint against somebody for committing blasphemy or on any other issue then one must lodge complaint with the police, FIA or local authorities. How someone can accuse any person for blasphemy and then decided to punish him or her.
Some religious leaders are continued to use religion as political tool to make gains. Islam is the religion of peace and humanity. Our beautiful religion is being used to spread hatred and violence for vested interests. It is a high time to stop the hate speech and spread of violent ideas. Pakistan has defeated the terrorism and bring normalcy in the country. Pakistani military has made exceptional sacrifices to defeat terrorism and violence.
In his initial statement, the accused Abid revealed that he is the youth president of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRP) UC Gorala and Kot Baray Khan. He belongs to the Ashraf Jalali faction of Tehreek Labaik. He participated in Islamabad sit-in organized by TLYRP. He was inspired by the speeches of the leaders of TLYP.
Tehreek Labaik is a religious group divided into two factions one is led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi and other is led by Asif Ashraf Jalali, both using the very sensitive issue of Khatam-e-Nabuwat and blasphemy to make political gains. Khadim Rizvi has denied involvement of his group and condemned the incident. He clarified that his group never encourage anybody to carry or use weapons.
It might be true that they never instigate their followers to use violence against anybody but on the other hand they use derogatory and abusive language against some of the PML-N top leaders. They have every right as a political party to spread their message but it should not spread hatred against certain leaders.
According to the report, the culprit took advantage of the crowd and opened fire on Iqbal from a distance of 15 feet. He used a pistol of 30 bore calibre. The Elite Force arrested the shooter, said the report. The suspect belongs to Shakar Garh and had come to attend the corner meeting on his motorcycle. His motorcycle has also been impounded while further investigations are underway.
An FIR No 73/18 has been registered in the name of ASI Muhammad Ishaq at the Ghareeb Shah police station. It contains sections pertaining to murder, intention to murder, possession of unlicensed weapon and terrorism. According to the FIR, the 21-year-old suspect shot at Iqbal with the motive to kill him.
A senior police officer said the suspect told investigators that he opened fire on the minister to take revenge from the ruling PML-N for trying to delete the clause related to the Khatm-e-Nabuwat (the finality of Holly Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) from the Constitution. “The suspect belongs to a religious family and is a worker of the TLYP. We are interrogating him to find out whether he acted alone or at the behest of someone,” he said.
A couple of months ago Iqbal had also faced a shoe-attack in his hometown. However the man who hurled the shoe was arrested and later freed after Iqbal pardoned him. The suspect then claimed that he committed the act because he was upset with the PML-N government over the change to the offending clause in the Constitution.
Similarly, former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and former foreign minister Khawaja Asif also faced shoe and ink attacks in Lahore and Sialkot, a couple of months ago. Their attackers were also members of the TLYP who alleged that the PML-N leadership had committed blasphemy by changing the some clauses which had provoked the attacks.
This is a dangerous trend and needs to stop it now before it gets out of control. The government should take necessary measures and actions to stop the spread of hate.
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13 November, 2019