Ceric’s remarks on judges, Sharia not worrisome: Gilani (Roundup)April 21st, 2009 - 12:14 am ICT by IANS
Islamabad, April 20 (IANS) The Pakistani government is taking in its stride the remarks of a Taliban-linked radical cleric on the country’s judiciary and Sharia laws following their imposition in Swat and other parts of the restive northeast, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani indicated Monday.
Appearing on the Geo TV “Capital Talk” programme, Gilani said that he was “not at all concerned” with Maulana Sufi Mohammad’s statements Sunday that Pakistan’s existing judicial system was un-Islamic and his vowing to impose Sharia across the country.
Replying to a question, Gilani said the government knew well how to safeguard the country’s national interests and the US special envoy Richard Holbrooke should not be worried about the situation in Swat after Sharia laws were imposed there and in six other districts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), known as the Malakand division.
He also said the situation in Swat was returning to normal and there should be no worries on this score.
Holbrooke has repeatedly voiced Washington’s opposition to imposing Sharia laws in Malakand.
Also on Monday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the government was examining Sufi Mohammad’s remarks and had sought a recording of his speech.
At his rally Sunday at Mingora city in Swat, Sufi Mohammed termed judges, lawyers and pro-democracy clerics of Pakistan as “rebels”.
Meanwhile, the imposition of Sharia laws in Swat Monday rocked the Senate, the upper house of parliament, with the Muttahidda Quami Movement (MQM) and other opposition parties walking out in protest against Sufi Mohammad’s remarks.
Prior to this, a heated exchange of words and sloganeering against the promulgation of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation created pandemonium in the Senate as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Babar Awan tabled it in the house, Geo TV said.
The move was a mere formality as the regulation has already come into force with the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament April 13 passing it by a majority after an MQM walkout and President Asif Ali Zardari quickly ratifying it the same night.
The opposition members were extremely incensed over the remarks Sunday by Maulana Sufi Mohammad of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) that Pakistan’s existing judicial system was un-Islamic and vowing to impose Sharia across the country.
In the midst of the din, Senate Chairman Farooq H. Naek reserved his ruling on the regulation.
The situation in the Senate was far different than in the National Assembly, where only the MQM had raised the voice of dissent as other opposition parties quietly acquiesced to the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation.
In fact, Ports and Shipping Minister Babar Khan Ghauri went to the extent of requesting the upper house chairman to pass a ruling over Sufi Mohammad’s statement terming parliament “unlawful” under Shariah.
Ghauri accused the cleric of violating the sanctity of the judiciary and parliament.
Leader of Opposition Waseem Sajjad saw little purpose behind the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation being tabled in the upper house.
“Opposition to enforcement of (the law as per) the holy Quran is infidelity,” the Nation newspaper quoted Sufi Mohammad as saying Sunday.
Pakistan’s judicial system, he said, was un-Islamic and the judgments of Sharia courts could not be challenged in these courts.
“High courts and the Supreme Court were ‘ghair sharaiee’ (un-Islamic) institutions and going for appeal in ‘ghair sharaiee’ institutions was ‘haram’ (prohibited as per Islamic code),” he added.
Sufi Mohammed’s TNSM and the NWFP government Feb 16 inked a controversial peace deal under which Sharia laws would be imposed in the Malakand division in return for the Taliban laying down their arms.
Thousands had gathered to attend Sufi Muhammad’s rally.
He also criticized the country’s rulers, saying “they were appeasing the West by thrusting the Nizam of Kufr (rule of infidelity)”.
He said that he wanted peace and affection among the Muslims and “wish to set up an environment of brotherhood.”
“But the Muslims were divided in different parties, we direly need unity at this time,” he maintained.
- Swat Sharia laws rock Pakistan's Senate - Apr 20, 2009
- MQM to move Supreme Court against cleric Sufi Mohammad - Apr 21, 2009
- Taliban cleric vows to impose sharia across Pakistan - Apr 19, 2009
- Pakistan examining cleric's comments on Sharia courts (Lead) - Apr 20, 2009
- Sharia for Swat challenged in Supreme Court (Second Lead) - Apr 21, 2009
- Only provincial government can appoint Sharia judges: Minister - May 04, 2009
- Sharia verdicts cannot be challenged in Supreme Court: cleric - Apr 16, 2009
- After Swat, TNSM vows to implement sharia law in other parts of Pakistan - Apr 14, 2009
- Now, Taiban demands repeal of 'Un-Islamic' provisions in Pak constitution - Apr 17, 2009
- Swat accord can be re-looked: Gilani - Apr 22, 2009
- Terrorism, not Islam is Taliban's prime agenda: NWFP minister - May 06, 2009
- Qazi judgments would be final and unchallengeable: Sufi Muhammad - Apr 16, 2009
- Sharia in Swat dependent on peace: Gilani (Lead) - Apr 21, 2009
- Provincial government in Pakistan invites Islamic cleric for talks - Apr 28, 2009
- Pak religious parties demand Swat like sharia regulation across NWFP - Mar 24, 2009
Tags: affairs minister, awan, babar, ceric, frontier province, geo tv, house of parliament, malakand division, mqm, nizam, north west frontier, opposition parties, pakistani government, parliamentary affairs, radical cleric, rehman malik, richard holbrooke, sharia laws, upper house of parliament, yousuf