ISLAMABAD -  As part of its efforts to consolidate the gains made by country’s armed forces in the war against terrorism and extremism, the civilian government yesterday took a very positive step to further weaken the agents of intolerance and mischief.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal told the National Assembly that those issuing decrees declaring others non-Muslims on social media will be booked and tried under the Cyber Crime Act.

In an Islamic country it is only the right of the state to declare jihad, the minister said categorically. “Politicking on religious sentiments is a dangerous trend,” he said.

He called upon Ulema to denounce such Fatwas [be they on cyberspace or social space] as it was not right of any individual to issue a religious decree.

“We have to defeat terrorism with unity in our ranks. Nobody can claim a monopoly over Hubb-e-Allah [love for God] and Hubb-e-Rasool [love for Prophet Muhammad],” he said.

“The rulings [about infidelity] against one another in cities and villages will turn this country into a war zone... the enemy wants Muslims to kill one another... I request religious and political leaders, and the clergy to denounce such Fatwas,” the minister said.

Ahsan Iqbal announced that the government will take rigorous action against individuals that involve themselves in hate crimes on social media under cybercrime laws.

He also said that no one has the right to raise questions over the faith of legislators who have taken oath of being the believers of the finality of the Prophethood.

“No one has a franchise to judge anyone’s faith,” Ahsan Iqbal said. “In order to defeat the enemies of Muslims and Pakistan we have to forge unity in the country,” he added.

Jhal Magsi attack

About suicide bombing in Balochistan on Thursday which claimed more than 20 lives, “Such terror incidents remind us that unity among the nation is the need of the hour."

Condemning the attack at the Jhal Magsi shrine, he said the provincial government has been asked to submit the report. He said the federal government will announce compensation for the victims.

The minister said during the last four years, the country has successfully carried out Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fasaad operations. The country has achieved significant successes in this war, but some elements keep entering from across the border and hitting the soft targets in the country, he added.

"[But] such cowardly attacks cannot create fear and defeat the people [of Pakistan]. Our enemy does not know that these attacks would further enhance courage and determination of the people," he said.

Ahsan said the eradication of terrorism from the country was a prerequisite for prosperity and development of the country.

Amir Magsi from Jhal Magsi area, PPP’s Ijaz Jakarani and PPP’s Nawab Yusuf Talpoor also strongly condemned the incident.

Khatm-e-Nabuwat declaration

About the controversial clause in the recently-passed election law, Ahsan said that the nomination papers oath has been restored to its previous form unanimously.

“The matter about the finality of Prophethood cannot be compromised,” he said, lauding the unity of all parties in the National Assembly on this issue.

Religious Affairs Minister Muhammad Yousuf said, “I don’t think there is any confusion left in the bill as now it is in its original shape.”

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf MNA Shehryar Afridi, on a point of order, said the government should fix responsibility for the attempt to bring changes in the electoral declaration regarding Khatm-e-Nabuwat.

Taking the floor, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah remarked that the government was itself creating problems by raising the issue about the bill. “There is a need to strengthen unity among all,” he added.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement staged a token walkout from the proceedings over the knife attacks on women by some unknown persons in Karachi.

“It seems Sindh CM and police are helpless as many women were injured by the attackers,” MQM-P’s Fauzia Hameed said and left the house in protest along with her party colleagues.

The house saw very thin presence throughout the day especially from the treasury benches.

Minister for IPC Riaz Pirzada the other day (Thursday) threatened the government to stage protest everyday if enquiry was not conducted on the issue of linking certain lawmakers with banned outfits. He had also walked out from the proceedings in protest with other lawmakers. On Friday, Pirzada was not seen in the house throughout the proceedings.