LAHORE – The City police are considering recommending  the Punjab government that all the prayer leaders should be taken on payroll to defuse sectarian tensions and ensure harmony among different schools of thought.

Police sources revealed that DIG (Operations) Tahir Rai briefed to the IGP on the law and order in Lahore, particularly about the issues related to sectarianism, during a meeting on Tuesday.

In the presence of senior officers, the DIG suggested that “if the prayer leaders are taken on payroll by the government it will be very helpful for the law enforcing agencies” to maintain sectarian accord among various schools of thought.

Tahir said the economic constraints were the main reason behind elements fanning sectarianism. The police officer also noted that many of the prayer leaders were not well-educated. Therefore, the government should provide financial assistance to the prayers leaders in the mosques.

According to him, the religious leaders would also extend full cooperation to the law enforcing agencies.

The IGP also underscored that prayer leaders could not only be made responsible through this initiative but the elements involved in fanning sectarianism could be barred from propagating negativity.  The religious leaders could also help educate the masses .  The IGP said the department would take up the suggestion with the government.