ISLAMABAD                  -               A critical rift on Tuesday surfaced between the religious parties and the government side over the re­strictions on the gatherings at mosques when both the sides had their own opinion regarding the ban on the gatherings at mosques.

In a statement, Minister for Re­ligious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qa­dri said that the decision regard­ing the Aetekaaf and prayers at mosques will be taken by the gov­ernment after consultation with the religious clerics of the country on April 18. He said that the gov­ernment was committed to pro­vide safe mosques for the worshi­pers in Ramazan.

Meanwhile, the religious par­ties are likely to resist the ban on the gatherings at mosques as they seem in no mode to remain at homes any more.

In a joint meeting followed by a presser all the religious par­ties and scholars from different schools of thought including JI and JUI-F, it was decided that the gov­ernment should not impose any­more sanctions on gatherings at mosques.

The meeting decided that people should come to mosques with completely following the precau­tionary measures highlighted by the government.

They also announced that the Urdu sermons in mosques on Fri­days should also be temporarily banned in order to take less time in finishing the prayer.

While addressing the media af­ter the meeting, Maulana Taqi Usmani said that it was their duty to take care of the poor people amid the corona virus outbreak.

Meanwhile, Mufti Muneeb Reh­man while taking to media claimed that the ban on the gatherings dur­ing the lockdown has ended; say­ing that with the complete precau­tionary measures being followed by the masses should perform the prayer at mosques.

He stated that all the five prayers and Friday prayer will be offered at mosques onward. However, sourc­es told The Nation that the govern­ment was struggling to get all the religious clerics on the same page for convincing the masses to re­main at homes.