ISLAMABAD - Christian community has seriously shown concerns about the recent statement of Interior Minister Rehman Malik for drawing a parallel between the Holy Father and Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri and has sought immediate withdrawal of the statement in this regard.

Christian community has said Interior Minister Rehman Malik deeply hurt their religious feelings and sentiments when, the other day, during a press conference he while criticising TMQ chief Dr Qadri said he more like ‘Pope’ and a “padree’ than an ‘allama’.

In this regard, Fr Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, the Director National Commission for Justice and Peace and a senior Priest of the Catholic Church in Pakistan has demanded withdrawal of statement by Rehman Malik that drew a parallel between the Holy Father and Dr Tahirul Qadri.

Fr Emmanuel Yousaf termed the remark unnecessary and provocative; saying there is no comparison or link between the two personalities. “While Pope (Benedict XVI) is an undisputed leader of the Catholic Church, the largest faith group in the world, the credentials of Dr Qadri are prerogative of Pakistanis and Muslims to ascertain,” he said adding that the Pope had neither a political role nor ambitions in the 21st century states.

“We as a Christian community of Pakistan feel deeply angered by such statements maligning the office and the position of Papacy. We demand an apology from Malik, who is otherwise assigned a responsible task and request him to avoid any such remarks in the future,” he said through a statement.

The statement further said that the Christians would also appeal to all leaders to keep the dissent and political battles within the limits of decency because uncanny remarks did not reflect the better part of democratic culture.  

The religious minorities have always stood with the movements for democracy and human rights and would be always strive to work for democracy and justice in Pakistan, he also said.