Karachi, April 21, 2020 (PPI-OT):Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said that the issue of banning worship in mosques and other places in the time of pandemic was a very sensitive issue and the help and guidance of religious scholars was imperative in this regard.
He said in a statement that when the first case of the coronavirus emerged in the province, since then the Sindh Chief Minister on the directives of Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari started consultation with the Ulema, and it was only after the cooperation of the clerics that the people followed the health advisory of the government and worshiped at their homes rather than gathering in the mosques.
He said that the decision to ban Friday prayers was a difficult one and could not had been possible without the help of religious scholars. The minister said that like other sections of society, the clerics and religious scholars also fully cooperated with the Sindh government during the lock down.
Shah said that whatever the decision was taken by the Sindh government, the respected Ulema supported it completely. He said that the clerics also believed that the lives of the people are more important than the congregation prayers. Shah said he was confident that when once again the Ulema would be requested to review their decision and ask people to offer their prayers at home during the lockdown in the holy month of Ramadan, they would cooperate.
The provincial minister advised that the federal and the provincial governments should own their decisions rather than confusing people. He said that it was the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah who held formal discussions with the clerics and religious scholars first and then other provinces did the same after that. Shah said that the Sindh government wanted a unanimous stance regarding Taraweeh and other prayers during Ramadan.
He said that a uniform policy should be made in this regard. The information minister said that the Sindh government would also request all religious leaders and clerics to follow the precautionary measures during Ramadan. “Only by taking precautionary measures, we can prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.
Almost all clerics and religious leaders agree that precautionary measures should be adopted fully, he said. Shah said that when the federal government decided that all business centers should be opened, then the clerics asked why ban on opening of mosques was not being lifted. If the lockdown had not been softened, then we would not had been facing such problems, the provincial minister said.
He said that to get rid of the coronavirus pandemic, we would all had to be on one page, otherwise, it would not be possible to get rid of the pandemic soon. “This is not the time for disagreements. We must put our differences in quarantine for a while, and think about saving people’s lives,” he said.
For more information, contact:
Sindh Information and Archives Department
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-99204423, +92-21-99204401