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7 Times Pak Politicians Used Religion Card For Political Gains

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Pakistani politicians have long used religion as a tool to woo their voters and elevate themselves to positions of power. In a country where religious extremism has claimed several lives over the years, one would expect political leaders to display maturity and to not go down this ugly path for partisan political gains. But this is not the case. Religion card is frequently used by politicians against each other.

Following is a list of seven occasions where Pakistani politicians used the religion card for political gains.

Imran Khan During TLP’s Protests Against Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Amendment

In 2017, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had pledged his support to Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) when the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Bill controversy erupted during the rule of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government.

Khan fully voiced his support for TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s Islamabad dharna which resulted in the capital being completely locked down for days.

Khan has leveled allegations of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat amendment against his opponents more than once.

Captain Safdar’s Remarks About Ahmadis In Armed Forces

PML-N leader Muhammad Safdar in October 2017 dedicated his entire speech in the National Assembly (NA) to spew venom against the persecuted Ahmadi community.

While calling for strict action against the community, Safdar had said that he wanted to introduce a resolution in the NA to “ban the recruitment of Ahmedis in the armed forces. Ironically, he had also served in the armed forces of Pakistan.

Sheikh Rasheed’s Statement About Mumtaz Qadri’s Supporters Voting For Him

While talking to a private news channel in 2017, Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rasheed had revealed his intention to use the ‘political power’ of Mumtaz Qadri’s supporters for political gains.

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Rasheed had said during the TV programme that Qadri’s supporters would be voting for PTI because of AML’s alliance with Imran Khan.

Abrar-ul-Haq’s Rant In Favour Of TLP During Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Controversy

When the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat Bill controversy surfaced, renowned singer Abrar-ul-Haq shared a video among his followers in which he called upon the people to aggressively oppose the Nawaz Sharif government for supporting Ahmedis.

Such vitriol promoted by renowned people led to an attempt on PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal’s life at a political rally in May.

Shehla Raza’s Tweets About Ahmadis While Celebrating 2nd Amendment as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Achievement

In September 2018, Pakistan People Party leader and former deputy speaker of Sindh Assembly Shehla Raza caused a controversy on Twitter after posting a hateful statement against the Ahmedi community. In the now-deleted tweet, she criticised the government’s decision to include economist Atif Mian, a member of the persecuted minority community, in the economic advisory council (EAC).

“It is incomprehensible how Imran Khan, whose ideal is the state of Madina, chose the grandson of Ghulam Ahmad Mirza (founder of Ahmadiyya sect) as an economic advisor,” the tweeted had stated.

Following harsh criticism, Raza deleted the tweet and denied posting it. Instead, she blamed the mistake on her social media team.

Shehryar Afridi Saying “Allah Ko Jaan Deni Hai” In Response To Tough Questions

Shehryar Afridi has a habit of making controversial remarks and appeasing extremist forces in Pakistan.

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In a video leaked not long ago, the then interior minister had vowed to “protect” Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and his party.

“As long as we (the PTI) are in the government, all those including Hafiz Saeed who are raising their voice for Pakistan and righteousness, we are with them,” Afridi was heard saying to a group of men belonging to Saeed’s party.

Fazlur Rehman Calling Imran Khan Jewish Agent

The Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief has been very critical of PTI chief Imran Khan and has called him a Jewish agent many times in the past.

While addressing a gathering in Dera Ismail Khan in 2013, he declared it ‘haram’ to vote for PTI chief Imran Khan and his candidates.

Fazl said that Khan was sponsored by the West and the Jewish lobby. He called Imran an agent of “Americans, Jews, Ahmadis and a person of ill character”.

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