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Minister Fawad Chaudhry Strongly Condemns Extremist Campaign Against Khawaja Asif

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has condemned the extremist hatred campaign against Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Khawaja Asif in which he has been accused of committing ‘blasphemy’.

The minister took to Twitter to express his opinion on the matter. “Political differences aside, Khawaja Asif has rightly said that according to constitution, all religions enjoy equal freedom.”

Fawad Chaudhry went on to say that the people who have initiated the campaign against the PML-N leader have the same mentality of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other religious extremist group of the country. “We need to unanimously reject this kind of mentality,” he added.

On Thursday, Khawaja Asif on the floor of the House said that the constitution of Pakistan provides equal rights to all citizens irrespective of their caste, creed, and religion. He criticised a group of lawmakers for opposing the construction of a temple in Islamabad.

“The people who were against the temple belong to a group that had labelled Muhammad Ali Jinnah– the founder of Pakistan– as kafir-e-Azam,” the PML-N stalwart noted. He said that no religion was superior to the other in the light of the constitution, adding that as representatives of people, it was incumbent upon lawmakers to promote harmony and tolerance in the society.

The speech by Asif prompted an outrage, as extremist circles demanded the government to register a case against Asif for alleged ‘blasphemy’. Later, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif issued a statement, wherein he said that the remarks made by Asif were within the provisions of constitution and Islam.

On Sunday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Zafarwal Qamar Riaz Sulehri filed a blasphemy complaint against Khawaja Asif for his speech in National Assembly.

It was stated in the complaint that the PML-N leader committed blasphemy under sections 295-A and 298-A. Qamar Sulehri maintained that Khawaja Asif has ‘hurt’ the sentiments of the Muslims by equating their status with that of non-Muslims.


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