Federal Minister of Religious Affairs Noorul-Haq-Qadri on Friday held a meeting to discuss various matters including Muharram preparations with religious scholars in Islamabad in which he stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan had called him for consultation regarding renowned economist Dr Atif Mian’s appointment to the government’s Economic Advisory Council, a private media outlet reported.
“I told him what reaction there would be,” he said.
He said he had told the prime minister that “whoever had been declared a non-Muslim will remain a non-Muslim, however, the state has to fulfil its responsibilities to grant minorities their due rights, as is incumbent upon it.”
“Atif Mian’s appointment was based on his expertise in economic affairs rather than his religious beliefs,” he said, while at the same time revealing that “upon indication [of his faith] the notice of his appointment was retracted”.
The minister said that since the matter was settled, there is no need to dissect the matter and no further investigation was necessary.
During the course of the meeting, preparations for the upcoming month of Muharram were discussed and a joint notification was issued pertaining to the same.
The notification called on clerics to desist from issuing any inflammatory statements against other sects.
“Religious differences should be settled through consultation, reflection and serious dialogue,” it said. “National platforms should not be used to ridicule other sects,” it added, before listing the religious personalities that ought not to be criticised and asking all schools of thought to remain united on national issues.
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