Amid rising political differences, a group of people — allegedly supporters of PTI — violated the sanctity of the Masjid—e-Nabvi in Medina by chanting the slogans of “chor, chor” against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation.
The unfortunate incident took place on Thursday when PM Shehbaz along with his delegation entered the mosque to pay respect at the Roza-e-Rasool (PBUH).
A day earlier, PM Shehbaz and his delegation had reached Saudi Arabia for a three-day official visit at the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The delegation accompanying the premier includes Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Shahzain Bugti, Mohsin Dawar, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi, Chaudhry Salik, and four members of PM Shehbaz Sharif’s staff.
However, upon the arrival of PM Shehbaz and his delegation at the mosque, the incident took place, videos of which have since gone viral on social media. The hooligans not only chanted slogans of “chor, chor (thieves) when they saw the premiere, but they also harassed and raised objectionable slogans against Marriyum Aurangzeb.
Meanwhile, the protesters also misbehaved with the JWP chief and Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti and pulled his hair.
The video doing rounds on social media shows that protesters also continued to film the entire episode with their mobile phones.
Commenting on the incident, Bugti said: “I respect Mecca and Medina a lot and no one can speak in a loud voice there. Those who have passed derogatory remarks against Marriyum Aurangzeb are still here, therefore, the news related to their arrest is fake”.
Reacting to the unfortunate incident, Aurangzeb — without using Imran Khan’s name but in an apparent reference to him, said: “I don’t want to name the person responsible for this incident because I don’t want to use this holy land for political purposes.”
“However, it will take time for us to fix the ways in which these people have damaged our society and we can only do that through a positive attitude.”
She further added that the PML-N leadership has instructed its workers to control their emotions.
Condemnations pour in
Following the incident, political and religious leadership and people belonging to different sections of the society also expressed their outrage at the incident and strictly condemned the chanting of political slogans at Masjid-e-Nabwi.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman condemned the incident and said Haram-e-Medina is a “place of respect” for the entire Muslim Ummah.
Taking to his Twitter handle, he wrote: “Speaking loudly in the mosque is against Islamic etiquette.”
“Whatever happened there today couldn’t be more insulting to the holy site. Those who cannot respect the sanctity of the house of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cannot claim to follow his teachings,” he added.
Meanwhile, MQM-P leader and Senator Faisal Subzwari wrote on Twitter that those who were condemning Captain Safdar for chanting slogans at Mazar-e-Quaid are now celebrating the chanting of political slogans at Masjid-e-Nabawi.
Regretting the protest that took place at the Prophet’s mosque, acclaimed scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel said that disrespect of Haram Sharif is not acceptable in Islam.
PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan also condemned the incident and called it “against the sanctity of the holy place”.
Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council Tahir Ashrafi has also expressed his displeasure at the unfortunate turn of events at the Masjid-e-Nabawi.
In a video statement, Ashrafi said: “A group of people disrespected the holy mosque by chanting slogans and those who were involved in this act have dishonoured the country,” he said, adding that, “Muslims are supposed to lower their voices instead of chanting slogans inside a mosque.”
He warned that those who had violated the laws of Muslim countries in the past are in jail and authorities do not agree to release them.
Famous Pakistani cricketers Mohammad Yousaf and Shahid Afridi also condemned the shameful act at a sacred place.
Shahid Afridi said the incident has damaged Pakistan’s image.