Human rights lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir on Tuesday demanded former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to take notice of retired Capt Muhammad Safdar’s tirade against the persecuted Ahmadi community.
On Tuesday, Safdar, who is the former prime minister’s son-in-law and a member of the ruling PML-N, accused the faith group of acting against the country’s interests and called for action against its members.
“These people [Ahmadis] are a threat to this country, its Constitution and ideology,” Safdar had said.
Appearing on DawnNews talk show News Wise, Jahangir said that Safdar’s incendiary speech made in the National Assembly was unacceptable and “highly discriminatory”.
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“Such words are spoken by those who we consider to be extremists; such remarks being made by a member of the NA is shocking,” said the activist. “I believe Capt Safdar tried to incite [hatred]. While speaking in the NA, one must maintain respect.”
Jahangir demanded that Nawaz take notice of Safdar’s speech and urged all political parties to condemn it, voicing her concern that such incidents are not even condemned by the civil society anymore.
“Around the world, nobody can speak about their minority populations in such a manner,” Jahangir said. “If we do not raise our voice against this incident today, people like this (who make such remarks against minorities), will form a majority.”
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, in a tweet on Wednesday, condemned the speech without mentioning Captain Safdar’s name.
“The bigotry, hatred and extremism on display in the National Assembly yesterday goes to show that the Nawaz league has been mainstreaming terror well before Milli Muslim League . No place for this mindset in our society,” Bilawal said in his tweet.
Pakistan was created with an ideology to protect the finality of Prophethood [Khatm-i-Naboowat] so Islam is practised here, the PML-N leader said.
Capt Safdar’s remarks in the NA caused an uproar on social media, with many questioning whether action could be taken against the lawmaker.
Safdar and his wife Maryam are currently facing a trial in the National Accountably Bureau’s court with regards to the Avenfield reference.