Nothing more important than Pakistan's integrity: Tahirul Qadri

LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chairman Dr. Tahirul Qadri said that nothing is more important than the integrity of Pakistan and said the country has given numerous sacrifices in the war on terror.

The PAT chief was conducting a press conference in PAT’s Secretariat and was addressing recent measures taken by the US against Pakistan after President Trump’s January 1 tweet.

Qadri said that it is absurd that the US has put Pakistan on the watch list for religious freedom, whereas, other countries, where Muslim genocide has taken place are not being considered for the list. He added that Pakistan considers its minorities an important part of its social fabric.

Hindus and Christians historically have been a part of the judiciary and army, he said.

The PAT chief added that Pakistan has always been a sincere partner and it never wanted US-Pak relations to deteriorate.

As for Afghanistan, the PAT chief said that the landlocked country has always been a point of concern, adding that for Afghanistan’s safety, no country apart from Pakistan can have the biggest contribution in its stability.

Qadri further said that the war against terror is Pakistan’s belief not a political point of view, adding that terrorism is against humanity and fighting it is a part of our religious ideology.

While responding to a question regarding Asif Ali Zardari lamenting the lack of foreign minister in the past, Qadri supported the Pakistan Peoples Party co-chair’s views.

He said that Khawaja Asif was made a foreign minister after the disqualification of Nawaz. The leaders, for personal gains, ignored important issues, added Qadri.
On Jan 4, the US State Department has placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List for what it claims are “severe violations of religious freedom”.
In a press statement on Thursday, the State Department said it has also re-designated 10 countries as “countries of particular concern” under the country’s International Religious Freedom Act for having engaged in or tolerated egregious violations of religious freedom.

The move against Pakistan came amid a period of heightened tensions between the two nations, after US president Donald Trump said that Washington had foolishly given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years.