Lahore, Nov 26:


Ulema and Mashaikh of different schools of thought on Thursday assured the Punjab government of their full support for containing the spread of coronavirus and said that ‘jihad’ against the pandemic from mosques and pulpits will continue.

Provincial Minister for Auqaf Sahibzada Syed Saeed ul Hassan and Chief Secretary Punjab met with Ulema of different sects at Darbar Hall, Civil Secretariat. The provincial minister said that the government needs the cooperation and advice of religious scholars in implementing the SOPs for the prevention of coronavirus. He said that during the first wave of the epidemic, the guidance and cooperation of Ulema helped curb the spread of the virus for which the provincial government is thankful to them. He said that Covaid-19 is spreading fast again due to the non-implementation of SOPs by people, adding that religious scholars should play their role in making the people aware of the gravity of the issue.

The Chief Secretary Punjab said: “Mosque and pulpit are very important in our society and people believe and follow the words of Ulema.” He said that Islam gives top priority to the protection of human life, adding that religious scholars should implement SOPs in mosques as well as raise awareness among the people about social distance and the use of masks. He said that the only way to control the second wave of epidemics is to wear a mask, maintain social distance, and follow the guidelines provided by Islam.

At the end of the meeting, collective prayers were offered for the progress of the country and protection from the coronavirus. Those among present were: Dr. Raghib Hussain Naeemi, Maulana Syed Abdul Khabir Azad, Maulana Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, Maulana Badr-ul-Zaman Qadri, Maulana Muhammad Arif Sialvi, Maulana Ghulam Mehr Ali, Allama Sajjad Hussain, Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Faridi, Maulana Naseer Ahmad, Maulana Imran Sajjad. Maulana Nadeem Qamar, Maulana Arif Hussain, Maulana Qazi Tajweeduddin, Maulana Riaz Ahmad Qadri, the additional chief secretary (Home), and secretaries of health departments.

Earlier, the Chief Secretary Punjab met with a delegation of the Marriage Halls Association at the Civil Secretariat in connection with the implementation of SOPs for the prevention of coronavirus. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary said that as per the directive of the Prime Minister, the provincial government is taking steps to keep businesses running with precautions during the second wave of Covaid-19 but no compromise could be made on the protection of people’s health and lives.

He said that the next two months are crucial in view of the spread of the epidemic, adding that marriage hall owners should show responsibility and ensure implementation of SOPs including wearing masks and maintaining social distance in wedding ceremonies. He said the provincial government would make recommendations to allow wedding ceremonies in specially-designed marriage halls and marquees having required ventilation facility. He also issued instructions to the Secretary Industries for timely resolution of grievances of the Marriage Halls Association. The delegation of the Marriage Halls Association assured full cooperation to the government in the implementation of SOPs and said that precautionary measures would be taken in all cases as per the instructions of the government. The delegation included President All-Punjab Marriage Halls Association Khalid Idrees, Muhammad Aqeel, Rao Tariq Islam, Mian Ilyas, Shahid Ismail, and Malik Muhammad Ashfaq.

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