Lahore: The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) and the Catholic Church in Pakistan have demanded Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik to apologise for comparing Pope Benedict XVI with a Canadian-Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri.
Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, the director of National Commission for Justice and Peace and a senior priest of the Catholic Church in Pakistan, termed Malik’s remark “unnecessary and provocative as there is no comparison or link between the two personalities”.
“While pope (Benedict XVI) is an undisputed leader of the Catholic Church, the largest faith group in the world, the credentials of Dr Qadri are prerogative of Pakistanis and Muslims to ascertain. On the other hand, the pope has neither a political role nor ambitions in the 21st century states,” Mani said in a statement on Thursday.
“We as a Christian community of Pakistan feel deeply angered by such statements maligning the office and the position of papacy. We demand an apology from Mr Rehman Malik, who is otherwise assigned a responsible task and request him to avoid any such remarks in the future,” he said.
He said the Christian community also appealed to all leaders to keep the dissent and political battles within the limits of decency because uncanny remarks did not reflect the better part of democratic culture.
“The religious minorities have always stood with the movements for democracy and human rights and will always strive to work for democracy and justice in Pakistan.”