Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Muhammed Hamza Shafqat visited a sectarian rally where he was spotted sitting on stage clerics who allegedly have radical tendencies. Apparently, it was an Ehteram e Sahaba (Respect for companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) rally where DC Islamabad shared stage with speakers who called for the boycott of shia community, turning it into an anti-shia rally.
Since the speeches that openly called for “boycott of shia community” were provocative in nature, people were wondering what DC Islamabad was doing at such place.
For the past few days, sectarian clashes are being aired through various rallies in Pakistan. Citizens have warned to stop these extremist speeches on controversial religious topic. Even the popular singer Asim Azhar requested PM Imran Khan to do something before it’s too late.
The concerns were further intensified after the presence of a government official at a rally that also chanted anti-Shia slogans. Social media users who saw the viral picture of DC Islamabad criticized him for being in a gathering that provoked sectarian bias through hate speech.
Reaction to DC Islamabad’s Presence at A Sectarian Rally
People immediately figured out that it is DC Islamabad joining the stage where Anti-Shia protestors were giving hate speech. Some of them remember him from the allegations of land grabbing. He is also an Additional Deputy Commissioner in Islamabad Capital Territory, Director of Municipal Administration, and Director of General Estate.
The presence of a state official at such a rally where hate speeches were being made by banned extremist outfits in the name of religion, made people question the state’s role.
These officials might not be as qualified to protect anyone if they cannot stop this persecution against the minority.
Explanation By DC Islamabad
DC tried to explain his presence at the venue where hate-mongering was going on. He said that he went there before the event started, to check arrangements and if everybody was following SOPs. He added that he only spent 10 seconds in discussing the security issues on the stage where the picture was taken. He claimed that he did not engage in anything illegal and was only doing his job.
Critics didn’t seem convinced with this statement. They said that the statement is ambiguous because nobody was following SOPs in the picture. It led some social media users to question what action he took against those participants of the rally for not following SOPs during hate speech against Shias.
Deputy’s response was alarming for the public. They were shocked to see his priorities when a clear targeting of a minority sect was happening on loudspeakers. A massive rally was chanting anti-Shia slogans which could instigate a dangerous sectarian war which will further divide this nation. This concern led people to question why DC was there.
The below part of speech says a participant addressing the audience and asking “everyone to boycott Shia”.
What Should Have Been Role of Deputy Commissioner
Deputy Commissioner’s unclear response elevated the criticism and many people called for his removal. The context and consequences of these hate rallies can prove disastrous for any sect. It is alarming that the government official is meeting the participants instead of taking measures to stop hate speech so that it doesn’t threaten peace and stability in the country.
FIR Registered against for Inciting Violence
DC Islamabad announced in a speech that FIR has been registered against the hate-mongers. He also talked about imposing ban for making such hate speeches in territory of Islamabad.
Consequences of Such Hate Speech
Such speeches are against Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan’s motto of Unity, Faith and Discipline. Pakistan is also suffering from ethnic conflicts particularly in Balochistan and KPK. The recent wave of shia-persecution and hate speeches against a particular sect is fanning the flames of sectarian violence in the country further threatening the peace and development. Therefore,