Pakistani scholar thanks Modi for security

TNN | Feb 26, 2012, 02.42AM IST

VADODARA: Pakistani Islamic scholar Tahir-ul-Qadri on his first visit to Gujarat thanked Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for the security arrangements provided to him by the state government.

Dr Qadri, known for his strong views against terrorism and extremism, however, refused to comment on 2002 communal riots. Dr Qadri is in Gujarat since Friday night to lay foundation stone of India headquarters of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI) in Karjan on Saturday evening. Speaking to mediapersons ahead of the function in Karjan, he said that he did not have personal knowledge of provincial states of India and political leaders of the country.

"But it is my first visit to Gujarat and special security arrangements have been provided by the state government and Gujarat chief minister by providing Z plus security cover to me. I thank the CM for this," he said. On repeated questions posed by mediapersons on the 2002 communal riots, Dr Qadri insisted that he was not visiting Gujarat to speak on specific incidents or events, but termed the incidents as unfortunate.

"I won't speak on specific events. My talk in letter and spirit is just for peace and harmony. Violence at any place, killing of mankind should be condemned, but I de-link it with the events (Godhra riots) you are referring to," he said, adding that while delivering public lectures in India he will speak about Quran and its message of peace while keeping Bhagwad Gita in his hand.

Dr Qadri said nobody can rectify whatever has happened in the past. "Nobody can regenerate or recreate past, but efforts should be made to prevent such events in future. The only way is to look for a better future, create an atmosphere of togetherness for which mutual tolerance is necessary," he said. Stressing that his efforts are for inter-faith, inter-cultural harmony at global level, Dr Qadri said that although he had limited public interaction with people in Gujarat, members of MQI in Gujarat had informed him that now the situation is under control in Gujarat.

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