Stay away from communal clashes in future: Pak Islamic scholar
PTI | 11:02 PM,Feb 25,2012
Vadodara, Feb 25 (PTI) Pakistani Islamic scholar Tahir-ul Qadri, who is known for his anti-terror stand, today said, when asked about the 2002 Godhra riots, that people should forget the past and ensure that such communal clashes do not occur in future. Qadri, who has been facing threats for his condemnation of terrorism by various outfits in Pakistan, including Taliban, has come here on an invitation by Karjan-based Minhajul Quran International (India), a branch of the UK-based MQI, headed by Qadri himself. When asked to comment on the 2002 riots, Qadri, who subscribes to Sufi school of Islamic thought, told reporters, "Forget the past and think of future and ensure such incidents never occur." Thanking chief minister Narendra Modi for providing him security cover, Qadri said, local people had informed him about the "prevailing communal harmony" in the state and also that "not a single incident of communal violence was reported in any part of Gujarat state in the past 10 years." Qadri also urged the Pakistani and Indian governments to reduce their defence expenditures and instead spend money on the welfare of poor people. "Both India and Pakistan should take steps in normalising their relations and people from both the countries should be given visas to visit each other's country," he said. Qadri is scheduled to visit more than half-a-dozen places across the country till March 18. After Vadodara, Qadri will attend functions in Ahmedabad and Bhuj and is scheduled to deliver lectures in Hyderabad, Ajmer, Mumbai, Raipur, and Bengaluru.