PAT and MQI strongly condemn ‘Aaj’ TV for its character assassination of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri

Nazim-e-Ala of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, has said that it is on record that Pakistan Awami Tehreek and Minhaj-ul-Quran International have never resorted to violence and siege in their entire religious and political history and we have always condemned such acts. Minhaj-ul-Quran International has been a torch-bearer of independence of media and it has never tried to pressurize it in any way. He said the ‘Aaj’ TV’s allegation of laying siege around its Islamabad office against MQI was unjustified and belied truth. He said we strongly condemn such behaviour. Dr Abbasi said the truth was that Mr. Nusrat Javed and Mushtaq Minhas, anchors of an Aaj TV programme ‘Bolta Pakistan,’ used provocative, abusive and insulting language about Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, the founder and patron-in-Chief of Minhaj-ul-Quran International on November 6, 2008. This programme was re-telecast at 7 am in the morning on November 7 and at 2 pm on the same day. This programme was also repeated on other channels abroad, hurting the feelings of millions of Muslims, workers and associates of Minhaj-ul-Quran International across the globe. A letter was sent to the Chief Executive Officer of Aaj TV and its management demanding of them to take notice of critical issue and resolve the it amicably. Furthermore, the central leaders of MQI also tried to contact the owners and management of Aaj TV. They neither received these phone calls nor responded to letter. Afterwards, the central leader of MQI, Sardar Mansoor Ahmad Khan, went to the Islamabad office of Aaj TV to resolve the matter through negation but the management did not meet him.

In the meantime, we advised our workers to remain cool and calm but a few individuals got together on their own for peaceful protest in front of Aaj TV office in Islamabad. The 40-minute long coverage of Aaj TV bears testimony to the fact that the protestors kept their cool. MQI dissociates itself from this peaceful protest because no such call was issued to its members and workers. Interpreting the protest of a few individuals as violent siege and terrorism, Aaj TV management ascribed it to Minhaj-ul-Quran International. He said this attitude of Aaj TV is regrettable and deserves to be condemned in strong terms. Despite the fact that Aaj TV management had the telephone numbers of the central leaders of MQI, it did not contact them for their version on the events and chose to attribute peaceful protest of a few individuals to MQI. This is contravention of journalistic norms and values. On November 7, the anchors of ‘Bolta Pakistan’ in its next episode crossed all moral limits and used highly objectionable, abusive and immoral language about Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.

Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi deplored the character assassination of such a person who has devoted his entire life for the service of Islam and Muslim Umma, putting in place thousands of educational institutions and Islamic centres across Pakistan and abroad for promotion of awareness and enlightenment from which thousands of youth had received guidance and were spreading the peaceful message of Islam. He said Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is globally known as an ambassador of peace, inter-faith harmony and brotherhood and his efforts of a few years have been instrumental in establishing a worldwide movement championing the causes of peace, interfaith dialogue and tolerance. He said bracketing such personality and his Movement with terrorism through character assassination was reprehensible and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. He said we have advised our workers, associates and affiliates not to be provoked by such acts and to keep holding on to the golden principles of mutual tolerance and love as taught by their leader, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi said: “We demand of all the journalistic organizations, political parties, press clubs and the powers that be that they should take note of this heinous conspiracy against law and order. They should also take a strong notice of character assassination campaign in accordance with their rules and regulations and code of conduct,” he concluded.