President terms 20-point formula with ulema a consensus of ‘ummah’, violation a ‘sin’


ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has termed the 20-point formula agreed upon with the country’s ulema to open up the mosques amid the coronavirus pandemic as a consensus of the Muslim community in Pakistan.

Speaking to host Hamid Mir in Geo News‘ programme Capital Talk, Alvi said the agreement with the religious scholars was Ijma-e-Ummat [consensus of the Muslim community] and that its violation would “be categorised as a sin”.

The president said his request to TV channels during Ramazan was to broadcast the taraweeh from one city in order to ensure that those praying at home could follow properly.

The president added it was not possible to call an online meeting of the Parliament at the moment but noted that there was no issue in calling one for everyone to attend in person “if social distancing is practised”.

He explained that if Prime Minister Imran Khan even got a whiff of corruption claims, he would not let it go until properly investigated. “In such a war, I’m with him,” he added.

“I have read the investigative report on power companies,” said the president, referring to a probe into corruption in the power sector, which has been reportedly incurring a loss of Rs1 billion per day.

Remarking on how he was taken aback after reading the report, President Alvi said it seemed Pakistan had been “gang-raped” by unscrupulous elements.

Towards the end of the interview, he complimented the media in Pakistan, saying it criticised the government more than its Indian counterpart, which, instead, stood with New Delhi’s government.

“Sometimes, you also face problems but I must say that Pakistani media has played a very important role in creating awareness about the coronavirus,” he added.

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