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Conference on uniform prayer timings on 26th

Conference on uniform prayer timings on 26th

ISLAMABAD: The government finally decided to take stakeholders on board 25 days after launching the uniform prayer timings system in the federal capital.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Sardar Mohammad Yousuf, the minister for religious affairs, acknowledged that Nizam-i-Salat had been launched in Islamabad on May 1 but clerics, business community and the officials concerned would be given a detailed briefing about it next week.

“The ministry is holding a conference on May 26 to highlight the importance of Nizam-i-Salat. The administration and clerics of all the 917 mosques in Islamabad have been invited to the conference.” He added that there would not be any forced implementation of the system and the ministry would create awareness about the benefits of the system.

“There are many benefits of this system. These include the introduction of discipline in the affairs of mosques and prayers,” he added.

To start with, he added, there was a need to implement the uniform prayer timing system in the markets as it would be beneficial for the traders and the customers alike.

But the minister parried a question regarding the non-implementation of the uniform prayer timings in government offices.

Similarly, he did not answer a query about any regulatory action against those who would refuse to accept the Nizam-i-Salat. However, he said there were no plans to get people to offer prayers forcibly.

“We have just introduced a new system to streamline issues affiliated with religious traditions but prayers are individuals’ responsibility follow voluntarily,” he said. “Being an Islamic republic, it is the responsibility of the government to facilitate prayers.”

The minister said he had received calls from citizens and even officials from all the four provinces to help them implement the system of uniform prayer timings for all sects in their respective cities too.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2015

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