A tale of two Pakistani Maulanas: How they mastered the art of hitting headlines

Some self-righteous clerics in Pakistan have this uncanny knack of stirring the hornet’s nest with their inflammatory, irrational and controversial statements.

They are fond of polemics and apparently derive sinister pleasure from saying outlandish things publicly.

One of them is Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami Fazl (JUI-F), an influential political party in Pakistan.

He has the dubious reputation of making outrageous claims just to grab the headlines. He has done it several times in the past and he is at it again.

A few days ago, Mr. Rehman dropped another bombshell, claiming that the deadly earthquakes are caused by women wearing jeans.

The “immodesty” of women, he said, is to be blamed for earthquakes, rising inflation and other kinds of natural and unnatural disasters

The “immodesty” of women, he said, is to be blamed for earthquakes, rising inflation and other kinds of natural and unnatural disasters.

To cleanse the society of “immodesty”, he asked the Pakistani military forces to launch a military operation against women wearing jeans in the country.

The controversial cleric said the women who are not covered like a ‘sack of flour’ are like ‘mobile weapons of mass destruction’ for the state.

He blamed ‘immodest women’ for the political crisis in Balochistan, rising inflation and the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan.

Justifying the horrendous crimes committed by Taliban insurgents. Mr. Rehman said Taliban were not the enemy of Pakistan. He said they will not attack the country if strict Shariah law is enforced.

It is not the first time he has condoned the unjustifiable crimes of Taliban. Earlier this year, he warned that the terrorist attacks in Afghanistan will continue as long as foreign forces are in the country.

Another controversial Pakistani cleric who has mastered the art of hitting headlines is Jamaat e Islami chief Maulana Sirajul Haq.

On Monday, Mr. Haq announced a hefty reward of Rs 1 billion for anyone who arrests Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Arresting the Prime Minister of a country, he knows, is not possible.

Mr. Haq announced a hefty reward of Rs 1 billion for anyone who arrests Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Arresting the Prime Minister of a country, he knows, is not possible 

Speaking at a rally in Rawalakot, in the presence of United Jehad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin, Siraj said Indian government has announced the reward of Rs500 million for the arrest of Mr. Salahuddin, so he announces a reward of Rs 1 billion for anyone who arrests Mr. Modi.

Mr. Haq is no stranger to controversies. Earlier this year, he said Taliban’s fight against foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan is legitimate and warranted, terming it a “freedom struggle”.

Drawing parallels between the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and resistance movement against Indian rule in Kashmir, the controversial politician said he supports both the “freedom” movements.

It is difficult to make sense of their grandiloquence. Making such outlandish remarks and walking free is perhaps the best testament of today’s Pakistan. 

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