COVID-19: Sindh government to consult Ulema before shutting seminaries

Karachi: The Sindh Government has said that it is going to consult the concerned Ulema first before implementing its order to shut religious seminaries across the province due to the prevailing second wave of coronavirus in the country.

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“The order to this effect was issued in the previous day as Saeed Ghani (Sindh Education and Labour Minister) will now hold consultation on this issue with Ulema,” said Sindh Information, Religious Affairs, and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah while talking to media persons here on Friday.

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He said the Sindh government’s order to suspend educational activities in the religious seminaries could not be implemented without the assistance, consultation, and consent of the concerned Ulema. “We will definitely talk to them on this issue,” he said.

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“As of this moment, I know that this consultation has yet to take place,” he said.

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Sindh Information and Religious Affairs minister said that he also came to know about the order concerning the religious seminaries through the media.

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Immediate effect

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A notification, dated 16th December 2020, was issued by the Sindh Government’s Home Department to close all educational activities in religious seminaries throughout the province with the immediate effect. The order was issued in view of the second wave of the coronavirus.

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The notification was issued under section 3(1) of Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act-2014 that empowered the secretary of the Sindh government’s Auqaf and Religious Affairs Department, commissioners of the divisions, and deputy commissioners in the districts to issue further orders, directions, and notices in their respective jurisdictions to implement the order concerning seminaries in letter and spirit.

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A vast majority of the religious seminaries in the province haven’t followed the latest instruction of the government as their administrations say that they will instead follow the orders of their representative bodies in this regard.

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On Friday, another 32 patients of coronavirus died in the Sindh province. In the previous 24 hours, 20,681 coronavirus tests were conducted as 1,903 new COVID-19 cases emerged in the province. Some 839 persons also recovered from coronavirus during last 24 hours. There are total 20,815 coronavirus patients in the province.

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