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Pakistan: Church demands apology from government official

Catholic World News - January 18, 2013

The director of the Pakistani bishops’ National Commission for Justice and Peace demanded an apology from Rehman Malik, the nation’s interior minister, after he compared Pope Benedict and Mohammad Tahir ul-Qadri, a controversial Muslim cleric who has spoken out against terrorism and recently led a large protest against government corruption.

“There is no comparison or link between the two personalities,” said Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani. “While [the] Pope is an undisputed leader of the Catholic Church, the largest faith group in the world, the credentials of Dr. Qadri are prerogative of Pakistanis and Muslims to ascertain. On the other hand the Pope has neither a political role nor ambitions in the 21st-century states.”

“We as a Christian community of Pakistan feel deeply angered by such statements maligning the office and the position of papacy,” the priest added. “We demand an apology from Rehman Malik, who is otherwise assigned a responsible task and request him to avoid any such remarks in the future. We also appeal to all leaders to keep the dissent and political battles within the limits of decency because uncanny remarks do not reflect the better part of democratic culture.”

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