Lahore: Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, the Director, National Commission for Justice and Peace and a Senior Priest of the Catholic Church in Pakistan has demanded withdrawal of statement by Mr. Rehman Malik, the Interior Minister drawing a parallel between the Holy Father and Dr. Tahirul Qadri.
Fr. Emmanuel Yousaf termed the remark unnecessary and provocative as there is no comparison or link between the two personalities. While Pope (Benedict XVI) 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. We demand an apology from Mr. 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.
The religious minorities have always stood with the movements for democracy and human rights and would be always strive to work for democracy and justice in Pakistan.