ISLAMABAD, Mar 16 (APP): Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Saad Khattak Tuesday expressing his concern over the Sri Lankan government’s proposed move to ban the wearing of burqas said it will not only hurt the feelings of local Muslims but the entire Ummah.
In a tweet on his social media account, the envoy said the world was experiencing the most difficult time of the history due to COVID-19 pandemic that badly affect global economy and such moves would add insult to their injuries.
At international fora, Saad Khattak said, “Such divisive steps in the name of security, besides accentuating economic difficulties, will only serve as fillip to further strengthen wider apprehensions about fundamental human rights of minorities in the country.”
He also termed this development as “deplorable.”
It is pertinent to mention here that Sri Lankan government in the pretext of national security has announced to ban the wearing of burqas — garments worn by some Muslim women that cover the whole body and face.
On Saturday, Sri Lanka’s minister of Public Security, Sarath Weerasekara, called the burqa a sign of religious extremism and said it has a direct impact on national security. Weerasekara signed a paper on Friday seeking Cabinet’s approval to initiate ban.
The wearing of burqas in Sri Lanka was temporarily banned in 2019 soon after the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on churches and hotels that killed more than 260 people in the island.
Two local Muslim groups that had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (Daesh), have been blamed for the attacks at six locations — two Roman Catholic churches and one Protestant church and three top hotels were targeted.
Sri Lanka also plans to ban more than 1,000 Madrassas, saying they are not registered with the authorities and do not follow the national education policy.