Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that Pakistan is “an independent nation” while addressing a question regarding the government’s decision to continue to keep mosques open even as Muslim countries around the world have decided to keep them closed in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I felt very bad when I saw police beating up people. Ramazan is a month of worship, people want to go to mosques.
“Do we forcefully tell them to not go to mosques? And if they go, will the police put worshippers in jail? This does not happen in an independent society. In an independent society [we] make people come together. In an independent society, people use their independent minds and then decide what is better for the country and what is not,” the premier said.
He reiterated that the nation was “fighting against the coronavirus together”. The prime minister also clarified that the government will be forced to review its decision if worshippers fail to follow the 20 guidelines agreed upon by religious scholars.
“I would urge people to pray at home but if you want to go to mosques, keep in mind that you will have to follow these 20 points,” he said. “If [these points] are not followed and if this virus spreads through any mosque in Ramazan then we will have no choice and this has been agreed upon but to take action and close [the mosques].”