Islamabad, April 14 (IANS) Senior Pakistani clerics has warned the government not to further the restrictions on prayer congregations in mosques, which have been imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, it was reported on Tuesday.
Despite the government’s pleas to observe social distancing, more than 53 senior clerics of Rawalpindi and Islamabad held a meeting on Monday to discuss the matter, Dawn news reported.
The meeting was attended by the senior clerics representing various seminaries, banned groups, proscribed persons and political and non-political parties.
The clerics’ warning has been issued before the government could come up with a plan to curb the spread of the disease during the holy month of Ramazan.
After much deliberation and meetings with religious leaders, the government has banned prayer congregations of more than five people as part of measures imposed to curb COVID-19.
A video clip released on Monday showed the clerics sitting in close proximity of each other during the meeting amid the social distancing measures imposed by the government.
The meeting did not acknowledge the official directives of a maximum of five persons inside mosques for the collective prayers as the clerics said that the testing times demanded more time for prayers and announced that apart from the five times prayers, Friday and Taraweeh congregations will continue.
The participants agreed to take other precautionary measures, however.
The meeting also criticised the authorities for arresting clerics across the country and demanded authorities to quash all cases against them.