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Members of parliament in the Senate refused to offer fateha (prayers) for former president Pervez Musharraf on Monday, calling the former military dictator a traitor of the nation.

The issue turned into a heated debate when Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani called on Senator Mushtaq Ahmed to offer prayers for those affected by the deadly earthquake in Turkiye and Syria as well as Pervez Musharraf, who passed away in Dubai on Sunday at the age of 79.

The call for offering fateha for the former president had come from Leader of the Opposition Senator Waseem Shahzad, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“Mr Chairman, I will offer Fateha prayer for (the victims of) the earthquake in Turkiye and Syria, not for Pervez Musharraf,” said Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, who belongs to the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).

An uproar ensued in the House following the JI senator’s remarks, as members from both of the government and opposition benches stood up from their seats.

Reacting to the heated arguments from both sides, the Senate chairman said the House will not offer Fateha prayers for the former dictator if the majority decides not to.

But the opposition leader voiced his disagreement.

Also read: TIMELINE: Rise and fall of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf

“When a person leaves this world, the matter remains between them and their Creator. You can debate here about his tenure, but as a Muslim and a human being it is an obligation on us to offer prayers for them. I feel this attitude is not appropriate,” said Senator Waseem Shahzad.

“Mr Chairman, one is an infiraadi (personal) sin. But ijtemaai (those that collectively affect the public) sins are not forgivable. He carried out injustices on the people of this nation and is a certified traitor,” responded the JI senator.

“The fire that has engulfed Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is because of Musharraf. He has violated the Constitution twice. There will be no dua [prayer] for Pervez Musharraf!” he said.

The chairman then requested the House to keep its calm and urged the senator to continue offering prayer for the earthquake victims.

“I had requested earlier (for a Fateha prayer) because a former president has passed away, but if the entire government says no, what can I do,” said the chairman, calling on Senator Mushtaq Ahmed to offer dua for the Turkiye and Syria earthquake survivors and victims.

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