Ex-DPO devotes life for collection of worn-out copies of Quran

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LAHORE: Retired senior superintendent of Police (SSP) and former district police officer (DPO) of Mianwali, Khushab and Vehari districts has devoted his life for the collection of torn pieces and worn-out copies of the Holy Quran, Quranic verses and translations of the same in newspapers and books, as well as other papers, inscribed with names of Allah or Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

As per the details, retired SSP Ghulam Jillani Tiwan, a resident of Sargodha district, has put together a team of about 10 people for the purpose. Jillani’s efforts have been lauded by the people ever since his pictures went viral over the social media.

A close relative of Jillani, Muhammad Aslam, told this scribe that Jillani visited different garbage depots and roads of the city on a daily basis where he searches for the torn piece of Quran and other publications with names of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions written on them. “He and his teammates then gather such bits and take them away. Jillani so far has 10 loaders that work in shifts. These loaders work around the clock and collect such pieces from across the district. Jillani himself drives a loader and actively participates in the operations as well.”

An Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), who used to work under Jillani in Mianwali, said his former boss was the most honest person he had ever worked with. Speaking of Jillani’s mission, the ASI told Pakistan Today that Jillani used to collect such bits even when he was posted as the DPO.

In August 2016, the Ministry of Information had informed the National Assembly that publishing Quranic verses and translation of the same in newspapers was a violation of the law and an offence equal to “defiling of Holy Quran”.

The ministry’s statement had come in reply to MQM-P lawmaker Sheikh Salahuddin’s question regarding the publication of verses by daily newspapers. “It is true that newspapers are publishing verses and translation of the Holy Quran for information and education of their readers. This is highly deplorable and a violation of an existing law,” the ministry had said in a written reply.

The MQM-P MNA had put forward two questions in the regard: whether publication of Quranic verses in daily newspapers was tantamount to the desecration of the Holy Quran? And if so, what are the steps being taken by the government in this regard?

The information ministry added that Section 295-B of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) stipulated life imprisonment for an offender who willfully defiled a copy or portion of the Quran.

The Press Information Department (PID), on the request of Ministry of Religious Affairs, had then written a letter to the presidents of All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) and chairman of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and requested them to ensure observance of reverence of the verses of Quran.

Former chief minister and incumbent Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, in his tenure as CM, had also established Seerat Academy and the Quran Complex. He had ordered quality printing of the Holy Quran after recycling its worn-out copies and taken special steps to preserve torn pieces of Quran.