By Madiha Afzal
These guidelines are part of a list of 20 standard operating procedures that Pakistan’s government issued on April 18, ostensibly in consultation with the country’s religious clerics, for mosque congregations during Ramadan. In reality, the government caved in to the demands of clerics, who earlier that week said that they would refuse to limit Ramadan congregations, despite a growing number of covid-19 cases in the country.
In Pakistan, the religious right — an amalgam of Islamist political parties and the ulema, or religious clerics — has functioned as a potent pressure force on the country’s government since its inception. It is doing so amid this covid-19 pandemic as well.
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