Pakistani cleric denies he was drunk on TV
An influential Pakistani cleric denied accusations that he had appeared on television drunk and claimed that political rivals had started a smear campaign against him, the Independent reported.
Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, head of a body that advises Pakistani authorities on matters pertaining to Islam, was the center of attention on social media after a video of him slurring his words on a television show surfaced online.
Asharfi appeared on a television show in which he spoke audible words in criticism of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s recent activity.
Khan’s supporters had organized large protests in the country’s capital of Islamabad calling for the step down of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“I, along with the clerics of Pakistan Ulema Council, not only reject these allegations but will move the court against those behind it,” he told The Independent, adding he will be holding a conference to explain what had happened to him.
He also claimed he was attacked by Khan’s and Tahir-ul Qadri supporters, who have joined the former’s calls for Sharif’s step-down.
Alcohol is banned in Islam, the religion an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis follow.
“Just to avoid any controversy, we got our blood samples tested the very next day,” Asharfi said.
“We also challenge Imran Khan to come forward and volunteer for the blood test.”