ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged religious scholars to play their due role for spreading mass awareness about cleanliness, righteousness and national unity to make Pakistan a great nation.
Addressing the Ulema and Mashaikh Conference on Monday, the prime minister said that corruption is another important issue on which the Ulema (religious scholars) should educate people to make this menace unacceptable in the society. “The nation is destroyed when it stops distinguishing between good and evil,” he said.
Referring to the opposition parties, the premier said that “those who are facing corruption charges of billions of rupees are pressurising” his government to give them national reconciliation ordinance (NRO). The PM said that opposition leaders who own billions of rupees worth assets cannot explain their sources of income. He added that the country can only prosper in the presence of rule of law and an improved justice system.
The prime minister said that religious scholars have a pivotal role in building Pakistan as an Islamic welfare state as envisioned by the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said that ensuring all the basic rights to every citizen and rule of law were the two main principles of the State of Medina.
Referring to the growth in the Scandinavian countries, he said, “These countries acted upon the principles practised in the State of Medina, but we lagged behind for not paying due attention to them.”
PM Imran said that unfortunately Islam is linked with terrorism in the West. He said that Islam has nothing to do with extremism or terrorism, but it is a religion of peace. He added that he has emphatically spoken against Islamophobia at international forums, including the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and will continue raising voice in this regard.
The prime minister said that the silence of Muslim leaders over the issue has led to increase in hatred against the Muslim community across the world. “Unfortunately, we [Muslim world] have failed to convey to the Western world that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism,” he added.
He said that before 9/11 most the suicide attacks in the world were carried out by Tamils in Sri Lanka. “But no one called it Hindu terrorism,” the premier said while urging the Muslim leaders to speak at all forums against Islamophobia to dispel negative perception about Islam.
PM Imran said that Muslims who are living in Western world and India have to go through a lot of difficulties due to prevalence of anti-Muslim sentiment in their societies due to Islamophobia. To counter this challenge, he said that Muslim nations need to take steps similar to the one taken by the Jewish community.
“Anyone who criticises the Jewish community or even Israel in the West is labelled as anti-Semitic and no one cares about freedom of speech,” he added.
Addressing the concluding session of the conference, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the country has been facing various challenges, which need to be addressed with wisdom, sagacity and prudence. He regretted that a section in the society is trying to make national institutions and personalities controversial.
He said that the peace process in Afghanistan has reached a critical stage and the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir has become more complicated after India’s illegal and unilateral step of August 5, 2019. He added that Kashmiris have been in military siege for over 18 months, and they have been deprived of all the basic human rights.
Qureshi said the government has informed the UN Security Council and other world powers about the nefarious designs of the enemy to destabilise Pakistan.