Political and religious leaders at a seminar on Saturday called for collective efforts by state institutions, religious and political groups and the civil society within the ambit of the constitution to cleanse Pakistan of the menaces of extremism and terrorism. The ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan Conference’ was jointly organized by Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan Multan and Ulema Mashaikh Rabita Council Pakistan. Member Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Syed Ali Raza Bukhari was chief guest on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, AJK LA Member Ali Raza Bukhari called for unity and a unanimous narrative to counter terrorism and extremism in Pakistan. “If we want to correct our direction for the future, it is necessary that society is peaceful and stable because without these, we cannot embark on this journey. We must also introspect and look within instead of hypothesizing about external conspiracies only,” he said, adding that the unanimous fatwa issued by the religious scholars belonging to various schools of thought would undoubtedly help address the challenges posed by terrorism, extremism and sectarianism.
Bukhari highlighted the need for collective action within a collaborative framework to help encourage peace and stability in the country. He said in this age of information technology, there is a need to protect the nation’s ideological sovereignty by understanding dynamics of cyber terrorism and identifying ways and means to counter those. “There is a need for the youth and professionals to start using social media efficiently and effectively and realising its potential in countering extremism and promoting peace in the country,” he added.
He said Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative launched by the government earlier this year is a step in the right direction which will help portray a soft and positive image of Pakistan and highlight Islam as a religion of peace, brotherhood, tolerance and forbearance. Ulema Mashaikh Rabita Council President Dr Badr Munir Chaudhry touted Paigham-e-Pakistan as a means to obtain national unity. “Paigham-e-Pakistan has provided a platform for national unity … so that in the 21st century, we can make Pakistan a distinguished country, an Asian tiger, and bring the Quaid’s dream to fruition,” he said. “All religious groups and scholars are with the state and constitution for the welfare of people. We hope the initiative will help improve the present situation in the country and set a future course to lead the nation to a destination of peace and prosperity,” he added.
Chaudhry said the social, religious, political, moral and economic challenges faced by Pakistan today are unprecedented. “Though state is responsible to rid the country of such issues, but at the same time every institution and every individual is obligated to play his role diligently and honestly to pull Pakistan out of the plethora of issues,” he said, adding that national unity is the only way forward to safeguard the country against internal and external challenges.
Other speakers said the process of projection and promotion of Paigham-e-Pakistan in seminaries and other educational institutions should be taken forward. They said the ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ narrative should be made formal part of syllabi and scholars, professors and teachers should teach it to the students in such a manner that they could understand its message in the light of Shariah and law.
They also paid tributes to the armed forces of Pakistan for their matchless sacrifices to rid the country of the menace of terrorism, adding that dragging Pakistan Army into unjustified issues will be tantamount to weakening the integrity and sovereignty of the state. Qari Faiz Bukhsh Rizvi, Mufti Aziz Rasool Siddiqui, Farooq Saifi, Maulana Hasan Raza, Pir Syed Ramzan Shah, Makhdoon Roshan Chiragh Qureshi, Dr Ahmed Taseer and Professor Tabassum Ahmed also addressed the ceremony.