Reception held for Oman’s religious scholars JI celebrates Sitara-e-Pakistan for Grand Mufti of Oman

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Zubair Qureshi

Pakistan and Oman have a history of deep, brotherly relations and both the countries value these ties that span over decades of mutual respect and cooperation.

President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi last Wednesday (March 23) presented the country’s prestigious civilian award Sitara-e-Pakistan (Star of Pakistan) to Grand Mufti of Oman and the veteran religious scholar Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalili for his accomplishments in the field of academics and research.

Since this award is conferred on the Pakistani as well as the foreign nationals for their valuable work, another senior and respected figure, a Malaysian scholar Muhammad Azmi Abdul Hamid was also presented with the same by the president.

Jamat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan in order to celebrate the award announced for the Grand Mufti of Oman and the Malaysian scholar held a reception and invited two senior and respected scholars and officials of the government of Oman—Shaikh Ahmad bin Saud Al Siabi and Shaikh Abdur Rahman Al Khalili—who had travelled to Pakistan to receive the award on behalf of Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalili since the elderly grand Imam could not make it due to age and health.

Shaikh Ahmad bin Saud Al Siabi is the General Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs while Shaikh Abdur Rahman Al Khalili is the Director, Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Religious Affairs and son of Shaikh Khalili.

Ameer of Jamat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq, Naib Ameer Mian Muhammad Aslam, Director Foreign Affairs, Asif Luqman Qazi, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) Zahid Maqbool, member Zafar Bakhtawari, Ghulam Muhammad Safi from occupied Kashmir, Dr Khalid Qadomi (Palestine), former Ambassador Syed Abrar, Brig (R) Nazir Mehmand, Barrister Aziz Nishtar, former MLA Azad Kashmir Abdur Rasheed Turabi, university professors, eminent academicians, representatives from High Commission of Malaysia, Embassy of Iran and Palestine, local leadership of Jamat-e-Islami and friends from media and business community attended the reception.

Sirajul Haq while felicitating the Omani officials appreciated the Pakistani government’s initiative to hold a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers in Pakistan. “It gave a message of unity, peace and development which incidentally is the topic of today’s reception-cum-dialogue,” said the JI Ameer. Pakistanis were overjoyed and honoured to find among themselves the representatives of the Islamic countries, he said.

Sirajul Haq, however, emphasized the need for making the OIC a practical forum that is not a platform where resolutions are merely passed. From the OIC, we can raise our voice and draw the attention of the world towards the plight of the Kashmiris in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIJK) and the sufferings of the people of Palestine, said Sirajul Haq. Establishing diplomatic ties with Israel could have disastrous implications, said Sirajul Haq adding, “It is not peace but total destruction if we accept Israel without ensuring the people of Palestine their right.”

Similarly, he said the Indian aggression in the occupied Kashmir was something the OIC member states should take notice of. The Omani delegation expressed its gratitude to the JI chief and his team for the reception. They also mentioned Khalili’s fondness for Allama Iqbal and Maulana Maudoodi whom he considers his mentors. At the end, gifts were presented to the two scholars by Sirajul Haq.

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