Clerics should play active role in promoting peace: Aziz
* OIC being reinvigorated to work effectively to improve Islam’s image internationally
ISLAMABAD: Clerics should play proactive role in helping the government in its fight against sectarianism and promoting national harmony and tolerance in society, said Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Monday.
Talking to clerics at Prime Minister’s House, Aziz said that being an important segment of society clerics should play an effective role in promoting peace, tolerance and brotherhood among the people. They should help the government in projecting the true image of Islam and countering the propaganda against the religion, he added.
He said that clerics should help project President General Pervez Musharraf’s idea of enlightened moderation so that the true image of Islam is promoted internationally. The prime minister said the government was striving for progress and prosperity of the nation in line with the Islamic values and in accordance with the principles of Islam.
He said being an Islamic country it was the government’s responsibility to project real and peaceful image of Islam in the world and help other Muslim countries to counter anti-Islamic propaganda. Aziz said propaganda against Islam had increased after 9/11, therefore, all religious forces, especially clerics, should unite and raise their voices to counter anti-Islamic forces. He said inter-faith harmony was needed to promote brotherhood and tolerance in society.
Referring to various sectarianism and terrorism incidents in the country, Aziz said there was a need to fight anti-state actors that were giving a bad name to Islam and Pakistan and were also affecting foreign investments. There could be difference of opinion, but killing is against the basic principles of Islam, he added. He urged clerics to make efforts to stop the activities of sectarian elements.
Aziz said the world community should also contribute to resolving conflicts like Palestine and Kashmir so that peace could be ensured in the world. He said the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) was being reinvigorated to work effectively to improve the image of Islam and Muslims in the world. He said besides many other issues, combating terrorism and sectarianism was on the government’s top agenda. He said that with internal peace and religious harmony Pakistan could play a more active role in the world.
Clerics praised the government’s efforts and assured their support in countering terrorism and sectarianism. They said an office of ‘Ittehad Bainul Musalmeen’ at Islamabad was set up for better coordination among clerics. They supported the presidents’ vision of enlightened moderation and said it was the best way to counter anti-Islam elements in the world.
Federal Religious Affairs Minister Ijazul Haq assured the clerics that Ulema-Mashaikh Council would meet regularly. app