LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said it is responsibility of the Ulema and Islamic scholars to preach social equality, and strive for economic justice during their sermons. Addressing a ceremony at Jamia Ashrafia on Thursday, the CM said that justice, honesty and equitable distribution of resources in the light of the teachings of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) are necessary for resolving the issues being faced by the country. He said that Jamia Ashrafia was rendering invaluable services to Islam and the country by imparting religious education to youth. He urged the religious scholars of all school of thoughts to come forward for the elimination of extremism and terrorism, and find solution through dialogue to the issues being confronted by the country. Shahbaz lauded Jamia Ashrafia and other seminaries for playing their role in the teachings of Islam. He said Islam gives the message of peace, tolerance and brotherhood and had no relation with extremism. He said that Ulema could play a key role toward spreading the message of tolerance and peace. He said tolerance, restraint and religious brotherhood was common in the society a few decades back but unfortunately the believers in Allah, Prophet (PBUH) and the Holy Quran have forgotten the lofty values of the religion. The CM said that intolerant and violent attitudes had their beginning in the decade of 80s when there was a war and Pakistan was pushed forward as a frontline state. He said the country’s human resource was used in the war while material support was given by some others. He said though there were different views about this war but it provided a base for extremism. He said unfortunately the situation aggravated after the war but now it is high time to take remedial measures and role of Ulema of all school of thoughts is of paramount importance in this regard. The CM referred to the historic resolution of March 23, 1940 and said that Muslims of the Sub Continent gathered on one platform without any discrimination of sect. He said a few decades ago, debates and discussions were held in the country and people of divergent views were persuaded through knowledge and logic. He said the aim of the creation of Pakistan is supremacy of merit, justice, honesty and equitable distribution of resources, and millions of Muslims of the Sub Continent rendered supreme sacrifices for the purpose. Shahbaz said the role of Ulema was of vital importance for transforming Pakistan in accordance with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. He said it was a fact that no serious effort had been made towards implementation of the lofty teachings of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and golden principles of Islam in the society. He said Pakistan was supposed to lead Islamic world from Casablanca to Kuala Lumpur and play a key role in the whole world, but instead it is looking for charity and aid and had become a butt of ridicule in the international community. However, he said, this situation could be changed and Pakistan could gain the status of a developed and prosperous country through hard work, honesty, equitable and just distribution of resources. Meanwhile, Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar said, “In order to make Pakistan a prosperous state, we have to adopt tolerance and justice.” Addressing the second sitting of a ceremony at Jamia Ashrafia, he said terrorism prevailing in the country was the biggest barrier in the way of progress. He said some handful people wanted to defame the name of Islam, but could never succeed in their nefarious designs. He said the incumbent government is determined to establish peace in the country and is doing its best for the purpose. He said the nations, who focused on education, always got success in every field of life. “If we have to achieve an honourable position among the worldwide nations, we have to focus on education,” he said adding youth were the guarantee of prosperous Pakistan. He said hardworking was the key of success. The governor lauded the role of Jamia Ashrafia in imparting religious and contemporary education to the youth. He said it was pleasurable that Jamia Ashrafia was imparting technical education to the students so they could play their role for the country’s development. The governor also awarded degrees to the scholars of Jamia Ashrafia on the occasion. Vice Muhtamam Jamia Ashrafia Maulana Fazalur Rahim, Nazim Jamia Ashrafia Asad Ubaid, teachers and students were present on the occasion.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 16-May-2014 here.