ISLAMABAD   -  A joint sitting of the representatives of different religions and religious sects on Sunday said Islam doesn’t allow forceful conversion of non-Muslims and prevailing Hindu girls and other subsequent issues should be settled in accordance with the law and justice.

The joint sitting was arranged by Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab in collaboration with Pakistan Ulema Council which was presided over by Chairman Muttahida Ulema Board and Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, said a press release.

The joint declaration pointed out that Islam is a religion of peace, harmony, stability and that teachings of Islam and Quran-O-Sunnah have categorically defined rights for non-Muslim communities residing in Muslim country.

The sitting demanded of the government to ensure implementation on National Action Plan by initiating consultative process for formal legislation of ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan Draft’.

The declaration condemned terrorist activities being carried out on account of Islamophobia.

The sitting also demanded constitution of a judicial commission to probe the killing of Bahawalpur professor to avert such extremist incidents in future.

The joint sitting pointed out that ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan Draft’ has been unanimously endorsed by all the religious sections of Pakistan and formal consultative process should be ensured for formal legislation of ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan Draft’.

The joint sitting condemned the prevailing western rhetoric of Islamophobia stating that Islam is a religion of peace and harmony, adding that prevailing move relating to targeted attacks on mosques in US and European countries is a planned bid to sabotage the process of peace, harmony and interfaith dialogue.

The joint sitting lauded efforts on part of Muttahida Ulema Board to keep check on hateful content being propagated through social media and also lauded endeavours of Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar for taking immediate action against elements fanning hatred and violence in society.

The joint sitting also lauded the efforts of Muttahida Ulema Board for reinforcing coordination relating to interfaith harmony and for constituting the coordination committees at divisional, district and tehsil level to ensure implementation on decisions of Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab.

The joint declaration of the meeting also lauded role of Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern on terrorism incident stating that world leadership should learn from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about how to eradicate the menace of terrorism and extremism. The joint sitting lauded endeavours of Pak Force and people of Pakistan in defeating the menace of terrorism stating that2019 will be observed as year to mark the eradication of terrorism and extremism from Pakistan.

It was also announced in the joint sitting that peace awards will be conferred to all those political and religious personalities who played heroic role in eradicating the menace of terrorism and extremism on April 14 at 4th International Message of Islam Conference in Islamabad. Religious scholars from all over the Muslim world and Pakistan will attend the 4th International Message of Islam Conference.

Among notable clerics and representatives of the joint sitting include Maulana Muhammad Hussain Akbar, Professor Zakirur Rehman, Mufti Muhammad Naqshbandi, Maulana AsadUllah Farooq, Hafiz Kazim Raza, Father James, Father Shahzad, Maulana Aseed ur Rehman, Amarnath Randhawa, Pastor Imanuel Khokhar and Pastor Shahid Miraj.