Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said that the government wanted unanimous passage of the 20th Constitutional Amendment and was holding discussions with allies and opposition to reach a mutual understanding on it. Responding to questions of media persons at the end of the inaugural session of Seerat-un-Nabi (SAWW) Conference here in Islamabad, the Prime Minister said since the Parliament passed the previous amendments with consensus so the government desired to go ahead with the 20th Amendment in the same manner. He said since the amendment was a very serious matter and the apex court had also directed to get a nod from the Parliament, therefore, the government was discussing the matter with its allies.

He said the process was going on and it was passing through the Parliamentary Committee for Law and Justice and different phases to seek point of view of the opposition parties.

He said the government wanted free, fair and transparent elections through an independent Election Commission.

Gilani said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was not a one-timer and had always suffered because of rigging in the elections, therefore it wanted to ensure transparency in the polls.

Gilani said a conspiracy was being hatched against the creation of a Seraiki province and the government would work even more effectively for its creation.

He said some earlier talked of restoration of the Bahawalpur state, but that move fizzled out.

Gilani said many issues had to be taken into consideration for the creation of a new province. There should be a province that covers not only Bahawalpur, but also adjoining areas in Southern Punjab, he added.

When asked whether he feared the courts, Gilani said the case was proceeding as part of a process. He, however, said it was the media that from day one had been giving dates of the collapse of government.

Responding to a question, the Prime Minister regretted that since long not even a single government was allowed to complete its term, which led to a spate of problems that the nation was facing today.

He said Pakistan and India were created on the same date, but there was a stark difference in how they have continued with their system.

The completion of term by the Parliament is in the interest of the country, he added.

Replying to a question about the names of several candidates that were being named as Prime Minister, Gilani said any person, who qualifies to be a member of the National Assembly, qualifies to be a Prime Minister.

Gilani said several conspiracies were hatched to stop the election of Senate, however, the government remained committed to holding the election.

When asked about his expected talks in Qatar and discussion on the future of Afghanistan, Gilani said a stable Afghanistan was vital.

“If there is any political reconciliation that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, we will support it.”

Gilani said Pakistan was part of a core group that included Afghanistan and the United States and it meets regularly.

He said peace in Afghanistan was vital for the security and stability of Pakistan.

About reports of restoration of NATO supply, the Prime Minister referred to statements by some political parties who said they would not let these supplies open.

He said the government had not taken the decision to halt supplies on the request of these parties, but because of national interest.

He said the government would follow the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on relations with the US as these would represent the views of the entire nation.

The Prime Minister said increase in population is putting pressure on resources and now acquiring of natural wealth has gained a new importance.

The clash of interests has created mutual conflicts, which have created a new atmosphere of competition in the world, he said and added that the conflict of interests has made humans forget the principles of mutual co-existence.

Gilani said despite all the contradictions and differences, the nations are establishing political, economic, cultural, religious and defence relations, in which the aspect of consensus is prominent.

“Every person has become a global citizen and in this backdrop the process of reconciliation has become more significant,” he added.

He said the whole life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is an example of process of reconciliation as instead of war, he persuaded people through consensus, reconciliation and dialogue.

Islam spread and gained acceptability due to education and not because of war, he said, adding that due to good behaviour and reconciliation of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Islam spread in a short time and people accepted this religion in huge numbers.

The prominent example of process of reconciliation was the Peace Agreement of Hudabiya, in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accepted the one-sided conditions of opponents of Islam and secured an agreement of ceasefire for ten years, he noted.

Gilani said the agreement gave dominance to the Islamic movement and Islam spread very rapidly.

He said another example of the process of reconciliation was “Madina Agreement”, because of which Madina Munawara became the centre of Muslim community.

This was a historic agreement and it was signed by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with non-Muslims, including Jews and Christians of Madina. Under this agreement, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accepted the rights of non-Muslims and guaranteed their religious, judicial and legal freedoms, he added.

The Prime Minister said it was the highlight of the character of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that he stressed on finding ways to keep peace instead of resolving issues through conflict so that life can move ahead on the path of success.

He said the present democratic government is pursuing the policy of reconciliation in the light of teachings of Islam and views of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

The government prefers to resolve issues through mutual understanding instead of complicating matters, he remarked.

He said, “We believe in the power of dialogue and want to promote the policy of reconciliation with the opponents in all matters.”  It is because of the policy of reconciliation that there is no political prisoner in the country and all democratic institutions, judiciary and media are independent and there is no restriction on the civil society, he added.

He said, “We consider politics as worship and rule as a way to serve the people.”The Prime Minister said Islam is a universal religion which stresses on peace, security for humans and process of reconciliation.

“Allah is God of the universe and creator of humans.  Therefore, He selected such a religion for people which is according to their nature, psychology and attitude,” he said and added that Islam is the best gift of Allah Almighty for humans and with it they can achieve their well-being in this world and the hereafter.

Before Islam, people had animosity towards one another because of their caste, religion and tribe, there was lack of mutual respect and they did not even hesitate to violate the sanctity of others’ life, property and honour, he recalled.

But Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advised them to be peaceful and live a life of contentment and happiness, he added.

The Prime Minister said authority in the light of Islamic teachings is a trust.

He said he drew his lineage from the family of Hazrat Ghous-al-Azam, which was far superior than the post of prime ministership.

Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah said the system brought in by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is for the benefit of entire humanity.

He said the government has undertaken several measures for spreading Islamic teachings.

He said in a democratic set-up a reconciliatory approach is the best option to resolve differences and remove misunderstandings, and this is the concept propagated by Islam.

He mentioned the issue of construction of the Holy Kaaba in the times of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and said views of all the tribes were taken into consideration to reach an amicable solution.

Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs Shaukat Hayat Durrani gave an overview of the conference.

Later, the Prime Minister gave away cash prizes to male and female scholars for their papers on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).