ISLAMABAD  - Former President Asif Ali Zardari has asked the people to resist those who are challenging the country by exploiting religion to foist their political agenda on the people.

In his message, Zardari said that Allama Iqbal will always be remembered not only as a sage, poet and philosopher but also for dreaming of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Sub Continent and for his contributions to understanding the true message of our religion.

He said, "The 136th birthday of our poet sage is an occasion to rejoice and celebrate his life and teachings. It is also an occasion to bear in mind that Pakistan has been challenged and the message of Islam is ruthlessly distorted by extremists and militants to foist their narrow political agendas on the people in the name of religion." He also said that when some misguided people take up arms for what they call holy war against anyone who disagrees with them they do a lasting disservice to the religion and its teachings.”