GUJRAT - Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi has stressed the need for a concerted public effort towards building a tolerant and peaceful society. Address at the concluding ceremony of the two-day 1st International Quran Conference at Hafiz Hayat Campus of the University of Gujrat (UoG) on Friday, the state minister lauded the conference as an initiative for setting up of a "Quran-guided society" to boost peace and economic progress.

He assured the foreign delegates attending the conference Pakistan would go all out for the sustenance and promotion of peace among the world nations. The conference initiative is part of the document 'Paigham Pakistan' which is widely supported by all the sects of the Muslim world.

Prof Dr Ziaul Qayyum, the outgoing UoG vice chancellor, presided over the closing ceremony of the conference which was organised by the Islamic Studies department.

Among the guests of honour at the closing ceremony were Punjab Minister for Auqaf Syed Saeedul Hassan, Special Adviser Government of Kashmir Peer Ali Raza Bukhari and Director-General Islamic Research Institute Dr Ziaul Haq.

Chairperson Islamic Studies department Dr Arshad Munir Laghari was in the host's chair. The proceedings were moderated by Director Media Sheikh Abdul Rashid.

Earlier on the first day of the conference, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Prof Dr Qibla Ayaz said, "A complete understanding and comprehension of the laws of Allah as practised by holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) is the prerequisite to achieve our objective of an ideal, tolerant and peaceful society."

He blamed the lack of comprehension of the true meaning of the message of Islam and a break with our glorious traditions for the current challenges facing the country. He hailed the 'Paigham Pakistan' charter as an important move to deal with the current challenges and attain the long-cherished goal of national progress and development. "Challenges bring the best in us to the fore," he said adding the post-CPEC Pakistan will be a prosperous and economically strong country.

Prof Dr Abdullah Al-Ahsan of the Istanbul Sahr University of Turkey and former chairperson PU Islamic Studies department Prof. Dr Shabbir Ahmad Mansuri were among the guests of honour at the opening ceremony.

The ceremony was moderated by senior faculty member Syed Hamid Farooq. Dr Abdul Al-Ahsan said," The teachings of the Holy Quran are the best hope for the mankind towards building a peaceful world." He expressed the hope that 'Paigham Pakistan' will is a narrative capable of leading us towards our national goals.

"The Holy Quran is a guidance for those who have a desire to seek it. It has all the potential to guide us in every facet of our life. The teachings of the Holy Quran are the ultimate source of God's blessings as well as the only reliable means to our eternal salvation," Prof. Dr Shabbir Ahmad Mansuri said. Dr Arshad Munir in his address thanked the participants. He said that understanding as well as promoting the teachings of the Holy Quran is the primary responsibility of every Muslim.

A large number of foreign delegates attended the conference. Chiefly among them were Dr Muhammad Khairi Muhayudin from Malaysia, Dr Lloyd Ridgeon from University of Glasgow, UK, Principal UK Academy of Islamic Sciences Sheikh Ahmad Dabbagh, Dr Martin Mahmud Kellner of University of Osnabruck Germany, apart from heads of department from different universities all over the country, apart from the religious scholars, muftis and mashaikh.

ONE DROWNS; 2 DIE IN ACCIDENTS

Three persons died while a woman sustained injuries in different incidents of drowning and road accidents here the other day.

According to police, Sajid Hanif of Lahore was on his way along with his wife on a motorbike. The bike was hit by a coaster on Kasur Road near Mazharabad. Sajid died on the spot; his wife sustained injuries and was rushed to hospital by Rescue 1122.

In another incident, an unidentified motorcyclist was going on Depalpur-Pakpattan Road when a car hit him. He suffered injuries and died on the spot. The car driver escaped from the scene. Cases of both incidents were registered at Depalpur City and Depalpur Saddr police stations respectively.

Meanwhile, a man drowned in Head Balloki Sulemanki Link Canal. M Sajid, s/o Bashir, a resident of Hujra Shah Moqeem, went to BS Link Canal for fishing along with his friends. On the bank of the canal, Sajid got slipped. He fell in the canal and drowned. When informed, the Rescue 1122 divers rushed to spot and fished out the dead body of Sajid.