MURREE (APP) Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday urged the educated class to come forward and help the government in completely eliminating extremism and terrorism through battle of ideas. Speaking at the Founders Day 2010 of Lawrence College, Ghora Gali here, the Prime Minister said Pakistan was at a decisive phase of its history and the retrogressive forces were adamant to snatch from its people their values, traditions and identity. The Founders Day marked the culmination of 150-year celebrations of the college. The PM said, terrorism and extremism constitute a daunting challenge for the state and society and it is not merely a physical fight but rather it is a battle of ideas. In order to comprehensively eliminate extremism and terrorism, we need to defeat the idea that generates it in the first place. This is possible only when our intellectuals, religious scholars, academia and students come forward and give their input, he added. He said the teaching institutions and universities must launch intellectual Jihad against terrorism and extremism by inculcating the values of respect and harmony among its students. Our great religion, Islam, is a religion of peace and love. It enjoins upon its believers to promote integration and establish inclusive society where every citizen of the state irrespective of his colour, caste, race and creed is equal before the eyes of law and has equal access to opportunities, he added. He said that peaceful coexistence among people of different faiths had been the hallmark of our society. We must endeavour to promote respect for dissent and diversity and discourage isolationist tendencies. The Prime Minister underlined the need for building bridges and fostering understanding among peoples of different communities, civilizations, cultures and denominations. The essential message of globalisation is interdependence and it must be our collective endeavour to promote peace and foil all conspiracies against humanity. We owe to leave a peaceful world for our coming generations. Gilani said Pakistan needed a generation of leaders and statesmen who were capable of turning weakness into strength, obstacle into achievement and challenge into opportunity. He said todays world was confronted with numerous challenges that had the potential of reorienting the direction and impacting the future depending upon how people respond to them. Only those individuals and nations stand the chance of competing in todays hi-tech environment who had done their homework well in advance and made knowledge the pivot of their progress and development, he added. The PM stressed that national development would remain a pipedream unless the teaching institutions and universities become the hub of research and creativity capable of offering fresh insights and innovative solutions to the contemporary problems. This requires us to depart from our traditional ways of thinking and embrace change to catch up with the needs of time. All of us are aware of the fact that the developed world has reached its present place by ensuring high literacy rates and productivity of human resource, he added. He said gone are the days when population used to be considered as a burden. This notion has been replaced by the acknowledgment of demography as a key ingredient of development provided the state can enhance the capacity and productivity of its people through skill development and sustained investment in education, he noted. He said that a large chunk of Pakistans population comprised of the youth aged between 15 and 24 years. However, we needed infrastructure and extensive programmes and above all sustained policy to tap this potential. Gilani said the prospective abilities of youth could be streamlined into valuable human asset that could be utilized for the economic advancement and development of the country. He said he was glad to learn that the principal of the college had constructed a new colony for the college employees with all the facilities, which would further boost them to work devotedly. He announced assistance for the construction of an all weather swimming pool at the college and also issuance of coin to commemorate the 150th anniversary celebrations of the college. Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, Federal Minister for Education Aseff Ahmed Ali, Federal Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi, members of parliament, high-ranking officials and teachers and students attended the event.