LAHORE - Imam-e-Kaaba Dr Saleh bin Muhammad Al-Talib met Punjab Chief Minister on Saturday and praised Pakistan’s role for peace in the region. Talking to the CM, the Imam expressed immense pleasure on his visit to Pakistan and said that people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have strong bonds.

He said: “Strength of Pakistan is the strength of Saudi Arabia and the power of Saudi Arabia is the power of Pakistan. Pakistan has a significant place in the Muslim world and is playing a vital role for peace and stability in the region.

“Saudi Arab supports peace efforts of Pakistan and it is standing with Pakistan. We give respect and value to the cooperation extended by the Pakistani government, the people and the army as both the countries have historical brotherly relations and the rulers of both the countries have strong bonds.

“The Ummah is very well aware of historical ties between the people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and both the countries have helped each other during crisis and the matters have been resolved in difficult times.”

The Imam lauded the development projects in Lahore and all over Punjab, which he found much more than what he saw during his last visit to the city. He said the journey of progress is continuing at fast pace under the leadership of the CM.

He said various people had told me about untiring efforts of Shehbaz Sharif for the welfare and development of the people. He said he is pleased to know that the chief minister is doing hard work for the welfare and progress of the people due to which whole province of Punjab is progressing and he prays for more successes in the future. He said due to your hard work the progress and development will spread to whole Pakistan.

Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed Ahmed Al-Maliki, Sheikh Saad Al-Dosari, Senator Professor Sajid Mir, Hafiz Dr. Abdul Kareem and others were also present in the meeting.

Imam-e-Kaaba is on a three-day visit to Pakistan. In his Friday sermon the other day, Imam-e-Kaaba said the Saudi Arabia-led military alliance of Islamic countries will defeat terrorism and violence in the Muslim world. Dr Saleh also held meetings with religious scholars and discussed matters of mutual interest and challenges to the Muslim world with them.

“Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are like two bodies and one soul. Both countries have brotherly relations spanning decades and now Pakistan’s contribution to the Saudi-led military alliance (Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition of 41 nations) will help defeat terrorism and violence,” he said while addressing the Ahle Hadith conference. He said terrorism and extremism could not be tolerated anymore and they should not be linked to Islam. Dr Saleh called for unity in ranks of the Muslim world and condemned sectarianism. He said that wrong interpretation of Islamic injunctions was the reason for terrorism in Islamic countries and other parts of the world. He said terrorism was destroying economy and spreading poverty and ignorance in the world. So, he said, it was the responsibility of the Islamic scholars to stand against this evil. He said that more responsibility to unite Muslims against violence and extremism rested on the shoulders of those in power.

The Imam-e-Kaaba advised Muslims to seek guidance from Quran and Sunnah and then from the lives of companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in their daily life as it was the best way to bring comfort and ease in lives. He said Muslims should refrain from speculating about others without solid evidence. He said Muslims should abstain from acts, which can harm others. He advised Muslims to refrain from backbiting.

The Imam-e-Kaaba said Pakistan was the epicentre of the hopes of the Muslims of the world.

Addressing the gathering, Professor Mir said the military and judiciary should act in their limits as both institutions were respected ones. He said that attempts to “malign politicians in the guise of accountability must stop now”. He said that people will not accept disrespect to their representatives. He called for imposition of Islamic system in the country. He said his party, which is long time ally of the PML-N, will start a campaign for enforcement of Shariah in the country.

MJA chief Sajid Mir and senator-elect Hafiz Abdul Karim presented shields to the Imam for his services for Islam. Strict security arrangements were made on the occasion to prevent any untoward situation during the conference.