Islamabad - Terming rampant corruption in society major reason behind majority of problems facing the country, President Mamnoon Hussain yesterday said that it is time to wage jihad (sacred war) to weed out this menace from the society.

Addressing the 10th convocation of Riphah International University here at the Convention Centre, the President stressed the need for taking stringent measures against corruption.

He urged the people at helms of affairs in every sphere of life to take the lead.

The President said corruption has gravely impacted all spheres of the society and called for reviving the spirit of honesty and integrity among the nation for discouraging corrupt practices.

He mentioned that on assumption of the office of President he had pledged to make personal efforts in four areas including education, health, moral values and fight against corruption.

President Mamnoon said corruption had also incurred financial losses to the country and pointed that the internal and external debt of the country had increased from Rs 6,700 billion in year 2008 to Rs 14,800 billion in 2013 at the time when the present government came into power.

However, he said with the prudent policies of the government, the country had recovered from the financial crisis.

He in this regard appreciated Finance Minister Ishaq Dar whose efforts had helped the country attain good ranking granted by the international monitory institutions.

President Mamnoon said the government is also taking solid steps to overcome terrorism and extremism in the country and mentioned that the Operation Zarb-e-Azb is nearing its successful completion.

He said use of force is sometimes necessary to remove evil, and vowed that the operation against such elements would continue in Karachi and other parts of country till their complete elimination.

He urged the nation to extend full support to the government and armed forces in their efforts to ensure law and order in the country.

He further said that good education also means character-building of students, which can prove helpful in achieving the national goals with the help of an educated new generation.

He called upon the graduating students to never forget in their practical lives the support of their parents and teachers and always pay them due respect.

He asked the girl students in particular to achieve higher education and become a pride of Pakistan by not blindly following the traditions of the West.

He expressed satisfaction that the medical college of Riphah University had achieved fifth place in the ranking of Higher Education Commission. He appreciated the students for their contribution for the welfare of earthquake-affected people.

President Mamnoon Hussain gave away degrees to the graduates and awarded medals to the distinguished students.