ISLAMABAD - President Dr. Arif Alvi on Monday urged the Ulema to play their role to curb sectarianism, promote inter-faith harmony and demonstrate patience.  

Addressing Wahdat-e-Ummat conference here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, he said that Pakistan has faced many conspiracies but it was the people of the country who stood against enemies’ designs. The conference was attended by a large number of Ulema and Mashaikh belonging to different schools of thoughts.

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noor ul Haq Qadri and number of ambassadors were also present.

The president while referring to the efficacy of making collective efforts and response of the nation during the coronavirus pandemic observed that such joint efforts always led to positive results.

He observed that from history, it was evident whenever Muslims rose to prominence, it was always on the basis of pursuits of high principles and values and it was still his firm conviction that they would rise again.

The objective of holding the conference was to further promote religious harmony and make efforts to end sectarianism.

The president said Pakistan had learnt from the bitter experiences of the past and was the only country in the world which had defeated terrorism and overcome religious hatred.

“We had been through it. A large number of people sacrificed their lives. Now we are moving ahead. Pakistan is the sole country in the world which has defeated terrorism. Even the US had tried but failed,” he added.

Now, India was falling into that pitch due to the increasing trend of religious hatred and strife in the society, he added.

The president also regretted that on the international scene, the principles were driven not on the basis of morality but on economic gains.

The president also appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan for candidly presenting at the United Nations, the abiding affection and esteem of the Muslims for the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

He further said that each word in the Holy Quran guided them through life and advised them against creation of any differences among people.

The president cautioned that differences on the basis of ignorance often led to extremist views and sentiments which should be strongly discouraged.

Quoting an incident from the life of founding father Quaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the president said that he was a strong advocate of interfaith harmony.

He always stressed upon shunning of all differences which could lead to disagreement in the society, he added.

He said religious rights of the minorities in Pakistan were equally protected.

The president noted that in the past Muslim countries had suffered from huge losses due to internal strife and differences.

He said further efforts should be made to promote interfaith harmony in the country, so that their case over Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and Palestine could draw further audience.

Later, the Wahdat-e-Ummat conference through a joint declaration declared terrorism, extremism, sectarian violence, and killings of innocent people in the name of religion as un-Islamic.

It said no orator from any school of thought, in any pretext, will be allowed to utter disrespectful words against Prophets of Allah, Ahl-e-Bait, Sahaba, Khulafa-e-Rashideen, wives of the Holy Prophet, Imams, and Hazrat Imam Mehdi.

The declaration said that all religious sects will unanimously denounce such a person who is found indulging in any of the above acts and strict action would be taken against him.

The declaration said no sect of Islam will be declared infidel and neither a Muslim nor a non-Muslim will be declared as liable to be killed extra judicially.

It demanded complete ban on publication of hate material, including books, pamphlets, or spreading hatred through cassettes, internet and social media.

It pledged to organize joint gatherings at public level to express solidarity and brotherhood among people of different schools of thoughts.

The declaration also called upon the government to take a stern action against those, involved in desecration of worship places and sacred things of non-Muslims as protecting the lives minorities, their places of worship and property is the responsibility of the state of Pakistan.

It emphasized on the government to fully implement the National Action Plan without any discrimination.