LAHORE - A team comprising delegates of Islamic countries participating in the three-day congregation of Jamaat-e-Islami led by its Ameer Sirajul Haq met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif here on Sunday.

The chief minister welcomed JI Ameer Sirajul Haq and the delegates from Islamic countries. Talking to the delegation, the chief minister said that JI’s three-day congregation in Lahore was a splendid display of discipline and brotherhood.

He said Islam taught unity, harmony and brotherhood and people should implement that golden principle in their lives. The chief minister said that purpose of the creation of Pakistan was to set up a system of equality and justice where all citizens had equal opportunities to seek justice so that an Islamic welfare state could be established in the real sense.

Shahbaz said it was the high time to promote unity and cohesion and move towards the goal with honesty and hard work. He said 50 countries of the Muslim world from Casablanca to Kuala Lumpur were rich in natural resources but Muslim Ummah was still running on dictation.

The chief minister said, “We have gas, oil, fertile land and natural resources but due to lack of unity, Muslim Ummah is far behind the international community. The Ummah is divided due to mutual disputes.”

He said West moved far ahead in knowledge, science and technology, research and other fields while Islamic world was far behind. It was divided into sects on the basis of language, colour and creed, a reason for its downfall. He said Islamic countries direly needed unity.

Shahbaz said Islamic unity and cohesion could only be achieved through practical efforts.

The chief minister said the whole Islamic Ummah will have to fight for elimination of poverty, corruption, ignorance and injustice.

“If we remain involved in fighting with each other, we will not be able to achieve our due status in the comity of nations,” said Shahbaz.

He said, “Teachings of the Quran and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) also stress upon the Muslims to show tolerance, restraint and brotherhood but an attitude of intolerance has been promoted in the Muslims who have forgotten the Islamic teachings. If we adopt the golden principles of tolerance, patience and peace, a number of our problems will be solved”.

The chief minister said that European countries remained engaged in wars for several years and tens of thousands of people were killed but at present they are united and discovering new realities and making progress. Shahbaz said it was need of the hour that Muslim Ummah should revive its glorious past by following the teachings of Islam in the real sense. He said West had adopted golden principles of Islam but Muslims forgot them.

He said Islamic Ummah will have to promote unity and harmony and fight against injustice, corruption and ignorance as well as promote a system which was based on justice. He said it was a difficult task but not impossible as several nations after facing devastation and destruction regained their lost status with hard work, determination and honesty.

Shahbaz was of the view that poverty was not the name of shortage of money but paucity of respect and honor was also one of its forms.

Later, talking to media, the chief minister congratulated JI Ameer Sirajul Haq on holding of the three-day congregation in a disciplined manner and said the papers read on this occasion especially in the background of the difficult circumstances being faced by Pakistan were very encouraging. He said the congregation had shown people a ray of hope at a time when Pakistan was facing numerous challenges. Shahbaz said other political parties should also refrain from sit-ins and protest politics. He said protest should be within limits of law and due attention should be paid to national interests.

Shahbaz said he had a detailed discussion with the foreign delegates participating in the congregation who expressed their deep love for Pakistan. He said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had hosted the foreign delegates.

JI Ameer Sirajul Haq said he was thankful to the chief minister and his team for extending full cooperation to hold the congregation. He said unity and harmony was the solution to all problems being faced by the Islamic world. Siraj said forces against Islam were trying to push Muslims towards war but Quran had given a lesson of peace and it was time to foil the conspiracy of the enemies. He said the future of Islamic Ummah was bright. He prayed to Allah Almighty to reward Shahbaz for the respect he had shown to the guests.

Liaquat Baloch and Dr Hamam Saeed of Jordan also spoke on the occasion. Minister for Railways Kh Saad Rafiq, Provincial Minister Atta Maneka, MNAs Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Pervaiz Malik, Adviser on Health Kh Salman Rafiq, Chairman Lahore Transport Company Kh Ahmed Hasaan and delegates from Islamic countries were also present on the occasion.