ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday urged the Muslim Ummah to get united in the light of the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) to face the challenges in the world and find their solution to the individual and collective problems.

Addressing the concluding session of the 38th Seeratun Nabi Conference on the topic of “Concept and Significance of the Collective Justice in the Light of Teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)” here at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Friday, the President said “More than one billion Muslims should unite at one platform to face the challenges in the world and various Muslim countries.”

The President while referring to the multiple challenges being faced by the Muslim world including Pakistan, said that with collective efforts and joining hands, the Muslim Ummah could easily face these challenges and ensure progress and prosperity in their respective countries.

The President said the problems of extremism and terrorism would also be tackled through unity among the Muslim Ummah. Referring to the “Fatah Makkah” the conquering of Makkah by

the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his announcement of forgiving the people living in Makkah, the President said this act of the Prophet is the base of reconciliation policy, which had been adopted by the present government and still continued.

The President said that the need for peace, love and harmony, tolerance and understanding was never as great as today.

He said that our Prophet taught us to fight against tyranny, injustice and oppression.

The President said it is against the spirit of the teachings of the Prophet if anyone individual or single school of thought sought to monopolise people and attempts to impose upon others any exclusive interpretation of the religion.

Unfortunately, the President said, this is what the militants and extremists are doing. “That is why we are fighting the extremists who wish to impose their agenda in the name of religion.”

“We cannot allow it. We will not allow it. Let there be no doubt or mistake about it,” he said.

Addressing the conference, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf urged the nation to stand united and rise above petty differences to thwart the designs of those, who benefit from dissent and division.

“Any division on the basis of caste, creed, language or sect is bringing a bad name to the religion of Islam and the teachings of the world’s greatest leader Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him),” he said.

Ashraf said for the believers, Islam was a religion of peace, brotherhood, tolerance and justice. “But when we speak of dissent, or try to impose our way of life on others, by force, it creates serious problems, further divisions, hate and chaos,” he told the gathering of ulema and religious scholars of different schools of thought.

“We lose temper over minor things and resort to violence, while knowing well that we are the followers of one Allah, one Quran and the Sunnah of His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”

The Prime Minister termed it a denial of the teachings and urged that the nation needed to stand united to confront all internal and external challenges.

A religious scholar when pointed out that the entire ulema community would support him, if he raised voice against the drone strikes, the Prime Minister said the government had taken up the matter at all international fora.

“We have always said that drone attacks are not the solution,” he said and added that the government condemned and rejected all forms of terrorism that killed innocent people.

The Prime Minister said US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson, who also attended the conference, had also been conveyed the same sentiments of the government.

He said terrorism had caused a lot of damage to Pakistan and today no one felt safe anymore.

Ashraf regretted that “our schools, homes and places of worship are no more safe. We live with a sense of constant fear. It is time to show collective wisdom and find a way out, with patience, tolerance and unity.”

The Prime Minister said Islam categorically rejected all those, who supported violence, extremism and terrorism, as those had no place in a religion that stood for peace and tolerance, and as was evident from the teachings and life of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Ashraf said unfortunately a handful of elements were trying to impose their own specific agenda in the garb of Islam and were not only shattering peace and tranquillity of the country, but were also bringing a bad name to Islam.

“Any follower of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and a true Pakistani can never be part of such a satanic attitude,” he said.

The Prime Minister asked that how could the true followers of Islam be touted as terrorists. Pakistanis are neither terrorists, nor are they afraid of them and by seeking guidance from the life and teachings of Holy Prophet (PBUH), they will defeat all the forces of evil and prove that Islam stands for peace and tolerance, he added.