Islamabad - The “All Pakistan Inter-Madaris Speech Contest” amongst the students of renowned religious seminaries was held here at Jinnah Convention Centre on Thursday, which was won by an Islamabad-based seminary securing Rs 1 million prize money.

Usman Fayaz of Madrassa Islamia, Tipu Market, Islamabad, won the first prize; Abdullah Fazal from Jamia Muhammadia won the second prize of Rs 0.5 million while Mustafa Aziz of Madrassa Hasnain, Faisalabad, secured the third prize of Rs 0.25 million.

The event, organised under the umbrella of Majlis-e-Saut-ul-Islam, Pakistan, was held among the pre-qualified 12 students of different religious seminaries from all the four provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The event was participated by thousands of religious scholars, administrators and students of religious seminaries across the Pakistan. At the end of the ceremony, a joint declaration was also signed and issued by the renowned religious scholars, administrators and students of different religious seminaries. The declaration supported the National Action Plan (NAP) of the government and demanded its implementation without discrimination of cast and creed to eradicate terrorism and extremism from the country.

However, the deceleration condemned the negative propaganda against the religious seminaries. It urged Ulema to condemn terrorism and extremism in their sermons. Moreover, efforts would be made to enhance the environment of peace, harmony and tolerance. The declaration also appealed to the nation to abolish the linguistic, sectarian and other differences as it is the preaching of Islam. Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, was the chief guest on this occasion. While Secretary General Wafaqul Madaris Arabia Pakistan Moulana Hanif Jalndhari, Chairman Majlis-e-Saut-ul-Islam Pakistan Mufti Abu Hurera Mohiuddin, Mohtamim Jamia Ashrafia Lahore Moulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, and thousands of religious scholars, political and religious leaders also attended the meeting. Appreciating the role of Ulema, the minister said that such activities would help promote peace in the society. He asked the religious scholars to play their due role for a prosperous and peaceful Pakistan.  He greeted the successful students and said, “The future peaceful Pakistan demands that all of us must play our due role for the betterment of our country as it is our moral and religious obligation.”

While addressing the audience, Chairman Majlis-e-Saut-ul-Islam Pakistan, Mufti Abu Hurera Mohiyuddin, said that the purpose of holding this competition was to eradicate extremism, terrorism, sectarianism and interfaith conflicts and to aware and protect the young Ulema from such conflicts. He said earlier Majlis-e-Saut-ul-Islam Pakistan conducted debate competitions at district and provincial levels, which were highly appreciated and participated by the students from all religious schools of thoughts. He also said that Majlis-e-Saut-ul-Islam Pakistan would continue its activities and events to create awareness about these ills of the society.

The event was highly appreciated by the people from all walks of life and lauded the efforts of Majlis-e-Saut-ul-Islam Pakistan for organising such an activity during the prevailing circumstances. Political and religious leaders declared it as great success and positive initiative towards the elimination of ills like extremism, terrorism and sectarianism and a milestone towards interfaith harmony.