Islam has nothing to do with extremism & terrorism: PM Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged religious scholars to play their due role for spreading mass awareness about cleanliness, righteousness and national unity to make Pakistan a great nation.
Addressing the Ulema and Mashaikh Conference on Monday, the Prime Minister said that corruption is another important issue on which the Ulema (religious scholars) should educate people to make this menace unacceptable in the society. “The nation is destroyed when it stops distinguishing between good and evil,” he said.
Referring to the opposition parties, the Premier said that “those who are facing corruption charges of billions of rupees are pressurising” his government to give them national reconciliation ordinance (NRO). The PM said that opposition leaders who own billions of rupees worth assets cannot explain their sources of income. He added that the country can only prosper in the presence of rule of law and an improved justice system.
The Prime Minister said that religious scholars have a pivotal role in building Pakistan as an Islamic welfare state as envisioned by the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said that ensuring all the basic rights to every citizen and rule of law were the two main principles of the State of Medina.
Referring to the growth in the Scandinavian countries, he said, “These countries acted upon the principles practised in the State of Medina, but we lagged behind for not paying due attention to them.”
Imran Khan said that unfortunately Islam is linked with terrorism in the West. He said that Islam has nothing to do with extremism or terrorism, but it is a religion of peace. He said he has emphatically spoken against Islamophobia at international forums, including the United Nations and the OIC, and will continue raising voice in this regard.
The Prime Minister said that the silence of Muslim leaders over the issue has led to increase in hatred against the Muslim community across the world. “Unfortunately, we [Muslim world] have failed to convey to the Western world that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism,” he added.
He said before 9/11 most the suicide attacks in the world were carried out by Tamils in Sri Lanka. “But no one called it Hindu terrorism,” the Premier said while urging the Muslim leaders to speak at all forums against Islamophobia to dispel negative perception about Islam.
PM Imran said Muslims who are living in Western world and India have to go through a lot of difficulties due to prevalence of anti-Muslim sentiment in their societies due to Islamophobia. To counter this challenge, he said Muslim nations need to take steps similar to the one taken by the Jewish community.
“Anyone who criticises the Jewish community or even Israel in the West is labelled as anti-Semitic and no one cares about freedom of speech,” he added.
Addressing the concluding session of the conference, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the country has been facing various challenges, which need to be addressed with wisdom, sagacity and prudence. He regretted that a section in the society is trying to make national institutions and personalities controversial.
He said the peace process in Afghanistan has reached a critical stage and the situation in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir has become more complicated after India’s illegal and unilateral step of August 5, 2019. He said Kashmiris have been in military siege for over 18 months, and they have been deprived of all the basic human rights.
Qureshi said the government has informed the UN Security Council and other world powers about the nefarious designs of the enemy to destabilise Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed that anti-encroachment drive should be continued without any discrimination as nobody is above the law.
Addressing a meeting of the National Coordination Committee on Tourism on Monday, the Prime Minister directed to ensure cleanliness, environmental protection and prevent illegal land encroachment on tourist sites in the country.
Imran Khan also emphasised that planning and feasibility on scientific grounds are essential before development of tourist sites in the country. He said that bye-laws and regulations must be notified before the start of physical development work on tourist sites. He said Pakistan holds great potential for tourism that can be capitalised for revenue generation, employment and promoting heritage.
The Prime Minister also underscored the importance of preserving local heritage and environmental protection for tourist sites.
The meeting was briefed regarding planning and feasibility conducted for development of new tourist sites in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. It was also briefed that anti-encroachment drive continues throughout the country.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed for actively looking into the possibility of net zero emissions for the country, which may become possible with enhancement of the carbon sequestration potential.
Chairing a meeting of the Committee on Climate Change on Monday, the Premier directed for ensuring complete transparency, including actively engaging SUPARCO, for satellite imagery in the execution of the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme across the country. The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the progress on the programme and appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Climate Change.
Underscoring the need for putting in place the early warning system to mitigate impacts of erratic climate change, the Prime Minister stressed upon the need for water treatment plants to purify contaminated surface water of the rivers.
The meeting reviewed the latest inventory reserves of greenhouse gases and progress made on the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme. It was informed that Pakistan’s emission growth is 9 percent below Business as Usual baseline and also below the nationally determined commitments.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change updated the Prime Minister about the progress of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Programme. Pakistan is set to achieve its first billion tree target by the middle of 2021, which will be celebrated across the country, the meeting was informed.
The meeting was informed that the country is ranked as 8th in terms of Climate Vulnerability Ranking and is faced with threats of rain variability, urban flooding, increased temperature and formation of glacial lakes. It was informed that 80,000 jobs were offered during the COVID-19 under the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project.
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the authorities concerned to accord special emphasis to reduce the burden of indirect taxes on the people.
Chairing a meeting of his economic team on Monday, the Prime Minister noted that the indirect taxes burden the poor segments of society the most.
The Prime Minister also directed the economic team to furnish recommendations to bring down taxes on the imported edible items so that relief could be provided to the people, especially the poor and middle class.
Imran Khan said that protecting the interest of the common man is the foremost priority of the government. He said the poor people have been affected due to the difficult economic situation; hence, providing them every possible relief is the government’s priority.
The meeting discussed various proposals to provide targeted subsidies to the disadvantaged segments of the society under Ehsaas programme. – TLTP

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