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Forces of violence challenging humanity in the name of religion: Mamnoon


June 13, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has maintained that the use of brute force by terrorists of different denominations had brought disruption in various parts of the world and frequently, the voices of moderation were faced with an existential threat of extremism.

“The forces of violence and bigotry challenge the very existence of our common humanity in the name of religion, ethnic superiority, economic supremacy or even pure hegemonic desires,” President Mamnoon Hussain said while speaking at an Iftar-dinner held in honour of the ambassadors/high commissioners here on Tuesday at President House.

Caretaker federal ministers Muhammad Azam Khan, Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Sheikh Muhammad Yusuf, Syed Ali Zafar, General Nasser Khan Janjua, Luqman Afzal Monal and Special Secretary Foreign Affairs Aitzaz Ahmad were also present. The President said this critical moment in history demanded to revert to the sublime and peaceful teachings of religion, adding that fundamentally, religion should act as a uniting force for the post-modern societies and as a moderating, civilizing guide to public and private dealings. Undeniably, the scourge of terrorism and extremism are the most pressing and daunting challenges that the today’s world is confronted with, the President said and added that unfortunately, Pakistan had been in the forefront of this existential fight, bearing an excessively huge burden.

He said that Pakistan had suffered colossal losses as a frontline state in the war on terrorism and its economy had sustained US $127 billion since the onset of war on terrorism. Tens of thousands of our civilians and security forces personnel have laid down their lives in this struggle, he said.

The President said this was the third consecutive year that Pakistan had seen fewer terrorist attacks and deaths, adding, it had become possible due to political commitment, based on an across-the-board national consensus and support by a determined and comprehensive military campaign. He said Pakistan consists of many ethnicities, cultures, faiths and religion, adding that pluralism had been the hallmark of Pakistan. He said equality of rights and status was being afforded by our Constitution and laws to followers of all religions.

The President said founder of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah envisioned a Pakistan for all faiths of religions by saying: “You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state. Today, we are firmly dedicated to the Quaid’s vision of building a truly pluralistic, equal, inclusive, and democratic society where all citizens enjoy equal rights and freedom irrespective of their faiths.

The President said it was crystal clear that in today’s globalized and integrated world, Pakistan could not attain peace and prosperity when our neighborhoods were embroiled in conflict and war. He said the peace, security, prosperity and development require well-thought-out and all-encompassing efforts of all partners.

The President said it was extremely vital to point out the reign of terror and subjugation unleashed by Indian security forces in the occupied Kashmir against unarmed innocent civilian Kashmiris. The President stressed upon the international community to take note of the gross human rights’ violations being committed in India-occupied Kashmir and to press upon India the need for meaningful dialogue and engagement with Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Interestingly Indian High Commissioner Ajay Absaria was also present on the main table when the President referred to Kashmir Issue.

The President said the general election was going to take place on July 25. He hoped that the upcoming government would work for betterment and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

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