MULTAN: United States Ambassador Richard G Olson has said that terrorism can be defeated through promotion of Sufism and the teachings of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam are not specific to any sect but whole humanity.
Talking to newsmen during his visit to the shrine here on Tuesday, he said that shrines of saints and Sufis were the source of peace, tolerance and liberalism. He said that the birth anniversary of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam was being celebrated around the globe and he visited the shrine in this connection to pay homage to the great saint.
Earlier, PTI vice-chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Makhdoom Zain Qureshi and Pir Zahoor Hussain Qureshi received the US ambassador on his arrival at the shrine. Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi presented Chadar and Ajrak to the US ambassador and his delegation members.
Meanwhile, the US ambassador visited the shrine of Hazrat Musa Pak in the walled city where former prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani received him. Speaking on the occasion, Gilani lauded the sacrifices of armed forces in the elimination of terrorism. He said that the US financial aid to Pakistan should not be suspended in the name of Kerry-Lugar Bill. The suspension in the US aid would badly affect the war on terror, he added. He said that Pakistan was a frontline partner of the US in the war on terror. Gilani said that Pakistan had sacrificed 40,000 civilians and 9,000 soldiers in the war on terror. Criticising the federal budget, he said that said it had disappointed the masses at large. He said that no relief was provided to the poor in the budget.
He said the PPP had reservations on the anti-people budget. He demanded more increase in salaries, besides withdrawal in increase in the prices of petroleum products. He also demanded the government announce special Ramazan package for the people and not to conduct loadshedding in the holy month. The former PM urged the PML-N government to take bold stance on the Burma crisis and strongly
condemn the killings of Muslims in Burma. He criticised the OIC for keeping mum over the issue.
To a question, Gilani said that the Pakistan-China friendship was based on mutual cooperation. He said that the political parties in the APC backed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, foiling the Indian conspiracies. To another question, Gilani said that the ruling party always won the Gilgit-Baltistan elections. The PPP had made a clean sweep during its rule, he added. He said that the PPP believed in struggle for the rights of the masses. Yusuf Raza Gilani avoided talk about his abducted son Ali Haider Gilani, saying that it was a sensitive matter.
Bahauddin Zakariya University Vice-Chancellor Dr Khawaja Alqama, Makhdoom Tajamul Hussain Gilani, Makhdoom Shafat Hussain Gilani, PPP south Punjab general secretary Dr Javed Siddique, Nafis Ansari, Malik Nasim Labar and others were also present on the occasion.
Later, the US ambassador had a lunch at a local fertilizer factory, which was hosted by former Multan district nazim Mian Faisal Mukhtar. He also visited the Multan Electric Power Company Headquarters where the Mepco high-ups briefed him about the development projects being carried out in partnership with the USAID. Police had made strict security arrangements for the visit of the US ambassador. Later, he left for Islamabad.