07-20-2005, 05:16 PM
Religious terrorism tarnishing Muslim Umma’s image: AzizReply
ISLAMABAD: Religious terrorism is not only harming Pakistan but also distorting the image of the Muslim Umma, said Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz while addressing the concluding session of the First National Youth Convention at the Convention Centre on Tuesday.
“People involved in terrorism are doing no service to Islam. Islam is a religion of peace and harmony. It stresses for interfaith understanding, which is the need of the hour for world peace,” the premier said without referring to the present wave of terror incidents. “We have to interact with the world outside. No country can progress in isolation in this modern era when the world is going be a global village. We can not disassociate ourselves from the rest of world,” he said.
He went on to say: “Let me assure you that this interaction does not mean that we should change our culture or get westernised. We will achieve our goals by following our religious obligations and at the same time we will involve women in the economic activity,” he said.
“Youth should come forward and present the true face of Islam to the world. Yes, I know some elements are trying to present the distorted image of Islam in the garb of terror activities,” he said.
He said that world looked at Pakistan as the only atomic power of the Islamic Umma and there were certain misconceptions about Islam and Pakistan, which needed to be removed.
On the defence policy of the country, the premier said, “We will not indulge in weapons race but will maintain the policy of minimum possible deterrence to ensure our security and sovereignty. We will not bow to any pressure”. He said Pakistan wanted peace with its neighbours and it had negotiated settlements of all outstanding issues including the core issue of Kashmir with India according to the wishes of Kashmiris. Dialogue process was going on with India which would keep proceeding in future and help resolve mutual problems, he said. “We want good relations with all our neighbours and the big powers of the world,” he added.
Shaukat Aziz said Pakistan was a nation of 150 million talented and hard working people who could excel in any field of knowledge and practical life. “Our 25 percent population consists of youth who has the potential to take this country to any success,” he said, advising the youth to work hard without listening to the calls of cynics spreading disappointment among them. He said 2005 was the key year in the history of the country’s economy. He said his government was in the process of introducing new laws for ensuring prompt justice in the society and changing the “thana” culture.
The prime minister announced sending 25 delegates of youth to China. Names of delegates would be selected through ballot. On the selection of delegates, he said, “I want to promote the culture of merit without considering who is related to whom.” Some 300 delegates from across the country attended the convention and discussed the problems faced by the country and their possible solutions.
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