LAHORE: Pakistan has a pivotal role to essay when it comes to overcoming challenges confronting the Muslim world, Pakistan Ulema Council chairman Tahir Ashrafi has said.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the PUC supremo said the Muslim world could only be rid of the twin scourges of religious extremism and terrorism through unity. Ashrafi said ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were premised on respect, friendship and amity while Iran was a neighbouring country.
Ashrafi said trying to address the differences between the two states was a step in the right direction. He said the PUC welcomed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s impending visit to Saudi Arabia and Iran. The PUC chairman said the spate of terrorist attacks across various Muslim countries since the start of the New Year had left Muslims anguished and disconcerted the world over. In such circumstances, he said, it was imperative to take steps to strengthen the Saudi-led coalition against terrorism and strive to eliminate differences between various Muslim states.
The PUC chairman said Pakistan could never remain lax when it came to securing the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia. He said the points elucidated by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir and Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman over their visits to the nation should be brought up during the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Ashrafi said the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the kingdom during the prime minister’s visit clearly demonstrated China’s resolve to play its role in the coalition against terrorism and religious extremism. The PUC said this would further cement ties between the three states. He said the steps taken by the Saudi leadership over last year to improve its relations with the international community were commendable and praiseworthy.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2016.
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