LAHORE: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday the government would surely achieve success in resolving economic issues and eliminating terrorism, though it would take time.
He said all institutions, media and society would have to follow a uniform policy, play their role and refrain from politicizing national issues.
He was addressing the inaugural session of a three-day 4th Alhamra International Literary and Cultural Conference here at the Alhamra Hall.
The Prime Minister said Islam was being criticized for terrorism and extremism, which prompted the need to effectively highlight its true face.
The conference, he observed, would help remove misconceptions about Islam. Presenting the real face of Islam was a great service, he added.
Nawaz Sharif said the Islamic teachings were not based on sectarianism and religious hatred. Rather Islam preached unity, peace, fraternity, love, tolerance and interfaith harmony.
He said the Khilafat-e-Rashida, Persian and Ottoman empires had promoted true Islamic culture, which not only brought about a social revolution in the Arab world but also impacted Europe and Asia, besides China and Indonesia. Muslim scholars and scientists were not prejudiced and spread knowledge throughout the world, he added.
Highlighting foreign policy, he said Pakistan was maintaining cordial relations with China, Iran and other neighbouring countries, while ties with Afghanistan were improving fast.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan also wanted better and cordial relations with India by settling all issues, including the Kashmir dispute, through dialogue.
He said firing incidents on the Line of Control (LoC) were not good for both the sides.
He said his party had never resorted to India bashing during its election campaign. However, Pakistan bashing was still going on in India during election campaigns, which was counter-productive.
Recalling his meeting with the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999, he said that Vajpayee had showed resolved to settle all issues in an amicable manner and “we have to move forward with this spirit.”
“Islam also advocates better and friendly relations with neighbours,” he added.
The Prime Minister said the people of Bangladesh still lived in the hearts of Pakistanis, who should, however, remember how the country was disintegrated and who were responsible for it.
The Prime Minister said today’s amazing technological developments owed their origin to Muslim scientists, mathematicians and scholars. Now the West was using media and information technology to propagate its culture, he added. “We are lucky that Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born in this part of the world. He comprehended problems of the Muslim Ummah and awakened them by highlighting the Islamic ideology and culture through his poetry and writings,” he added.
Nawaz Sharif described poets and literary personalities as country’s assets, who were doing a great service by reforming the people’s mindset and behaviours.
He announced Rs 20 million grant for the construction of a modern club for poets and literary persons.
The Prime Minister was presented a book by Keval Dheer, a renowned story writer. The Prime Minister and Lahore Arts Council Chairman Atta-ul-Haq also exchanged shields.
Earlier, Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi presented the welcome address while Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, Dr Ali Bayat from Iran, Ibrahim Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Misri from Egypt, Dr Abdul Wahid from Bangladesh, Prof Locasword from Germany, Editor Daily Times of India King Sukh Naz and Dr Naumanul Haq spoke on the “Bright Face of Muslim Culture: Its Past, Present and Future.”
A large number of poets, scholars, dramatists, artists, critics and literary personalities attended in the session.