No intention to shut down seminaries: minister


PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri has said that assumptions regarding government intentions to close down religious schools are baseless and out of context as the government was committed to taking all clerics on board for promotion of diversity and tolerance and making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state.

He expressed these views while addressing the 8th meeting of National Islamic Scholars Council held at Peshawar on Sunday. The meeting was attended by religious scholars representing various schools or religious thought.

Dr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri said that Ulema needs to influence and guide the government for the establishment of Riasat-e-Madina.

Admiring religious leadership for streamlining national religious thought through Paigham-e-Pakistan Conference, he urged Ulema and scholars to refrain from becoming part of negative propaganda. Nothing like the closure of Madaris in the country is under consideration and the students and teachers must not come under the influence of such negative and baseless rumors, he clarified.

The Minister Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said the government would take all Ulemas and religious scholars on board to make Pakistan – a country ensuring protection to all religious minorities and the Ulema should play an effective role for promotion of unity and understanding in the society. He emphasized to discourage violence and hatred through scholarly discourse and constructive discussions.

Noor-Ul-Haq Qadri said clerics should help people in resolve their issues in the light of Islamic teachings. He said Ulema have a role to play for maintaining lasting peace and protection of the homeland.

He said all the schools of thought should spread the Islamic teachings with wisdom and good advice. He also appreciated the organizers for holding such a conference wherein Ulemas and scholars from across the country participating.

During the Conference proceedings religious scholars unanimously called for an increased role of religious scholars at the national and regional level to work for peace and sectarian harmony.

They were in complete agreement that discouraging all manners of violent tendencies in society was a collective responsibility of all Pakistanis including religious scholars.

While pledging to strive for a peaceful and tolerant society in Pakistan, the Ulema and scholars emphasized that difference of opinion should not be used as a channel to engender hatred and hostilities among the people.