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PM Ashraf urges leaders of all faiths to unite for peace

21 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday stressed the need for promoting inter-faith harmony in the country and urged leaders of all faiths and religions to stand united for peace and security.

He was addressing a conference organised by the Ministry of National Harmony to create greater understanding amongst people of different faiths.

The prime minister referred to the recent incidents of terrorism in which a large number of people were killed and said, "Let's come out of this perpetual sense of fear that haunts us all, and where no place is safe anymore." He referred to the Hazaras as brothers and patriotic Pakistanis and said the entire nation felt deeply saddened over the plight they underwent in the recent attacks.

"There can be no justification for the murder of the innocent. Who can justify the killing of a child, women or a man who is trying to earn a living?" he said.

The prime minister said no one should take law into their own hands as it creates lawlessness and chaos in the society. He said it was the responsibility of the government to ensure law and order and was also the obligation of every citizen to abide by the law and clearly understand his responsibilities and obligations.

He said Pakistan cannot live in isolation and has to live with peace and tranquillity with its neighbours and any incident within the country can not only bring bad name to the country internationally but also disturbs peace.

The prime minister said no person has the right to impose his will on the others. "Let everyone follow whatever he wishes and if there is a conflict, then they should follow the path of dialogue," he said. He said respect and dignity for each other was vital for peaceful co-existence. He said societies as a whole have always purported support to ideologies that preach peace and harmony.

However, he said in case it is not followed, there will be a state of anarchy.

Meanwhile, addressing the first-ever South Asia Media Summit, the prime minister said the region direly needs peace and economic development and the media can play important role in this mission.

He urged the media to play its due and pivotal role in removing misunderstandings and build an atmosphere of peace and friendship among the countries in the region. He said Pakistan attaches great importance to SAARC as it is an important forum to ensure peace, progress and development in the region.

The prime minister said the unresolved political disputes are undermining the potential of the region to emerge as a robust economic grouping. He said heavy responsibility rests on the shoulders of leadership of the region to show statesmanship and courage to resolve differences.

Talking to a delegation from Bahawalpur, the prime minister said that the Pakistan People's Party stood committed to the cause of creation of Bahawalpur South Punjab province and had a special place for the people of South Punjab. Talking about the forthcoming general election, the prime minister said he was confident that the people of Pakistan would make PPP return to the power.

End.

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