President calls for scholars’ panel to ‘reach out’ to militants

President Mamnoon Hussain in a group photo with participants of 16th National Security Workshop at NDU. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood also present.    — APP


ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain asked the National Defence University (NDU) on Friday to constitute a panel of what he called “non-political” religious scholars and clerics to contact militant groups and convince them to give up their “un-Islamic” and “inhuman” ways.

Speaking to participants of the varsity’s National Security workshop, he said that such a body of religious scholars would be able to deliberate and recommend ways to dispel the unfortunate impression that tags Muslims with militancy and extremism the world over.

The president said that religious scholars could play a proactive role in changing militants’ mindset through their knowledge of the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

“NDU should arrange workshops and lectures of religious scholars so that a comprehensive national policy can be devised in the light of their recommendations,” he said.

Talking about the country’s foreign policy, President Hussain said that Pakistan desired friendly and peaceful relations with all countries, especially its neighbours.

“Pakistan’s relations with Russia and Central Asian states are also improving. Favouring peaceful coexistence and resolving all issues amicably is one of the cornerstones of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” he said.

He said that national security had become a complex and multifaceted issue, which required the development of a strategic framework that encompassed all elements of national power, adding that it must also focus on the complex ways in which national, regional and global factors affected the security outlook of a country.

“We are living in an interdependent world where traditional notions of security and sovereignty are under strain and being constantly redefined and renegotiated,” the president said.

It was vital to comprehend national security imperatives in their totality and formulate a national policy framework accordingly, he concluded.

President Hussain complimented NDU Rector Lt Gen Javed Iqbal for successfully organising the 16th National Security Workshop and said such events provided parliamentarians, civil servants, the military leadership and members of civil society an opportunity to deliberate upon a range of complicated challenges that Pakistan faces today.

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