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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday took a jibe at organizers of the “Asma Jahangir conference” for inviting convicted former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif as the chief guest.

Addressing a ceremony at Al-Qadir University in Jhelum, the prime minister stated that he was not making a “political” statement, but “when you don’t consider a crime as a bad deed and when you don’t consider corruption as a bad practice, then who would make hard work in that society.”

Without naming any, Prime Minister Khan lamented by saying; “recently, a seminar held in Lahore in which judges of the Supreme Court were invited but that person was invited as the chief guest who had been punished by the same apex court.”

“And he was punished for stealing public money and that he fled the country after speaking a lie,” Khan said in an apparent reference to the former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif.

“Why should I spend 14 years studying and work for eight hours to hardly feed my family? While others come and form a Qabza Group and build a high-rise plaza and also manage to find a place in the [National] Assembly…no society or State can survive when morals of a nation decline,” he added.

Minister steps up criticism of PML-N

Speaking about leadership, he said that a selfish and cowardly person can never become a leader, adding that it is important to educate students about these aspects so that when they become future leaders, they think about Pakistan’s progress instead of appointing their aides to high places and indulging in corrupt practices.

He said that four qualities contributed to a good leader, including truthfulness, justice, courage, and selflessness.

He said that the concept of leadership that Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave to Muslims will be imparted in Pakistani universities to the youth, adding that we will start from our students.

Referring to the Western society and culture, Prime Minister Khan said that the young Pakistanis studied the Western culture and were misled by it. He said that Pakistani youth was confused about it in today’s world, adding that the progress of the West lured many into copying the Western culture.

He urged the universities to conduct researches on the disastrous effects that Western culture was having on family life, adding: “how pornographic material is widely available on smartphones these days.”

The prime minister also encouraged Ijtihad, saying that Allah encourages Ijtihad in the Holy Quran. “How will Ijtihad take place here if the person who differs in his opinion from you is declared a Kafir [infidel],” he lamented. He regretted that calling someone a Kafir on difference of opinion on religious beliefs is a dangerous trend that needed to be shunned through intellectual debates.

He underscored the need for reviving the culture of glorious Muslim era where religion and science did not come into conflict, and that also emphasized on the ‘Ijtihad’ to find solutions to the emerging challenges.

He emphasized research in universities to provide informed choices to the youth, adding that the universities have a role to play in character building of students in the light of Seera-e-Tayyeba. “Unless we practice Seerat-un-Nabi [Sallallaho Alaihe Wa Alayhee Wassalam], we cannot attain the status dreamt by Allama Muhammad Iqbal,” he added.

He hoped that Al-Qadir University would engage with international Islamic scholars to provide world level education facilities to the students. Emphasizing the need for promotion of debate in the society, the prime minister said that thought process must be advanced and character, as well as, morality of the nation would be uplifted on the model of “Riyasat-e-Madina”.

The prime minister said a strong faith and moral character was a blessing of the Almighty that guided a person to choose the righteous path.

He stated that to any future incident of blasphemy against the Prophet (PBUH) committed in the world, the nation needs to demonstrate an “intellectual and reasoned response”. The prime minister added that Iqbal’s concept of “Shaheen”[falcon] related to a determined nation with the courage to break the shackles of mental slavery for attaining progress and development.

He stated that Pakistan came into being in the name of Islam, adding that without following the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), real prosperity could not be achieved.

He said that all Sufi saints of the subcontinent including Baba Bulleh Shah, Nizamuddin Aulia, Data Ganj Bakhsh, Baba Farid, and others propagated the message of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that focused on the love for humanity.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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