Terming the promotion of inter-faith harmony and tolerance as vital and need of hour for peaceful co-existence in the society, President Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday urged the religious scholars to guide the masses in accordance with the true spirit and teachings of Islam.

Addressing a conference on `Interfaith Harmony' organized by Nazria Pakistan Council (NPC) Trust Islamabad, here at a local hotel, the President said practicing Islamic teachings in their true spirit could guarantee our betterment in the world and the life hereafter.

He said the whole nation was united on the issue of terrorism, sectarianism and extremism and the government was also striving to fulfill its responsibilities.

The President hoped that the government, with the cooperation of masses, would take the issues of terrorism and extremism to their logical conclusions and purge the country of these menaces.

He advised the Muslims of Pakistan and the world to promote love and harmony, respect the non-believers and collectively work for country's progress setting aside all differences.

The President said the country was in grip of issues those also affected the lives of individuals as well as the masses.

"Unfortunately, the country which was achieved for free atmosphere to practice our faith, has been caught up by terrorism and sectarianism. Regrettably, neither the mosques and Imam Bargahs nor the churches and shrines are safe. Today, schools are being blown up and innocent people are being oppressed," President Mamnoon

remarked.

He said Islam never allowed imposing own faith on others and added that it was the outcome of religious tolerance that Muslims had ruled the sub-continent and people had embraced Islam being impressed by the tolerance practiced by Muslim saints.

He called for following the philosophy of saints to regain the grandeur of Islam and introduce the religion to the world in its true form.

President Mamnoon Hussain said terrorism had created panic across the globe and unluckily, the Muslims were being blamed for the prevailing situation.

He said owing to the attitude of a few unguided people, Islam was being illogically linked with extremism and terrorism.

"Factually, our religion preaches peace, brotherhood and harmony. Islam strictly prohibits bloodshed and chaos. It also declares the killing of a human tantamount to killing the whole humanity," the President added.

He said Islam is a universal religion and its teachings which have an ever-lasting status provide solution of issues and difficulties of every era.

"If we act on these [teachings] with true spirit, we can surely rid of the country of current difficulties. We should always keep in mind that war and conflict never provide solution of any problem. The Holy Quran also teaches the lesson of adopting the path

of peace", he maintained.

The President appreciated the NPC Trust for holding the conference and prayed for its success.

He also welcomed the positive suggestions such as the uniformity in syllabus given by various speakers and assured to consider such these, adding, the proposals should be sent to him in writing at the conclusion of the conference.

The President said it was right time to take measures to rid of the country of various challenges and menaces such as corruption and hoped that the present government will put the country on the path and objective of peace, progress and prosperity.

Renowned religious scholars and Ulemas including Aneeq Ahmad, Sahibzada Sajidur Rehman, Maulana Shah Awais Noorani, Alama Qari Niaz Hussain Naqvi, Maulana Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Khawaja Ghulam Qutbuddin Faridi, Mufti Munibur Rehman, Maulana Muhammad Samiul Haq, Alama Sajid Ali Naqvi, Senator Prof. Sajir Mir, Maulana Muhammad Hanif Jalandhri also addressed the conference.

The religious scholar expressed their views on the challenges facing the country, particularly, on the issue of killings in the garb of sectarian difference and stressed for inter-faith harmony among peoples of various sects, faiths and religions.

They were unanimous in the view that there were no differences among people of Pakistan and it was a conspiracy of anti-state elements to destabilize the country by fanning sectarianism and spreading hatred among people of various sects and faiths.

They stressed the need of unity, harmony and peaceful co-existence among the people of Pakistan, which they said was created in the name of Islam and will Insha Allah remain on the world's map till the day of judgment.

Earlier, Chairman NPC Zahid Malik in his welcome remarks highlighted the objectives of holding the conference as well as of the NPC, which he said was a non-political body established mainly to promote the ideology of Pakistan.

He also stressed on the need of inter-faith harmony and urged the religious scholars to play their active role in promoting the same, as the country was passing through difficult times.