PESHAWAR   -   Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Noorul Haq Qadri has said that the people of tribal areas are being dragged into another war in the name of nationalism by certain elements.

Addressing a cultural night function organised by Khyber Students’ Association, Noorul Haq Qadri said that the people of tribal areas had suffered a lot recently and now they were being pushed into another troublesome situation in the name of Pakhtunism and nationalism.

The minister said Ameer Abdur Rahman and Amanullah Khan played a great role for the Pakhtuns and due to their efforts Pakhtuns were now living with honour and dignity. Qadri further said that he will always raise voice for Pakhtuns’ rights and will fight for it under the Constitution of Pakistan, but he can never imagine betraying the country. “Pakistan was achieved under the Islamic ideology and the country will be there till the end of times,” he said, adding India cannot cast an evil eye on Pakistan.

The federal minister advised the students to stay away from politics for the time being, and become good students instead of becoming good political leaders in educational institutions.

He added the time for politics and leadership will come once they complete their education. He also advised the students to focus on their character building along with studies as that is what the parents expect from their children.

The minister mentioned that a survey has been completed in the merged tribal districts for the rehabilitation and restoration of educational institutions, which were damaged during militancy and military operations. He said the Khyber Economic Corridor has been made part of the mega project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and this process will cost one billion dollars.

Qadri also emphasised the need for improving bilateral trade with neighbouring Afghanistan through Torkham border. He said the government is working to keep Torkham border open round the clock and also relax visa policy for traders.

APP adds: Addressing 8th meeting of National Islamic Scholars Council in Peshawar at a local hotel on Sunday, Dr Noorul Haq Qadri brushed aside all assumptions regarding government’s intentions to close down religious schools and said that the government was committed to take all clerics on board for promotion of diversity and tolerance and making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state.

The meeting was attended by religious scholars representing various schools or religious thought.

In his key note address, the minister urged ulema to influence and guide the government for establishment of Riasat-e-Madinah.

Admiring religious leadership for streamlining national religious thought through Paigham-e-Pakistan Conference, the minister urged ulema and scholars to refrain from becoming part of a negative propaganda. He said nothing like 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 rumours.

He said the government would take all ulema 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 emphasised the need to discourage violence and hatred through scholarly discourse and constructive discussions.

Noorul Haq Qadri said clerics should help people in resolving 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 organisers for holding such a conference wherein ulema 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 emphasised that difference of opinion should not be used as a channel to engender hatred and hostilities among the people.