ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Sunday emphasized that the Muslim Ummah need to join hands to face the challenges of extremism and terrorism with a view to improve the perception of Islam and to settle the political disputes.
Addressing an important session on the second day of two-day 6th Think Tanks Forum of Islamic Countries here at local hotel, Sartaj Aziz said some extremist elements had hijacked the Islamic world and creating a bad image of Islamic countries.
He said there is need to change the perception of Islam in the world and it need joint efforts by the think tank of the Muslim world.
Sartaj Aziz said resolution of disputes including Palestine and Kashmir are the most important issues which can change the perception of the Muslim in the world.
He said stability in Middle East and African Muslim countries through resolving political disputes and increasing development would also pave the way for the unity and strength of the Muslim Ummah.
The Advisor said there is need to invest by the Muslim Ummah on youth and promotion of science and technology to bring the muslim countries at par with other countries. He said the Muslim Ummah should allocate maximum funds for the promotion of science and technology.
Referring to efforts of Pakistan to fight extremism and terrorism, the Advisor said Pakistan had faced over 50,000 civilians and armed forces officials in this war against terrorism besides huge loss to economy.
He said Pakistan had launched a comprehensive operation against terrorism that will continue till the eradication of terrorism and extremism from Pakistan.
He said Pakistan did not want arms race with India but wants to engage with India for peaceful dialogue process. He said recently held secretary level talks between Pakistan and India were meant to defuse the tension and to improve bilateral ties.
Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan wants to resolve all the issues with India through meaningful dialogue process.
Referring to the development projects especially China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Advisor said it is not only for the benefit of Pakistan but it will unite Pakistan with China and Central Asian States.
Chairman Defence Committee of the Senate and Chairman of the Organization Committee of the Think Tanks Forum of the Islamic Countries’ said Pakistan is hosting the important meeting of this Think Tank of the Muslim countries.
He said it is being hosted jointly by Pakistan-China Institute (PCI), the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM), the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the Pakistan’s Senate Committee on Defence.
He said the name of “Think Tanks Forum of the Islamic Countries” has been renamed as “World Islamic Forum” to prepare compressive guidelines to face the challenges by Muslim world.
The Forum has a 9-member board of eminent persons, where Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, represents Pakistan, while other represented countries include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Malaysia and Sudan.
Previously held in Istanbul, Cairo, Baku, Baghdad and Tehran, the subject of this year’s forum is “Addressing Multi-Dimensional Security Challenges” and focus on themes addressing security challenges (such as terrorism, extremism and cyber security) cooperation in defence, politics and economy; dialogue among Muslims to promote unity; as well as promoting a soft power image of Muslim countries as a whole.
The President Mamnoon Hussain inaugurated the two-day session on Saturday.
Chairman Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies Suleyman Sensoy, Secretary General D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, OIC Director in the Cabinet and Head of Peace Security and Mediation Uni Amanual Haq, Resident Representative Konard Adenauer Stiftung Ronny Heine, Advisor to Chairman of Turkic World Council and First Secretary General of Turkic Council Ambassador Halil Akinci, Permanent Representative of OIC to Afghanistan Ambassador Aydin Nurhan, Board Chair Centre for Economic and Social Development Baku Prof. Vugar Bayramov, Associate Prof. Hamza Akengin from Marmara University Istanbul and many leading Islamic scholars attended the two day conference which was first time hosted by Pakistan.