RAWALPINDI: November 17 - Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir, in a notable address at the General Headquarters, stressed the unity and inclusiveness of Pakistan, affirming that the nation belongs to all citizens regardless of religious, provincial, tribal, linguistic, ethnic, sectarian, or other distinctions. This statement came during a significant meeting with leading Islamic scholars from various schools of thought.
The COAS categorically rejected any use of force or armed action by non-state entities, emphasizing that such actions were unacceptable. He highlighted the role of religious leaders in promoting peace and harmony, particularly urging them to guide youth towards a better understanding of the Quran and Sunnah and to foster character-building alongside academic and technical skills.
The gathering saw a unanimous condemnation of extremism, terrorism, and sectarianism, with the scholars pledging their support for the state's efforts to bring tolerance, peace, and stability to the country. They underscored Islam's message of peace, criticizing any misinterpretation of religious teachings for vested interests.
General Munir praised the “Paigham-e-Pakistan” fatwa issued by religious scholars, which aims to nullify extremist propaganda, and called for its widespread adoption and implementation. He emphasized that there is no room for intolerance or extreme behaviour in Pakistan, especially against minorities and vulnerable societal segments.
The forum supported the government's measures to enhance state security, including repatriation of illegal foreigners, implementation of one document regime, anti-smuggling and hoarding measures, and an anti-power theft drive. It also acknowledged Pakistan's concerns about terrorism emanating from Afghanistan and expressed sorrow over the ongoing conflict in Gaza, describing it as a crime against humanity.
General Munir’s address signifies a pivotal stance in fostering a more unified and peaceful Pakistan, setting a tone for tolerance and inclusivity in the nation's socio-political fabric.