Sufi teachings key to countering terror


* President says Pakistan will never bow before terrorism
* Nation won’t let terrorists succeed in their ‘nefarious designs’


ISLAMABAD: Extremism and militancy are a ‘mindset’, which can be defeated by advocating the teachings and wisdom of the great Sufi saints, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday.

The president expressed these views while addressing the International Conference on Sufism and Peace arranged by the Pakistan Academy of Letters at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

He called for focusing on the teachings of peace, love and tolerance of Sufi saints in order to counter the militant mindset.

“May we all live in peace throughout the world. The world needs the touch and care and the deep thought of Sufism,” the president said. Around 80 delegates from 30 countries across the world and 250 participants from Pakistan participated in the conference.

Enemies: Describing terrorists as the ‘enemies’ of Pakistan, Islam and of peace in the region, he said Pakistan would never bow before terrorists and would never allow the extremists to carry out their nefarious designs within the country and the region.

The president said the entire philosophy of Sufism revolves around the “purification of the soul” and creating an environment where individuals do not try to impose close-minded versions of religion upon the masses.

“No religion whether Islam or Christianity preaches extremism and militancy,” he said.

“It is these very militants who have come to haunt all of us,” the president said.

“Islam does not teach any of its followers to adopt violent means for achieving their objectives. It preaches peace, tolerance and harmony and most importantly love – love for each other and for humanity,” he said.

Zardari added that Pakistan was home to the greatest Sufi saints in history who dedicated their lives to the promotion of peace and harmony. The vast majority of people believe in peace as taught by Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam, he reiterated.

He said the conference showed Pakistan’s commitment to the peace cause and the ‘deep bond’ of its people to the forces of love, harmony and brotherhood, which is the sole message of the Sufis.

The president commended the services of Pakistan Academy of Letters Chairman Fakhar Zaman for arranging the conference that was attended by a large number of eminent scholars, erudite writers and intellectuals along with foreign delegates.

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