ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) chairman Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi was on Thursday appointed Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and the Middle East.
Talking to reporters, Hafiz Ashrafi said Pakistan wants unity of Ummah and it has brotherly relations with all Muslim as well as Arab countries.
He said more than five million Pakistanis are working in the Muslim countries and Prime Minister Imran Khan has assigned him the task of strengthening the country’s relations with the Middle East countries and addressing the problems faced by the countrymen in these countries.
Hafiz Ashrafi speaks Arabic fluently and is among very few individuals in the country who has personal relations with the top leaders, including the Saudi crown prince, in the Muslim world, including Palestine and Turkey.
Sources said that the key task entrusted to Mr Ashrafi was to strengthen relations with member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council bypassing the bureaucratic channels.
Hafiz Ashrafi said he would do his best to fulfil the responsibilities assigned to him. He said he would highlight Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir, Islamophobia and Palestine.
He slammed those who were spreading baseless reports about strained relations between Pakistan and Arab countries.
“Pakistan has a stated policy to play reconciliatory role among all Muslim nations,” he said.
Hafiz Ashrafi announced that he would soon coordinate with the leadership of Muslim countries and take steps on an emergency basis to strengthen Pakistan’s relations with the Middle East.
In reply to a question, he refuted reports that Saudi Arabia had opposed Pakistan on the FATF issue.
Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2020