Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed on Thursday the significance of educating the country's youth about the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), highlighting that it would contribute to instilling ethics in society and curbing sex crimes, which were on a rise in Pakistan.
The prime minister shared these views while addressing a ceremony organised in Islamabad to mark the complete operationalisation of Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen Authority — a body formed last year for research on how best to disseminate lessons from the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) among the public.
PM Imran said he felt the need for such a body as he realised that the country's youth lacked understanding of why Pakistan was created, what was the message of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and why Allah said in Quran that his path should be followed.
"Why following [his] path is so important?" the premier asked rhetorically, adding that no other person had been able to match the Holy Prophet's (PBUH) achievements. "So Allah tells us to follow his path because it is for our own good."
He recalled that while he was in school, he was never told the significance of following the path of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
"This is one of the biggest problems, this disconnect, that when we teach religion to our children, we fail to tell them what is the purpose of following [the Holy Prophet's] path," he regretted.
PM Imran said he believed that "if we bring up our children in the right manner and impart lessons from the life of the Holy Prophet to them, it will elevate this nation".
Moreover, he said, he felt the need to form a body like the Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen Authority as he realised after assuming office that "there are things that the government [alone] cannot improve".
He added that he also realised that corruption had been made acceptable in this society.
Saying that acceptance of such evils led to the destruction of society, the prime minister highlighted that the state of Madinah, under the leadership of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), was formed on the basis of fighting the evil of corruption.
He also compared Pakistan to the West in this regard, saying that the latter was "far ahead of us" in terms of ethics and morality.
In Britain, he said, "No one can imagine showing their face after stealing public money.”
And here, he continued, "flowers are showered on thieves". Taking an apparent jibe at PML-N surpemo Nawaz Sharif, he said, "he has fled abroad after lying ... and here journalists say let him deliver a speech. Some lawyers say to end the ban on him and let him contest elecitons."
"This is why we [face challenges]. This is why we need to teach Seeratun Nabi to our children," he said, explaining that doing so, the nation would be educated to differentiate between good and evil and isolate those doing evil.
The prime minister also highlighted the importance of teaching the youth about the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to curb sex crimes.
He recalled that when he had assumed office three years ago, he held a meeting with police chiefs and crime charts presented to him at the time showed that sex crimes were rising rapidly.
In this connection he referred to the Kasur child abuse scandal, saying that he had appointed a deputy inspector general of police to prepare a report on the matter.
The prime minister said the official underlined in the report the need for a campaign involving participation from teachers, religious scholars and others to curb such offences, pointing out that people were embarrassed and reluctant to report such incidents.
He said he realised then that the government alone could not fight this menace and that the entire society would have to fight it.
In this regard, the premier also highlighted the concept of pardah, "not only of clothes but eyes as well".
He linked observing pardah to the protection of the family system and making people understand its importance.
"We should at least teach our youth in universities and colleges about this," he emphasised. "This is why we brought together scholars on a common ground and begin [imparting] these concepts [to children] beginning from schools."
The prime minister lauded and appreciated the Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen Authority's chairperson, Dr Anis Ahmad, on the occasion for preparing a complete roadmap that detailed the body's short-term, medium-term and long-term steps to achieve these objectives. He assured the chairperson of complete support from all relevant government departments, including the Prime Minister's Office and education department, in the authority's endeavours to implement the roadmap aimed at character building and the education of youth, protection of family system and promotion of interfaith harmony.
With additional input from Radio Pakistan