Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir on Friday termed the use of force or armed action by any militia, entity or group other than the state “unacceptable”.
According to a handout issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief made the remarks while interacting with Islamic scholars at General Headquarters Rawalpindi.
“Pakistan belongs to all Pakistanis without any religious, provincial, tribal, linguistic, ethnic, sectarian or any other distinction. Use of force and armed action by any militia, entity or group other than state is unacceptable,” the statement quoted the army chief as saying.
COAS Munir also lauded the ‘Paigham-i-Pakistan’ fatwa for nullifying “misleading propaganda disseminated by extremists and terrorists” and called on ulema to propagate and implement it in letter and spirit.
He acknowledged the role played by ulema in “harnessing youth towards understanding Quran, Sunnah, and character building alongside other academic knowledge and technical skills”.
“There is no space for intolerance and extreme behavior by any entity against anyone, particularly against minorities and vulnerable segments of the society,” COAS Munir said.
Meanwhile, the religious scholars unanimously condemned extremism, terrorism, and sectarianism and pledged their support for the “untiring efforts of state and security forces to bring tolerance, peace, and stability to the country,” the ISPR said.
They underscored that Islam was a religion of peace and harmony and any skewed and distorted interpretations of religion by certain entities was only for their vested interests and had nothing to do with Islamic teachings, the statement said.
It added that the forum also “unanimously supported the government’s measures to harden the state, including repatriation of illegal foreigners, implementation of a one-document regime, anti-smuggling and hoarding measures, and anti-power theft drive”.
“It also fully acknowledged Pakistan’s position and concerns on terrorism emanating from Afghan soil and urged serious actions by Afghanistan to address Pakistan’s concerns,” the ISPR said.
The statement concluded that the forum expressed anguish over Israeli bombardment in Gaza and termed them “crimes against humanity”.