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Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday urged that the nation to stand united in order to confront “all internal and external challenges.”

The PM was addressing a conference in Islamabad on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH).

He said terrorism had caused a lot of damage to Pakistan and that no one felt safe anymore.

“Our schools, homes and places of worship are no more safe. We live with a sense of constant fear,” said PM Ashraf. “It is time to show collective wisdom and find a way out, with patience, tolerance and unity.”

The prime minister said that Islam categorically rejected all those who supported violence, extremism and terrorism, as they had no place in a religion that stood for peace and tolerance, as evident from the teachings and life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Ashraf said that a handful of elements were trying to impose their own specific agenda in the garb of Islam and were not only disrupting peace in Pakistan, but were also bringing a bad name to the religion.

“Any follower of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and a true Pakistani can never be part of such a satanic attitude,” he said.

The Prime Minister asked how true followers of Islam could be touted as terrorists.

Pakistanis are neither terrorists, nor are they afraid of them, and by seeking guidance from the life and teachings of Holy Prophet (PBUH), they will defeat all the forces of evil and prove that Islam stands for peace and tolerance, he said.

In reply to a religious scholar at the conference, who pointed out that the entire community would support him if he raised voice against the drone strikes, the Prime Minister said that the government had taken up the matter at all international forums.

“We have always said that drone attacks are not the solution,” he said and added that the government condemned and rejected all forms of terrorism that kills innocent people.

The prime minister said that US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson, who also attended the conference, had been conveyed the same sentiments of the government.