ISLAMABAD: Highlighting role of religious scholars in neutralizing looming threat of hybrid war, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib asked them on Tuesday to create awareness among masses on matters of national security.
Addressing a brainstorming convention on “National Integration: Strategy to interact among different schools of thought”, he described modern era as an age of information and said “there is a war of opinions in the world right now.”
Impending risk of fifth generation war made enormous addition to the responsibilities of all the sects’ religious scholars who remained in constant contact with people at socio-religious levels, he said.
“People come to you to seek your guidance on different matters, so the State of Pakistan wants you to play due role in building positive public opinion on matters of national importance,” he remarked and assured the religious scholars of all sorts of cooperation from the government’s side.
The minister said the country was declared Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the Constitution, which provided right to freedom of expression to every citizen, but at the same time it also prescribed various parameters for exercising this right involving responsibility on part of its exerciser.
He also warned of some elements who wanted to exploit those parameters which could be described as fault lines. “Our enemies exploit those fault lines which needed to be taken care of by forging unity among our own ranks.”
Farrukh said the EU Disinfo Lab had recently revealed as to how India was involved in spreading propaganda against Pakistan around the globe with the help of fake websites and fake accounts made in the name of journalists and others.
He said free expression of an individual on social media had potential to become viral that might hurt someone’s sentiments. There were some people, who did not possess rational thinking, could make such content more viral on those online sites without knowing its consequences for the country or society.
“Pakistan is an atomic power and playing vital role not only in the region, but also in the world, which is being acknowledged by the international community,” he said while pointing out serious efforts made by the government in ensuring success of Afghan Peace Process.
Prime Minister Imran Khan would continue to play his role in peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan, he said, adding “We want to give peace a chance as Pakistan does not want to be part of any conflict.”
The minister said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a landmark initiative, which reflected Pakistan’s all-weather bonding with China. There was decades old history of Pak-China relationship as both the countries had supported each other through every thick and thin, he said.
He said the CPEC had become a source of irritation for the neighbouring country India, which was striving to create hurdles in its execution. India deliberately hatched conspiracies against every such initiative, which it thought, would bring socioeconomic development and prosperity to Pakistan.
“China is extending all possible support to Pakistan for its socioeconomic and infrastructure development,” he remarked, urging the religious scholars to sensitize the people about importance of China-Pakistan ties.
“There are many instances in past when efforts were made by the country’s enemies to exploit our internal problems, but it was our unity which neutralized all those nefarious designs,” he said, adding that such unity and harmony was sine qua non for dealing the future challenges.
He also linked the country’s economic growth with peace and stability and said it was imperative to highlight that the country had not only achieved four per cent economic growth, but also handled the coronavirus pandemic’s three waves in an effective way. He appreciated the Council of Islamic Ideology for its extraordinarily work to promote inter-faith harmony and interaction among various schools of thought.