LAHORE: Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today appealed to clerics to use the mosque's pulpit to spread the message of peace and counter the extremist mindset.
Sharif made the remarks while addressing a seminar here at Jamia Naeemia, a leading seminary of majority Sunni school of thought, on the eighth death anniversary its founder Maulana Sarfaraz Hussain Naeemi, who was killed by militants.
Sharif said the religious scholars should promote true teachings of Islam.
He said the religious scholars should stand up against those who are sowing seeds of discord and disunity.
Talking about the role of clerics in spreading the message of peace, he said the "ulema have the mosque's pulpit as their forum, from where they can be heard all over Pakistan".
"It is still the most effective way of reaching out to the people of the country. You can spread the message of unity from here and shut the doors of terrorism in the country," Sharif said.
The Prime Minister said his government initiated strong and indiscriminate action against terrorists across the country after coming to power and now the backbone of terrorists has been broken.
He said that though isolated incidents of terror are still occurring but the government is committed to rooting out remnants of terrorists and their facilitators.
Sharif asked the religious scholars to come forward to take this war to its logical conclusion.
He said the clerics should use disagreement to create hatred and bloodshed.
"Religious scholars in the past disagreed with each other, but they never incited hatred in their followers' hearts regarding other sects," he said.
Sharif said Islam teaches unity, harmony and brotherhood and there is a dire need for adopting these principles for prosperous Islamic world.
"We need to ask ourselves if our religious institutions are producing faithful believers or the flag-bearers for different sects. We need to ask if the country is being united or divided in the name of religion," Sharif said.
He said that extremism is the base of terrorism and terrorists have tainted the sacred concept of jihad through their heinous acts.
Sharif also paid rich tributes to Naeemi for standing up against militancy.
He said the sacrifices by religious scholars, the civilians and security forces will not go in vain in the war on terror.