Interfaith harmony being promoted, maximum facilities to be provided to pilgrims: Tahir Ashrafi

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PESHAWAR, Dec 18 (APP): The Prime Minister’s Special Representatives on Religious Harmony, Maulana Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi here Monday said that Hajj was one of the most important five pillars of Islam and reiterated that the government was committed to ensuring maximum facilities to all Pakistani pilgrims next year.
Addressing Tazeemul Al-Harmain Al-Shareefeen Conference here as chief guest, Maulana Tahir Ashrafi said that a significant decrease in the expanses of Hajj has been recorded this year after decreasing prices of dollars due to Govt’s effective economic and financial policies.

He said Hujjaj were like ambassadors of Pakistan and urged them to strictly abide by the rules regulations and laws of Saudi Arabia. He said Pakistan highly valued its time-tested and all-weather friendship with Saudia Arabia having strong bonds of religion, history, culture, and enormous respect for the custodians of the two holy mosques.
While appreciating the overall Hajj arrangements, he directed the Hajj Organization Association of Pakistan to concentrate on the training of intending pilgrims so that they could achieve maximum blessing while staying in the holy land during Hajj. He said Pakistan was our country and its problems could be addressed through hard work, commitment, and self-accountability.
Maulana Ashrafi who is Chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council said that Inter-faith harmony and mutual co-existence in society are vital for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan. He said all minorities enjoy complete religious freedom in Pakistan.

He said Pakistan has all the resources to become an economic giant. He said Pakistan can earn huge revenue worth millions of dollars by promoting religious tourism. Besides the scenic beauty of northern Gilgit Baltistan, KP, and Azad Kashmir, he said Pakistan was home to centuries-old Indus and Ghandara civilizations besides several other religious tourism sites if properly showcased on digital media could bring economic turnaround for the country.
Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi said that Pakistan wanted cordial and brotherly relations with all its neighbors and peace in Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan. He said anti-Pakistan and Afghanistan elements wanted to create a rift among both the countries but they would never succeed in their nefarious designs.
He said Pakistan’s stance on the Palestine issue was very clear. He said atrocities in Gaza should be immediately stopped. He said the sacrifices of the people of Palestine would not go to waste. He said an independent and sovereign Palestine state with Al-Qudus Al-Sharif as its capital would help in enduring lasting peace in the Middle East.
Maulana Ashrif appreciated the association’s efforts and expressed the hope that they would provide maximum facilities to the pilgrims during the upcoming Hajj.
Earlier, Jamal Khan Tarkai, Chairman of the association thanked the Prime Minister’s special representative Maulana Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, and appraised him about the association’s endeavours for the upcoming Hajj.
He said that approximately 904 companies of the association were registered with the Ministry of Religious Affairs for Hajji Operations and about 50 percent quota in Hajj was reserved for it. He also presented traditional Choga and Qula (turban) to the chief guest.