King Salman declared ‘Islamic World’s Personality of the Year’

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Religious leaders from different Muslim states express solidarity at the event. (Photo courtesy: Pakistan Ulema Council)
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Nawaf Saeed Ahmad Al-Maliki, the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, receiving the award on behalf of King Salman. (Photo courtesy: Pakistan Ulema Council)
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Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) President Maulana Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi  Saudi ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf Saeed Ahmad Al-Maliki and other leaders sitting at the Paigham-e-Islam Conference in Lahore on Monday. (Photo courtesy: Pakistan Ulema Council)
Updated 24 April 2018
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King Salman declared ‘Islamic World’s Personality of the Year’

  • Religious leaders demand an independent Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital
  • UNSC should take notice of Houthi missile attacks on Saudi cities

LAHORE: A group of religious scholars in Pakistan have declared King Salman the “Islamic World’s Personality of the Year 2017,” in recognition of his services to the Muslim world, especially to Palestine.

The scholars gathered in Lahore to participate in the International Paigham-e-Islam Conference (Message of Islam Conference) organized on Monday by the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC).

The event was chaired by PUC President Maulana Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi and attended by Saudi Ministry of Religious Affairs Secretary Talal Al-Aqeel as chief guest. 

The Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf Saeed Ahmad Al-Maliki, was also in attendance.

The participants of the conference expressed deep appreciation for the role played by King Salman in uniting the Muslim Ummah and raising his voice for its rights at every international forum.

King Salman’s Islamic World’s Personality of the Year Award was received on his behalf by the Saudi ambassador.

During the course of the conference, the participants fully endorsed the decision of the 29th Arab League Summit and rejected US decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem. They unanimously declared that the US decision was not acceptable to anyone among the Muslim countries.

“The only solution to the issue is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that has its capital in Jerusalem. No other solution can bring peace to the region,” said the resolution adopted by the conference.

The participants also noted that Muslims of the world were facing significant challenges due to the menace of extremism, terrorism and sectarianism.

Many of them stated that the enemies of Islam were benefiting from these differences that had fragmented Muslim communities all over the world. They also noted that after destroying Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, such elements were also planning to turn on, and destablize, Saudi Arabia.

The conference participants expressed their concern over missile attacks on Saudi Arabia by the Houthis, saying no Muslim would tolerate an attack on Islam’s holiest cities and that the UN Security Council should take note of those who were supporting the Houthis.

“No one can afford the destabilization of Saudi Arabia, and Iran should not support the Houthis. The world should take notice of excesses committed by Houthis,” Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, president of the PUC, said while addressing the gathering. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Saudi ambassador thanked the conference for declaring King Salman the Islamic World’s Personality of the Year.

“The Saudi government is always ready to serve the people of Pakistan. The two countries are tied by the bonds of friendship and Saudi Arabia values Pakistan's feelings for the Kingdom,” he said.

The conference also lauded the Pakistan Army for providing training facilities to Saudi forces.

“The Pakistan Army, being the force of a nuclear country, has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of all Muslim countries. It should fully cooperate with the Saudi armed forces by providing them consultation and training to meet the challenges of terrorism from external forces,” another resolution passed by the conference read.


India calls of foreign ministers’ meeting with Pakistan

Updated 15 min 14 sec ago
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India calls of foreign ministers’ meeting with Pakistan

  • The Indian government’s decision to hold talks with Pakistan was strongly criticized by the Congress party and other opposition groups
  • Pakistan said it regretted India’s decision not to meet

NEW DELHI: India called off a planned meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York this month, aggravating tensions between the longtime rivals.
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Friday India’s decision to pull out of the meeting, which had been announced just a day earlier, follows the killing of an Indian border guard in Kashmir and Pakistan’s glorification of insurgents fighting Indian rule in the Himalayan territory.
The Indian government’s decision to hold talks with Pakistan was strongly criticized by the Congress party and other opposition groups after rebels in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir killed the border guard and later raided over a dozen homes of police officers and abducted three. The bullet-riddled bodies of the three policemen were recovered Friday. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the insurgents, a charge Pakistan denies.
The announcement on Thursday of the planned meeting had been considered an encouraging sign for restarting stalled talks between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors. Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over the disputed region of Kashmir, divided between the two countries but sought by each in its entirety.
Pakistan said it regretted India’s decision not to meet, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi saying that “clapping can’t be done with a single hand.”
He said Pakistan wanted peace and stability in the region, but that India was perhaps more worried about “internal politics.”
“We want to get out of the past and we have taken a step forward but unfortunately India has taken a step back,” he said in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.
Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said “an extremist segment in India doesn’t want to see Pakistan and India move ahead on the path of dialogue to resolves issues.”
The Indian spokesman said that New Delhi had agreed to hold the meeting in response to a letter from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, stressing the need to bring positive change, a mutual desire for peace, and a readiness to discuss terrorism.
“Now, it is obvious that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, the evil agenda of Pakistan stands exposed and the true face of the new prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been revealed to the world in his first few months in office,” he said in a statement.
Any conversation with Pakistan in such an environment would be meaningless, Kumar said.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a formal statement described the comments about Khan as “most unfortunate” and “against all norms of civilized discourse and diplomatic communication.”
Rejecting Indian allegations, the statement said the reasons cited by the Indian side for the cancelation of the meeting, within 24 hours of its public confirmation, were “entirely unconvincing as the alleged killing of BSF soldier took place two days prior to the Indian announcement of its agreement to hold the bilateral meeting.”
India’s relations with Pakistan have deteriorated since Modi came to power in 2014.