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PM vows to lead strong int’l campaign against blasphemy, says ‘some religious, political parties misusing Islam

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Spokesman Report

Islamabad :Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday announced to lead a strong campaign at international level along with the heads of Muslim countries to jointly fight against blasphemy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him).

On issue of blasphemy, he said, some political and religious parties in the country were “misusing” Islam to play with the sentiments of common man and were inciting violence.

“The protests and violence will do no harm to the West, but inflict a severe damage to your own people,” the prime minister said in his address at the ground breaking of Margalla Highway, a project to be connected with Rawalpindi Ring Road.

The prime minister’s statement came as the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan held protests demanding expulsion of French ambassador in the wake of incidents of blasphemy that took place in France. Lately, a few other political parties also joined the demand by extending support to TLP.

Imran Khan said all people in the country had deep love for the Prophet (PBUH), adding that “such devotion must not be misused”.

Pakistan, he said, was formed in the name of Islam and stressed that no one should cast doubt about any other person as how much deeply he respected the Prophet (PBUH).

He said his campaign against blasphemy would have a strong impact compared to the protests.

The prime minister said he had sent letters to the world leaders for the purpose.

“I want this issue to be resolved once and for ever so that nobody in the world could ever dare to commit blasphemy against our beloved Prophet (PBUH),” he said.

Earlier, the prime minister performed the groundbreaking of the 35-km-long Margalla Highway that will also connect the Rawalpindi Ring Road and reduce travel time.

The project is being carried out by Capital Development Authority (CDA) in collaboration with Frontier Works Organization (FWO) and National Logistic Cell (NLC) on a fast track basis. In first phase, the work will start at Bhara Kahu Bypass which will connect Margalla Highway with Murree Road.

The prime minister on the occasion said the government was committed to make green and clean environment in view of the country’s vulnerability to climate change.

He expressed concern that only 600 million trees were planted since the establishment of country seven decades ago and regretted that 80 percent of Changa Manga and the entire Kundian forests were eradicated through ruthless tree-cutting.

He said Pakistan was going to face water shortage in coming years and was the second country after Egypt for having dearth of water.

Imran Khan said the long-delayed Margalla Highway project was significant to ease the traffic problems of Islamabad, with its population swelled by 1.5 times in 20 years.

He clarified that the highway would not disturb the natural environment of Margalla Hills by passing through it, but in fact would act as its protective barrier to avert encroachment.

He said the project would remove the bottlenecks at Galiyat, ensure smooth flow of traffic and thus lead to tourist influx.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid termed Prime Imran Khan a true lover of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) who had raised the issue of blasphemy and Islamophobia at every international forum.

He said the life and personality of Imran Khan was all about struggle and expressed confidence that he would succeed in defeating the enemies of Islam. “The corrupt, dishonest and sluggish opposition would do no harm to Imran Khan,” he added.

He said Margalla Highway project would greatly benefit the locals of Islamabad and adjoining areas in easing up the travel problems.

The Margalla Highway will link the Grand Trunk road with the Murree Road and traverse through the capitals’ north along the Margalla hills while also touching the Constitution Avenue.

Starting from Sangjani on G.T. Road, the road will link at Satra Meel at Murree Road. A change in the alignment of the road was made to link it up with the Rawalpindi Ring Road. The earlier plans were to connect it to Murree road at Bharakahu, a suburb of Islamabad.

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