Special Representative to the Prime Minister for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi has appealed to political and religious leadership of the country to play their role in creating an atmosphere of peace, harmony and mutual understanding. Addressing a press conference after attending a meeting of Muttahida Ulema Board, Ulema-Mashaykh here on Sunday, he said that Pakistan was passing through a critical phase and the people living in this country need love, peace and unity. He lauded the services of the national institutions to maintain peace in the country, saying that institutions’ role was admirable and commendable. Ashrafi said that the economic and financial situation of the country required wise and united decisions by the political side as country’s development needs a better understanding among political powers. He said the religious scholars had expressed their disassociation from those elements that used foul or abusive language against the faithful and followers of various sects. He said it was a duty of ulema and mashaykh to educate people about difference between the right and wrong, while declaring someone as an infidel (kafir) was the jurisdiction of the state, which would be determined in accordance with the Shariah. Ashrafi said non-Muslims were equal citizens of the state having full right to worship and practise their religious rituals at their worship places on the occasion of their festivals. The rights given to non-Muslims by the Constitution could not be usurped by any individual, group, party and organisation, he added. He said that Muttahida Ulema Board’s meeting issued a code of conduct which should be followed to avert any untoward incident in the holy month of Muharram. He also appealed to the media to highlight Muharram code of conduct during and after the days of Muharram and play a supportive role to spread the message of unity in the country. To a question, Hafiz Ashrafi said Pakistan’s friendly countries would stand with it in any situation and crises, adding that Pakistan could never be in situation like Sri Lanka by the grace of Almighty Allah. Maulana Hasan Hasibur Rahman, Allama Abdul Haq Mujahid, Allama Hussain Akbar, Maulana Syed Ziaullah Shah Bukhari, Maulana Raghib Hussain Naimi and other religious leaders from all sects were present.