ISLAMABAD: Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Bin Muhammad has said that Muslim countries should seek modern knowledge to be strong in defence and to achieve self-reliance, APP reported.
Dr Mahathir told ministers at a dinner Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz hosted for him, that exchange of experience would enable Muslim countries to strengthen their economies and compete. He said that reconciliation was needed to counter “extremism”.
He said there was a need to understand what terrorism was all about. “We must press people to focus on the causes of terrorism,” Dr Mahathir said. Dr Mahathir said that due to different interpretations of Islam, many sects were fighting each other and damaging the religion and this was due to lack of education and knowledge of Islam.
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He said there should be maximum allocation to education for development. Dr Mahathir said consistent policies, commitment and dedication were important for economic development. Dr Mahathir said Pakistan had potential to become a strong Muslim country. He asked the ministers to visit various countries to explore new markets for Pakistan’s products with better planning.
Dr Mahathir said that democracy was not a perfect system as sometimes small minority could play effective role in democratic process. He however said, “We have to accept the democratic system as it is the best available governance system.” Dr Mahathir said Islamic banking should be allowed to grow with healthy competition. Prime Minister Aziz said Pakistan was proud to have friendly relations with Malaysia and it could benefit from the experience of Dr Mahathir as a leader of a brotherly Muslim country.
Staff Report adds: Mr Aziz also held a meeting with Dr Mahathir and discussed various issues on the challenges faced by the Muslim world and Pakistan-Malaysia relations. Dr Mahathir hoped that Pakistan would make rapid socio-economic progress while Mr Aziz was prime minister.