Islamabad, March 14 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said forced conversions are considered a criminal practice in Islam and no one can force others to adopt a certain religion.
Greeting the Hindu community on the occasion of Holi, Sharif said his foremost duty as a ruler is to serve followers of all religions and not one in particular.
"God will not ask a ruler what he did for followers of a certain religion," said Nawaz. "He will ask people such as me: what did we do for God's creation?"
"Some people wear a turban. Some wear a chogha. Others wear a suit and tie, and some wear shalwar kameez."
"These are all creations of God," the Premier added. "And that's fine. This is a freedom given to us by God. Who are we to take it away?"
Sharif said that Pakistan was not made so that one religion can dominate over others, Dawn newspaper reported.
"Religion does not force anyone to do anything, let alone forcing anyone to adopt a certain religion," he said.
"Forced conversions are considered a criminal practice according to our religious teachings," he added.
He also called blasphemy "an unpardonable offence" and directed the state machinery to find those responsible for putting blasphemous content on the social media and bring them to justice without any delay.
According to a statement released on Twitter by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz official account, the Prime Minister directed the authorities to remove the blasphemous content from the social media and to take measures to ensure that any such content is not posted in future.
He ordered all concerned authorities to take necessary actions in accordance with the judicial guidelines in this regard.
"Love and affection to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the most precious asset for every Muslim," said Nawaz Sharif.
He directed that international organisations relating to the social media should be approached for blockade of blasphemous contents and Foreign Office should play its role in this regard.
Sharif said the issue was before the court and all steps should be taken in line with the guidance of the court, Radio Pakistan reported.
The Islamabad High Court has already ordered blocking of blasphemous pages on social media.