Published Date: Jan 25, 2019
Paigham-e-Pakistan Leads To Build A Tolerant, Inclusive Society: Speakers
ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 25th Jan, 2019 ) :Speakers at a seminar on ‘Saiban-e-Pakistan for Social Inclusion’ on Friday said a tolerant society based on the principles of interfaith harmony could ensure social inclusion by providing all citizens equal opportunities to grow irrespective of religion or faith.
The seminar was organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in line with Paigham-e-Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, MNA Ms Romina Khursheed Alam said that ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ had provided us an Umbrella (Saiban) to protect the country and nation from all forms of extremism, hatred and use of violence against fellow Pakistanis, said a press release issued here.
"Paigham-e-Pakistan rules out any form of terrorism and self-proclaimed acts of violence and extremism in the name of religion," she remarked.
"We are proud of Pakistan which presents the nation as a bouquet while its beautiful flowers are the countrymen hailing from different religions and beliefs," she said.
Dr Shafqat Munir, research fellow and head of resilient development programme, SDPI said social inclusion was about co-existence that means ‘live and let others live’ which leads towards interfaith harmony and builds a tolerant society.
He said interfaith harmony was a way forward towards peace and prosperity from the growing socio-religious dissonance, in line with the spirit of ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’.
Fahmeeda Saleem from the Christian Studies Centre said the growing awareness on interfaith harmony and the urge for its realization had exhibited our resolve at national level to get rid of hate and discrimination at all levels of society. It was giving a confidence to our religious minorities to claim to be equal citizens of Pakistan, she added.
Khursheed Nadeem, a noted Muslim Scholar, said to reach to a peaceful and tolerant society, Inter-faith dialogue was seen as an option.
The dynamics of Inter-faith dialogue were bound to be complex and difficult but achievable.
He said the interfaith dialogue means for the people belonging to different religions or to different groups of the same religion to behave warmly, discuss and debate the common matters and cooperate together without trying to impose their thoughts and beliefs upon other people.
He said interfaith dialogue was not ‘manazra’ (religious argument) but a way to listen to each other patiently as dialogue was not a debate to win or lose.
Talking about some challenges confronting the interfaith harmony in Pakistan, Professor Mehardad from Bihai community said the interfaith harmony could not be achieved in Pakistan until addressing some structural problems such as interpretation of religion, relationship between religion and politics, legitimacy/illegitimacy of violence, secured and friendly social inclusion.
He said "peace and harmony in society could cannot be restored unless we change and prepare ourselves for peace. We need to change our behavior and attitude to restore peace and harmony." The representative from Hindu Community, Mehga Arora said, "Pakistan belongs to all those who are living in it including minorities." In the past, religion was used as a tool to discriminate and commit violence against minorities in Pakistan. Multiple misperceptions had existed among followers of different religions about one another which should be removed by enhancing interaction and dialogue among religious communities.
There was a need to celebrate commonalities among different religions, to understand others’ faith and acknowledge that ‘as it is’, she added.
The representative from Sikh community said there was need to review and overhauling of educational curriculum and books to promote interfaith harmony to build on the national narrative of peace and social inclusion.