Tolerance termed key to interfaith harmony

Published: August 23, 2019
Shafqat Mahmood. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

Shafqat Mahmood. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

Shafqat Mahmood. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE Shafqat Mahmood. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: There is a need to popularise the country’s monolith ‘Hum Pakistani’ narrative to rebuild society in a positive direction and address the socio-economic challenges faced.

This was stated by speakers at an event at the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) on Thursday. The function was arranged by AIOU’s Centre for Social Reconstruction.

Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood spoke about the government’s policy of creating a society based on justice and social equity.

He announced that the government will gradually enforce a unified education system in the country so that the rich and the poor could equally benefit from the national resources and to have a better place in society.

Mahmood reiterated the government’s resolve to promote unanimity of views among various religious sects and other sections of the society on issues of national interests to serve the people in a better way, through charity and social activities.

Underlining the dire need for having closer interaction amongst religious leaders, he said that the task of interfaith harmony can only be achieved through tolerance and accommodation of each other’s beliefs.

“The spirit of forbearance and co-existence must be upheld for collective well-being,” he added.

The event was also addressed by Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Dr QIbla Ayaz, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Education Ali Raza Bukhari, Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister on Women Affairs Ashifa Raiz, Advisor to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Education Ziaullah Banghash, Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Deputy Speaker Jaffarullah Khan and Quaid-i-Azam University Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Ali.

They called for promoting the spirit of patriotism and love for the country, particularly amongst the youth, so that national challenges can be addressed successfully.

They underlined the need for promoting interfaith religious harmony amongst the people of various sects through dialogue and community-based activities.

CII Chief Dr Ayaz underlined the importance of ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ for the reconstruction of society and said that it was a good omen that the narrative of ‘Hum Pakistanis’ is taking root amongst the public.

Earlier, AIOU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Ziaul Qayyum hoped that the event will help to strengthen the process of dialogue on national reconstruction and interfaith harmony.

Through its 1.4 million students across the country, he said that the varsity was prepared to project the concept of ‘Hum Pakistani’

He was of the view that universities should give a helping hand in policy-making at the national level by fostering intellectual discourse. Dr Qayyum also called for laying greater focus on reconstruction of society and national integration through community-based activities.  

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2019.

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