PESHAWAR: During a round table conference on religious intolerance on Thursday, speakers emphasised the need to introduce moral values into the educational system, rather than looking towards politicians to tackle the issue.
The debate titled ‘Growing Religious Intolerance – Our Future?’ was organised at a local hotel by the Peace Education and Development Foundation. Representatives from the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Baha’i community discussed the steps needed to overcome religious intolerance.
Speakers at the occasion said there were visible distances among people of different faiths as compared to the past, when they had lived in harmony for decades. They added that the situation had suddenly worsened and that hatred needed to be eliminated to form a progressive society. Participants of the conference agreed that children should be groomed by their parents to be tolerant, so that the youth can develop an enlightened community in the future.
Speaking on the occasion, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly member Soran Singh proposed that World Peace Day on September 21 be celebrated collectively and members of all religious communities should be invited. Singh added that media organisations should also promote harmony and help reduce the distances between different religions and sects.
All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement Chairman Haroon Sarabdiyal said a major change in behavioral patterns is the need of the hour. He pointed out that policies formulated in the past are clearly not working out very well and blamed them for Pakistan being in the throes of religious intolerance.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2014.