KARACHI: Before representing ourselves as Christians, Hindus or Muslims, we should represent humanity and spread peace in the country, said Kailash Sarhadi or Friday.
Addressing the 'Interfaith Peace Convention 2015' at the Karachi Institute of Professional Studies (Kips), Sarhadi said that we should come up with solutions and answers that help establish peace in Pakistan.
The convention was organised by Interfaith Commission of Peace and Harmony (ICPH). "The idea behind this convention was to bring the religious representatives under one umbrella," explained ICPH founder Allama Ahsan Siddiqui. "We want to eliminate the differences of inter- and intra-religious disputes through education and dialogue."
Speaking at the convention, Sarhadi stressed the need to come up with solutions to the obstacles in achieving interfaith harmony in Pakistan. "While debating on interfaith harmony in Pakistan is easy, coming up with solutions and answers is what we need the most," he said. Sarhadi, a Sikh community representative, has published a booklet for schoolchildren with 30 peace points.
According to Pakistan Ulema Council's Tariq Madni, we can build a peace-loving society by focusing on the idea that everyone has been created by God. "The only difference is of identity," he said. "Nothing is more important than humanity. Humans need to respect humans."
Another speaker, Ansar Burney, quoted a verse from the Holy Quran, 'The murder of a human is the murder of the whole mankind'. "To be a good Muslim, one should first be a good human," he said. "Unfortunately, nobody in this country is a good human today."
According to St Patrick's Cathedral Archbishop Joseph Coutts, peace cannot be attained through debates and seminars alone. "Peace cannot be attained by arranging seminars [alone], but through a step forward in your domains," he said, talking about how we can promote peace and harmony in the new generation. "We should focus on educating our children and teaching them to love other religions as well." He believes that everyone can fight against the religious war within the country.
The chief guest for the convention, Danish ambassador to Pakistan Jesper Moller Sorenson, appreciated the initiative to promote religious peace and harmony. "Every major religion teaches you to treat others with love, and to respect the difference of opinion," he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2015.
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