Strive for Peace and Harmony

By – Shamim Masih

ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan is determined to fight terrorism and alleviate poverty. Though Pakistan is facing lot of changes but still we need to create space for others. Terrorism is not only minorities’ issue but rests are facing the same problems. Pakistan army is fighting against terrorist and we are taking every possible measure to nip the bud. It was stated by Senator Parvaiz Rasheed, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting in a Seminar Organized by Prominent NGOs namely Reformation for Empowerment and Alleviation of Poverty – REAP and Rah-e-Nijat Ministry in observance of UN International Week on Interfaith Harmony, 2015.
His Excellency Mr. Jesper Moller Sorensen, the Ambassador for Denmark also graced the occasion with his presence. In his address, the Ambassador said: “Interfaith is a continuous journey of engagement. It is not only about accepting individuals for their beliefs, but respecting their principles and learning to tolerate each other’s faiths. It is essential to create tolerance and develop space for discussion, sharing of knowledge and understanding the other side’s point of view”. The Ambassador also explained that freedom of religion is a fundamental right, and protection of religious minorities is a cornerstone in Denmark’s foreign policy. Mr. Stefno Gatto, Deputy Ambassador of European Union also stressed to minimize the gaps and create space for other faith. He said the E U member states are committed to bring peace and harmony among different faiths. E U is working for women and minority rights in Pakistan.
Eminent scholars Christian, Muslims, Hindu and Parsi emphasized on that mutual understanding and inter religious dialogue are vital dimensions of a culture of peace. This week, the world celebrates an interfaith harmony week that promotes harmony between people regardless of their faith. The seminar started with a welcome note from Shamim Masih, President Reformation for Empowerment and Alleviation of Poverty – REAP and vote of thanks by Safdar Saleem, Secretary General, Rah-e-Nijat Ministry. Shamim said that different faith do not bind in limits but allows social harmony and mutual tolerance for a better and progressive society. Re-affirming that “mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace”, he extended to patronize any efforts leading to international peace.
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Several human rights activists, diplomats, politicians and other dignitaries attended the event. The gathering unanimously resolved to work for unity and cohesion among masses to create a just and secured social network aiming at a progressive Pakistan. The event was broadcast live on Pakistani television and other media outlets. The World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in its 2010 resolution.