Pakistan promotes interfaith harmony to ensure world peace (president)


ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday called interfaith harmony a necessity of the moment, said Pakistan is promoting the message of tolerance and affinity between people of different faiths to make the world a peaceful place to live.

Addressing the International Interfaith Peace Conference here, the president said Pakistan, as the responsible state, implements religious freedom as spelled out by its Constitution in conjunction with Islamic principles.

The conference entitled “Respect for Humanity and Its Importance” was organized by the Interfaith Council for Peace and Harmony and Majlis Ulema-e-Pakistan and was joined by representatives of various religions, including the Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and others.

President Alvi said that all religions of the world have placed emphasis on promoting peace and tolerance for the betterment of mankind and stressed the importance of translating the same spirit into societies having people of various faiths.

In today’s world of conflict, he said, a worldwide message of interfaith harmony was absolutely necessary to reduce friction and misconceptions about other religions.

He declared that Islam was a religion of peace and believed in respect for humanity.

He referred to the last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), where he preached equality without distinction of religion, race or sex in a society divided by notions of tribal and ethnic superiority.

Dr Alvi said the promotion of the Prophet’s (pbuh) message has yet to resonate today in a world where misconceptions about Islam are growing.

He called on followers of all religions to avoid differences on the basis of their beliefs and unite for the common cause of mankind.

He mentioned that several challenges such as global warming and environmental degradation do not require any religious intention, but common action to save the world and humanity.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent by Allah Almighty as a blessing to all mankind, whose teachings promote love for all. He mentioned that the establishment of the Rehmatul lil Alameen Authority by the government reflected its respect for all religions in accordance with the Prophet’s message of peace.

The Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, Professor Dr Qibla Ayaz, said that the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan enjoys the support of the majority of schools of thought, believing in the freedom of religions. He emphasized carrying the message to the world that Pakistan is a citadel of peace that offers religious freedom to people of religious diversity and discourages extremist approaches.

The mosque of the great Imam Badshahi and chairman of the Ruet-e-Hilal committee, Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, said that the solidarity of humanity is linked to the practice of tolerance despite religious differences, in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him).

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara said interfaith harmony is necessary for the future of the world and therefore requires constant struggle on the part of nations. She mentioned that the EU Charter and the UN Convention insist on freedom of religion, to which Pakistan is also a signatory.

Global Mission Awareness President Dr Leif Helge Hetland said love unites people and is badly needed in today’s world with strife.

As a gesture of interfaith harmony, the event was opened with the recitation of Quranic verses by Qari Bazurg Shah, followed by a prayer statement from Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters for the peace and harmony of the country.


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