Democratic values key to making Pakistan tolerant: Gilani

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani Wednesday said the inculcation of nationalism and democratic values in the youth would help harness the larger benefits of a peaceful Pakistan. He said this while inaugurating the Youth Peace Conference “Together for Tolerance” here.
He asked the leadership of different sectors and segments of the society to vigorously take the youth on board for their active participation and role in their respective fields.
“Dynamic youth is our future that is 65 per cent of the total population and we can not afford to lose their potential and active participation in the development process”, he noted. The conference was well attended by the youth representatives from 28 cities of the country to mark the World Peace Day. Yousaf Raza Gilani said, “No one else knows the importance of peace more than us as are suffering from terrorism for the last two decades.”
Only the youth with positive attitude and productive initiatives can enhance the image of Pakistan, he said. “As we are celebrating World Peace day, the word peace has many meanings but in our current scenario peace is about co-existence and acceptance. Peace is the most fundamental need of humanity. Peace is a major difference between a human and animal,” he added.
“In year 2011, I awarded the National Peace Prize for Youth to Malala Yousafzai and later the entire world recognized her efforts and gave her Nobel Prize”, he said. On the occasion, the Executive Director Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) Munir Ahmed said that more responsibility of promoting peace and tolerance among the youth was on the shoulders of the politicians and the religious leaders.
When they start behaving as mature leadership, the youth ultimately would follow their footsteps. The hostile attitude of the political and religious leadership is damaging the entire fabric of the society, he remarked.
He urged the government to immediately take steps from district to provincial and national level to engage youth in different productive initiatives including arts, culture, environmental improvement, gender development and health and tourism.
The revival of co-curricular activities and sports in the educational institutions would also help in improving tolerance and peace in the society, he added. Zain Baloch, the Team Leader of the conference said that “Together for Tolerance is Pakistan’s indigenous youth movement that set out on a mission to promote tolerance across the country.”
As part of this mission, “We have travelled to different parts of the county to find the energetic and potential representatives to take the message to their peer groups.” Mustafa Shahbaz, the Lead Trainer, said “Together for Tolerance would be taken to the global level in phase-wise process to showcase the potential of Pakistani youth and dispel the current image of the country.”