Alvi’s thoughts on interfaith harmony

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ADDRESSING the National Interfaith Peace Conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, President Dr Arif Alvi said interfaith harmony is need of the hour and all positive steps in this regard should be appreciated. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has assured the world to protect minorities’ rights on the pattern of welfare State of Medina which is a great promise. The President also reminded the West of its duty towards immigrants pointing out that Pakistan has long been hosting millions of refugees despite its limited resources.
The President had addressed a similar conference in Lahore in April this year, highlighting that terrorism and extremism did not belong to any single religion, and added that all religions across the world gave the message of peace and brotherhood. He also hosted representatives of different communities including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Baha’i and Kalash at an event at President House on the occasion of Minorities’ Day. In fact, deliberate and malicious attempts are being made by vested interests to link the issue of terrorism and extremism to Islam and some Islamic countries especially Pakistan. This is despite the fact that Pakistan had been rendering valuable and unprecedented sacrifices for the establishment of peace at the cost of 70,000 lives. It successfully fought the war on terror and broke the back of terrorist outfits and achievements of the country in this regard are unmatchable. Similarly, Pakistan has taken liberal measures to protect rights of minorities and they enjoy representation at all decision and policy-making forums right from Local Councils to the National Assembly and the Senate. As against this, minorities are being subjected to extreme kind of discrimination in some countries like India and Israel but the world has adopted intriguing silence on this aspect of extremism and state-sponsored terrorism. It is also worth mentioning that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have been in the forefront of efforts to counter Western propaganda against Islam and its followers and they have organized numerous national and international conferences in a bid to help bridge the gulf of misunderstanding. We are sure that prejudices against Muslims and Pakistan would some day mitigate if the worthy President sustains his campaign to promote the cause of interfaith harmony.