Former MP for minorities and sponsor of the book IsphandyarBhandara from Murree, Dr. Qibla Ayaz from Islamabad, FakhirAijazuddin from Lahore, Akber Ahmed from Washington DC and Dr. AaminehHoti from the UK joined virtually while Bishop Joseph Coutts from Karachi joined the event in person.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Bhandara said that this book has come out at a very opportune time as we are going through a lot of turmoil in our country where the perspectives are becoming narrow and narrow so I think it’s a good opportunity for everyone to recognize and cherish other religions in Pakistan.
“I would like to congratulate the author for doing a fantastic job, covering all the religious minorities of Pakistan into one book is excellent” he added.
On the launch of the first unprecedented book on minorities of Pakistan Dr. Qibla Ayaz, chairman of the council of Islamic Ideology in his speech said that this book conveys a message that all citizens of this country whether they belong to any religion, are the gem of our country. “As per the history Muslims the situation of Muslims and Non-Muslims is not being so academically discussed in one book like it has been done by AminehHoti in her book,” said Mr. Ayaz
“Dr. Hoti made research telling us about other religion she has taken the trouble to go the places of their worships to actually meet the religious community talked with them, and ask them about their beliefs and how do they, this is a wonderful act,” said Mr. Joseph Coutts.
Further speaking in the ceremony Mr. Joseph said “The title of this book is such a delight “GEM & JEWEL”, I was surprised that I myself a Christian is being considered as a Gem and Jewel, and this is wonderful”
A historian artist Mr. Faqeer Aijaz also expressed his views on the book he said that Dr. Amineh’s book is extensively researched and beautifully produced, I am sure it will go into a number of editions. Speaking about the author, he said that she is unique in the sense that she covered all the religions of Pakistan in her book, I never found such a book before’
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed addressing the ceremony said “As the father of the author I am really proud of and I would like to thank all the distinguished panelists, sponsor, and president Arts Council Ahmed Shah, for organizing this event. I hope that the government of Pakistan takes this mission forward, there is a great need of bringing minorities into the mainstream and embrace them as far as the majority is concerned”
Speaking about the book Mr. Ahmed said that this book is a rare project, everything you are going to read in this book is based on the experience and fieldwork of the author. Researcher and author Dr. AminehHoti paid gratitude to all the speakers and organizers. Recalling her journey of writing this book she said
“In this year while the world was in lockdown I was also recovering from cancer and cameo therapies, my mother took me to my cameo sessions while in the evening I would work on this book finishing it. Some of the beautiful stories in this book really give me spirit and encourage my soul.
Through the illness, I saw people reach out to me from all the sects and that inspires me more”.
“Each community reflects the divine, the mercy, and the love. This book is an anthropological reflection, it’s based on experience and fieldwork, it took me across Pakistan. You will see the wonderful pictures and beautiful stories in this book” said the author.
Concluding the author moderator of the session Ms. Afreen Saher congratulated the author and paid regards to the distinguished panelists for joining the session on the behalf of Mohammad Ahmed Shah, President of the Arts Council.