Seminar on safer charity practices, inter-faith harmony and promotion of peace

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Our Correspondent

Kasur

Charity giving is a common practice in all societies and religions. Similarly, peaceful coexistence is a shared belief among people of all faiths. While recognizing the role and responsibilities of religious leaders, academia, media representatives, legislators and relevant government officials as opinion makers in the society, Pakistan Peace Collective in collaboration with National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and University of Lahore organized a Seminar on safer charity practices and promotion of messages of Paigham e Pakistan at Islamia degree college, Kasur. Member of civil society organizations, media representatives, local government representatives and religious scholars from different faiths participated in the seminar. Deputy Commissioner Kasur was the chief guest of the seminar.
While welcoming the participants of the seminar Advisor to the Chairman University of Lahore Mr. Nazir Hussain said, “This seminar is a useful platform for the stakeholders and policy makers to deliberate upon the future course to educate the people on possible repercussions of misuse of charity, interfaith harmony, tolerance for peace and resilience building. All religious leaders including Muslim religious scholars of various sects, representatives of other religions like Christianity, Hinduism, and Sikh can play a vital role to promote inter faith harmony for peaceful coexistence in wake of the current social circumstances, he added. While highlighting the importance of the seminar he further said that the seminar would help to develop a unified, integrated, participatory approach to promote interfaith and intersect harmony.
Highlighting charity practices and patterns in Pakistan, Manager Community Engagement, and Pakistan Peace Collective Mr. Khurram Shahzad said, “Pakistan is one of the leading countries in the region in terms of charity giving. The annual quantum of donation is around Rs.554 Billion in the form of Sadqat, Zakat, Khairat and Fitrana etc. Animal skins/ Hides are also a major component of charity giving practices”. While talking about importance of charity he expressed his view that due to lack of awareness regarding existing laws and policies both on charity giving and charity-collection, there is possibility of misuse of charity money.
A substantial portion of this charity money could contribute towards criminal activities in the country, including violent extremism. He informed the participants that Pakistan Peace Collectives was tasked to develop a media campaign to raise awareness among public on safer charity giving practices and to inculcate a sense of vigilance while giving charity.
In this regards a media campaign ’Haq Haqdar tak’ was developed in 2014 which was disseminated through TV and Radio channels. Since 2015 ‘Haq- Haqdar-Tak’, campaign was supplemented by District Level Engagement Programme (DLEP) to reach out to the communities at grassroots level in major districts of Pakistan, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan.
Hafiz Muhammad Numan Hamid, Executive Director of World Council of Religion, highlighted the importance of message of Paigham e Pakistan and said that this is a unanimous declaration of scholars from all school of thought against the menace of terrorism and extremism. He also said that Paigam e Pakistan is the message of prosperity and peace for Pakistan ant it is a narrative that Pakistan believes on peace, tolerance, justice and love. He also stressed on the propagation of Paighame Pakistan’s message by the key influential of the society especially teachers, students, ulamah and media representatives. He also said that Paigham e Pakistan is a narrative to promote tolerance, peace and love in the society.

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