In the annual session of Council for Interfaith Dialogue the council members unanimously urged the Pakistani national media to promote interfaith harmony in Pakistan.
The session was chaired by Pir Shafaat Rasool and presided by Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap which was held in a local hotel, here at Lahore.
In the session, the Christian board members expressed their great dislike for disappointment in Pakistani media while talking about a show that denounced Christianity as a fake religion. They said nobody has the right to desecrate any religion individually or publically which also is the violation of the National Action Plan. They further said that every religion has its own teachings with difference of opinion than the others but nobody is to pronounce the other religions as “fake” or “wrong”.
The members further urged the media to stop using the word ‘Esai’ for Christians as it is a derogatory word and is disliked by majority of Christians. Instead the media was requested to use the word ‘Masihi’ from Masih (Christ) for Christians.
The Muslim participants suggested arranging lectures on interfaith harmony in government schools, colleges, universities and Madrassas by the Islamic and Christian scholars and educationists.
The members also suggested that female Islamic schools be contacted and inducted in the women’s wing of the council.
Muslim, Christian and Hindu members jointly stated that media is the most influential channel in every society and must play its role impartially without representing a specific segment of the society or extremist organization. It was unanimously agreed to hold meetings with the anchor persons of the T.V channels, editors of the national print media, religious magazines and political leadership asking them to pay attention to this national cause of promoting peace and interreligious harmony and to discourage all efforts that damage the solidarity of Pakistan.
The annual session which began with the prayers by Muslim, Christian and Hindu representatives of the council followed by welcome address by Fr. Francis Nadeem was attended by the directors of the council Mufti Syed Ashiq Hussain, Fr. Inayat Bernard, secretary of the council Pervez Yousaf and executive members including Allama Asghar Arif Chishti, Mian Khurram Javed Naqshbandi, Malik Shahbaz Awan, Mansoor Ahmed Khan, Syed Waqarul-Hussain Naqvi, Asghar Masih, Dr. Badar Munir Saifi, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq Naqshbandi, Shahid Anthony, Fr. Qaisar Feroz OFM Cap, Br. Adnan Kashif OFM Cap, Ejaz Safdar, Anwar Ullah Khan, Bhagat Lal Khokhar, Allama Zia-ur-Rehman Farooqi and Professor Farooq Ahmed Saeedi.