In Lahore, Council for Interfaith Dialogue Pakistan organized an Interfaith Peace Youth Rally to celebrate Pakistan Day. Fr. Francis Nadeem and Fr. Shahzad Khokhar organized the rally.
The rally was lead by religious, political and social societies’ leaders from different religions including Hafiz Mufti Syed Ashiq Hussain, Fr. Francis Nadeem, Fr. Shahzad Khokhar, Dr. Syed Noor-ul-Mustafa, Allama Asghar Chishti, Allama Sahibzada Abdul Mustafa Chishti Sialvi, Rev. Amjad Niamat, Rev. Saleem Khokhar, Rev. I. B. Rocky, Pandit Bhagat Lal, and Sardar Jassi Singh. Elders, youth and women from different religious faiths joined the rally in a huge number among these well-known were Dr. Kanwal Feroze, Sohail Khokhar, Syed Akhtar, Ms. Rafia and Haji Muhammad Irshad Sabir. Razia Malik, Fareeda Khanum, Sohail Javed Khokhar and Naveed Khan represented stage artists while advocate high court Shabnam Nagi represented lawyers of the city.
Partakers of the rally were holding banners and posters decorated with special messages and slogans for peace building, national and social harmony i.e. “Living under the flag of Pakistan we are one; No to war and yes to peace; No hatred but Love”.
Expressing their views on the occasion the participants said, “Pakistan is the outcome of the vision of Allama Iqbal and unforgettable struggle of the father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Our forefathers sacrificed their properties and lives to get Pakistan. This is our country regardless of discrimination of religion, caste or creed. These days, our beloved country is facing tremendous problems and it is our combined duty to come forward and play our due role to overcome all these problems. We have to eliminate all the differences and hatred and to promote peace and harmony throughout the country.”
Participants were thankful and appreciated the attempts of Fr. Francis Nadeem for the encouragement of peace and interfaith harmony and also expressed joint efforts of men and women are imperative for the stability of Pakistan. They also emphasized on the role of media and said, “Likewise in the movement of freedom of Pakistan journalists played a vital role and made the people aware for the freedom of Pakistan, today, it is also of utmost importance that our media make people aware to work for the solidarity of our beloved country and eliminate all sorts of hatred, prejudice and discrimination.”
The participants prayed for the peace and harmony and for the success of current dialogue for peace building.
In the end thanking the participants Fr. Francis Nadeem said that we have to continue our efforts at all levels so that our country may develop and become a cradle of peace. He also greeted the entire nation a Happy Republic Day. Pigeons were also released in the air as symbol of spreading message of peace throughout the country.