Pakistan Interfaith League’s Chairman, Mr. Sajid Ishaq has asserted that it’s high time to promote religious tolerance in the country. Talking to The News, he said that it was inevitable to create peace and religious tolerance in the society, as the country reeled from the agitation over Asia Bibi’s acquittal in past few days.
“This is high time that the leaders and preachers of different faiths being practiced in Pakistan should sit together and find the way forward to promote religious tolerance and interfaith harmony in the society,” Pakistan Interfaith League head stated.
“What we have seen over the last week and the reaction that continues to pour in from general public, the social media as well as the print and electronic media, not only from within but from abroad as well, it has become even more important to create and promote religious tolerance,” Mr. Sajid Ishaq said.
PIL Chairman further told The News that: “It would be highly beneficial to initiate a meaningful interfaith dialogue at this particular juncture amongst the leaders and religious heads of different communities. We have to understand that the non-Muslim communities in Pakistan are greatly backward and uneducated. They are ignorant to various sensitivities of the society because of lack of awareness and they obviously are frightened and feel insecure.”
Mr. Sajid is of the view that the leaders of the non-Muslim communities in Pakistan can run awareness campaigns in this regard by dint of meaningful interfaith dialogues. These dialogues can help non-Muslim leaders to formulate plans in order to launch campaigns to create awareness about religious tolerance.
He said that leaders of non-Muslim communities can sensitize their followers to promote interfaith harmony. “Sending out congratulatory messages on holy festivals of the religious minority communities by the Prime Minister or some other ministers of the government is a good gesture but hardly enough to promote interfaith harmony and understanding.
Continuing he stated: “It would be highly appreciable if the Ministry of Religious Affairs and that of Minority Affairs may take an initiative to bring the leaders and religious heads of all the minority communities as well as the Muslim scholars and leaders to sit together and talk about these sensitive issues and find a way that may help prevent unpleasant situations erupting in future”.