UMERKOT, June 20: Speakers at a seminar here on Wednesday identified the factors responsible for rising extremism and terrorism.
These factors, they said, included bad governance, low literacy rate, poverty, intolerance, external intervention, lack of inter-faith harmony and the media.
The seminar on “promoting humanitarian values and human rights in fight against extremism” was organised by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Columnist Arbab Nek Mohammad termed migration of Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Parsis from Pakistan a bad sign. After 1947, the slogan “Pakistan is just for Muslims” and “India for Hindus” became popular, affecting inter-faith harmony and brotherhood, he added.
He said the national flag represented both majority and minority communities, but the practice is starkly incongruous. Same was the treatment of minorities in India, he added.
There was no longer any Abul Kalam Azad or M.N. Ray in India to promote religious harmony, Mr Arbab said.
Prof Noor Mohammad said shrines like those in Pir Pithoro, Odero Lal and Sehwan promoted religious harmony as people with different beliefs gathered there.
Although Tasawwuf promoted brotherhood, tolerance and inter-faith harmony, war mongering in both countries had destroyed this culture, he lamented.
Seeds of mysticism sown by holy men like Shaikh Shahabuddin, Fareeduddin Ganj Shakar, Bhagat Kabeer, Dadoo Dial, Meer Bai and Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai must be regenerated, he added.
He said that kidnapping of Hindu traders had forced large numbers to migrate to India.
Presence of religious places like Ganges, Hardwar, Mathra and Kashi in India also attracted them, he added.
Hafeez Bozdar of the HRCP said geopolitics had also contributed to promotion of extremism in the region.
He blamed Gen Ziaul Haq for proliferation of weapons and promotion of extremism in the country, advising the nation to follow in the footsteps of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who had repeatedly stated that all citizens of the country were equal and free to go to their religious places.