PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminar on Friday called upon the students to develop positive thinking by participating in cultural and literary activities on the campuses.

The crux of the event was to get the students involved in projects leading to tolerance and culture of dialogue to counter extremism on the campuses.

The Code Pakistan, a peace advocacy, and the Higher Education Commission organised the seminar at Islamia College University.

Speakers at seminar call for better university-madressah interaction

On the occasion, Dilawar Khan, chief of Code Pakistan, said the main objective of the seminar was to engage students in different projects leading to peace, mutual cooperation, and tolerance to counter extremism in the educational institutions.

Mr Khan said around 15 universities enjoying best reputation across the country had been selected where young students would be trained to take up different projects jointly with students from religious seminaries.

He said students would be encouraged to participate in such projects to find out simple solutions to the societal issues. He said efforts of his organisation were part of the national peace initiative to encourage students’ bodies and individuals to contribute to peace and counter violence.

The other speakers focused on promoting university-madressah interaction and exploring causes of violence and types of extremism in youth.

The faculty members of Islamia College University said peace, tolerance, inclusivity, and cultural diversity was the vision of the college’s founder Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Khan more than 100 years ago. They said the college had embraced diverse cultures from across Pakistan during its long educational history.

The students and faculty members said the college had not only produced scientists and doctors but also religious scholars and theologians. They said Islamia College had 13 different student bodies under the umbrella of Khyber Union, which was formed in 192 and had been organising positive co-curricular and extra-curricular activities involving the students. They said the student bodies were quite capable of undertaking any projects in the field of countering violent extremism.

The students and faculty emphasised the rich cultural heritage of the city of Peshawar and said the city was an epitome of hospitality, tolerance, forbearance, and cultural diversity. They stressed the need for utilising the potential of the city for countering violent extremism.

The consultation was part of a series of consultations that Code Pakistan has planned with the faculties and students of various universities across Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2018

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