PESHAWAR: Over 300 students from across the country are taking part in the three-day conference on interfaith harmony that started here on Wednesday under the aegis of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Department of Auqaf, Haj, Religious and Minority Affairs.

A statement issued here said that the purpose of the conference was to promote interfaith harmony, initiate a dialogue on diversity and bring together people from different faiths under one roof.

Auqaf secretary Hassan Mehmood Yousafzai welcomed the participants and said that awareness of tolerance and acceptance was the need of the time and this platform had been given to the minority and Muslim youth where they could share the table and find a way forward to promote peace and religious tolerance.

Religious scholar Maqsood Ahmed Salfi appreciated the youth for coming from across the country and called for efforts to promote interfaith harmony.

Advocate Ali Gohar briefed the students about minority rights in the Constitution and the role of the majority and state.

Council of Islamic Ideology chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz spoke about safeguarding minority rights and the role of the council in this regard. He said that Muslims were killed in New Zealand and Christians were killed in Sri Lanka only to create misunderstandings against other religions, but it was time to remain vigilant and act with tolerance.

“Interfaith harmony is crucial to peace and development of a society,” he said. Ms Sohini Jana, a peace activist, briefed the youth through an online session on “Walking Together: The Importance of Interfaith Dialogue as a Path to Understanding”.

“Interfaith harmony is all about the notion of live and let live and that is the need of time,” she said. In this regard, a Hindu girl from Quetta, Rajeshwari, said that she witnessed a historic event where she and her cousin had a chance to connect with people from different faiths.

Motivational speaker from Quetta, Zayedan Khan, shed light on positive aspects of life and encouraged the youth to be optimistic.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2019

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