PESHAWAR: The Sikh community has restarted arranging Iftar dinner for Muslims to boost interfaith harmony in the city at places where there is concentration of poor daily wagers, homeless people and widows.
The organisers of the event told this scribe that members of Hindu and Christian communities also contributed to the cause of interfaith harmony while young Muslim volunteers were part of the Iftar arrangement.
In an effort to promote religious harmony and mutual respect, members of Sikh community motivated a group of young volunteers to host Iftar dinner at different places of the city for the Muslims and also make arrangements at orphanages and hospitals around the city for poor people and labourers.
Announce to launch Ramazan package for poor families
The Sikh community the other day in collaboration with local charity organisation arranged an Iftar dinner at Fawara Chowk, Peshawar Saddar in which rice, milk, fruits and cold drinks were offered to the fast keepers.
Jatinder Singh, a political and social activist, said that his community had been doing that noble job for the last many years to boost interfaith harmony as minorities had been living with Muslims for centuries and had been enjoying good relationship.
“This time around we have made a different arrangement and we are going to approach every deserving family with a Ramazan package and want to make it sure that the poor people receive our contribution at their doorsteps as most of them including widows could not walk up to our Iftar points.
Home delivery makes it easier for such families to enjoy Iftar with us,” said Mr Singh.
Balbeer Singh, a resident of Mohalla Jogan Shah Dabgari in Peshawar city, said that hosting Iftar dinner for Muslims had been a good spiritual experience as it helped to enhance the spirit of mutual respect among religious groups.
Riaz Khan, a resident of Charsadda, said that he drove a rickshaw and could not reach his hometown for Iftar. He said that he almost every second day stayed in Peshawar for enjoying free Iftar dinner with Sikh community. He said like him, many other daily wagers broke fast on the Dastarkhwan of Sikh brethren in Peshawar.
Radaish Singh Tony, another member of Sikh community, said that holding such events not only promoted interfaith harmony but also gave a message to the world that Pakistanis stood united and that minorities enjoyed greater freedom there than in any other country.
He said it was not only the month of Ramazan but throughout the year minority groups had been participating in several festivals and religious celebrations.
Mr Radaish Singh said that beef and other edibles were being purchased and cooked by young Muslim volunteers for the Iftar dinner.
Balbeer Singh, also a religious scholar, said that for the rest of the Ramazan, Iftar dinner would be hosted in Saddar Bazaar opposite to Wadood sons while Ramazan packages would also launched on Thursday (today) which would continue till end of the holy month.
Christians also host Iftar Dastarkhwan
To promote interfaith harmony among various communities, the Christians in collaboration with district administration arranged an Iftar Dastarkhwan for Muslims in front of All Saints’ Church, Kohati Gate on Wednesday.
A statement issued here said that the volunteers of Christian Students Fellowship (CSF) and youth of different churches of Peshawar participated in serving Iftar to the poor and needy brethren.
It said that the gesture would not only help in bridging the gap between the two communities and bringing harmony but would also promote tolerance.
The location of the Iftar dinner holds a sentimental value to the Christians of Peshawar as it is the same spot where twin blasts took place back in 2013, claiming the lives of scores of worshippers.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2019