Accord to promote inter-faith harmony

Published September 2, 2006

OSLO, Sept 1: Pakistan and Norway on Friday agreed to set up an inter-faith harmony centre in Norway to promote relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.

The agreement was reached here at a meeting between Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and former Norwegian prime minister Bondvik.

Prime Minister Aziz emphasising the need to promote inter-faith harmony said Islam is a religion of peace and harmony and it provides freedom to followers of all faiths.

Referring to the human rights situation in Pakistan, he said all the minorities, specially Christians, were enjoying full freedom that had been ensured in constitution.

About the blasphemy law, the prime minister said it was not specific to the Christian community in Pakistan, adding it was a common law to ensure the sanctity of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

He informed Norway’s former leader about economic reforms in Pakistan and measures taken by the government for socio-economic welfare of people.

He said democratic system was working well in Pakistan and there was complete freedom of expression.

Mr Aziz said the government was making efforts to protect rights of women and added that a bill had been moved in the National Assembly for the purpose.

He said women in Pakistan had been empowered and they were working in all fields.

The prime minister stressed the need for addressing the root causes of terrorism.

The former premier appreciated the economic stability achieved by Pakistan and said many Norwegian companies were interested in making investment in Pakistan.

LONDON: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz arrived in London on the second leg of his four-nation visit on Friday.

According to a private TV channel, the prime minister would brief international media about foreign policy and economic situation of the country.

During his two-day visit, Mr Aziz will address the Pakistani community in Britain about economic development of Pakistan and political issues.




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