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Young girls sport a traditional Sindhi topi, or hat, while taking part in Sindh Culture Day. - Reuters Photo

HYDERABAD: Sindh Minister for Culture Sassui Palijo has said that Sindh has remained relatively calm and peaceful for decades because of the overwhelming influence of Sufi teachings spread by great Sufi saints and poets. Addressing a press conference at the Shah Abdul Latif Research Cell in Bhit Shah on Wednesday, she said that Sufi teachings had produced a rich tradition of tolerance and respect for different cultures and religions.

She said the country was facing several kinds of terrorism and extremism, including religious extremism and street terrorism but the people of Sindh had always been against religious extremism because of the influence of Sufism.

She said that Sindh being a land of liberal values its people had traditionally kept religion separate from politics.

Followers of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai must spread his message of love and affection, she said.

Ms Palijo said people were bearing the brunt of street terrorism in Karachi. Everyone must condemn this menace and whoever was behind it must be taken to task, she added.

She said that the proposal for opening the Urs on Tuesday had been discussed and rejected.

She announced the Latif Award for Bhit Shah Press Club and said the PPP government believed in freedom of expression but, at the same time, encouraged responsible journalism.

Later, Ms Palijo inaugurated an agro-industrial exhibition at Bhit Shah and said on the occasion that the agro-industrial sector was the backbone of national economy and generated 80 per cent jobs.

This sector can become more result-oriented with the application of modern technology. It was the responsibility of the organisations concerned to keep farmers informed about new research, she said.

She stressed the need for holding an agro-industrial exhibition at the national level to help farmers of all provinces exchange their expertise. Such exhibitions should be made a regular feature in the interior of Sindh, she said.