KARACHI, March 4: Demanding formation of a world forum of all religions on the pattern of the United Nations, the World Council of Religions termed it the need of the hour to promote peace by sorting out interfaith disputes and safeguarding rights of religious minorities through negotiations.

This demand was made at a seminar held under the auspices of the WCR on ‘Challenge of peace — our religious and social responsibilities’ held on Sunday at a hotel. Speakers from different faiths and sects participated in the programme.

Father Pervez Gulzar, Bishop Sadiq Daniel and Michael Javed from the Christian community, Maulana Altaf-ur-Rehman Rehmani of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Pandit Chamandas from Hinduseva, Maulana Muhammad Sulfi of Jamia Sattaria, Qari Zamir Akhtar Mansoori of the Jamaat-i-Islami, Sardar Ramesh Singh of the Sikh Council, Qazi Ahmad Noorani of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and others spoke at the seminar.

The speakers were of the opinion that with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and present crises in the capitalist world, it had become clear that the man-made system of governance had failed to deliver and the only system that could end sufferings and worries of the people was the one bestowed upon us by God through His message.

Describing the council’s objective as a ‘peaceful co-existence’ of people from all religions, Qari Mohammad Hanif Jalandhry, chairman of the WCR Pakistan chapter, said vested interests were the cause of all wars and riots in the world. The arms industry was based on wars, he said, adding that people faced insecurity because of international politics.

Peace is the need of everyone regardless of which religion they follow, he said. “Arms can never be a guarantee of peace but a cause of death and destruction,” said Mr Jalandhry, adding that all issues, including the one related to Balochistan, should be resolved through talks. “The solution lies in bringing all parties and groups to the negotiation table.”

Father Pervez Gulzar, Bishop Sadiq Daniel, Michael Javed, Pandit Chamandas and Sardar Ramesh Singh were of the opinion that no religion preached hatred against humanity. Every religion in the world taught its followers to work for peace and love among human beings, they said.

Maulana Muhammad Sulfi of Jamia Sattaria, Qari Zamir Akhtar Mansoori of the JI, Maulana Altaf-ur-Rehman Rehmani of the JUI, Qazi Ahmad Noorani of the JUP said terrorism could not be associated with Muslims, as Islam did not preach it. They said even after wars, all issues were resolved through talks.

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