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Call to strive for peace, tolerance

August 31, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Aug 31: “We all have to strive for peace, amity and tolerance because the promising future of this country lies in the promotion of such precious values,” Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) Chairman Justice (retired) Rana Bhagwandas said on Friday.

He was speaking during the launch of a booklet titled Sufi Shah Inayat- a Symbol of Interfaith Harmony and Civil Liberties compiled by Dr Khadim Hussain Soomro at the National Language Authority (NLA).

Rana Bhagwandas said he did not believe in Islam nor Hinduism, but in humanity. And that the poetry of Sufi saints should be promoted as a form of opposition against the forces of fundamentalism and extremism gnawing at the roots of our society.

Dr Soomro said like all Sufis from the Indus valley, Sufi Shah Inyat promoted peace, love and tolerance, and pioneered the idea of ‘commune’ in Sindh much before the European world.

“In the early eighteenth century Sufi Shah Inayat was the custodian of the Sufi message, he challenged the autocratic and sectarian regime and waged war against the rulers and their repressive laws,” he added.

Naseer Memon of the Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) talked about the perception of Sufi saints as unproductive, simply praying and meditating in the wildernesses, and how Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed challenged this perception, as the first socialist of Sindh. “He wasn’t a recluse; he fought for the rights of his people and led them in rebellion against the rulers,” he added.

“It was he, Sufi Shah Inayat, who conceptualised the socialist ideology much before Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital. It was he who propounded the ‘land to the tillers’ philosophy,” Memon added.

Fayaz Baqir of the Trust Volunteer Organisation said: “Sufi Shah Inayat rebelled against the political establishment. And for this, he became a ‘traitor’ and an ‘infidel’. Subsequently, he was put to death by the local rulers with the help of their Mughal masters.

Inayat followed the path of Imam Hussain and his companions and became immortal.”

Hashim Abro of the Federal Judicial Academy said: “Sufi Shah Inayat teaches us to be united against civil injustice. He calls to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation. If we have to rediscover our lost precious values then we must read about the life and message of this revolutionary figure of Sindh who believed that love is the key that unlocks the door which leads to the ultimate reality.”