Pakistan desires global progress, stability: Alvi

-Says interfaith harmony the need of the hour
-Argues Pakistan promoting tolerance, affinity among people of different faiths

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday terming interfaith harmony the need of the hour, said Pakistan was promoting the message of tolerance and affinity among people of different faiths to make the world a peaceful place to live.
Addressing here at the International Interfaith Peace Conference, the president said Pakistan, as a responsible State, was implementing religious freedom as enunciated by its Constitution in conjunction with the Islamic principles.
The conference titled ‘Respect of Humanity and its importance’ was organized by Interfaith Council for Peace and Harmony, and Majlis Ulema-e-Pakistan and was joined by the representatives of various religions including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and others.
President Alvi said all religions of the world emphasized promoting peace and tolerance for the betterment of mankind and stressed translating the same spirit into societies having people with diverse faiths.
In today’s world with conflicts, he said, a global message of interfaith harmony was direly needed to reduce frictions and misconceptions about other religions. He said Islam was a religion of peace and believed in respecting humanity.
He referred to the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), where he had preached equality regardless of the discrimination of religion, race or gender in a society that was divided by notions of tribal and ethnic superiority.
Dr Alvi said promoting the message of the Prophet (PBUH) was still needed to be resonated today in a world where misconceptions about Islam were growing. He called upon the followers of all religions to shun differences on the basis of their faiths and get united for the common cause of humanity.
He mentioned that several challenges such as global warming and environmental degradation required no religious intent, but a joint action to save the world and mankind.
State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent by Almighty Allah as a blessing for the entire mankind, whose teachings promoted love for all.
He mentioned that the establishment of Rehmatul lil Alameen Authority by the government reflected its respect for all religions in line with the Prophet’s message of peace. Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology Professor Dr Qibla Ayaz said the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan enjoys the support of the majority of schools of thought, believing in the freedom of religions.