Augustine Takes Up Interfaith Policy
The Ministry for Human Rights, Minority Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Punjab, has developed a “Policy For Interfaith Harmony” in collaboration with the Youth Development Foundation (YDF) – an organizing working on youth and peace affairs. The policy is being discussed at different levels so that it can be implemented in true letter and spirit without delay. This was stated by Ejaz Alam Augustine, Provincial Minister for Human Rights, Minority Affairs and Interfaith Harmony while addressing a meeting attended by 15 members of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, Minority Affairs and Interfaith Harmony beside others.
The minister praised the initiative and called it a breakthrough in maintaining law and order in the province and discouraging hate speech, stigmatization and discrimination of any sort on the basis of faith. He urged the members of the parliamentary committee to review and study the policy and take necessary steps so that its approval and implementation can be expedited.
On this occasion, Shahid Rehmat, Executive Director, YDF, shared it with the participants that the policy was developed after getting input and suggestions from different stakeholders including youth representatives, parliamentarians, religious leaders, minority representatives, academia, civil society representatives, business community leaders, policy experts and the home department. For this purpose, he said, elaborate consultative sessions were held with respective stakeholders and their suggestions noted down and incorporated into the policy document.
The participants were apprised about the salient features of the policy that aimed at addressing differences among people from different faiths in the province. It was shared with them that the purpose of the policy was to help people live in peace and harmony with each other and in an environment where nobody could be discriminated against on the basis of their faith.
The members of the parliamentary committee assured their full support to the cause and said the policy would be presented to the cabinet once they have reviewed it for approval. Augustine thanked the committee members for their support and praised the role of YDF in preparing the policy report, calling it an important milestone in the pursuit for interfaith harmony and lasting peace in the province.