Minister for prioritising inter-faith harmony

LAHORE: In order to promote peace and tolerance in society it is essential that interfaith harmony becomes a priority, said Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Ijaz Alam Augustine.

Mr Augustine was speaking at a consultation with members of the Punjab Assembly to support the proposed interfaith harmony policy for Punjab. The participants also discussed how interfaith harmony could be promoted.

The consultation was organised by the Youth Development Foundation (YDF), in collaboration with the ministry.

The federal government had devolved the Ministry of Interfaith Harmony to provinces in April 2019. To date the Punjab government has not come up with any concrete policy or guidelines to run the newly devolved ministry.

YDF Executive Director Shahid Rehmat said it was a great development that all MPAs from different parties had joined hands to find solutions to the conflicts and violence caused by intolerance and discrimination on religious grounds.

He said the consultation was one of the 12 such interactions scheduled with different stakeholders, including the parliamentarians, lawyers, academics, media persos, religious leaders etc to make the whole process inclusive and participatory.

Tariq Gill, a PML-N MPA, supported the cause and said the lawmakers of his party would support the initiative regardless of the fact that they were in opposition at the moment. He said good acts must be backed regardless of the party affiliations.

Parliamentary Secretary Mahinder Pal Singh said countries developed when they gave respect to their minorities, protected them and gave them space in different spheres of life. He said Pakistan’s image abroad had improved a lot after the opening of Kartarpur Corridor as the act was about accommodating the followers of Sikh religion.

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