Every human being in this world comes for a limited time period. However, those who perform great deeds for the welfare of humanity succeeded in living the hearts of people forever. These thoughts...
Every human being in this world comes for a limited time period. However, those who perform great deeds for the welfare of humanity succeeded in living the hearts of people forever. These thoughts came to my mind while condoling at the UAE consulate in Karachi after the tragic passing away of the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Historically, the UAE, consisting of seven states, appeared on the world map in 1971. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the founder of the UAE, was one of the world's most popular, visionary and influential leaders. He believed in the importance of tolerance and co-existence, and followed such golden virtues throughout his life in letter and spirit.
According to him, God created human beings as free creatures and therefore every individual residing in his country must be free and have liberty of choice to adopt his/her own lifestyle. Being a good ruler, he believed that it was his prime duty to ensure that nobody must enforce his/her own ideology to other citizens. He was also a strong advocate of women empowerment and protection of rights of the non-Muslim community.
His successor and eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has followed in his footsteps to continue the mission of his great father. He could also be termed a visionary and role model leader in all respects, under whose rule the UAE further moved towards peace, prosperity and development.
The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan tackled every challenge in a smart manner and attained remarkable achievements. During his rule, the UAE sent the first space mission to Mars, which was no doubt an historical achievement. In order to attract global talent and foreign investment, he introduced several attractive policies such as the Golden Visa system.
It is the result of positive policies of Emirates rulers that the UAE is also known as the land of tolerance based on a unique model of peace and co-existence for every citizen. During my visits there, I personally observed that there is no room for any kind of religious extremism. In fact, the UAE is the only country in the world where the Ministry of Tolerance is established to conduct various social activities regularly.
I still remember the World Tolerance Summit in Dubai, held in November 2019, in which I was specially invited as the sole guest speaker to represent Pakistan. The conference was attended by high-level delegates from more than 100 countries. On this occasion, I had proposed to establish a worldwide media forum with a one point agenda to transform a tolerant society in this digital era. In my view, the media can play a positive role to bring people closer and also to expose few extremist elements present in every society.
Today, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is no longer with us, but his name has been immortalized in history due to his great deeds. I would like to express my best wishes acknowledging that the UAE government is a role model for every country in the world who wants to ensure the development and prosperity of their people.
We need to learn from Emirati rulers how in a short span of time they transform their country into a modern and developed nation. In my view, the right decision at the right time is the secret of success. Our beloved homeland can also get a prominent place in the eyes of the international community if we show sincerity with our state.
Three years ago, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was committed to the success of the World Tolerance Summit. Today, I hope that as the new president of the UAE, he will further expand his vision of promoting tolerance, brotherhood and co-existence at national and global levels.
The writer is a member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council. He tweets RVankwani