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April 21, 2014

Call for efforts to strengthen interfaith harmony

 
April 21, 2014

Islamabad: Chairman Interfaith League Against Poverty (I-LAP) Sajid Ishaq, who also is the Chairman of Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL), has called for strengthening the efforts to promote interfaith harmony and peace by working to create a pluralistic society in the country and for promoting nationalism.
Talking to ‘The News’ on Easter, he said Easter is the occasion which calls for forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance and love for all as Jesus Christ, the ‘Prince of Peace’ did and offered the ultimate sacrifice for salvation for mankind.
“Today, we bow our heads and we kneel in recognition of the sacrifice laid down by Jesus Christ and we renew our resolve to follow his teachings aimed at forgiving and spreading the message of peace and affection all round,” said Sajid Ishaq.
He appreciated all those in the country who have been contributing towards the efforts to promote interfaith harmony and striving to inculcate the spirit of accepting the followers of different religions and respecting their right to observe their religious rites and rituals.
While congratulating the Christian community in Pakistan on the occasion of Easter (Sunday), he said that this is the occasion when everybody should make ones’ contribution towards promoting peace, tolerance and harmony in the society and showing respect towards the followers of other beliefs and sects.
“We have to work together to achieve this goal in line with the teachings and preaching of Jesus Christ. “We have to offer love to those around us and we have to extend a helping hand to those who are in need and we have to offer sympathies to those who deserve and we have to bring them all together to join us in celebrations on this happy occasion,” Sajid Ishaq said.
He urged all the churches of Pakistan to organise special prayers on Easter day for peace to return to our country. He pointed out that the Christian community has played a big role in the creation of Pakistan and later

made very substantive contributions at all levels, including defence, health, education and social sector.
“This is our country, our motherland. This country belongs to us as much as to the majority Muslim population and other minority communities. Christians of the Subcontinent contributed in creation of this country and they have served this country and defended it as their motherland. This country is ours and we belong to this soil. And today, on Easter day, we have to renew our commitment for continuing to defend our motherland with our blood and to continue to work to play our part in the development and prosperity of our motherland,” Sajid Ishaq said.
On Friday the Christian community all over Pakistan observed ‘Good Friday’, the day Jesus Christ was crucified. On the day, special prayers were offered between 12 noon to 3 pm.
“Our beloved country is named ‘Pakistan’ as the ‘Land of Purity’. This is high time that we all join hands irrespective of religion, sect, cast or color and strive to stop bloodshed, wipe off differences, promote interfaith love and harmony and establish peace which should be so strong that no power should be able to cause any harm to it,” the PIL chairman said.
On the occasion, he also urged the government to take up the matter of increasing the number of ‘Reserved Seats for Minorities’ in the National Assembly. He said that the bill to this effect was tabled during the last government and is still lying pending, waiting to be taken up by the House.