Friday June 21, 2024

Forum launched to promote tolerance in youth

By Bureau report
June 05, 2023

PESHAWAR: Academicians and civil society members joined hands on Sunday to launch a think-tank - “Fikar”-for engaging youth in healthy discussions to promote tolerance and curb extremism in the society.According to the press release, the Pakistan Development Foundation (PDF), a KP-based civil society organization, headed by Muhammad Bilal Sethi, took the initiative by bringing together people at the Sheikh Zayed Research Center, University of Peshawar.In attendance were PDF Chairman Bilal Sethi, Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Prof Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Sheikh Zayed Research Center Director, Dr Rasheed Ahmad, a former KP Education secretary, Dr Khalid Khan, Chairman of Department of English, Edwardes College Peshawar, Prof Dr Gulzar Jalal, Abbas Zaman of Jehanzeb College Swat, Afsar Afghan, Dr Abdur Rahman Khalil, Dr Ammer Raza, Muhammad Aizaz Sethi, Amir Khan Afridi, Malak Mubashir Khan and others.“Fikar” is a newly established think-tank of the PDF aimed at addressing the issue of rising intolerance in the young people across KP”, said Bilal Sethi while adding that the forum would take up the issue and suggest solutions as well.

He said violent protests on May 9 and lynching of a person in Mardan called for formation of the think-tank.Bilal Sethi said “Fikar” would try to enable young people to know why and how to agree to disagree and why it was important to respect every person’s

opinion.He said “Fikar” was a completely non-profit forum launched only for a social cause.“It will meet every month to engage youth in healthy discussions and dialogues to promote the culture of debates,” he elaborated.Bilal Sethi urged the universities to revitalize the culture of healthy debates as universities and libraries were the engines of a change in society.

Chairing the maiden meeting, Dr Qibla Ayaz said in developed countries educational institutions and think tanks encouraged students to raise questions.Khalid Khan said the government should hire think tanks and consultants for expert opinion on varied issues faced by the society. Dr Gulzar Jalal said that the establishment of such a forum was the need of

the hour.Prof. Dr. Rasheed Ahmad said the center will be available to the forum for arranging activities, adding all kinds of literary activities and debates would be welcomed.The forum flayed the May 9 vandalism and pledged to resolve issues through debates, discussions and literary

gatherings so that such happenings were not repeated. It expressed concern as well over religious

extremism.The form appreciated the Board of Governors of PDF for taking this positive step. It was decided that the think-tank will organize panel talks every month and question-answer sessions where the young people will be provided with an opportunity to express themselves openly and find answers to their queries.