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Saturday July 13, 2024

Speakers call for promoting philosophy of non-violence

By Bureau report
June 30, 2024
Participants pose for a group photo after a seminar organised by National Think-Tank and Good Governance Forum, in collaboration with the Institute of Management Sciences (IMSciences) on June 29, 2024. — Instagram/imsciencesofficial
Participants pose for a group photo after a seminar organised by National Think-Tank and Good Governance Forum, in collaboration with the Institute of Management Sciences (IMSciences) on June 29, 2024. — Instagram/imsciencesofficial

PESHAWAR: National Think-Tank and Good Governance Forum, in collaboration with the Institute of Management Sciences (IMSciences), organised a seminar on non-violence within the framework of Khudai Khidmatgar.

Dr Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, Chairman of the National Think-Tank, highlighted the historical and philosophical roots of non-violence. He mentioned that the creed of non-violence was espoused by Christ and later preached by Leo Tolstoy in the 19th century. Tolstoy’s thoughts influenced Gandhi and Western philosophy.

Dr Shah emphasised that non-violence is crucial for upholding democratic values and fundamental rights, as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He asserted that terrorism and violence are the greatest threats to these rights. Non-violence, according to Dr Shah, requires tolerance, respect for divergent opinions, and a commitment to defending others’ rights to hold different views. In essence, non-violence is a quest for truth.

Dr Saifoora Arbab, a PhD from California University, Los Angeles, explored the Khudai Khidmatgar Framework of Non-Violence. Using examples from Khudai Khidmatgar literature, including excerpts from Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s autobiography and Ghani Khan’s poetry, Dr Arbab illustrated how the movement envisioned non-violence not just as physical resistance but as an alternate way of being in the world.

She highlighted the movement’s focus on patience, righteousness, and Hindu-Muslim unity. Dr Arbab also discussed how Khudai Khidmatgar’s non-violent resistance inspired India’s independence movement despite facing severe repression.

Dr Arbab engaged with the audience in a Q&A session, providing thoughtful and insightful responses. She acknowledged that in realpolitik, non-violence might seem utopian, but it is in harmony with nature and must be pursued.

The session included a discussion on the relevance of non-violence in the current violent regional environment. Mashal Khan, the grandson of Ghani Khan, questioned whether non-violence could offer a solution to terrorism in Pakistan, presenting an interesting debate.

The seminar also featured speeches from Himayatullah Khan, former advisor to the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Engr Ijaz Yousafzai; Dr Noorjehan, Former Vice Chancellor; Dr Sohail, Abdul Wali Khan University; Dr Mian Iftikhar; Mashal Khan, grandson of Abdul Wali Khan; and Dr Fazal Raheem Marwat, a former vice chancellor.

Arbab Shahzad, former chief secretary and advisor to the prime minister, and Dr Mohsin, director of IMSciences, presented a shield to Dr Arbab, honouring her contributions to the seminar.