Friday August 12, 2022

WIHW concludes with ‘interfaith mela’ in Islamabad

March 02, 2017


As part of conclusion of World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) 2017 of United Nations celebrations, Universal Interfaith Peace Mission (UIPM) organised an ‘Interfaith Mela’ here.

Jean Francois Cautain, Ambassador Delegation of European Union to Pakistan, United Nations Information Centre Country Director Vitirrio Cammarota were among the list of distinguished guests. 

Speaking on the occasion, Jean Francois Cautain lauded the services of UIPM for promotion of interfaith harmony. “I earlier attended the function of UIPM and felt this organisation is truly working for promotion of interfaith harmony and it should be supported. 

Vitirrio Cammarota was of the view that adoption of human rights declaration and respect of freedom of religion and freedom of speech so that peace should prevail in the world. He said that work on promotion of United Nations Strategic Development Goals 2030 is underway as it will get rid of all evils in the world. 

Father James Channan, OP Coordinator, United Religions Initiative Asia, Zubair Farooq, URI Global Trustee, representatives of URI from different circles from the across the country, Saeeda Yasmin, Ms Tasneem Youth Trainer URI, Saeed ur Rehman Siddiqui, Dr Altaf Hussain Langrial, and members of minorities in large numbers were also present on the occasion.

Divulging details of the celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrated by Universal Interfaith Peace Mission Chairman Allama Dr GR Chishti, who is now also the Coordinator of URI MCC Islamabad, said that this year UIPM, Common Word Movement Pakistan, URICC Karachi which is constituent of URICC Islamabad decided to celebrate WIHW in a coherent manner. 

He said that from January 15 till January 28, UIPM, delegation met different religious, political and diplomatic personalities all across the country to spread the message of WIHW and held a press conference. UIPM, he said arranged television programmes, and organised ‘WIHW Welcome Conference’ on January 31 at Islamabad Hotel. Foreign dignitaries including Jean Francois Cautai, religious scholars from different faiths in their speeches shed light on interfaith harmony in the conference.

On February 1, UIPM delegation comprising members of different faiths visited Balmik Hindu Temple, Lalkurti for a breakfast. On February 2, the delegation visited Gurdwara Punja Sahib, Hassanabdal. On February 3, a television show Roz-e-Roshan was organised at Roze TV. On February 04, the UIPM delegation visited Buddhist Temple and a Baha’i faith’s local assembly point. While on February 5, a visit of Pur Fazl Kaleesa was scheduled. On February 6, UIPM delegation visited ZB College, University and a lecture on interfaith harmony was delivered by Dr Chishti. On February 7 an ‘Interfaith Prayer Meeting’ was held at Jamia Masjid Mai Saleem Akhtar, New Sohan, Islamabad which presided over by Justice (r) Abdul Waheed Siddiqui, Justice Supreme Shariah Court. The prayer meeting was attended among others by young madressah students who are taught knowledge of peace in the world. 

In his welcome address, Dr Chishti said that in these programmes the true essence of WIHW which was drafted by Prince Dr Ghazi bin Mohammad of Jordan and presented at the UN by King Abdullah II of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan were highlighted in true letter and spirit. “WIHW encompasses the message for the people around the world and wants to tell them that when pointless bloodshed in the name of religion is originating hysteria around the globe, it necessitates making intensive hard work to bring together faiths and cultures on a platform and for that goal interfaith harmony is the best possible solution,” he added.

He said that it is need of the hour that declaration of excommunication and blame of infidelity among rival religious groups should be declared null and void. “Universal Interfaith Peace Mission (UIPM) has duly adopted the ‘Amman Message’ and the ‘Common Word’ as an Integral part of it, believing that the first document is antidote to cancer of sectarianism in Islam that invites all schools of thought of Islam to stop issuing ‘fatwas’ (decrees) of infidelity, heresy and apostasy and the second ‘Common Word’ that is a cohesive force to keep all the religions of the world together that includes all and excludes no one,” the newly appointed URI Islamabad coordinator said. 

Dr Chishti said that UIPM has officially adopted the Common Word and Amman Message and had requested Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to make them part of the national educational curriculum so that culture of interfaith harmony may prevail. “

Father James Channan also awarded a certificate to URI MCC Islamabad Coordinator Allam Dr GR Chishti. 

Dr Altaf Hussain Langrial, Director Bahawalnagar Campus of Bahawalpur University screened a documentary of his visit with Dr GR Chishti to Jordan in 2015 and the audience appreciated the initiative as it allowed them to watch historical sacred places of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.