Kartarpur corridor reflects ‘tolerance’ in Pakistani society: FM Qureshi

By Staff Reporter
Wednesday – November 18, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The foreign minister (FM) Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi recalled, Tuesday, that in its historic Kartarpur corridor initiative, Pakistan had opened the largest and holiest Sikh shrine in Kartarpur to Sikhs from India and elsewhere.

According to a press release, an event to commemorate the international day of tolerance was held at the foreign office (FO) on the theme of “Tolerance in Contemporary Times.”

He highlighted the importance of inclusion, peaceful co-existence and respect for different religious beliefs, values and cultures.

FM Qureshi noted that the Pakistani society was inherently tolerant, being the product of millennia old civilisation with a rich heritage.

He called for addressing the growing trend of Islamophobia and intolerance world over.

The parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs (PS-FA) Andleeb Abbas reiterated prime minister (PM) Imran Khan’s call for universally outlawing wilful provocation and incitement to hate and violence, and to designate an international day to combat Islamophobia.

She regretted that the Hindutva inspired Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime in India had institutionalised Islamophobia as State policy.

Its worst manifestation is the treatment being meted out to the people of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), who are being subjected to the most egregious human rights’ violations, PS-FA Abbas grieved.

She called for promoting tolerance and mutual understanding among people of all faiths.

Renowned panelists including Qibla Ayaz, bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters, Krishan Sharma and Taranjeet Singh – representing the Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Sikh communities in Pakistan – echoed the message of inter-faith harmony.

They emphasised that the minorities of Pakistan enjoy equal rights as citizens of the country and actively participate in all walks of life.

The video messages from professor of psychiatry Mowadat Rana, baroness Sayeeda Warsi, and Islamic scholar and anthropologist Akbar S. Ahmed were played at the event.

The participants were also provided with an overview of Pakistan’s efforts and activities at the united nations (UN) and other multilateral fora for combating intolerance and promoting inter-faith and cultural harmony.

The international day for tolerance is celebrated each year on November 16, to promote respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of world’s cultures, forms of expression and ways of being human.

FM Qureshi graced the occasion, which was attended by PS-FA Abbas, as well as high-level representatives of the UN, members of the diplomatic community and senior government officials.