LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ijaz Alam Augustine has said that we should work together for the development and prosperity of the country beyond color, race and religion.

He was addressing a conference on ‘Interfaith Harmony, Peace Building & Human Rights’ at Al Raazi hall here on Thursday. The conference was organized by the Punjab University Department of Social Work in collaboration with the Punjab Government and Human Friends Organization.

On this occasion, Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, Registrar Dr Muhammad Khalid Khan, Dean Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences Dr. Umbreen Javed, Chairperson Department of Social Work Dr Syeda Mehnaz Hassan, Former Parliamentarian Samia Raheel Qazi, Sajid Christopher, religious scholars, representatives of various NGOs, faculty members and a large number of students were present.

In this address, Ejaz Alam Augustine said that peace is the need of every religion, class and sect. He said that burning of any place of worship including temples, mosques, churches brings Pakistan into disrepute in the world. “We must end hatred and malice and respect each other,” he added. He said that the incumbent government was taking historic steps to ensure the provision of basic human rights. He said that the approval of quota for minorities in higher education institutions would bring a big change in society.

Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar has said that PU has full faith in basic human rights. He said that in the last three years, Punjab University has ensured merit, good governance and has given jobs on merit to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Muslims. He said that even those who have done injustice to anyone should not expect justice. He said that a human rights rift has been set up in PU to ensure respect for all religions.

Congratulating the organizers of the conference, Dr Umbreen Javed has said that we are first and foremost human beings and as Pakistanis we all have equal rights. Dr Syeda Mehnaz Hassan said that all human beings are different from each other but everyone wants peace. She said that everyone in Pakistan has the freedom to live according to their religion. Samia Raheel Qazi, Sajid Christopher, Hafiz Kazim Raza Naqvi and Syed Waliullah Shah Bukhari also addressed the conference and stressed eliminating extremism and promotion of peaceful environment.

Author

Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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