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ICC Note:

Pakistan’s intellectual community is stepping forward to promote tolerance and counter extremism growing in the country by holding a conference about diversity and peace at Karachi University. The hope is that the conference will present Pakistan as a multicultural land where Muslims, Christians, and Hindus coexist peacefully. According to Open Doors USA, Pakistan is one of the worst persecutors of Christians. Widespread discrimination, notoriously abused blasphemy laws, and forced conversions to Islam only name a few of the issues Christians in Pakistan face on a day to day basis. Hopefully more conferences like to one being held at Karachi University will start to change this cycle of discrimination and persecution. 

11/08/2017 Pakistan (The News International) – The Pakistani state and society is making serious efforts to promote dialogue and tolerance in order to counter violent, intolerant and extremist ideologies in the country.

Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi, Professor Emeritus at Punjab University said this on Tuesday while delivering a keynote speech at the inauguration of “Diversity and Peace: Challenges to Social Discourse”, an international conference organized by Karachi University’s Social Sciences faculty.

Religious and cultural extremism dating back to 1980s involving domestic and global factors adversely affected Pakistani society and it lost the societal feature of cultural and religious tolerance and political accommodation, the professor said, adding that mutual hatred, ethnocentric mindset intolerance, extremism and terrorism have become a norm.

Dr. Askari said that academicians and intellectuals have a leading role in encouraging dialogue between different sections of society.

“Currently there is a realization of what has gone wrong with Pakistan,” he said. “The state and society are making serious efforts to promote dialogue and counter intolerance and violence, which is indeed commendable.”

In his address, KU Vice Chancellor Dr. Muhammad Ajmal Khan said the social sciences have gained importance in the backdrop of the political, economic and social events taking place all over the world.

These changes are no longer limited by political or physical boundaries, therefore, the need for the intellectual community to conduct critical debate on theories and practices of conflict resolution, intercultural harmony, peace and development has increased manifold, he added.

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