SARGODHA - Speakers at a two-day workshop stressed the need for promoting peace and harmony in the country by eliminating all kinds of extremism and militancy through 'Paigham-e-Pakistan' initiative.

The workshop was jointly organised at the by the Department of Islamic Studies, University of Sargodha (UoS) and the Islamic Research Institute (IRI)-International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) at UoS under the theme 'Reconstruction of an Inclusive Islamic Society in the Light of Paigham-e-Pakistan'.

A large number of Ulema, officials from law enforcement agencies, representatives of civil society, students and faculty members participated in the workshop.

The purpose of the workshop was to mobilize religious scholars, teachers, students and civil society behind a national consensus agenda and to discuss the national narrative 'Paigham-e-Pakistan' and their role in uplifting peace and tolerance.

Speakers agreed to devise a comprehensive strategy against Islamophobia by establishing close linkages between Ulema and educational institutions by spreading the message of 'Paigham-e-Pakistan'. While pledging to strive for a peaceful and tolerant society, they emphasized that differences of opinion should not be used as a channel to engender hatred and hostilities among the masses.

They propounded that Paigham-e-Pakistan narrative is the only key to counter-extremism and a way forward for the country to march on the path of peace and prosperity.

Dr Ziaul Haq, Director General IRI-IIUI informed that Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative is a basic national narrative which reflects unity and religious responsibility of the eminent scholars of all schools of thoughts in Pakistan. It is incumbent upon all of us to disseminate this message by way of our statements and actions by modifying our way of thinking and attitudes in the light of Paigham-e-Pakistan, he pointed out.

Dr Feroz Uddin Shah, Chairman Department of Islamic Studies, UoS said that the roots of extremism and militancy lied in intolerance and not in appreciating different points of views, which fostered sectarianism by eliminating moderation. It is necessary to come up with a national narrative, Paigham-e-Pakistan, which could play its role in eliminating terrorism, sectarianism and trend of declaring others infidels (Takfiri), he emphasised.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the religious scholars, faculty, students and representatives of civil society shared their recommendations under different themes meant to enhance the scope and effectiveness of their role in promoting peace, tolerance and harmony in the society. They agreed on holding another workshop in January 2019 as part of Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative launched by the Government of Pakistan earlier this year.

Later, certificates and shields were distributed among the participants.