LAHORE - Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousaf has said the interfaith harmony is vital for establishing peace in Pakistan.

Addressing international Seerat Conference here yesterday, the minister urged upon the followers of different religions to promote culture of tolerance in the society.

“Interfaith harmony is need of the hour. I believe the peace cannot be established without it,” he said.

Turkey's Religious Affairs President Prof Dr Mehmet Gormez, religious scholars of different faiths also addressed the conference. The federal ministry of religious affairs organised the sitting in connection of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH). The minister said the conference was good effort for gathering renowned scholars and intellectuals at one platform. He said the government would continue its efforts to make people united for the development of the society.

Terming welfare of people PML’s government main objective, Yousaf highlighted a society could not achieve prosperity until the people shun the differences in the name of religion. The minister, however, urged the need for making religious education a vital part of educational curriculum. He declared terrorism as the greater enemy of Pakistan. To eliminate the menace which the country had been facing for around a decade, he said, people of Pakistan should stand firm, promote message of peace and love by giving no space to extremist thinking in their minds.

“Unfortunately, element of terrorism had penetrated into our society instead of wellbeing of humanity. It is high time that we must show seriousness to this grave situation, otherwise our coming generation will be facing the brunt of this menace."

Dr Mehmet Gormez said that Pakistan and Turkey were not brothers but twin brothers. He said Holy Prophet's (BUH) birthday week had been celebrated in Turkey since 1389 Hijri. He said Prophet of Islam is actually the Prophet for entire mankind.

He said that sub-continent had produced great poets and scholars such as Dr Allama Iqbal, Mirza Ghalib and Maulana Altaf Hussain Haali, who were second to none in Seerat Nigari and poetry. He appreciated people of Pakistan’s love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He said Eid Milad was the day to renew pledge for a Muslim that he/she will continue following the teachings of Prophet (PBUH).

Twenty Muslim and non-Muslim scholars held a discussions on principles of harmony for peace, role of media for peace, role of religious leaders for promotion of harmony and formation of syllabus and textbooks to forge harmony during the conference. Their proposals should be considered by the government to promote peace and harmony in the society.