LAHORE - Muslim youth of Pakistan should know their religion first to answer extremist’s narrative and to establish peaceful society, speakers at a seminar said on Wednesday.

Peaceful Pakistan, a project of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) in collaboration with ITU’s Center for Governance and Policy (CGP), organised a symposium titled “Countering Violent Extremism with Peaceful Narrative” at Arfa Software Technology Park.

On the occasion, keynote speaker Dr Khalid Zaheer said the terrorists groups fighting against the state have misunderstood the holy book.

“Islam is a religion of peace, and ensures basic human rights for all beliefs without taking into account cast, colour, creed or region.

“Extremists groups think they are religiously bound to spread their religion in all parts of the world. To spread the word of God, they want political dominance and use violent ways to achieve this.

Islam never seeks support of such so-called religious groups to spread the holy message. If we want to convince the western world which accuses Islam as violent religion, then we have to know our religion so we could defend our religion better,” he added.

Dr Malik Hammad Lang, assistant professor at ITU’s Centre for Governance and Policy, spoke on challenges faced by the youth particularly in the current scenarios of extremism and intolerance.

“Peace is not equal to conflict or absence of conflict. It means resolving the disagreement between two groups or parties. Violent religious groups are luring youth through their false propaganda. We should not accept anything in the name of religion without asking question, and seeking explanation,” Dr Lang suggested.

“To solve any conflict we should adopt 3Ds - debate, discussion and dialogue. As the world wars in last century did not give solutions or peace to the world, ultimately we have to sit on table and start dialogue,” he added.

The academic was of the view that popular thesis of western countries bombing countries like Syria and Afghanistan to bring peace in world is wrong. “We should accept diversity like European societies did. All the seven colours in rainbow make it look beautiful,” he said.

Representatives of Mashl-e-Raah foundation, students and faculty members of Saint Anthony’s School and School of Contemporary and Islamic Learning, employees of ASTP, PITB and IT also attended the event.