LAHORE – Formation Awareness and Community Empowerment Society (FACES) in collaboration with the British Council organised an interactive session between students from different countries and religions to build bridges over religious and cultural divide here at a local hotel on Sunday.

On the occasion, the students from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the United Kingdom participated in the session.

All the local students, belonging to different cities and villages of Pakistan have different religious background including Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs also gathered.

They shared their experiences with the foreign students and also got information about religious tolerance in other countries.

Five foreign students including Elma Begic from Bosnia, Abiharan Pushparatnam from Sri Lanka, Abdulrab Habibyar from Afghanistan, Joanna Tarach and Fathima Khatun Ali from UK participated as active citizens from the British Council side whereas 27 local students with different religious background participated as active citizens from the Formation Awareness and Community Empowerment Society Pakistan platform.

In the open dialogue, the students discussed in details that how they could play their role in peace building, promoting tolerance, co-existence and nation building. They also discussed with open mind how they could build bridges over religious and cultural divide.

The local students belonging to minorities informed the foreigners that they were enrolled in reputed educational institutions like COMSATS University, Govt College University, FC University and other institutions according to their abilities and they never faced any hurdle in pursuing their education in these organisations.

FACES Pakistan Vice President Javaid William, British Council Projects Officer Saad Bajwa, Formation Awareness and Community Empowerment Society Pakistan Programme Coordinator Muhammad Asim, Research & Communication Coordinator Sidra Junaid and Project Coordinator Ali Imran Raja also addressed the gathering and asked the students to work for peace.

Chander Kumar, Jamshoo Lakhani and Lakhan Kumar also shared their experiences with the visiting students, as Sri Lankan student Abiharan Pushparatnam stated that his opinion about Pakistan had improved hundred times after his visit to this nation. “I will remember love and care of Pakistani people,” he said.

Elma Begic told Pakistani students that she was happy to see tolerance among different communities in Pakistan.