islamabad - Pakistan and Canada have vowed to work together to promote tolerance, protect rights of minorities and interfaith harmony for a peaceful co-existence in the society.

 This was decided in a meeting held between Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf and Canadian High commissioner Heather Cruden who called on him at his office on Tuesday. “We have taken substantive steps to hold interfaith dialogue among the diverse faiths and for the purpose ministries of interfaith harmony and religious affairs have been merged in order to provide one platform to followers of different beliefs,” the minister added. The minister said he has held consultative meetings with Ulema and representatives of minorities from all over the country to promote interfaith dialogue and he got an encouraging response from them.

The minister said the government is working on education reforms as well in order to bridge a gape between the syllabus of schools and madaris as education can play a vital role to understand the point of view of each other and be helpful in holding interfaith dialogue.

“I have held meetings with Ulema of Ittehad Tanzimat Madaris Deenia on education reforms and they showed willingness to teach contemporary subjects in addition to religious education at seminaries,” the minister said.  

Canadian High Commissioner Heather Cruden accompanied by Political Counselors Bernard McPhail, lauded the steps taken by the government for the rights of the minorities and said that her country supports religious freedom and protection of minorities. Earlier, talking to another delegation of Norwegian non-government organisation ‘NCA’ which called on him headed by country reprehensive Hanna Mollan, the minister welcomed its desire to work with government for the promotion of interfaith harmony and lauded its services for humanity in Pakistan.

The minister told the delegation to consider their proposals if any regarding interfaith harmony at the platform of National Commission for Minorities which is working for the rights of the minorities.