LAHORE - Interfaith harmony and toler­ance can play a key role in so­cial cohesion and role of every segment of the society is imper­ative in this regard including the business community. Busi­nesses cannot prosper in the absence of peace and tolerance and the case of Karachi is quite pertinent here which suffered heavily for the lack of these. 

These views were expressed by the Punjab Minister for Hu­man Rights, Minorities Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Ejaz Alam Augustine during a Con­sultative Workshop on ‘Inter­faith Harmony’ held here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) in collabora­tion with Youth Development Foundation (YDF)-an organisa­tion working for the promotion of peace in the society. 

The Minister spoke about the initiatives the government had taken to ensure a just and toler­ant society.

Senior Vice President (SVP) LCCI Ali Hussam Asghar appre­ciated Ejaz Alam Augustine for sparing time to preside over this important session. 

He said the business commu­nity truly believed in promot­ing social tolerance that held key importance in maintaining peaceful co-existence among various groups of society which were classified in terms of reli­gion and social class. 

He said Islam commanded the Muslims that there should not be any discrimination based on clan, creed, race or religion. 

The word ‘Islam’ itself refers to peace. Muslims are instruct­ed to treat all people with kindness through dialogue and show full respect to freedom of faith. 

He said establishing peaceful coexistence had now become a challenge. It is either because of our lesser understanding about teachings of Islam or paying more attention towards such opinions spread by various ex­tremist groups who have their own vested interests in sustain­ing differences among the mul­tiple sections of society.

Executive Director, Youth De­velopment Foundation (YDF) Shahid Rehmat said that ‘We have to remain vigilant and at the same time act wisely to differentiate which ideology is better to be followed.’

LCCI Vice President (VP) Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmed, Deputy Director Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Depart­ment Muhammad Yousaf, LCCI Executive Committee Mem­bers were also present on the occasion.