LAHORE - PINA and the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of the Punjab hosted a seminar on "Internal Stability and Strengthening of Independence” here on Thursday.

Speakers stressed the need for valuing independence. University of Sargodha former VC Prof Dr Akram Choudhry said in his presidential address that anti-Muslim forces wanted neutralisation of military power of Muslim countries. Their eyes are on Pakistan after weakening Syria, Egypt and Iraq, he said. He emphasized the need for teaching modern subjects at religious schools. This will result in religious harmony, he said. He said that adoption of a uniformed syllabus will bring national unity.

Altaf Hasan Qureshi, secretary general of PINA, said that narrow-mindedness of the Hindu community paved the way for establishment of Pakistan. “The Hindu majority was hell bent upon eliminating cultural heritage of Muslims. Doors of economic prosperity were closed on Muslims. It was the courageous leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam that brought freedom for Muslims through a democratic struggle. Pakistan had to face numerous problems in its early years. Jinnah in his speech of August 11 especially highlighted the diseases that had crept into the Muslim society. It included nepotism, bribery and provincialism. They created great challenges of internal stability and coherence for the state of Pakistan. Power tussle, religious extremism, class struggle and imbalance in civil-military relations are great challenges for today's Pakistan.”

Senior lawyer Ehsan Wyne stressed the need to augment internal stability and coherence. All state institutions should work in their stipulated domains, he said.

Major(r) Eraj Zikriya said that political parties should bring democracy within their ranks. Senior analyst Yasin Wattoo stressed the need for upholding high moral values for national coherence and stability.

Senior Journalist Rauf Tahir was of the view that political parties should be given a level-playing field and free and fair chance to work. Qayyum Nizami spoke for national reconciliation by Imran Khan as new premier.

Chief Guest Justice (R) Faqeer Muhammad Khokar spoke about centre’s relations with the provinces. He said that Quaid-i-Azam was always very sensitive about these relations. He was convinced that without abolishing religious, social and economic exploitation, no society can stand united. Director South Asian Studies Dr. Ambreen Javed thanked the speakers and the audience at the end and paid homage to those who laid down their lives in the struggle for creation of homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent.