When it comes to celebrate International days such as ‘International Tolerance Day’, we restrict ourselves to celebrating such events in close quarters and arrange seminars and workshops. Such important issues should be highlighted and given due coverage in media, so that the masses get the message and understand the concept. Today, Pakistan is trapped in a chaotic situation where we experience extreme forms of violence, conflicts, terrorism and sectarianism. All this is only because of growing sense of intolerance, which is eating away the social fabric of our society.
We need to find the reasons behind this intolerance, which could be ignorance, narrow mindedness or fear of accepting different ideas. Such reasons can be dealt with by providing access to education, opportunities to create interaction among all factions of society and the most important is to hold meaningful and peaceful dialogue to understand each other’s point of view, which will ultimately create respect for each other’s beliefs. Media can play its role in creating awareness regarding each other’s rights, promoting peace and harmony and showing tolerance and understanding for other’s right to exercise their religious beliefs in a peaceful and non-violent manner. It would lead to a peaceful society eventually. The Holy month of Muharram has begun and the need for awareness regarding tolerance is even greater now. Every citizen should double his efforts to promote tolerance, peace, harmony and spirit of co-existence more than ever.
Azad Kashmir, November 16.