LAHORE –Speakers have called for promoting interfaith harmony to avert Joseph Colony arson-like vandalism. They also called for maintaining order enhance role of clerics for the cause.

“Tragic incidents like the Badami Bagh brutality fanned by disorder. Such acts must not be dubbed as religious extremism. Al-Qaida was not behind this act, it was disorder that fomented unrest. Islam respects other religions,” speakers said while addressing Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan (HNPIP) seminar on religious extremism and law and order issues. Justice (r) Mian Mehboob Ahmad (Former Chief Justice Federal Sharia

Court) presided over the Seminar while Liaqat Baluch was the Chief Guest.

Speakers included Dr. Kanwal Feroze (Senior Journalist) and Prof Dr Mughees-ud-Din Shaikh. HNPIP Director Absar Abdul Ali was the moderator.

Mian Mehboob Ahmad said that the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah duly declared Pakistan would be an Islamic state. He said that incidents like Joseph Colony had nothing to do with religion. He said that the religious parties had failed to pay their due share in mutual harmony among different sects.

Liaqat Baloch said that Islam is a religion of peace that teaches harmony and mutual respect. “Give due rights to those who deserve, the problems would be resolved by design” Baloch held and added transparent elections on time would strengthen the country and help resolve grave issues.

Dr Mughees-ud-Din Shaikh said that the religious powers were used for political gains that damaged the country. He denied the notion that religion created dissonance saying issue of injustice must be addressed to overcome brutality. He also objected existing electoral system in the country that he stressed to be changed.

Giving brief history of extremis Dr Kanwal Feroze said “Europe had been victim of religious extremism and it started in Pakistan in Zia regime”. She said that balanced thinking could create Quaid’s democratic Pakistan.