ISLAMABAD – Muslim Institute, an Islamabad-based think tank, has organised a seminar titled “Challenges to Islamic Identity of Pakistan.”

Addressing the seminar, former ambassador and activist of the Pakistan Movement, Dr Samiullah Koreshi, spoke about the way for the stability and survival of Pakistan and its Islamic identity. He spoke on the need for a federation like Pakistan to maintain the unifying ideology at its foundation to keep it from falling apart.

Ambassador Saleem Nawaz Gandapur addressed the question: Is Islamic identity a hindrance to internal development in Pakistan? by analysing the role of religious identity in developing a politico-economic system that is Muslim in more than just its name.

Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qayyum, a renowned defence analyst, argued why some international players want to de-Islamise Pak identity. He criticised the western world for its double standard and hypocrisy in dealing with the Muslim world and highlighted the need to rid the image of Islam of its association with militancy.

DG SASSI Dr Maria Sultan highlighted the role of Islam in Pakistan’s strategic culture. She explored important points in the history of Pakistan in the development of its ideological identity. She discussed the role of Islam and Sufism in defining our culture and its need in securing a stable strategic culture in light of the needs of the people of Pakistan.

Former Secretary General foreign affairs Akram Zaki analysed the making use of Pakistan’s foreign policy initiatives in redressing the flawed perception of Islamic identity in the world. He spoke of foreign policy being a reflection of internal conditions of a country. He expressed the dimensions of Islamic thought along these lines. The Islam of the conquers, inherited by the militants, the Islam of the Mullahs, which divides into sects and creates intolerance and the Islam preached by the Sufis which connected and is followed by South Asian Muslims. This is the Islam of Humanity, love, tolerance and harmony.

The session was concluded by Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali, Chairman MUSLIM Institute, who spoke about the need to provide a clear concept of Islam to our youth. He stressed that the youth are politically and intellectually independent minded. They do not suffer from an identity crisis. They are merely against the religion status quo, which is the villain of Iqbal’s story of Islam. We need to adhere to Quaid-i-Azam’s principles of Unity, Faith and Discipline as a formulation for developing our Islamic identity. He assured the participants of MUSLIM Institute’s commitment to continue working on the cause of deliberating Islamic identity in Pakistan.

Research scholars from different universities and institutes, professors, media persons, ambassadors of foreign countries and people from different walks of life participated in the seminar.

Addressing the seminar renowned columnist and analyst Rana Abdul Baqi spoke on 11th August’s speech of Quaid-i-Azam and objective resolution: ideological continuity or contradiction. He expressed how the objective resolution and ideology expressed in the early years of Pakistan was a continuity of the Pakistan movement and Quaid-i-Azam’s ideology based on the foundations of the two-nation theory.