Interfaith Harmony

National Commission for Minorities and PEF to work for interfaith harmony

Officials of both the organizations agree to jointly work for promoting interfaith harmony and peace in Karachi where 105 community leaders have been trained by PEF

Dr. Jaipal Chabria suggests launching virtual classes for minority candidates as CSS seats reserved for them mostly remain unfilled.    

Karachi: Peace and Education Foundation (PEF), a non-government organization, has built capacity of 105 diverse community leaders to promote the message of interfaith harmony and peace in Karachi.

PEF implemented a 7-month project of working with community leaders in Karachi.  The project was implemented in the five areas of Karachi including Gulzar-e-Hijri, Pehlwan Goth, Sakhi Hassan, Khadda Memon and Nauabad.

This emerged during a PEF consultative meeting held at a local hotel with Mr. Chela Ram Kewlani, Chairman, and Dr. Jaipal Chabria, member, of National Commission for Minorities (NCM) of Pakistan.

They were briefed about the project ‘Connecting Communities for Peace and Interfaith Harmony’.

PEF, Project Manager, Haseeb Iqbal told that the project aimed to increase acceptance of pluralism in targeted communities and enhance tolerance. “Once trained, the community leaders organized a series of activities such as conducting 17 Social Action Plans (SAP), and organizing five diversity tours and five peace dialogues,” he added.

He said that PEF provided the community leaders an opportunity to sit together to understand each other’s views, discuss mutual challenges and find solutions as well as reflect on their opinions about other sects and help them in removing stereotypes. It also provided them a platform to work together to bring peace and harmony in their areas of influence.

Haseeb Iqbal desired collective work by NCM and his NGO for the religious minority communities.

Dr. Jaipal Chabria said that due to pandemic situation NCM could not plan any physical activity but like PEF they are struggling to aware the masses and pushing them to come forward and play their role.

He suggested that for now collectively they can design a virtual program with the community leaders trained by PEF for competitive exams and jobs. “I have observed that every year the allocated seats for the minority quota go vacant. The question arises as to why these seats go unfilled every year. There are very few minority students who apply for the CSS exam. A rough data shows that only 10 to 15 minority aspirants apply against the eight to 10 vacancies. If more candidates from minorities are applying there would be more chance of their seats getting filled. I would like to encourage all minority students to avail the opportunity to serve your country in a better way,” he said.

Chairman NCM, Chela Ram Kewlani said that he will work with PEF for peace, interfaith harmony and pluralism. “Not just advocacy is the only solution to bring peace but there should be law, legislations and policies.”

“Commission had visited various parts of the country to learn about the problems faced by minority communities in Pakistan. This commission is not only a need of the country but also essential for improving the country’s image.”

He assured that in order to maintain religious harmony they will support PEF.

Bishop Khadim Bhutto, Pastor Amjad Farooq, Sanjay Mathrani and Arvind Kumar were also part of this consultative meeting. PEF presented appreciation shields to Chela Ram Kewlani and Dr. Jaipal for their contribution for peace and harmony. (PR)

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