Inter Faith Harmony Conference (IFHC) 2019

Three (03) day conference that aims at spreading the culture of peace and tolerance between adherents of religions and cultures, and contributing to safeguarding the children of minorities against violence and extremism and defending the rights of these religious and cultural minorities according to the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with reference to his speech and the contribution of non-Muslim communities to Pakistan.

 

Proceedings & Highlights of the Conference

 

First Day of Interfaith Harmony Conference

Over 300 students from across the country showed up at the three day conference organized by Department of Auqaf, Hajj, Religious & Minority Affairs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Marbella Hall on 1st May. The purpose of the conference was to promote interfaith harmony and initiate dialogue on diversity and to bring together people from different faiths under one roof.

 

Secretary of Auqaf, Hajj, Religious and Minority Affairs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hassan Mehmood Yousafzai welcomed the participants and showed contentment and joy. He said that awareness of tolerance and acceptance is need of time and this platform has been given to minority and Muslim youth where they can share one table and find a way forward to promote peace and religious tolerance.

 

Religious Scholar Maqsood Ahmed Salfi appreciated the youth for coming from across the country and called for stepped up efforts to promote interfaith harmony. He also stressed them that the most important factor of a human is to be a good human and then the world will become a peaceful place.

 

Advocate Ali Gohar briefed the students about minority rights in the constitution of Pakistan and the role of majority and state.

 

Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology spoke about safeguarding minority rights under constitution and the role of Council of Islamic Ideology. He said that Muslims are killed in New Zealand and Christians are killed in Sri Lanka only to create misunderstandings against other religions but we have to be vigilant and act with tolerance. These bad elements are using name of religion but they have no religion. “Interfaith harmony is crucial for peace and development of a society” he said. The conference with the aim to promote interfaith tools and dialogues for better development and progress of the country is hard need of time, he said.

 

Ms. Sohini Jana, Peace Activist, International Fellow of KAICIID for South & South East Asia Region briefed the youth through an Online Session on “Walking Together: The Importance of Interfaith Dialogue as a Path to Understanding”

“Interfaith harmony is all about the notion of live and let live and that is the need of time” she said.

 

In this regard, a Hindu girl from Quetta Rajeshwari said that she witnessed a historic event where she and her cousin had a chance to connect with people from different faiths.

 

Motivational speaker from Quetta Zaydan Khan shed light on the positive aspects of life, he encouraged the youth to be optimistic and take risks. He entertained the youth by offering hands on activities.

 

Second day of Interfaith Harmony Conference

The second day of Interfaith Harmony Conference 2019 began with an online session by Dr. Methew Johnson, Professor, Center of Social Innovation, Worchester State University. Ambassador for Institute of Economics & Peace USA and Rotary Peace Fellow. He briefed the students on Global Quest for Peace. He also enlightened them with his knowledge. He said that the places of worships are destroyed in countries only to cause distress and misunderstanding among different faiths. We need to practice patience and tolerance as it will help us to destroy the motive of bad elements. At the end of session, He interacted with students through Skype and answered their questions regarding how one nation can sustain peace and development and what role could youth play in promoting interfaith harmony.

 

The next session was offered by Ms. Jennifer Jag, the director of Christian Study Center Islamabad who spoke about the social cohesiveness through interfaith harmony & freedom of religion & beliefs. She educated the audience about religious dimensions about how the world is in dire need of peace, love and care. She said that the beauty of Conference like this emphasis we to contemplate and analyses what we are and what we need to do. She stressed the need of truth, justice, tolerance and peace for better sustainability, development and progress of the country. “Truth is a dangerous journey but you should avail it.”

 

After the second session concluded, the students were engaged in hands on activities where they also discussed the challenges they face in life.

 

Third day of Interfaith Harmony Conference

The Interfaith Harmony Conference concluded on Friday 03 May, 2019. The three day conference preceded with final round of singing competition. On this occasion, Advisor to the chief minister on Information Technology Kamran Bangash stated that minorities are a part of Pakistan, they shouldn’t be termed as minorities. He further extended his support and said that the government representatives are already working on the empowerment and uplift of them however they’ll continue to work for them even in future.

 

Zia Ullah Bangash, Deputy Speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government enlightened the youth on the status of education and answered their queries. He stated that the government of Pakistan is currently working to uniform the education system and for that purpose they have formulated a committee that has representatives from Madrassah and Minorities.

He further said that there is a need of tolerance and acceptance.

 

A session with senior journalists including Irfan Khan, Tariq Afaq, Lihaz Ali and Arif Yousafzai Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was offered to the students where they interacted with them and discussed about the challenges they face in their life.

 

Secretary of Auqaf Hassan Mehmood said that the most difficult task is to connect people from different faiths under one roof but we did it. We achieved several milestones in the past one year. I would like to request the participants to not just keep the interfaith harmony limited to this place but take it away with you to your cities.

 

Speakers

All the leading activists from the minorities across Pakistan were consulted to become part of the conference in order to promote interfaith & religious harmony. All the speakers (Both Minority/Majority) were identified by Liaison Corporation. List of the delegates & speakers was shared with the department for necessary approval, review & finalization.

 

  1. Maqsood Ahmed Salfi (Religious Scholar)
  2. Advocate Ali Gohar
  • Dr. Qibla Ayaz (Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology)
  1. Ms. Sohini Jana (Peace Activist, International Fellow of KAICIID for South & South East Asia Region)
  2. Zaydan Khan (Motivational speaker)
  3. Dr. Methew Johnson (Professor, Center of Social Innovation, Worchester State    University. Ambassador for Institute of Economics & Peace USA and Rotary Peace Fellow)
  • Ms. Jennifer Jag (The director of Christian Study Center Islamabad)
  • Irfan Khan, Tariq Afaq, Lihaz Ali and Arif Yousafzai (senior journalists)

 

Province Wise Detail Summary of Participants of IFHC

Sr. No Province No. of Participants
1.                    Sindh 14
2.                    Punjab 08
3.                    Baluchistan 16
4.                    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 352
5.                    Islamabad 15
6.                    Kashmir 03
7.                    Total Summary 408

 

District Wise Detail Summary of Participants whose Data was Received for IFHC from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sr. No Province No. of Participants
1.                    Abbottabad 05
2.                    Buner 05
3.                    Chitral 04
4.                    Bannu 33
5.                    Tribal District Bajour 02
6.                    Charsadda 10
7.                    DI KHAN 28
8.                    Dir 01
9.                    Haripur 06
10.                Karak 01
11.                Kohat 03
12.                Tribal District Khyber 18
13.                Swat 03
14.                Swabi 04
15.                Tribal District Mohmand 06
16.                Mardan 22
17.                Shangla 01
18.                Mansehra 03
19.                Nowshera 06
20.                Peshawar 192
21.                Total Summary 352

 

Religion Wise Summary of Participants of IFHC

Sr. No Religion / Faith Total no. of

Participants

1.                    Christian 150
2.                    Hindu 65
3.                    Kalash 4
4.                    Sikh 9
5.                    Muslim 173
6.                    Shia Muslim 3
7.                    Bahai Community 04
8.                    Total no of Participants 408

 

Gender Wise Summary of Participants of IFHC

Sr. No Gender Total no. of

Participants

1.                    Male 324
2.                    Female 84
3.                    Total no of Participants 408