Interfaith harmony is Pakistan’s top priority: Masood Khan

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WASHINGTON, Jun 27 (APP):Pakistan is stepping up efforts to bring people together and strengthen inter societal linkages, Ambassador Masood Khan has told a group of faith leaders representing different religions.

The Pakistani envoy was speaking during a roundtable, hosted by the embassy, at which the discussion centered on promoting peace and understanding among different religious communities and assimilated societies.

“Such gatherings,” Masood Khan stated, “provide a platform for broader perspectives about each other’s faith.”
He urged the participants to focus on commonalities, tearing down the barriers that divide the people.

Participating in the dialogue were faith leaders, diplomats, representatives from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), think tanks, and civil society.

Addressing the issue of religious minorities, Ambassador Masood Khan called the killing of minorities a crime against humanity.
He assured the audience that the government was taking all steps to curb religious intolerance and stem the abuse of blasphemy laws.
Speaking to the occasion, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, also said that interfaith dialogue could curb violent extremism.

Daniel Spiro, representing the Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society (JIDS), emphasized the shared heritage of Abrahamic religions and the importance of treating all people with dignity.

Dr. Surinder Singh Gill, Director Sikhs for America organization commended Pakistan for facilitating Sikh pilgrimages and the Kartarpur Corridor initiative, a peace gesture also lauded by the international community.

Other speakers including Rizwan Jaka, Chairman of Adam Center, Mike Crowe, member of All Neighbors, Alok Srivastava from American Hindu Coalition and Ms. Karina Hou, social activist and renowned artist, and Ms. Ayesha Khan, a Pakistani American community leader, also echoed similar sentiments, calling for healing the tensions and promoting cooperation among societies.

The speakers emphasized the significance of interfaith dialogue and the government’s efforts to protect the rights of minorities in Pakistan.

Despite the challenges, all faith leaders expressed confidence in continued progress and cooperation toward a more inclusive and equitable society.