Pakistan: Religious diversity must for peace, development
Respecting religious diversity and promoting religious harmony is essential for peace and sustainable development in Pakistan, said Sustainable Development Policy Institute’s Senior Advisor on Education and Religious Diversity Ahmed Salim here on Monday.
Ahmed Salim was addressing the opening session of a 3-day training on “Religious harmony: a must for peace and development in Pakistan’ organised by SDPI and Minority Rights Group International (MRG). Teachers of various religious faiths from twin-city schools are attending the training.
S M Salim said that textbooks taught in schools can play a pivotal role in this regard and SDPI would keep on contributing to the cause of strengthening religious harmony through its work on curriculum reform. He said that all citizens irrespective of their faith should be treated equally as per the guarantees provided in the Constitution of Pakistan. He stressed that there should be no discrimination on any ground at any cost.
He opined that existing text course in our schools is highly predisposed and a root cause of increasing prejudice in the society about various religious faiths.
Humaira Ishfaq from International Islamic University observed that the modules developed under the MRG project are an attempt to reduce hatred among different religions and groups and to bring religious harmony in the society. She also highlighted the pedagogical methods to make them constructive in classrooms to shun the development of repugnance.
Afshan Ahmed from SDPI said that the failure to provide adequate protection to ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities of Pakistan is an unfortunate aspect of country’s legal and political history, whereas the dilemma of our education system is little development in curriculum and inflexibility of most of the teachers.
Photo: Members of Pakistan’s Christian minority celebrate a wedding in Mardan, June 2009
Credit: Jared Ferrie