ISLAMABAD:Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani has said that Islam is the religion of peace which teaches compassion, love, brotherhood and tolerance while the Muslim Ummah believes in peaceful co-existence in the world community.
He was addressing the 137th Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly at Saint Petersburg, Russia, which is being participated by the heads of the parliaments, parliamentarians and delegates from around the globe.
He said today the world is talking about promotion of the culture of pluralism, inter-faith peace and inter-ethnic dialogue but it was the western imperialism and colonialism that distorted and fragmented the inter-cultures and inter-ethnic harmony in the regions they ruled.
Chairman Senate is leading a parliamentary delegation of the country comprising seven members of National Assembly, four Senators, Secretary Senate and the senior officers from both the Houses of Parliament.
Mian Raza Rabbani said that a Charter of Madina (Misaq-e-Madina) is the first constitution of the human history which enshrines the message of peace and co-existence among comity of nations and laid basics for protection of minorities. He said that Islam spread the message of tolerance and harmony against the cruelty of the imperialism and colonialism in Asia and Europe. “We are not barbarian and have opened the doors of culture and civilization”, he added.
He said that throughout the course of history lack of communication and dialogue as well as mistrust and misunderstanding among the peoples of different faith, culture and ethnicities had led to bloodshed, suffering and pain destroying individual societies and countries. He reminded that from Crusades to the French religious wars of 15th century and the thirty years wars that devastated Europe in 16th century, and from lingering Palestinian and Kashmir conflicts to Bosnian war and the current violent unrest in Middle East, peace has remained hostage to intolerance, racial, ethnic and religious discrimination, xenophobia, extremism, national rigidities, and non-recognition of religious and cultural pluralism.
Mian Raza Rabbani said that Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the Sub-Continent. He said that silence of the world over the human atrocities being committed by Indian occupied forces which are using pallet guns and shells against the peaceful Kashmiris is unprecedented.
Pakistan has suffered substantial loss to its economy and offered human sacrifices more than any nation in the war against terrorism, which must be recognized. He said that the peace can only be restored by solving the outstanding issues of Kashmir and Palestine as well as eradicating the transnational terrorism and extremism which is on rise throughout the world, even in western societies and established democracies. He asserted that interfaith and intercultural dialogue is a crucial dimension of international understanding and thus of conflict resolution.
Chairman Senate said that there are no borders when it comes to hatred towards other faiths and ethnicities. The people who indulge in such sentiments are clearly victims of brainwashing and confusion. It is imperative that nations do not just address the issue internally, but should collaborate with each other to get rid of this menace.
Mian Raza Rabbani emphasised the world parliamentarians that it was time to learn from the harsh lessons of the past and agree on ethics, norms, principles and ideals of peace and peaceful coexistence in which all religions, cultures and ethnic denominations are free.
At the IPU’s platform, he said we must join hands in developing new approaches to intercultural dialogue that go beyond the limitations of the ‘dialogue among civilizations’ paradigm. Dialogue must be conducted on a platform of democracy, especially parliamentary democracy, on the basis of rule of law and respect for human rights since totalitarianism is an anathema to dialogue.
Chairman Senate had separate meetings with the heads of delegation from Turkey, Iran, China, Oman and Belarus on the sidelines of the IPU Assembly proceedings.