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Dialogue does not mean to change others’ views It means to tolerate each other to bring peace and harmony in the society

Islamabad–Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi Saturday said that dialogue did not mean to change others’ views but to tolerate each other to bring peace and harmony in the society.

“We need to change our behaviours and discourage violence,” the special assistant said while addressing the launching ceremony of “Charter of Peace” during one-day event “Dialogue Pakistan 2022” organized by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) here at a local hotel.

Ashrafi advised the participants to own minorities living in their specific areas and learn to tolerate each other’s point of view rather than imposing their own thoughts on others. He said that the biggest question was how to change the violent behaviours prevalent in the society?

SPAM urged the need to adopt soft approaches to address rampant violent behaviours in the society.

“Charter of Peace” is a document laying down recommendations for countering radicalization and extremism in Pakistan, and has been designed after several consultations with stakeholders including religious, and political leadership of the country.

SAPM on Information and Broadcasting Raoof Hasan in his remarks said that they were constantly focusing on external peace but the element of internal peace was missing from the dialogue. “We cannot attain peace by fighting but by bringing people together and by sharing ideas,” he said and added, “We should gather people for peace and not guns and ammunition.”

Political leader and member Balochistan Assembly Sana Ullah Baloch taking part in the session on “the future of parliament, constitution, and democracy” said that parliament should be responsible, true representative and responsive to all crises including that of governance and economy and deplored that the present parliament didn’t fulfill all three criteria.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Qamar Zaman Kaira urged that masses and civil society would have to play their role, and public pressure needs to be built on the institutions to ensure that the same could function properly and deliver. “Societies are promoted through dialogue and not violence,” he said adding that they would have to give space to the parliament by standing behind the institution.

Former National Security Advisor Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua taking part in the session on “Taliban’s Afghanistan, and challenges for Pakistan” said that the future of the region lies in connectivity and Pakistan can become a trade corridor of Asia by getting access to Central Asian States through Afghanistan. “Afghanistan is our partner for the future.”

During the moot, PIPS – an Islamabad-based policy research and advocacy institute—also launched its national report on “How Youth in Pakistan View State, Society, Religion, and Politics.” The report contains views of over 700 university students surveyed by the institute from all across the country. The students were trained to sensitize them about faith-based issues occurring in the country to form a network of PIPS Observatory – a web-based platform to develop a multifaceted complaint mechanism to report incidents of faith-based persecution and discrimination.

Ambassador of Netherlands to Islamabad Wouter Plomp in his opening remarks at the launching ceremony of the report said that youth was part of the solution given they were provided opportunities to think rationally. The concerns about Single National Curriculum (SNC) must be addressed to make the syllabus inclusive, he added.

“Dialogue Pakistan 2022” is the annual flagship event of PIPS in an effort to stimulate policy discussion on key issues related to peace and security in the country.

This year’s discussion themes include “the future of parliament, constitution, and democracy; Taliban’s Afghanistan, and challenges for Pakistan; the debate on freedom of expression: where does the problem lie?; and policy discourse on governance, and transparency.”