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The Role of Ulema in Promotion of Peace and Harmony in Society


A two-day seminar on The Role of Ulema in Promotion of Peace and Harmony in Society was held in Islamabad on June 22-23, 2011. The seminar was organized by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), a research and advocacy think-tank based in Islamabad. The purpose of the seminar was to discuss the role of religious scholars in promotion of peaceful and tolerant religious/sectarian narratives in Pakistani society and to develop an understanding of appropriate ways to create a constituency for peace by engaging religious scholars. As many as 46 prominent religious scholars, representing various schools of thought, participated in the seminar. During the seminar proceedings religious scholars unanimously called for an increased role of religious scholars at the national and regional level to work for peace and sectarian harmony. They were in complete agreement that discouraging all manners of violent tendencies in society was a collective responsibility of all Pakistanis including religious scholars. While pledging to strive for a peaceful and tolerant society in Pakistan, they emphasized that differences of opinion should not be used as a channel to engender hatred and hostilities among the people. At the conclusion of the seminar, the religious scholars also prepared five sets of recommendations under different themes meant to enhance the scope and effectiveness of their role in promoting peace, tolerance and harmony in society.