Harmony is essential for peace: Italian FM
By: Yasir Ilyas
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini stressed the need of dialogue to establish an interfaith harmony universally as the fundamental principals of all the religions of the world revolve around peace and reconciliation.
Mr. Frattini was addressing a seminar ‘Spiritual Dimension in the era of Globalization’ here at Quaid-i-Azam University during a trip to varsity along with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
In his address, he said that, the world, after the end of cold war has become more insecure and clash between civilizations and religions is turning to be greater threat. He expressed his well wishes for Pakistan and condoled the financial and human loss in the recent floods. He termed the security of Pakistan vital for the whole world.
He said this is a wrong perception, which is unfortunately spreading across the globe that ongoing war against extremism is a war between Islam and West. He said that Italy respects the religious freedom. He referred to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). He also gave the reference of the attacks on the Christians in Iraq in recent past, which were condemned by the Iraqi Government, a positive example for the flourishment of the idea of interfaith harmony.
He said that leaders must provide solution. “Religions are a very good tool for solving conflicts and promote interfaith harmony. Mankind and solidarity are common values of all religions.” He said.
Mr. Frattini further said that co-existence is a challenge of the time and societies have a great impact on the policies. Pakistani constitution ensures basic human rights. He appreciated Federal Minister for Minorities and showed his pleasure on the status of minorities in Pakistan. He said that Italy would bring a resolution from the platform of UN about religions of world--INFN
He quoted M.A. Jinnah “every one in this state is free to exercise his religion with full dignity, one can go to mosque, temple, church and other places of worship.” He stressed to follow this quote in its true letter and spirit. “No one has right to kill other in name of God.” He concluded.
Later on he also replied to different question, asked by students. He said that he, in his personal capacity, he is against such legislation, as France adopted against veil on face. He said that religious symbols can neither be enforced nor be banned.
In a question about media, he said that media could be a tool for promoting religious harmony. He admitted the presence of ‘Islamophobia’ in West.
Later Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also spoke on the occasion. He said that we are trying to develop a plural and democratic society in Pakistan. He asked the foreign dignitaries to visit Pakistan and come beyond the foreign Pakistan to meet real Pakistan, which is the students of Pakistan, the civil society and academia.
He said that west is not portraying full picture of Pakistan. These are the Pakistanis which can project Pakistan on the national scene through such intellectual discourse.
In the end acting Vice Chancellor of QAU Professor Dr. Rahat presented a shield to the guest of honour.