Awareness Seminar on Equal Citizenship, Social and Cultural Diversity

Kinnaird Centre for Learning and Cultural Development invited Mr. Faisal Ilyas, Executive Secretary Peace Center Lahore to attend a seminar on Equal Citizenship, Social and Cultural Diversity. BURGAD Organization for youth development and Kinnaird College for women jointly organized the seminar on 29th January, 2020, at Hladia Hall.

There was an interfaith panel discussion from three religions; Christianity, Islam and Hinduism and the panelists were:

  1. Mr. Cecil Shane Chudhary Executive Director of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), an organization of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference that has worked for the Rights of Religious Minorities in Pakistan since 1985.
  2. Ms Tahira Habib Senior manager outreach and complaints at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She has worked as cultural advisor at the U. S. Consulate for more than two decades. She has worked extensively on equal citizenship rights of marginalized groups such as religious and ethnic minorities and women. She started her career as a journalist with Frontier Post where she used to write on women's issues in a weekly column.
  3. Mr. Rizwan Anwar is Social Entrepreneur, Communication Specialist, Chairman and founder of Youth Revolution Clan. He is studying PhD in Business Administration. He has been also honored for his hard work and writings in Youth and women Development.
  4. Mian Umer Hayat, government representative from the Minority development and education Quota department, Punjab.
  5. Mr. Rana Adeel, Executive Board Member of the APEX Group of Colleges and Entrepreneur.
  6. Mr. Sandesh Kumar, a young Hindu Pakistani and studying in Punjab University, joined as a panelist to share his experience as a religious minority. 
  7. Ms. Sanabil Shahzad, a young Christian Pakistan, studying in Minhaj University, joined the panel to share her experiences as a religion minority in the country.   
  8. Madam Ruksana David Principal Kinnaird College for Women also shared some words; Madam Sabiha Shaheen Chairperson BURGAD was there too.

Mr. Faisal Ilyas shared his thoughts in the seminar as a youth activist; He said “I appreciate the agenda and the talk delivered in the panel. I would like to give some suggestions to the representative of government, please try to provide free, equal and quality education to every Pakistani without discrimination on the basis of color, caste, creed, sect and religions.

Nation will notice the prominent change and progress on the basis development and positivity. I also quote ‘Education is not information but formation’; we need to set the criteria on the basis of our human values. Education without moral values is wastage of time and money.

I trained 2500 teachers as a Master Trainer, from different institutes on ‘Value Education’ and evaluate the dire need of core values in our school and college going students. Let’s promote human dignity.    

Panel discussed the issues and their possible solutions and some of them are:

  1. Culture has no religion; please do not mix it up.
  2.  Education brings change, and for it politicians, social actors and government should promote it.
  3. Civic Engagements are necessary for the promotion of acceptance.
  4. Mob Culture is not acceptable at any cost and at any level.
  5. Minorities' protection and development is the responsibility of government.
  6. Promotion of acceptance is more needful than tolerance.
  7. Don't make news laws but implement the old ones first.
  8. Difference is diversity and it is beautiful, always promote your individuality. 
  9. In Pakistan, our colors have religions: White for Christians, Green for Muslims, Orange for Hindus, Black for Shias but humanity has no identity, in my opinion HUMANITY is the biggest religion as Late Cecil Chudhary said: My faith is Christianity but my religion is humanity.

Prepared by;

Faisal Ilyas                                                                                                                                          
Executive Secretary
Peace Center Lahore

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Peace Center is very important institution which is playing a significant role in spite of all the difficulties we are confronted with. A couple of Dominican Friars are active in Christian- Muslim dialogue and they are well known both nationally and internationally for promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue. It is top priority of the Dominican Order in the world and in Pakistan as well.
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