LAHORE – Political intolerance and lack of solidarity resulted in worst calamities in the past, such as the dismemberment of East Pakistan in 1971, and if this situation was not checked it could cause another tragedy in the future.
These views were expressed by speakers – including former Federal Sharia Court Chief Justice (r) Mian Mehboob, who presided over the sitting; PML-N MNA Khurram Dastgir Khan; PTI leader Mehmood Rasheed; PPP MPA Uzma Bokhari; and Nawa-i-Waqt Editorial Board Member Fazal Hussain Awan – while speaking at a seminar on ‘Political Tolerance: Imperatives and Status – Role of Media’ at the Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan (HNPIP) on Tuesday. The institute’s director, Absar Abdul Ali, moderated the programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice (r) Mehboob Ahmad said truth gave birth to tolerance and the society that lacked it could not enjoy political tolerance and true leadership. Citing example of the Quaid-e-Azam’s honesty, he said contrary to the founding father, the current Pakistani leaders seek immunity from graft charges. “Unfortunately, political parties lack tolerance and can rightly be called as bands of usurpers,” said Justice (r) Mehboob, adding why the rich do not make their assets public.
PTI leader Mian Mehboob Rasheed said the political tolerance in the country had been on the decline for the last many years. The media, he alleged, had added to the miseries of the people. “Political parties should promote tolerance and discourage family politics,” Rasheed added.
PML-N MNA Khurram Dastgir Khan said instead of declaring those who wanted freedom as traitors, the rulers should hold dialogue with them. “Pakistan lacks a culture that promotes talks,” he added.
PPP MPA Uzma Bokhari said the media were imperative to set the public agenda but some of its sections sensationalise the events with mala fide intentions. Instead of concocting stories, the media to observe ethics, she held
Fazal Hussain Awan said he was hopeful that a culture was being developed in the political arena that would give birth to peace and prosperity.
“Political tolerance is on the rise and the media’s role in the new political scenario cannot be denied,” he maintained.