HYDERABAD - Speakers at a seminar here Tuesday underlined the need for combined efforts to spread the message of love and peace for a peaceful and progressive society.

They said Pakistan was a peace-loving country having culture with core human values and essential humanitarian traditions like peaceful co-existence, social harmony, tolerance, and respect for civil liberties, love and welfare of all.

They expressed these views while addressing the inaugural session of a three-day seminar on “Practical and Theoretical Aspects of Peace and Conflict in a Deeply Local but Globalized World” at the University of Sindh Jamshoro.

The seminar has been arranged by the Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization University of Sindh Jamshoro in joint collaboration with Higher Education Commission, Shams-ul-Ulama Mirza Kalich Baig Chair, Centre for Physical Education, Health and Sports Science and Institute of Imagine Technology Qasimabad.

Dr Ziaul Haq of International Islamic University Islamabad, while speaking on Paigham-e-Pakistan, said the objective of creating Pakistan was to make a true Islamic welfare state for the protection of the rights of both Muslims and non-Muslims.

The delay in formulating a national narrative for the purpose, he said, had caused great losses to the country in the shape of fundamentalism, extremism and sectarianism. The country had witnessed a lot of bloodshed as a result of terrorism and there was need to bring peace and tranquility, he added.

Dr Zia said around 2,000 Ulema and religious scholars had signed a joint Fatwa (religious decree) declaring terrorism in the name of religion is against the norms of Islam.

The people from all walks of life, including scholars, educationists and intellectuals, had endorsed the “Fatwa”, which was also endorsed by the Islamic Ideology Council and would soon be approved by the parliament, he added.

He said soon after the creation of Pakistan, the Ulema had approved 22 points to develop interfaith harmony and the same was guaranteed in the 1973 Constitution, but unfortunately the objective of developing a strong national narrative could not be achieved.

The current Fatwa, which was signed by the Ulema of five schools of thought guaranteed the rights of the people, including Muslims, non-Muslims, women, children and transgender, would help project the true image of Islam and bring peace and tranquillity in the country.

Prof Dr Salman Shahzad of the Karachi University, while speaking on the topic of ‘drug, war and peace’ said  around 247 million people were using drugs and 29.5 million of them had become addicts. According to reports, around 6.7 million people, including 5.2 million male and 1.5 million female,  used drugs in Pakistan and 4.2 million of them were  addicts, he claimed.

He said 80 percent narcotics was produced in Afghanistan, which was smuggled to the world enroute Pakistan. The money earned through the sale of narcotics was being utilized for terrorist activities, he said.

The menace should be rooted out as besides being a global concern, it was also destroying the future of the country’s youth, he stressed.

Vice Chancellor University of Sindh Prof Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat said Pakistan’s significant contribution towards combating terrorism and promoting peace in the world was a luminous chapter in the global annals. A strong natural longing for peace ran in the blood of Pakistanis due to centuries-old teachings and influence of Sufi saints, he added.

He said the attitude-patterns and behavioural-codes played a vital role in creating tolerant and civilized societies. “There are hundreds of issues that happen to be personal, domestic, communal, social and highly localized in nature and context. Such problems can conveniently be resolved through localized opportune interventions”, he said. With the help of numerous convincing examples from history, Dr Burfat traced the inter-linkage of essentially local clashes flaring into international conflicts due to continued negligence.

He said the three-day seminar was a valuable initiative in a world wrecked by the monsters of extremism and terrorism. The scholars in their presentations in different working sessions of the seminar would address all necessary facets of the theme and put forth implementable recommendations as a way forward, he added.

The vice chancellor also asserted that peace was the first prerequisite for success, prosperity, progress, performance and productive life.

Earlier, Dr Muhammad Akram Ansari, Director, Center for Physical Education, Health and Sports Sciences, University of Sindh, Jamshoro highlighted the objectives of the seminar while Prof Dr Nek Muhammad Shaikh, Director, Office of the Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC), University of Sindh, Jamshoro shared report regarding achievements of ORIC.

The inaugural session concluded with eminent vocalist and Assistant Professor of Media and Communication Studies, University of Sindh Dr Zulfiqar Ali Qureshi enthralling the audience by rendering emotionally invigorating and educative peace song spelling out various essentials of peace on the occasion, which compelled listeners to swoon to the lyrics of the rendition.