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Grassroots & community initiatives towards rebuilding US-Pakistan Relationship, Islamabad, March 14, 2014
Report by Khan Zeb Burki and Ihsan Habibullah, PhD Scholars at Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS), NUST
The conference was organized by Iqbal international Institute for Research and Dialogue (IIIRD) of International Islamic University (IIU) and Intersections International of the USA. Students, Scholars and researchers from International Islamic University, Center for International Peace and Stability (CIPS) NUST and NGOs participated in the in the conference. From CIPS, this conference was attended by Dr Zahid Shahab Ahmed (Assistant Professor), Mr Khan Zeb Burki (PhD Scholar), and Mr Ihsan Habibullah (PhD Scholar).
Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf Thursday said that the government is working for disseminating peace promoting equality. Addressing an international conference titled “Grassroots & community initiatives towards rebuilding US-Pakistan Relationship” he said, “All religions call for mutual understanding and especially Islam discourages attitudes of conflict and violence”. Talking about the Pak-US relations, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said Pakistan highly values its relations with the US, “both countries have shared goals and commendable contribution for promoting peace and interfaith harmony” he added.
Dr. Masoom Yasinzai in his inspiring speech in the session said, “Extremism is missing in the dictionary of Islam and Islam’s way of resolving conflicts is dialogue “. He said the US is largest trading partner of Pakistan and misperceptions regarding relations of both countries can be removed by taking measures like this conference. He said, aims of those who are working against the cause of peace could be foiled by increasing people-to-people contact and disseminating Islam’s message of peace and dialogue.
Later, Prof. Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Mr Raiz Sadiqi, Dr G. R Chishti, Rev. Robert Chase, Dr. Richard Hamm, Yasmine Kohli Fordham and other enlightened the participants with their thoughts. Dr. Mumtaz, who is also co-director of the joint venture, paid thank to the participant for attending the session and vowed to keep taking steps for the promotion of interfaith harmony and dialogue.