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It is my proud privilege to welcome all distinguished guests on behalf of OICP on this very important Conference “Reaching out to the other: Overcoming Intercultural Conflicts”.

It would not be possible without the patronage of esteemed Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I, personally and on the behalf of OICP, deeply appreciate the keen interest expressed by the Ministry to overcome this cultural conflict.

Intercultural dialogue a bridge comprises of an open and respectful exchange between groups and organizations with diverse backgrounds or world views. It aims at developing a deeper understanding of different perspectives and practices; to increase participation (or the freedom to make choices); to ensure equality; and to enhance creative processes. It promotes a multi-directional communication process.

It is an effort to address unequal power relations between those belonging to majority/minority groups. The aim of an intercultural exchange is transformative of all those participating and can result in, the creation of new or hybrid cultural expressions/forms, new image constructions, changed behaviour patterns etc.

This action is part of the global framework of an Alliance of Civilizations launched by the United Nations. More specifically, within the larger framework of intercultural dialogue, which also encompasses interreligious dialogue, special focus is placed on a series of good practices to encourage cultural pluralism at the local, regional and national level as well as regional and sub-regional initiatives aimed at discouraging all expressions of extremism and fanaticism and highlighting values and principles that bring people together.

I, strongly urge followers of world religions to work hand in hand for global peace and security, to overcome this cultural conflict.

The major world religions should respect religious sensitivities of each other and embrace each other for achieving a lasting peace globally by jointly taking on the menace of global terrorism.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pakistan has created a national commission for its minorities comprising representatives of all religions to work for peace and harmony in the country. The world governments should also make laws to stop desecrating of religious personalities and their holy books.

The cause of Palestine, Kashmir and other similar conflicts are close to our hearts. They need unabated attention of the world to put an end to inhuman atrocities being committed there. People of Palestine and Kashmir are fighting for their inherent fundamental right and we need to support them, morally, politically and diplomatically for early resolution of these conflicts.

I remember the statement of the Belgian Ambassador Peter Clark, accredited to Islamabad “that interfaith harmony was a difficult subject and atrocities are committed, globally against followers of other religions which makes them feel unsafe. People are frustrated and want to solve such issues by reaching out.

Leif Hathland, Norway’s, “Ambassador of Love”, said “Though I do not know the language people speak here, I can speak that the language of love is understood by all and sundry,” Hathland said that fear and hatred could be overcome through love, “If you want to see the language of love, then respect each other,” he stressed.

Jamiat Ahle Hadees leader Allama Zubair Ahmed Zaheer said that it was the duty of every individual to look at the teachings of his own religion, which put emphasis on respect for humanity.

All revealed texts call for love and respect for humanity, Pop Francis and the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia played a great role for interfaith harmony in the world.

Global Mission Awareness Chairman Marqus Fida, “We need unity to fight the enemies of peace and humanity”.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Universal peace will only come true when everyone will play its role. No religion or a way of life foments hatred. The world is, in dire need of peace and security. “Today, the world has turned into a global village and we should embrace each other for global peace and interfaith harmony.

Thank you very much for the interest and participation

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