Ambassador Aftab Ahmad Khokher Speaks at a Webinar to mark Interfaith Harmony Week 2021 in Vienna Ambassador Aftab Ahmad Khokher participated as a speaker in a webinar commemorating the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2021 on 5th February 2021.
With a sub-theme “Interfaith Cooperation as a basis for Social Cohesion”, the webinar was organized by the Universal Peace Foundation which is a Vienna-based NGO. Speakers at the event included officials from the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vienna-based diplomats and media personalities.
In his remarks, Ambassador Khokher highlighted various measures taken by the Government of Pakistan to ensure that minorities continued to play a robust role in national life and enjoyed equal rights in keeping with the vision of Quaid-e-Azam and the Constitution of Pakistan. The more important among these measures were the establishment of a National Commission for Minorities; constitution of Interfaith Harmony Committees in each district; and the ongoing work on the formulation of a National Interfaith Harmony Policy in consultation with relevant stakeholders. He also referred to the opening of Kartarpur Corridor by Pakistan which had been termed as a “corridor of hope” by the UN Secretary General.
Ambassador Khokher also drew attention to the rise of far-right populism, extremism, intolerance, Islamophobia and the targeting of minority groups in different parts of the world. He said that globalization had created not only common markets but also a shared space of thought which called for new habits of mind and a renewed commitment to tolerance; respectful dialogue and celebration of diversity. He expressed the view that interfaith cooperation can serve as a powerful antidote against these divisive trends and heal the fissures inflicted on social cohesion within societies by the forces of extremism, bigotry as well as religious and racial hatred.
World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2010 and is an annual event observed during the first week of February with a view to promoting harmony between all people regardless of their faith.
Vienna,5th February 2021