The International Day of Peace is observed on September 21 each year. This year’s theme was “Shaping Peace Together”, with the UN calling to celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Afshan Huma, assistant professor at Department of Educational Planning, Policy Studies and Leadership, Allama Iqbal Open University, said, “Peace in a society comes with a culture of tolerance and acceptance of coexistence by our governments have successively failed to promote tolerance and peace.”
Member National Assembly Lal Malhi said Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life. “As per our mythology, peace is a significant aspect and act,” he said, and shared several instances of Hindu mythology where peace was given a chance before war became inevitable. “Hindu community is always with other communities and compromises to promote peace in the country,” he emphasised.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Gurmeet Singh said Sikhism promotes brotherhood among people that eventually leads to a peaceful environment. “Guru Nanak Sahib talks about good deeds towards everyone,” he shared.
“All prophets and religions have taught the message of peace among neighbourhoods and societies,” explained Allama Ashghar Arif Chisti, adding that tolerance is the basic element of peace.
Ecumenical Commission for Human Development Executive Director James Rehmat said the International Day of Peace provides an opportunity to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all citizens and people of the country.
Father James Channan of Lahore said the role of peace in Christianity is of prime importance. “Peace is one of the basic teachings of our religion,” he said, adding that, “We are living in a world which is confronted with so many challenges and difficulties due to war, discrimination, injustice, intolerance and lack of appreciation and acceptance of one another.”
Ejaz Alam Augustine, Punjab’s minister for human rights and minority affairs, said the government has formed a committee to eliminate all hate material from textbooks. “The government has also drafted a policy on interfaith peace, including formation of district peace committees to promote harmony.”