Peshawar: Speakers at a Conference have urged the government to remove hatred lessons against other religions from the textbooks, which are taught in government and private educational institutes with an aim to create harmony and brotherhood among minorities and Muslims in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
These views were expressed during the conference, titled, “Uprooting Religious Intolerance through Formal Education System in Pakistan” organized jointly by National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) and South Asia Partnership of Pakistan (SAP-Pk) held here at local hotelThursday.
Representatives from different religions, political parties, educationalists, lawyers and human rights activists participated in the conference while noted speakers were included president of National party (NP) Mukhtar Bacha, a former MNA of Awami National party (ANP) Jameela Gilani, the KP Minister for Minorities Dr Sardar Suran Singh, Dr Prof Shafiq-ur-Rahman, Barrister Hashim Raza, Shahab Khattak Advocate, Regional Head SAP, Sikander Zaman and Father John William shared their views the hated lessons and harmony among all religions.
They said that inhumanity and undemocratic things had been promoted through education for three decades and hated materials were made part of the books, which were being taught to students with an aim to create differences among different religions of Pakistan.
Prof Shafiq said that religious extremism had no concern with education, as masses particularly youth get such extremism from tv channels, which he added were spreading through different means and that was the reason that instead of proving being a good citizen, their youngsters cause pessimistic for non-Muslims.
Hashim Raza on the occasion said that legislation were made for provision of justice and equal rights minorities but those changes were not possible through laws unless change in behaviours and attitudes were made. He added minorities in Pakistan were passing their lives as more marginalized and sense of deprivation and even they were reluctant to raise voice for their rights despite being Pakistani citizens.
He further said, in which society, if there was no right to live, the society then could not remain intact and if there was right to live but sans justice, in such case too, it won’t be able to survive and minorities were compelled to live with ordeals.
The provincial minister Sardar Suran Singh recalled the days when despite illiteracy at big ratio, there was love, brotherhood and harmony among Sikh, Hindus, Christians and Muslims and no words based on hatred was used against each other. “Not only Muslims has extremists but also other religions, but it does not mean to defame a religion”,
He stressed the need of bringing positive change in curriculum and behaviours and this message is to be conveyed to other people in the society in order to create an atmosphere based on peace, religious harmony and brotherhood because they all were Pakistanis.
Lauding his provincial government-ld by Pakistan Tehrik-Insaf (PTI), the minister said none of the previous governments had taken solid steps for rights of non-Muslim Pakistanis while the present KP government was fully committed to minority rights with protection of their life, property and holy places. The Minority Property Protection Bill, was already tabled by this government, is an achievement for non-Muslims of KP.
A booklet was also presented in the conference, researched analysis report on the books, being taught in schools, made by Kashif Aslam, a program manager NCJP and Aneela Gul. They said hate material were being taught in educational institutes of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Expressing their views about the findings of the research report, the speakers said that the deteriorating situation of human rights and the increasing religious extremism had its roots embedded in the textbooks where discrimination and intolerance on basis of religion, sect and gender can be seen. They demanded to curb of religious extremism and intolerance through reforms in the educational system.