A conference was organized in the last week of October 2014 in Muzaffargarh city by Bedari to promote inter-religious and inter-sectarian harmony. The conference was attended by people from all walks of life including a large representation of minorities including Christian, Hindus, etc. It was organized by Bedari in collaboration with Umeed Jawan.
Conference started with the theatre performance from Bedari’s theatre group. They prepared a theatre entitled “Aman Di Khed”, keeping in view the theme of the conference. It was highly appreciated by the audience. Some youth members of Bedari also presented songs which promote harmony, peace and tolerance.
The speakers included Pastor Javed William, Rohail Farooq (representing local Christian community), Karamat Jameel (Representative of Youth Development Foundation), Rana Muhammad Afzal (Chairman, District Aman Committee), and Safeer Ullah Khan (Communications Manager, Bedari). Mr. William emphasized the need for loving our fellow human beings. Mr. Farooq mentioned that the Christian community in Muzaffargarh did not face any specific discrimination at the hands of the local public but government policies were discriminatory. He particularly referred to the content of the syllabus being taught at government schools. He said that the syllabus is biased and does not even mention that there are any minority groups in Pakistan, let alone recognize them as lawful citizens and worthy of teaching children about their issues.
Mr. Jameel shared information about the contribution of minorities to the development of Pakistan. He described the services of persons from minority groups especially Cecil Chaudhry, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Justice Cornelius, Captain Harcharan Singh, Jaggannath Azad, Pervez Masih and many more.
Mr. Khan mentioned that the majority (the Muslim Community) knows so little about the minority communities that they sometimes want to do well but make them unhappy. He emphasized the need to have more such events so that people from different religious backgrounds can mingle and know about one another. It would enhance understanding and remove misgivings.
A resolution was passed with overwhelming majority during the proceedings of the Conference. Following is the text of the resolution: “Our state needs to recognize the contribution made by minorities, and showcase them as national heroes. We must celebrate their services in the national curriculum to show the strength of diversity in Pakistan”.