Religion and ethnicity interaction obstacle in national integration process: President Arif Alvi

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ISLAMABAD, (Parliament Times) : The Indian Muslims succeeded in establishing a state on the basis of the Two Nations Theory, which argued that Muslims and Hindus were two separate and distinct nations, observed President Dr Arif Alvi here.

Unluckily, the process of national integration in the country has been hampered by the interaction of two opposing forces: religion and ethnicity, opined the President of Pakistan while speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day National Conference on National Integration and Cultural Assimilation as chief guest here on Tuesday.

The President said although Pakistan is certainly not unique in having a multi-ethnic character, it has been the consistent policy of the successive governments to implement highly centralized systems of government which has compounded the centrifugal pull of all its ethnic fabric. Not only has the clash of religion and ethnicity created political instability and adversely affected the process of national integration, but the presence of hostile neighbours further compounded the country’s political developments, he said.

Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood, in his special address, said that Pakistan, even being an ethnically diverse country and officially a federation, is regarded as a nation state due to its ideological basis on which it got independence from Britain as a separate nation.

In his welcome address, the Quaid-i-Azam University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Muhammad Ali threw light on the educational philosophy of Sufi saints who preached for shunning worldly pursuits and educated masses for peaceful coexistence.

The NIHCR Director Dr Sajid Mahmood Awan, who conducted the event, was of the opinion that Pakistan was created for the conservation of Muslims rights.

The event was attended by over 600 professors, scholars, historians and students. The audience greatly appreciated two cultural performances: one by the student of the Quaid-i-Azam University and the other by the National Performing Art Group of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts depicting culture of all the five provinces and Kashmir.

Earlier, with the arrival of the President of Pakistan National Anthem was played and the event formally started by recitation from the Holy Quran by Rao Tahir Hussain.


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