ISLAMABAD, (Parliament Times) : Ms Wajeeha Akram, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Federal Education and Professional Training, in her address as chief guest, said on Wednesday that since National Narrative promotes shared identity, the government was happy that academia and researchers besides other state institutions, think tanks and civil society organizations were playing their role in achieving national integration and cultural harmony.
It is need of the hour that all these pillars of the state join hands, merge their efforts and support each other’s efforts to bridge the gap among the federating units and federation, minimize the difference of opinion among the provinces and the nation on the route to development as one nation, she said while speaking at Orientation Session on National Narrative here.
The National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, Islamabad and the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad had organized the event at the QAU premises.
KPK Provincial Minister for Education Kamran Khan Bangash said that Pakistani national identity is a sense of belonging to the Pakistani society. Various symbols have been invoked from time to time to construct Pakistani national identity, he said while addressing the participants as guest of honour through online link from Peshawar.
Accordingly, he said, different conceptions of cultural identity based on Islam, pluralism and nation-state are also prevalent in Pakistani society. National Narrative based on National Integration and Cultural Assimilation through unity in diversity promotes shared identity as the national culture of the country thus achieving the noble objective of unity, cohesion and political stability, Bangash said.
Talking about the Sialkot incident, he said if we enforce a discipline on our people, we will never be able to coerce them into resorting to violence.
Highlighting the role of Paigham-e-Pakistan’s National Narrative against terrorism and extremism, Prof Dr Ziaul Haq, Director General, Islamic Research Institute of the International Islamic University, Islamabad said that Paigham-e-Pakistan was framed after the National Action Plan to root-out terrorism and extremism in the country showing “Kesa Ho Ga Pakistan.” He was deeply shocked at the Sialkot tragedy.
He stressed for changing mindset for accommodating people from all segments of society.
Speaking on Rationale of National Narrative, QAU Dean of Social Sciences Prof Dr Muhammad Idrees said National Narrative cannot be imposed superficially as it is developed in a gradual evolutionary process. Hence, it is the right time to begin a journey towards a positive end by highlighting unity in diversity, he said.
He greatly hailed the government’s initiative of One Nation—One Curriculum.
In his Vote of Thanks, the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Ali said that in addition to “Unity, Faith, Discipline”, the nation wanted another slogan which must be “Compassion” so that Sialkot-like incidents should not happen again.
He revealed that the QAU is going to organize a conference in January 2022 on “Hum Pakistan” highlighting services and achievements of both notable and ordinary Pakistanis to the country.
In his welcome address, Dr Sajid Mahmood Awan, Director, National Institute of Historical & Cultural Research, Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad said that the idea of National Narrative is linked with modern nation states where it is important to create national harmony to keep the people united at a certain level for which common points of pride and historical achievements are highlighted to create a feeling of oneness among different people living in one state.
Prof Dr Waseema Shehzad, former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Air University, Islamabad explored role of diversity through her seminal yet critical presentation on Lingua Discourse: Cultural Identity of Pakistan.
Muhammad Kashif Irshad, Director and Academic Coordinator, KPK spoke on Integrating Silk Route to Explore Cultural Diversity of Pakistan.
The chief guest along with the QAU VC distributed shields and certificates among the speakers, dignitaries and event organizers.
Earlier, the event started with recitation from the holy Quran. National anthem was played upon arrival of the chief guest. The NIHCR Senior Research Fellow Dr Rahat Zubair Malik moderated the event.