The school curriculum has fomented hatred against minorities in the country and a concerted effort must be made to remove hate material from textbooks to ensure peace and stability in Pakistan.
This was the gist of the discussion at a seminar held at a hotel in the city on Saturday. Speakers emphasised the need to erase material from curriculum that fuel hatred against communities. The event was attended by Sikh leader Sardar Charanjit Singh, All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement Chairperson Haroon Sarbdiyal, National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) Executive Director Cecil Shane Chaudhry and NCJP Regional Director Father John William, among others.
Sarbdiyal said Hindus did not migrate from India during Partition. “On the contrary, they have been living in Pakistan before the country came into being,” he said. “It is unfortunate that Hindus are considered Indians just because the curriculum propagates this notion.”
“Minorities are treated like step-children and ignored on every platform,” Charanjit Singh said, “There are some elements who want to create distances among Muslim and non-Muslim in Pakistan.”
Qamar Naseem, the coordinator of Blue Veins, said, “The problems triggered by hate materials should be raised with SAARC. This platform is the only way to resolve such matters.”
Awami National Party leader Sardar Hussain Babak said, “We carved out a land for Muslims. Unfortunately, hate speech is spreading from this land, which is condemnable.”
He said transgender activist Alesha was murdered due to the growing scourge of bigotry in out society. “Unless hate material are not removed from the curriculum, the minorities will feel a sense of deprivation.”
Father John William and Cecil Shane pressed for unity among all religions, saying it is need of the hour as we all are Pakistanis.
Advocate Hashim Raza, Dr Khadim Hussain, Bushra Gohar, Kashif Aslam and other speakers also shared their views on peace, minority rights and its issues.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2016.