Lahore: August 10, 2019. (PCP) In connection with celebrations of Pakistan Independence Day, National Commission for Interreligious Dialogue & Ecumenism organized a seminar for youth with the Title “We all are One” the central theme of the Conference was to pay a tribute to the non-Muslims Heroes especially Christians in the creation of Pakistan”.
Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw (Chairman NCIDE) presided over the ceremony whereas Moulana Muhammad Asim Makhdoom, Moulana Ashiq Hussain and Mr. Sohail Ahmad Raza (Director, Interfaith wing, Minhaj ul Quran University, Lahore) were the prominent guests present for this conference. The ceremony was organized under the directives of Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap, Executive Secretary, NCIDE.
A good number of students from Schools, Colleges and universities were present for this ceremony. The students from different schools presented beautiful national songs in remembrance of our national heroes who played a vital role in the creation and sustenance of Pakistan.
The speaker of the event, Madam Noureen Akhtar delivered a keynote Address to the young scholars on the topic of the conference to make them aware about the sacrifices and contribution of Non-Muslims in creation of Pakistan. She said that important political leaders S.P.Singha, C.E.Gibbon and Fazal Ilahi used their decisive vote in favor of creation of Pakistan. Renowned advocate Chaudhry Chandu Lal showed the cooperation from All India Christian Association. Later on the 3rdJune 1947 three members of the Punjab Assembly voted in favor of Pakistan. At Dhobi Ghat Faisalabad the Christians gathered from all of India stood shoulder to shoulder with the Quaid-e-Azam for a separate homeland. She invited all the participants to have a look at the exhibited books about the contribution of non-Mulsims in the freedom movement.
In his message His Grace Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM congratulated all the participants on this special day. He encouraged the young people to be proactive and accept the positive values of every religion rather being negative. He said “We are all celebrating Independence Day of our country with a national spirit and zeal, inspite of indifferences, we must go on the way of harmony and solidarity “. He invited the young scholars to live with peace and let others live in peace as well to let the vision of Quaid-e-Azam be fulfilled in its true meanings. He encouraged the young students of different universities that they are going to be the future leaders of the nation, they must be peace loving and peace builders so that the generations to come will live in peace and harmony. Moulana Muhammad Asim Makhdoom appreciated and encouraged the sacrifices and the role of the Christian community for Pakistan. He saluted the service of Pakistani Christian role. He also said that there should be no concept of majority and minority. All are citizens of Pakistan and this Pakistan which Quaid-e-Azam gave us, was beyond religions. All Muslim, Christian, and other religions struggled to get the freedom.
Representing the students from different universities, Ms. Ayesha Qadri, expressed her happiness and cited the contribution of the Christian Institutions in the progress of Pakistan.
Fr. Francis Nadeem while talking to the audience congratulated all the participants. He elaborated the role of Christians who rendered their services in all the fields of life for the progress of Pakistan. In his message he demanded the Government to include the sacrifices, contribution and services of the non-Muslims in the academic syllabus for the schools and colleges.
At the end of the ceremony all the participants sang along the national song while waving the flags of Pakistan in their hands. The ceremony ended with the Peace prayer of St. Francis as all the participants prayed for peace in Kashmir and Pakistan.
Fr. Sunil Irfan Sabir and Fr. Naqash Azam were the stage secretaries for this conference.