|The News, Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The three-day ‘International Conference on Sufism & Peace’
organised by Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) concluded here
Tuesday after adopting the charter ‘Islamabad Declaration’,
calling for concerted efforts towards upholding the primacy of pen
and peace over the forces of darkness.
A galaxy of over 80 intellectuals and literati from 35 countries
representing different faiths, communities and cultures
participating in the Conference stressed upon the promotion of
Sufism and peace for peaceful co-existence, cultural harmony and
understanding in a turbulent world afflicted by terrorism and
Governor Punjab Salman Taseer and Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali chaired the
concluding sessions. Governor Salman Taseer stressed that Islam is a
religion of peace and harmony and the great Sufi saints of this land
brought people closer by lighting the lamp of peace in every heart.
Education Minister Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali deliberated upon the
wisdom and tradition of peace and brotherhood gifted to the great
Sufis of this land. He also stressed the need to uphold Sufi wisdom
and thoughts to counter all evils.
Chairman PAL Fakhar Zaman while thanking the delegates and
participants stressed that as they go back to their countries, they
must highlight the Sufi messages of peace and harmony, which are
instilled in the cultural milieu of Pakistan. “As we continue to
fight against terrorism, we must also show the world the true face
of Pakistan,” he said.
The Islamabad Declaration noted that the multi-cultural society in
the world has now become the only way to promote humanistic ideals
imbedded in the spiritual development of mankind as enunciated by
Sufi wisdom and thoughts.
Also taking note of the important role of civil societies in
creating social awareness about inter-religious harmony, human
rights and respect of law, as well as the role of Sufism in
promoting tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity as part of all
religions and civilisations, the conference stressed for
strengthening communication between the representatives of
religions, faiths and non-governmental institutions.
The Islamabad Declaration also affirmed that the differences and
misconceptions between faiths and cultures should be sorted out on
the principle of respecting all faiths and persuasions. It was also
stressed that sharing and practical steps should be taken to promote
the positive aspects of global harmony and peace.
The Declaration affirmed that concrete and evidence based solutions
to conflicts creating tensions and misconceptions between various
societies and religions be sought with the advice of intellectuals,
writers, thinkers, artists and organisations striving for peace. It
was also mentioned that writers and intellectuals working with print
and electronic media should adopt a more mature and responsible code
of conduct. And various faiths and religions in the world should
advocate peace, compassion and tolerance among mankind.
The Declaration also stressed that commitment to peace, cooperation,
harmony and reconciliation and dialogue towards a culture of peace
as part of the solution to the challenges faced by mankind today,
affirming that in future, such forums will enable self-reflection on
the critical role in contributing to a better world.
The Islamabad Declaration condemned all forms of terrorism not only
in Pakistan but all over the world. The galaxy of writers assembled
in Pakistan were of the view that the men of letters should not only
show tolerance to all creeds, regardless of race and all forms of
political persuasions but work for the acceptance of diversity of
creeds, as the flowering of pluralism and multi-culturalism is the
only way to the nourishment and sustenance of human civilisation.
The Islamabad Declaration also acknowledged the memorable
contribution of PAL and Government of Pakistan by making strenuous
efforts to have the interaction of the galaxy of human intellect and
wisdom to demonstrate the primacy of pen and peace over the forces
of darkness and turbulence from the land of Data Ganj Buksh, Bulleh
Shah, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Rahman Baba, Mast Tawakkali, Sachal
Sarmast and Khawaja Ghulam Farid.