The Knowledge Forum (TKF) and Karachi Press Club (KPC) jointly celebrated Diwali at KPC premises on November 6, 2021 evening to show solidarity with the Hindu community and religious harmony. Religious leaders, civil society activists and representatives of relevant government departments attended the ceremony.
Those who attended the Diwali celebration included Mr. Lal Chand Ukrani, MPA from Pakistan People’s Party and the President of Pakistan Hindu Council; Ms Mangla Sharma, MPA from Mutahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan; Senator Anwar Lal Deen; Mr Shakoor Ahmed, Director Minority Department; Dr Karrar Abbasi from Police Department; Ramesh Singh Khalsa, Patron in Chief Pakistan Sikh Council; Mr Nijay Goswami, Maharaj Darya Laal Mandir; Mufti Mujeeb ur Rehman, a Muslim scholar; Father Salah Diago; Mr Shams Keerio from Karachi Press Club; Senior journalist Tahir Hassan Khan, Saqib Sagheer, Rasheed Memon; Anita Panjwani from Sindhu Vas Foundation and Women Action Forum.
The speakers emphasized the need for spreading religious harmony in society. In a world of increasing political and economic dissonance, peaceful coexistence among practitioners of various religious beliefs can prove to be the way forward for peace and prosperity. Strengthening interfaith harmony and religious diversity can be instrumental in the development and progress of Pakistan, they said.
There is a dire need to sense new possibilities, estimating from the young generation of the Pakistani politicians, professionals, development workers, civil society activists, writers, artists, actors and creative people, who are ready and working towards a positive change.
“The diversity was our strength and the beautification of the society and together we can make a difference,” said Lal Chand Ukrani, President of Pakistan Hindu Council. Pakistan is very rich in its culture and history so there are many religious places of Hindus, Sikh and Christian communities in different parts of the country. So, a multi-cultural and multi-religion existence is very important in education, trade and art. It is an obligation of the state to safeguard the phenomenal religious history and cultures of Non-Muslims to provide them with a strong and peaceful presence in the state, he added.
Islamic scholar and a teacher at a religious seminary (Madrasa), Mufti Mujeeb Rahman greeted the Hindu community and said that a glance at Islamic literature fully supports the idea of religious coexistence. Islam not only respects other divine religions and acknowledges their rights, but also prohibits any forms of contempt toward them. He also congratulates the TKF for this initiative at KPC.
Ms. Naghma Shaikh and Ms. Zeenia Shaukat from TKF also addressed the event and underlined the need for such more events on religious and cultural occasions. They also emphasized religious harmony for co-existence and an atmosphere of brotherhood.
At the end of the event, a cake for Diwali was cut by all the religious leaders. The participants also lit candles to express solidarity with the Hindu community.