Interfaith Delegation Brings Peace to Sargodha Amidst Tensions
On July 23, a delegation from the National Council for Interfaith Peace and Harmony Commission (NCFIPHC) arrived in Sargodha from Lahore, marking a significant step towards unity and peace. The delegation, comprised of local Muslim and Christian religious leaders, held a successful meeting that helped alleviate the tense atmosphere in Marriam Town, Sargodha. This tension was sparked by a blasphemous pamphlet on July 16th. Thanks to the timely intervention of the police, the situation was controlled, and no damages were reported. However, the incident left the Christian community in a state of fear, prompting several individuals to abandon their homes.
Pastor Amjad Niamat, who travelled from Lahore, outlined the purpose of the peace caravan’s visit. He emphasized the need for unity in the face of recent blasphemy cases that had created unrest in Mariam Town and instilled fear among Christians. He mentioned that the delegation came on the instructions of Mr Javed William and Moulana Shakil-ur-Rehan, with the aim of restoring peace in Mariam Town, Sargodha.
Syed Mufti Ashique Hussain echoed these sentiments, condemning those who aim to disrupt the peace of the country. He highlighted the unity of Christians and Muslims in Pakistan and criticized anti-national elements who are trying to destroy the peace of the country by taking advantage of such incidents. He also stated that the National Council for Interfaith Peace and Harmony is a combined council where members of all religions in Pakistan work together for the peace of the country.
The meeting was held at the Presbyterian Church Sargodha, where the delegation was warmly welcomed. The delegation also visited Mariam Town, where the derogatory pamphlet had recently been circulated. Syed Mufti Ashique Hussain assured that if the culprit was found among the Christians, they would take action themselves.
Tahir Naveed Choudhry, a former MPA of Punjab, thanked the Muslim scholars for their visit and assured them of the Christian community’s respect for all holy books and prophets. He emphasized the commitment to work together to bring peace to the area, following the teachings of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He stated, ‘We cannot even imagine committing such a disrespectful act that would hurt the feelings of our Muslim brothers and sisters. Today, we are conveying a message that we stand together for peace and religious harmony.’
The participants condemned the recent blasphemy incident and called for severe punishment for the culprits, assuring that there would be no riots in the city, especially during the holy month of Muharram. Abdul Waheed Rokhri praised the peace committee’s efforts and condemned those who seek to create unrest.
The meeting was attended by Hafiz Syed Naqvi, Shakil Nasir, Hafiz Sami Ullah, Mufti Shahbaz Alam Khan, and many other religious scholars, who all lent their voices to the call for peace and unity.