Track two diplomacy important to improve ties: Religious Affairs Minister


Interim Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Aneeq Ahmad has said that interfaith and interfaith harmony is a must for peace in the country.

He was talking to the President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashif Anwar at LCCI.

He said that that promotion of religious tourism is one of the top priorities of the government. Executive Committee Members Raja Hassan Akhter, Malik Muhammad Nadeem and former SVP Amjad Ali Jawa were also present on the occasion.

LCCI President Kashif Anwar shed light on the economic importance of religious tourism and other matters. The Federal Minister said that we have to promote inter-faith and interfaith harmony as the enemies are busy in conspiracies to create division. He said that we have to stay united as the enemies want to tarnish soft image of the country.

He said that Pakistan is a peace loving country and we want to highlight its beautiful image at the global level. While talking about religious tourism, the Minister said that previous governments worked seriously to promote religious tourism in the country. The previous government made arrangements for 5000 visitors a day in Kartarpur but not more than 100 visitors are visiting. He said that we have to revive track two diplomacy and people to people contacts. He said that the proposal for night stay of the visitors at Kartarpur is under consideration as its beautiful view is different during day and night. It would also help promote religious tourism. He said that there was a bus service from Amritsar to Kartarpur that should be revived again.

He said that the few elements are taking such decisions to tarnish the soft image of us but we want to give the message of peace and humanity to them. He said that Pakistani people have the moral strength and every Pakistani and the government condemned the Jaranwala incident. LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that the primary objective of the Lahore Chamber is to promote trade and industry but it is also active in social sector besides making all out efforts for inter-faith harmony. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry demonstrated a strong protest against desecration of Quran in Sweden and also condemned Jaranwala incident. He urged the Minister to get a resolution passed from United Nations that nobody has the right to hit the religious sentiments of others.

He said that desecration of Quran is not freedom of speech. Kashif Anwar said that Islam respects everyone. The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a session at the LCCI to raise voice against the Jaranwala incident and demanded the government to conduct a transparent investigation.He said that the expenses of Hajj and Umrah are soaring because of rupee devaluation and these are out of the range of common man. He said that special packages should be introduced for Hajj and Umrah so that everyone could perform his religious obligation. The LCCI President said that we have to avail potential of all the sectors to get rid of the economic challenges being faced by the country. H

e said that the religious tourism can be very lucrative for the economy. He said that Pakistan has a lot of religious places for Sikhs and Hindus including Nankana Sahab, Katas Raj Mandir and Kartarpur etc which should be marketed at international level. He said that security and other facilities should be ensured while in this connection, public-private partnership can be helpful.

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