Pakistan is the country where more than 90% of the population practices Islam. However, there are minorities as well, and according to the constitution, they are free to practice and preach their religion. Yet, there are questions raised now whether either minority is safe in Pakistan or not? Well, this is hard to say as many hidden factors might point out towards propaganda too. Then, other factors ensure that minorities are safe.
However, let’s talk about the challenges we are still facing to see religious harmony in Pakistan.
- Religious misconceptions
We have too many religious misconceptions. People are following scholars like a herd and without thinking or questioning their authenticity. Then, there are certain misconceptions about other religions too. Hindus and Christianity have different religious concepts, but they suffer from a lack of understanding. A little hype from anyone, in particular, can lead to severe consequences for minorities.
So, we need to promote more logic, reasoning, and arguments through the proper channels rather than just declaring anyone non-Muslim and creating hype on social media. One has to be responsible either as a citizen or a scholar before stating any misconception as a truth.
- Political Inclusion of Minorities
The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees political inclusion of minorities by reserving a quota in Parliament and all Provincial Assemblies. Article 51(4) of the Constitution reserves ten national assembly seats for minorities. Article 106 also guarantees non-Muslim reserved seats in all Provincial Assemblies. The constitutional promise to include non-Muslim Pakistani citizens in the electoral and legislative process is met by electing minority members in different houses of the legislature in Pakistan and its provinces. The Senate of Pakistan has four reserved seats for the non Muslims.
- Lack of the concept of co-existence in Pakistan
This is a crucial factor. People lack basic tolerance towards each other if they have any conflicts. They can fight because of the political differences, and then you must understand how they can react if they come across any religious conflicts. The problem lies when we are intolerant towards anyone stating a different point of view. Since it is hardly a concept, it is difficult for many people to put forward their differences and live life honestly. So, some people from minorities have to lie to earn their place in the community. Now, are we cultivating the culture of dual life?
- Social Justice for minorities
We have seen in the last few years that people keep protesting about the missing minorities. If the problem exists and something is wrong on their part, it should have a solution by now. However, we still have a long way to go. Yes, activists are waking to help minorities with social justice, but the situation is not as simple as it seems. There are many twists to this, and we, as common citizens, might not have enough resources to find out the truth. We know that the constitution has given them all the rights according to law and for the law’s protection. But some loopholes still need to be addressed.
How can we deal with religious intolerance?
Religious harmony is a trait that develops from childhood or in educational institutes. It is possible if kids learn to coexist with minorities’ from the beginning. If they are friends with these people, they may have more tolerance. But yes, this might not be the only solution. There are many ways to deal with religious intolerance, but we can begin somewhere to cultivate the culture of religious harmony from the educational institutes.
Institutes can play a vital role in creating religious harmony among the coming generation. They can help students learn more about religions and eliminate any misconceptions about them. So, this is the one way to deal with any inter-faith differences and teach people to co-exists and offer a helping hand to each other regardless of their belief and religion. If you are a practicing Muslim, you must know that Islam promotes logic and reasoning for everything. Before you take any decision emotionally, you need to look up at the matter rationally and then decide. It is your responsibility as a citizen of Pakistan to promote more peace among people. We at Sheranwala give equal rights and importance to all our staff and customers whether they belong to any religion. We respect them, and this practice should be followed everywhere in our country because Pakistan is a country of peace and love.