ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a seminar here on Wednesday underlined the need for increased people-to-people contacts among the Central Asian States (CAS) to achieve lasting peace and prosperity in the region.
They highlighted the importance of frequent exchange of delegations at different levels to get rid of terrorism and extremism, besides promotion of regional peace and harmony. They were speaking at a seminar – Festival for peace and regional convergence, organised by Mediothek Afghanistan in collaboration with the German Embassy at Lok Virsa.
Over 100 participants, including foreign delegates, students and youth ambassadors attired in their cultural dresses, showed their resolve for regional peace and progress. Director for Media House Islamabad Dr Shahjahan Baig said that the South Asian region had remained a home of many ancient civilizations, including Gandhara, Indus, Mohenjo-Daro and Sufism which were deeply rooted in the region’s culture, besides holding the peace and convergence.
“We share the cultural, geographical, political and religious ties with Afghanistan,” he said while stressing to erase regression of the history from previous decades. Addressing the youth ambassadors of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, Shahjahan said that the people of Pakistan lauded the work of philosophers, intellectuals and poets of their countries as Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal was being praised by them.
Pakistan Academy of Sciences President Dr Qasim Jan expressed the hope that such an initiative would strengthen the bonds by increasing people’s connectivity. The future of world belonged to the youth, he said. He said that the region shared Islamic civilisation for a thousand years that compassed science, technology and many other skills.
Without peace, “we cannot sleep peacefully, get an education and develop our economies,” said Dr Salahuddin, chairman of the Press Council of Pakistan. Apart from government-to-government contacts, the people-to-people contacts were essential to bring the regional states closer, he said. He urged the youth to passionately contribute for maintaining peace by discouraging extremism and ethnicity through their wisdom, pen and education.
Deputy Head of Afghan Mission in Pakistan Zardasht Shamas assured full support of his government and said there was also a need to support the civil societies in this regard. He emphasised to expand this trilateral forum by engaging the policy and decision maker of these countries to defeat the nefarious designs of the evil forces.
Tajik Ambassador Shah Ali Jononov said that the media houses should play their role to promote peace and love, he added. Highlighting his country’s relations with Afghanistan, he said that they build six bridges on the latter’s borders to enhance connectivity for trade and transportation besides, giving scholarship to their students.
Mediothek Coordinator Muhammad Atif Faqirzadah said that they were planning to arrange more workshops, seminars and festivals on the same pattern in Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The organization would establish a vibrant network of the media houses that would provide a forum to bring the young students of these three countries at one platform for the promotion of peace and love.
Noureen Ali, a student of BS Media and Communication from the International Islamic University of Islamabad, said that she learned today from this event that dialogue was important to resolve the conflicts and appreciated the organisers for arranging such informative event. Apart from the learning session, singers from Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan enthralled the participants by singing a song in their respective languages.