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Message of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Prime Minister of Pakistan on International Day of Tolerance

Islamabad: International Day of Tolerance being observed around the world today draws our attention to the imperative of promoting tolerance and respect for each other’s beliefs and rights. The day provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the dangers of intolerance and immoderation posed to global peace, harmony and social equilibrium.

The United Nations, through its resolution 51/95, asked the member states to observe November 16 as the International Day of Tolerance. The member states of UNESCO adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance on November 16, 1995. Hence the day was declared as an international observance on the initiative of UNESCO. All heads of states and governments demonstrated their commitment in a world summit held to promote and advance progress, human welfare, freedom and foster dialogue, respect and engagement among different cultures and civilizations.

Tolerance and respect for dissent is a building block for construction of a civilized and peaceful society. In an environment marked by violence, strife, extremism and terrorism, there is an urgent need to promote tolerance and engagement, so vital to peaceful coexistence among nations and societies.

Democracy provides conducive conditions within which people having different set of ideas, agendas and belief systems can sit across the table in a spirit of harmony and tolerance and explore commonalities to ensure their wellbeing. It allows people to form consensus and move ahead on the basis of mutual interests. Hence, democracy and tolerance are integral to each other. The negative attitudes such as intolerance and violence proliferate in an environment in which people’s voice has been muzzled and their fundamental rights trampled upon by the undemocratic forces.

Humanity has shared stakes in future. It just does not afford to allow a handful of bigoted minority of extremists driven by their radicalised ideology to hijack our shared values of accommodation, pluralism, tolerance, peace and love. In our efforts to make this world a worth living place for our posterity, there is a need to encourage harmony, engagement, and interfaith dialogue among the followers of different cultures and civilizations.

Media and educational institutions have their job cut out for them. They can play immensely important role in inculcating the values of tolerance and respect for each other’s beliefs.

Let us, on this day, vow to redouble our efforts to eradicate negative attitudes such as injustice, oppression, racism, violence and discrimination and make this world a peaceful place.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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