ISLAMABAD - Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman Senate Defence Committee, has stated that people of Pakistan have an ingrained tolerance that is an essential part of their ethos and ,therefore, conflicts in Pakistan have arisen from attempts to purposefully ignite intolerance by vested interests.

He was addressing a knowledge seminar on Peacebuilding in Pakistan, organised by DANIDA and Search for Common Ground.

“Take the example of Afghan refugees,” he said. “Pakistan is the only country in the world that has peacefully hosted such a large population for such a long time.”

He also said that no sectarian clashes are ever observed in the aftermath of sectarian-targeted violence to which people respond effectively united as one community, irrespective of their diverse affiliations.

Attended by distinguished names in politics, development sector and diplomatic community, the seminar presented two studies on the different perceptions about conflict in Pakistan.

The findings indicated, among other things, a public perception that US policies in South Asia and the Middle East instigated more conflicts than any other factor. Poverty was observed to be the number one reason for conflict while the role of media and political leadership in conflict management also came under discussion.

In closing remarks, he further highlighted reasons for what he believed to be “an injection of culture of violence”.

The ‘Culture of Kalashnikovs’ was a ‘gift’ of the ‘joint jehad’ of the West and the Muslim World against the Soviet empire’, he added.

He first stressed upon the geo-political factors that trace back to the Afghan Jehad days when US and NATO forces nurtured networks for flow of fighters and arms.

Mushahid also emphasised on Pakistan’s own political culture as being another factor.