ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Barrister Syed Ali Zafar on Thursday said that the world should unite against intolerance and injustice and promote values of harmony and love for ensuring sustainable peace.

Speaking at an International Conference entitled “Pakistan’s Pluralistic Cultural Values of Peace, Tolerance and Love” here, he said that any kind of intolerance was injustice to humanity.

He said that intolerance was increasing in the world and one of the reasons for the growing tendency of intolerance was lack of education and opportunities, absence of discussion and increasing disparity between the rich and poor.

He said that the country’s Constitution guaranteed basic rights of the people including the freedom of speech and expression.

The Constitution also gave basic rights to the minorities and Pakistani State was protecting them from any kind of oppression, he observed.

He said that Sufis through their teachings imparted the values of love and harmony and promoted peaceful co-existence.

 “We have to go back to basic teachings and learn values spread by Sufis.”

Sufis focused on God and their doors were opened for people of every religion, he said.

The basics of our religion included fundamental rights of people that were also enshrined and preserved in our Constitution, he added.

The Minister said that Pakistani citizens were facing problems due to lack of facilities of education, health and jobs, but they were hard working and had strong traditions and culture that bound them together.

“We are a peace loving nation, not just shake hands, but also embrace each other, which menifests a strong sense of bond among the people,” he said.

He said that Pakistan faced a difficult time because of the confrontation between the United States and Soviet Union which divided the world between the East and West blocs.

Pakistan fought a war, then the United States left the region and abandoned the country, he said, adding, Armed Forces and people of Pakistan fought with resilience against terrorism and repelled the views which terrorist organisations were imposing.

Ali Zafar said that despite all the turmoil, people of Pakistan desired peace and harmony and women played a critical role in ensuring peace and progress in Pakistan.

“We gave unparallelled sacrifices in the war against terrorism and won the war with our unity and solidarity. Those who commit atrocities against minorities are not Pakistanis.”

The Minister said that oppressing minorities anywhere in the world was condemnable.

He said that education was a key to resolve problems and should be treated as a security issue like other security challenges posed by water scarcity and terrorism.