Greetings from URI Pakistan.
On 18th February, 2020, UN Chief Antonio Guterres visited Lahore, Pakistan. He met with students, religious leaders from different faiths, government officials of Punjab, representatives of media and social organizations, and peace promoters.
Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Governor of Punjab, Mr. Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister of Punjab, and Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, Grand Imam of the Royal Mosque Lahore, welcomed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at Royal Fort Lahore. First, he visited the Badshahi Mosque, and after visiting the mosque, he participated in an interfaith dialogue with religious scholars and leaders including Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs. More than 700 people were present, including religious leaders from different faiths, government officials, and representatives from media and social organizations. Fr. James Channan OP, Regional Coordinator for URI Pakistan and Director of Peace Center Lahore, and Archbishop Lahore Sebastian Francis Shah were invited by the Government of Punjab.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at Badshahi Mosque Pakistan
Religious leaders Fr. James Channan OP, Bishop Sebastian Francis Shah, Dr.Maunawar Chand, and Sardar Bishan Singh met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
In this interfaith dialogue meeting, Dr. Maunawar Chand (Hindu leader), Chairman of the Pakistan Hindu Council, and URI Cooperation Circle Coordinator of the Anglo-Asian Friendship Society Pakistan, and Sardar Bishan Singh (Sikh leader) were also invited by the Government of Punjab. Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw and Fr. James Channan OP shared his views that they feel much honored to be invited by the Government of Pakistan for this interfaith dialogue program at Royal Fort Lahore.
Pakistan is a country of believers of different religions. They shared that all minorities in Pakistan are fully protected through legal and constitutional rights. The role of religious scholars is important for harmony, promoting peace and brotherhood in society. Pakistan is the land of equal opportunities for the followers of all religions, where the people of all religions have the same rights and opportunities. The present government is also committed to protecting the rights of religious minorities as equal citizens of Pakistan. They said Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to make Pakistan a social welfare state on the pattern of the State of Madina.