Pakistan eases visa restrictions: Promoting religious tourism
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Pakistan is promoting religious pluralism by easing visa restrictions and promoting religious tourism to support religious inclusivity. This was explained by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Asad Majeed Khan yesterday at an interfaith Iftar event in the US.
The envoy hosted an interfaith Iftar at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC, welcoming some of Washington’s most prominent interfaith leaders. He shared the blessing of Ramazan and spoke of the need for interfaith harmony, tolerance, and understanding between different faiths.
In welcoming leaders from Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhism, and Hindu faiths, he said: “Pakistan is proud to be pluralistic. It is home to some of the holiest sites, including Buddhism and Sikh… Our architecture is the most historic in the world.”
Dr. Asad spoke about the importance of religious tolerance in the diverse world and highlighted that it was for this very reason Prime Minister Imran Khan was dedicated and committed to promoting interfaith harmony. “It was in this spirit that the prime minister took the historic decision to open the Kartarpur Corridor this year, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.” He described how the Pakistani government was working hard to prevent hate speech and promote religious freedom and tolerance.
Following the ambassador’s welcoming remarks, representatives of the Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh communities emphasized the importance of interfaith harmony. The leaders of various faiths prayed in their languages for religious tolerance, harmony, peace, and acceptance. Some highlighted the similarities between religions to promote love and humanity in the world.
The religious leaders included Dr. Sovan Tun, Father Don Rooney, Dr. Alok Srivasta, Rabbi Aaron Miller, Dr. Zulfiqar Kazmi, and Satpal Singh Kang. Participants included ambassadors, senior State Department officials, journalists, and community and religious leaders.
Over 200 people had gathered at the annual interfaith Iftar.