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Int’l Forum for Secular Bangladesh - Pakistan chapter launched to promote peace

Monday 11 March 2013, by siawi3

Thursday, April 19, 2012



Staff Correspondent

Pakistan’s civil society members yesterday launched the Pakistan chapter of International Forum for Secular Bangladesh & Trial of War Criminals of 1971, aiming to promote peace and resist terrorism in the name of religion.

The chapter’s 31-member executive committee will comprise Pakistan’s human and social rights activists, journalists and academics and be led by Pakistan’s former attorney general and federal minister Barrister Sayed Iqbal Haider.

“The initiative will help promote better understanding between the people of our two countries (Bangladesh and Pakistan) as well as create a positive image of Pakistan abroad,” said journalist Shahriar Kabir, executive president of the forum’s central committee.

Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club, he said secular humanists of the world should come forward and unite to resist terrorism in the name of religion to ensure peace, justice and humane values.

Syed Iqbal lauded Bangladesh’s fundamental reforms towards secular and democratic values, says a press statement of the forum.

“Like a vast majority of the Muslim countries, the prefix ’Islamic’ was omitted from the name of Bangladesh,” he said, adding that such policies created religious harmony and saved all sects of Muslims from being branded as “Kaafir”.

A senior journalist of Pakistan, Munazza Siddiqui, also the chapter’s general secretary, said while militant and Islamic extremist forces around the world are connected to each other, secular forces remain unaware of each other’s presence and activities.

The chapter wants to build links with secular humanist movements worldwide to support the Pakistan government in creating awareness on social tolerance, improve Pakistan’s global image and fight militancy by reviving the traditional Sufi culture, he said.

Kazi Mukul, secretary of the forum’s central committee in Dhaka, said the forum now has 14 chapters across the globe and this new chapter will add value to its movement.