Time ripe for India, Pakistan to open new chapter in bilateral relations: Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has said that time has come for both India and Pakistan to open a new chapter of bilateral relations based on mutual cooperation and peace. He said that wars, tensions, and disputes were not solution to the problems bedeviling their relations. He said that dialogue was the only way forward through which all bilateral issues between the both countries could be brought to negotiated and amicable settlement. He said that Pakistan and India needed to work together against poverty, ignorance, corruption and unemployment, which were their joint enemies. He said that the killing of innocent people whether in India or Pakistan was a great crime against humanity.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri expressed these views while addressing a seminar held under the banner of Minhaj University on the subject of ‘Pakistan-India, SAARC Relations and Future of South Asia” through a video link from Canada.

He said that road to progress passed through love and peace. He said that philosophy of love, peace and non-violence espoused by the Quaid-e-Azam and Mahatama Gandhi was inspired by the Quranic message, adding that the people of India and Pakistan should take guidance from the teachings of their respective founding fathers, Gandhi and Quaid-e-Azam, to chart a new course in their relations. He said that if both countries became peaceful neighbours for the sake of the bright future of their succeeding generations, the SAARC vision of development would emerge with a bang for the entire world to see as the region possessed huge natural and human potential.

Dr Qadri said that Pakistan and India in particular and SAARC countries in general were entering a new era where their bilateral and multilateral relations should become moderate, normal and friendly and these relations should be based on mutual trust, and cooperation. He said that the people of both India and Pakistan should have a firm belief that they were not enemies of each other. Rather their enemies were poverty, underdevelopment, corruption and deteriorating law and order in the region. He said that Pakistan and India should work for promotion of education and poverty eradication, adding that their actions should be people-centric aimed at ensuring their wellbeing.

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri asked both nations to move forward by doing away with acrimony, and confrontationist mindset and bridge the gulf through promotion of positive and moderate behavior. He said that trust deficit had been one of the major factors hindering the growth of their bilateral relations, adding that it was time to turn the page in their relations and chart a new course forward based on modern-day realities. He said that negotiated settlement of all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan was the only option available as wars failed to present any solution. He said that if both countries became reliable neighbours for the sake of their succeeding generations, it would have a positive impact on other countries of South Asia and open up new vistas of multilateral cooperation. He sought an end to violence and killing and lawlessness on the basis of religion, politics, color, race and caste, adding that the killing of innocent people, be it happened in India or Pakistan, was a great crime against God, humanity, religions, civilizations and human values.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that Nizam-ud-Din Aulia, Qutub-ud-Din Bakhtiar Kaki, Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti Ajmeri, Hazrat Baba Farid-ud-Din, and Data Ali Hajveri as well as other Sufis played a leading role in promotion of love, peace and harmony among followers of different religions and bringing them closer to one another. He said that message of peace, love and respect for humanity was common to teachings of Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism and Buddhism. He said that Mahatma Gandhi wrote in a Young India Magazine in 1924: “Islamic teachings are based on negation of selfishness and rat race and on firm belief in Allah Almighty, simplicity, sincerity, fulfillment of pledge, loyalty to humanity, benevolence, and productivity. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), the founder of Islam, was the one who knit the humanity and hundreds of thousands of hearts into a thread of love. I have a firm conviction that Islam spread through the force of Muhammad’s character (PBUH) and not through sword at all.”

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri cited Mahatma Gandhi as commenting about the Holy Quran on July 13, 1940: “I have gone through the Holy Quran a number of times and reached the conclusion that the Quran’s teachings are based on love, peace and non-violence. According to the Quran, staying away from violence, torture, oppression and killing is the duty of every Muslim.”

Addressing the Hindus living in India, Dr Qadri asked them to take to conception of peace and love which Gandhi propounded about Islam and the Quran. He said that the Indian Muslims should also play their role for the development of the region in accordance with the Quranic teachings.

He said that the thought of Muhammad Ali Jinnah emanated from the Holy Quran and his teachings were based on promotion of love, peace and tolerance. He said that Lord Mountbatten suggested to the Quaid-e-Azam before administering oath to him to mete out the same treatment and generosity to Hindus which was exhibited by Mughal Emperor Akbar. To this, Muhammad Ali Jinnah replied that character and conduct of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was much more worthy of emulation than that of Akbar. Referring to Last Sermon, the founder of Pakistan said that our Prophet (peace be upon him) had taught us the lesson of respect towards Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims and gave them equal rights in the Muslim state.

Dr Qadri said that good neighbourly relations between Indian and Pakistan could put the region on the trajectory of development.