Zardari makes impassioned plea to promote religo-cultural harmony

Abu Dhabi: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday made an impassioned plea to United Nations to work out special plans for promoting cultural and religious harmony. This he said during a meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on the side lines of the fourth Energy Summit in UAE on Tuesday morning.Warning that religious harmony was fast eroding the world over, he said that these tendencies also “crossed national boundaries and religious divides.” The President called upon the UN to give special attention to promoting religious and cultural harmony in the world.Extremism is being manifested in various forms including violence, intolerance, he said adding, “not only there was disharmony between different cultures, this disharmony was increasing.”
It is disturbing that in the wake of war on terror people were generally receding from the universal values of tolerance and harmony advocated by the UN, he said.“We are concerned over this trend which seems to corroborate the ominous theory of a clash of civilizations,” he said.

The President said that Pakistan came into existence in the shadow of the United Nations as both were created in the fading years of 1940s and it supported the universal values of tolerance and harmony promoted by the UN.He further said that the values of tolerance and harmony cannot be fragmented and compartmentalized into Islamic or Christian etc.Stressing that promotion of tolerance and harmony had to be across the religious and geographical divides the President also cautioned against making “exceptions and selectivity as it will shake faith in universal norms of the UN Charter”.He said that it was time to save the UN Charter and in this context the Secretary General had a central role to play.“We support greater role for the UN in promoting harmony, the President said adding also “we will be with you.”As Secretary General of the UN we are confident that you will give priority to promoting social harmony leading to universal harmony, he said.The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon appreciated the President’s ideas and said that the UN will strive to promote cultural harmony adding also that no exceptions will be made in this regard – APP