Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-09


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"Role of Religion and National Identity are settled Issues; there is no need to unsettle those"

Islamabad May, 27; The role of religion and the Islamic identity of Pakistan are settled issues and while the Youth should understand the basis of these, it serves no purpose to unsettle these issues, said Mr. Mujib ur Rehman Shami, Editor in Chief, Daily Pakistan and former President APNS and CPNE while addressing the Youth Parliament Pakistan on the topic of National Identity on its Second day of the Fourth Session

Mr. Shami believed that we all carried multiple identities of our nationality, religion, region and other personal identities. One identity should not be confused to be at the exclusion of the other. Pakistan is an Islamic Republic and a firmly democratic country and the two things are not in clash with each other. "Youth should learn to celebrate the multi-layered identities," he said highlighting that Pakistani identity today was not in any weak position as posed through various question of Members Youth Parliament. Pakistan has had a dynamic foreign policy and no country can afford to have one uniform, non-adaptable foreign policy. Our Islamic identity may have influenced our foreign policy but that is only one of the many factors.

Earlier, the day started with a Calling Attention Notice by Youth Information Minister, Mr. Hanan Ali Abbasi (YP15-KhyberPakhtunkhwa04) protesting the killings in Hazara district, and demanding that the people involved should be brought to justice. This was followed by another Calling Attention Notice on the target killings in Karachi that have resulted in the death of over 280 people in the last few weeks. Mr. Prem Chand (YP38-SINDH01) condemned this and said that this is planned target killing taking place with the backing of political parties.

Mr. Lehrasip Hayat (YP23-PUNJAB05) Leader of the Opposition in the Youth Parliament presented a youth package on National Identity in the House for discussion to formulate a policy on the issue of National Identity. He said that a constant imposition of abstract religion-based identity, at the expense of existing strong ethnic and cultural entities, on part of the state have created a sense of alienation in these ethnic and cultural entities and this policy hampered the formation of indigenous national identity. The House discussed that Pakistan's national identity should be viewed as heterogenic state; a mix of primordial identities (ethnic identities) having shared religious beliefs. The appraisal of existing ethnic and cultural entities should not be viewed as an antithesis to the process of national integration. Rather this process needs to be viewed as reiterating the concept of unity out of diversity. The House also discussed that anti-Westernism (based on religious differences) and pro-Westernism (liberalism) should not be any more used as our identity-marker while Identity should not also be imposed from upward to downward. Identity formation should be viewed as an evolutionary process which should move from downward to upward in the society. A Committee was formed to present a report on issue.

Mr. Javed Jabbar, former Senator and former Minister for Information and Media Development, will be the Guest Speaker tomorrow, May 28 on the topic of National Identity.

Youth Parliament of Pakistan 2008-09

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