KARACHI: Pakistan needs to question the contemporary manifestations of discrimination, intolerance and extremism by restoring the pluralistic vision of its inception.
These remarks were made by speakers at Jinnah Institute and Habib University at the university town hall at a seminar on 'Cultural Pluralism and the Politics of Identity'.
According to sources, while addressing the audience, Dr Charles Amjad discussed the historical evolution of Pakistan's societal structure, saying that we began as a hybrid, pluralist society in the post-colonial stage. He pointed out the impact of historical factors that have influenced Pakistan's social challenges.
By identifying different ethnic groups that have different ethos, Bina Shah furthered focused on the multiple identities that all Pakistani's have, including gender, religion, and tribal. She stated, “While many advocate for unity to reach an alternate vision for a pluralist society, there is also strength in diversity.”
Tehruk-e-Niswan founder Sheema Kermani focused on the link between cultural pluralism and heritage. While much of it is inherited, she emphasised on how individuals can also cultivate heritage. She stated, “Identities cannot be purely defined by religion, and such collective identities are not inherited, but have been created over the years. “
Farieha Aziz of Bolo Bhi further added, “The rise of divisive politics, where differences in ethnicity and religious affiliations are defined as being either right or wrong.” She urged for freedom of expression and religious beliefs as granted to citizens under the Constitution of Pakistan.