Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the keynote speaker at the International Luncheon, an important part of the National Prayer Breakfast activities in Washington DC on Thursday. Earlier during the breakfast, which was attended by more than 1400 guests from the United States and around the World, the Foreign Minister was recognized as a young and dynamic foreign minister by the Foundation organizing the event. In his remarks, the Foreign Minister emphasized the role of faith and prayer in life, both individually and collectively as a global community. He said, “faith in one Creator that watches over us, guides us and give us strength is the bonding feature of all faiths. This sense of unity enables us to see the humanity in those who are different from us, and to treat them with same kindness and respect that we would want for ourselves.” The Foreign Minister said, “In Islam the rights of our fellow human beings -Haqooq-ul-Ibad – constitute one of the most important pillars of our faith. By asking its adherents to treat all people with kindness and respect, regardless of their background or belief, Islam seeks to create a society where discord and strife are replaced by unity and harmony.” The Foreign Minister referred to the many challenges facing the world today and emphasized the need to reaffirm our belief in the importance of compassion and empathy in addressing global issues. “Our fate is tied to the fate of others and we must work together to build a better future for all.” He emphasized the need to build bridges of understanding, tolerance and compassion in pursuit of our common desire to have peace and amity. The Foreign Minister also spoke about the devastating floods in Pakistan and thanked the international community for coming forward and assisting Pakistan in this hour of need. The National Prayer Breakfast is a high profile event, held annually since 1953, that gathers US and international leaders for a discourse on contemporary issues with key emphasis on the importance of faith and democracy. This year’s Breakfast was also attended by King of Jordan, His Majesty King Abdullah II. The invitation to the Foreign Minster as a keynote speaker at the International Luncheon is a recognition of Pakistan’s important voice in this discourse.