LAHORE: Speakers at a seminar on Monday emphasised the need for promoting tolerance in society to curb the menace of terrorism. The assertions were made at a seminar titled ‘Ethics of disagreement and narrative of dialogue’ arranged by the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan in collaboration with the International Law Foundation and Remedy Foundation at the Lahore High Court Bar’s Javed Iqbal Auditorium. Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan Secretary Dr Muhammad Raheem Awan expressed concerns over growing intolerance in society and urged lawyers to play their role to address the issue. He emphasised the need for promoting dialogue in society, saying that it was the only way forward to survive as a nation. “We have been divided in sects and it is crucial to change our track. We must deal with others with love and compassion and adopt the attitude of forgiveness in accordance with the teachings of Islam,” he added. Punjab University’s Prof Kumail Farooq Niazi shed light on the growth of extremism in the society. He said that hate, intolerance or other negative emotions became strong and turn into extremism and terrorism when they get finance and other supporting factors. “Hate exists in our society and its target changes from time to time. Sometime it’s aimed at judiciary, and sometime other institutions,” he added. “We become judgemental very quickly on the basis of superficial knowledge and facts which often prove wrong later on. We often develop our theory on the basis of this judgemental approach and start pursuing it.” He said that if this attitude was not checked then more problems might prop up in the future. Advocate Ramzan Wattoo said that the accused were often acquitted due to faulty investigation, but the courts and lawyers were blamed for it. He said that lawyers should be given more pro-active role at pre-trial stage so that the accused could be convicted in accordance with the law. Advocate Dilawar Khan said that five out of 20 points of the National Action Plan deal with hate speech. He briefed the participants about the hate speech concept and related laws under which an accused could be penalised. He also apprised the audience to the bodies which could be approached for redress of grievances in case of hate speech. SSP Waqar Shoeb Qureshi said that marginalisation, inequality, discrimination and denial of rights often resulted in extremism or violent extremism. He said that good governance was the key to tackling terrorism, besides other methods to address the issue. Advocate Zafar Iqbal Kalanuri said that uncertainty increases in society due to delay in disposal of cases. He said that the issue could be addressed through alternative dispute resolution. Lahore High Court Bar Secretary Amir Saeed Rawn, Members Punjab Bar Council Rana Intizar Hussain and Munir Bhatti and others also spoke on the occasion. Published in Daily Times, February 13th 2018.