Speakers at a ceremony on Monday stressed the need to eradicate extremism from the society and promote peace, tolerance, unity and brotherhood in order to thwart the nefarious designs of the enemies. The Paigham-e-Pakistan Conference held at Dargah Basahan Sharif in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) was chaired by AJK Legislative Assembly Member Ali Raza Bukhari. AJK President Sardar Masood Ahmed Khan was chief guest on the occasion, while AJK former prime minister Sardar Attiq Ahmed Khan, speaker Shah Gulam Qadir and Hurriyat leader Syed Yousaf Nasim were prominent among those who attended the event. Speaking on the occasion, Ali Raza Bukhari stressed the need to launch joint efforts to eradicate militancy, extremism, sectarianism and establish peace and tranquility in the society. “Our enemies want to divide us on religious, sectarian and ethnic lines to make us weaker. But, we will have to thwart their nefarious designs through unity,” he said, hoping that the people of Pakistan will never let such elements succeed in their ulterior motives. He said that on the initiative of Ulema Mashaikh Rabita Council Azad Kashmir, peace conferences will be organised during the first 10 days of Muharram wherein speakers will throw light on the teachings of Sufism and the role of Sufism in establishment of a peaceful society. He said different committees have already been set up to make the arrangements for such events. Other speakers called for promoting harmony and brotherhood among various segments of the society as well as different religious groups in the country. They stressed the need for a concerted effort to disseminate the message of Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative among all segments of the society across the country. They said Islam was the religion of peace and that Pakistan was a peace-loving country, adding that the country was passing through a difficult phase and every individual was required to play his role for the development of Pakistan. The speakers said that tolerance and pluralism were vital to a peaceful coexistence and a way forward to tackle multiple conflicts facing the country. They said the launch of national narrative on counter-terrorism manifested that the whole nation was extremely serious on the issue and would be successful in achieving its objectives through unity. They said it was imperative that religious scholars, intellectuals and all institutions of the state stay vigilant and apart from individual efforts, collectively work with a mutual consensus to safeguard the nation against divisiveness. Published in Daily Times, September 11th 2018.