he Executive Lecture Series (ELS), on Tuesday 12th March 2013, added the Rt Rev Irfan Jamil, Bishop of Lahore, Pakistan to its ranks today as he addressed a seminar on "The Future of Pakistan - A Need to Continue Interfaith Dialogue" as a keynote speaker. After hosting a British delegation led by Toaha Qureshi MBE in Lahore, Pakistan to discuss minority rights, Bishop Irfan visited LCBMIT with his wife to see the minority students that had been offered scholarships from the College to support them during their studies.
Umar Mahmood kicked off the seminar by introducing the speakers and giving background to the area of minorities in Pakistan. A sordid history of violence and pain is the overwhelming story that is portrayed of Pakistan but, as always, there are two sides to every story. He invited Mr Qureshi to delve into the trip to Pakistan and the positive work being carried out in Pakistan to counteract the negativity of minority problems - work that is generally being over looked.
Principal and CEO Toaha Qureshi MBE stressed that there is a perception that people of different faiths cannot live side by side; but recently there has been a wave of initiatives to foster and promote interfaith relations. The future of Pakistan is bright and a stable, prosperous and united Pakistan can be assured by educating people - to this extent, we have offered minorities in Pakistan the "Change Maker Scholarship" to study but as part of that, we will provide them with mentoring which will build their capacity to continue the work in Pakistan.
Rev Rana Khan introduced BIshop Irfan and his discussed his long standing work with the Lahore diosces. Bishop Irfan echoed those words and went on to say that we must sense the changing times in Pakistan and the development that is taking place. He added that his interaction with the British delegation led by Mr Qureshi to Pakistan had a huge impact on the surrounding community and efforts must continue. While the Pakistani community in Britain can support Pakistan in ultimately becoming a peaceful and stable country, the country must change from within, such as bringing together the youth and the older generations to bridge the gap in communication. Bishop Irfan strongly urged students to complete their studies and revitalize the want for prosperity. He thanked LCBMIT and its associate organisations for promoting the democratic and economic prosperity of Pakistan by providing students exposure to education in Britain and organising such timely seminars to broaden the experience of students and the general public alike.
After the seminar, Bishop Jamil was presented with a memento from Mr Qureshi.