Sardar Masood Khan President Azad Jammu and Kashmir while acknowledging the significance of interreligious dialogue and understanding said that the awareness of differences and commonalities among civilizations can positively contribute to the peaceful resolution of international conflicts disputes and animosities.

The President made these comments during a meeting with Professor Dr. Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies in the School of International Service at American University in Washington who called on the President here at Jammu and Kashmir House today.

During the meeting, Dr. Akbar Ahmed – former High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK – also presented his latest book ‘Journey into Europe to the President. The President appreciated Professor Akbar Ahmed’s contribution to interfaith harmony to the promotion of understanding between the Islamic world and the West.

Last year President Masood Khan was invited to American University, Washington where he was received by Professor Akbar and the President was presented with Professor Akbar’s previous research publications, ‘Muslims in America’ and ‘The Thistle and the Drone’’; the latter is a book focusing on the misperceptions of the ongoing war on terror as war on Muslim tribal societies.

The Professor’s latest book, ‘Journey into Europe’ is a fourth of a quartet of studies and has been aptly accompanied by a documentary film of the same name. This interdisciplinary book researches urgent issues pertaining to immigration, Islamophobia, identity and the rise of right-wing parties, all the while also presenting the solutions to these issues.

President AJK lauded Professor Ahmed’s efforts in building bridges between different faiths and cultures and appreciated the fact that he was internationally known as an ambassador of peace focusing on strengthening linkages between various civilizations.

The President said that the world has turned a deaf ear when it comes to the conflicts taking place in the Muslim World, be it Syria, Yemen, Palestine or Kashmir. He added that Islamophobia is a reality that has to be tackled with rationale. The President has said that through modern education and exposure we can fight common misconceptions related to the Muslim world and civilization.

Speaking on the peace and security situation in the subcontinent, the President said that till this day India has not accepted the partition of the subcontinent, neither has it acknowledged the issue of Kashmir as a conflict. He said that being nuclear states the two neighbours need to work out their differences, especially addressing the pertinent issue of Kashmir.

The President also invited Professor Akbar to visit Azad Kashmir and interact with the intelligentsia and address students and academicians at public sector universities in AJK.


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