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In 1995, Sajid Ishaq completed his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Manila, Philippines. His formal education has served as the foundation for his ability to develop keen leadership skills, solid business judgment, and excellent communication abilities. On his return to Pakistan he put his abilities to best use by establishing a local Non-Governmental Organization in Islamabad to promote interfaith harmony and peace in the region through different development projects.
The Mission of Sajid was to assist the marginalized communities irrespective of their faith, cast, and creed and to strengthen them economically and educationally to highlight the importance of Peace and Interfaith harmony.
He did his Community Development studies from University of Birmingham, Sally Oak Collage UK and preceded to Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada for Development Evaluation study. He also pursued various short courses from different countries including USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe.
In a short span of time, under the extraordinary guidance of Sajid Ishaq, the organization was able to establish its presence in four provinces of Pakistan, namely KPK, Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan, encompassing 45 districts.
He holds strong reputation in civil society organizations, national and international community, Church, media, and political circle and regarded as a very strong leader with great abilities. He is also considers Torch Bearer of Peace and Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan and beyond.
He is playing an essential role in creating awareness among people of different faiths regarding the importance and values of interfaith harmony, peace, tolerance and respect.
He envisions creating a new generation of peace workers, peace defenders and peace negotiators for catalyzing positive changes in the community. They would be the ambassadors of peace working towards prevention of ethnic conflicts and religious extremism to promote sustenance of interfaith and intra faith harmony in the multi-cultural scenario of Pakistan and beyond.
His aim is to help Pakistan become a true democratic State. He struggles for equal rights for all Minorities; Access to Justice, Quality Education for All and for the abolishment of discriminatory laws that discriminate on the basis of religion. He believes that no one can change the past but the future is in our hands; we can learn from errors made by our elders and rectify them by not repeating the same mistakes, thus making an effort to open our hearts to positive change in every way. He strongly believes that peace between nations is possible only when there is peace within communities and among people of different faiths and beliefs.
In order to fulfill his mission he engages in Advocacy and lobbing and holds dialogues between different religious scholars, students, teachers, policy makers, parliamentarians and clergy.
He is also the founder of the first Interfaith Peace Museum in Pakistan which ranks as the 34th Peace Museum in the world. The museum’s success is a tribute to Sajid’s superior leadership, talent, and communicative skills. Recognizing his qualities of excellence he was also elected Executive Board member of International Network of Peace Museums, which represents 34 countries around the globe.
Engaging his extraordinary abilities and his strong communication skills in developing creative and innovative ideas to reach community members, Sajid Ishaq has initiated Peace Groups engaging people from different faith, students of educational institutions who are with him as peace activists.
Sajid Ishaq has extraordinary talents and qualities in his capacity as an Interfaith Community Leader. He is among top Interfaith Community Leaders who possesses abilities to promote interfaith harmony, peace, tolerance and respect, negotiate deals, analyze problems, and create ideas that will empower people and help integrate them into the social fabric.
Sajid is known as a most influential advocate and promoter, on a global scale, of interfaith harmony and peace among minorities. He has accomplished many significant goals and has made many noteworthy contributions towards this end. Consistently, he has been at the forefront of benevolent causes, selflessly helping those in need. He has been providing Humanitarian Assistance to victims of various calamities irrespective of their cultural, religious and provincial differences.
Due to his experience and expertise in the field, Sajid Ishaq has been invited to participate and speak at various international conferences and Universities on the subjects of peace, peace-building, Christian development, and disaster preparedness.
Over the years he has represented Pakistan on various forums such as;
· Sustainable Housing in the age of Disaster and Climate Change, in Bangkok
· 6th International Conference for Peace, Osaka, Japan
· Disaster Preparedness Conference, Malaysia
· South Asian Partners Conference, Utrach, The Netherlands
· Christian Micro Enterprise Development Consultation, Romania
· Christian Micro Enterprise Development Consultation, Thailand
· Christian Micro Enterprise Development Consultation, Oxford UK
· Central Asian Businessmen Consultation, Virginia USA
· The Gideon’s International Convention, Chicago
The tireless peace-building work to promote interfaith harmony and religious tolerance among communities of different faiths constitutes another contribution of significant importance to the people of Pakistan. Mr. Ishaq is an Interfaith Community Leader of extraordinary abilities. During his professional efforts in bridging the gap between different multi cultural communities his valuable endeavors have been recognized and supported by the media which is considered to be a very strong pillar of the society.
Sajid Ishaq holds the highest qualifications in the field of Interfaith, Community Leadership, specifically in the areas of education, communications, charitable campaigns, and special projects. He has excelled in his profession, worked directly with world leaders, and reached the top of his field because of his talent, vision, qualifications, and skill are simply extraordinary. He is among the most prominent Pakistani in his field.
In recognition of his outstanding efforts for peace and harmony in the society he has received awards from Interfaith Peace Council Pakistan and Hindu Community and certificates from numerous organizations.
Interfaith Christmas Dinners Hosted by Sajid Ishaq
The Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL) hosted the annual ‘Interfaith Christmas Dinner’ at a local hotel last evening. PIL is a socio-political movement comprising a network of religious scholars, clerics, political workers, journalists, lawyers, academia, students, civil society representatives, and members of corporate sector specifically focusing to promote interfaith harmony, peace and collective wisdom in their respective domains.
Sajid Ishaq, Chairman PIL and Central President of Minorities of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) set the tradition of hosting the ‘Interfaith Christmas Dinner’ in 2005 and since then the Christmas dinner has been held each year by bringing together people belonging to all faiths, under one roof. The annual event has been successful in providing a platform to people from different religious beliefs to join in the celebrations of Christmas and share the joy and blessings of this month.Promotion of Peace is only possible when we accept people belonging to other religious faiths as equal humans and for that it is important to understand each other’s faiths, traditions and customs. Mr. Imran KhanChairman PTI was the Chief Guest at the occasion. The event was attended by Bishop Ishaq Mazhar Chairman NBCP, a large number of PTI Senior Members, Senior Bureaucrats, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Diplomats and Religious Scholars from different faiths, representatives of the Civil Society, Provincial, Divisional and District Presidents and General Secretaries of PTI and political workers.
ChairmanPIL, Sajid Ishaq, welcomed the distinguished guests and wished them a Merry Christmas. He said that Christmas is the time when we share our joys and blessings with those who are less privileged.He expressed sorrow on the present state of affairs in the country where religious intolerance and religious extremism are consistently on the rise. He said that Pakistan is in desperate need of Interfaith Harmony and the “Interfaith Christmas Dinner” is an endeavour to promote Interfaith Harmony among various stakeholders.
Addressing the Chairman PTI, Mr. Imran Khan, Sajid Ishaq said that the Minorities of Pakistan welcome the concept of a “New Pakistan”however the minorities hope that the “New Pakistan” would be a country where the religious minorities are considered equal citizens; where there are no discriminatory laws for the minorities; where lives and property of the minorities are protected and safeguarded against harassment, torture, disrespect, murder and arson; where the minorities have access to justice; where the minorities are given proper representation in the parliament according to their true population figures. Sajid Ishaq said that the minorities of Pakistan demand their rights in accordance to theArticle 27 of the Constitution of Pakistan which says, “…safeguard against discrimination in services”, and Article 36, “The State shall safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the Minorities including their due representation in the federal and provincial services.” Sajid Ishaq also highlighted the fact that the vacant seat of the Senate in the KP awaits nomination and he requested the PTI Chairman to kindly ensure that a Christian is nominated for the said seat as presently there is no representation of the Christians in the National or Provincial Assemblies while a large number of Christian community lives in the KP and other provinces.
Sajid Ishaq also demanded from the Government to re-establish the National Harmony Ministry as before so that the interests of the Minorities are not ignored and are well represented at the Federal level and issues related to interfaith harmony are addressed. Appreciating the endeavors of Governor of KP, Chairman PIL said that the handing back of Edward’s College Peshawar to the Christian Community was indeed a great milestone for PTI. Chairman PIL requested Chairman PTI to pass a legislation for imposing severe punishment on those who address the Religious Minority members with derogatory, discriminatory and humiliating nicknames, especially the people who are working as janitors. Remembering the victims of Kot Radha Kishan tragedy, Sajid Ishaq again demandedthat the Governmentshould provide a fair and just trial to the victims and their family. He said that if the Government is able to provide justice to the Minorities this time then it will succeed in sending a strong message to the masses that religious extremists will not be tolerated.
Speaking on the occasion, the PTI Chairman, Imran Khan, extended his felicitations to the Christian Community on the occasion of Christmas. He applauded the untiring efforts of PIL in being the voice of the voiceless and its endeavors for the promotion of Peace through Interfaith Harmony festivities. He said that PTI is gravely saddened by the increasing incidents of religious intolerance in the country and extended his condolences to the families that have lost their family members because of these heinous incidents. Chairman PTI expressed sorrow on the discrimination meted out to the minorities in Pakistan and said that when PTI comes into power, all citizens of Pakistan will be treated on the basis of humanity and justice will be provided to all on the basis of equality; there will be Rule of Law instead of the Jungle Law prevalent at the moment and no member of the Religious Minority will be subjugated to discriminatory and derogatory behavior. He said that he strongly believed that the Religious Minorities should be given their right to true representation at the Federal and Provincial levels and that “New Pakistan” will be a place of Peace and blessings for all citizens of Pakistan.
He assured Mr. Sajid Ishaq that he will give serious consideration on the implementation of the important points highlighted by him in his address for the restoration of justice for the minorities in Pakistan and will endeavor to curb the biased and derogatory attitudes directed towards them in any language.
- Saeed Shah (2012-08-27). "Pakistani Muslim leaders support Christian girl accused of blasphemy". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/27/pakistani-muslim-christian-girl-blasphemy. Retrieved 2012-08-28.
- "Interfaith League chief joins PTI". The Nation. 2012-05-13. http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/13-May-2012/interfaith-league-chief-joins-pti. Retrieved 2012-08-28.