Anglican Archbishop of North America Most Reverend Dr Foley Beach has said that people in the United States (US) have mixed views about Pakistan; however, hitherto he had found nothing but goodwill and love wherever he went.

He was speaking at a reception hosted in his honour by the National Council of Churches in Pakistan President and Bishop of Raiwind Dr Azad Marshall at the Saint Peter’s School in Lahore on Tuesday.

Among those who attended the interfaith gathering were Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, Badshahi Masjid Khateeb Dr Abdul Khabeer Azad, Jamia Naeemia’s Dr Ragheb Naeemi, Pir Ziaul Haq Naqshbandi Qadri, Maulana Asim Makhdoom and Bishop of Multan Leo Roderick Paul.

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Addressing the gathering, Bishop Dr Azad called for peaceful coexistence of all religious and ethnic groups living in Pakistan. He said that both Christianity and Islam preached peace and brotherhood and called for promoting tolerance.

PUC chief Ashrafi highlighted the services of the council and other Islamic outfits for the country’s minorities, rejecting the impression of a divide between the minority and majority communities. “Everyone is an equal citizen under the constitution.”

Clerics Khabeer and Naqshbandi said Pakistan was a diverse society and people belonging to all religions lived in harmony.

Thanking the hosts, Archbishop Dr Beach said he was glad to see Islamic scholars propagating the need for interfaith dialogue. “Every society has its fair share of problems, but every religion preaches love and tolerance. And to overcome the ills of extremism and fundamentalism, there is a need to promote ideas of peace, love and tolerance.”