Pakistan is home to one of the most diverse populations in the world. This is the country where exists a wide diversity of culture, traditions and languages. Although nation of Pakistan has been, and still is, facing mighty internal challenges which threaten even its existence and it is often accused of being a fundamentalist and intolerant society, yet it is not true because this is the nation of tolerant, loving and resilient people. The fact was further reinforced by a recent “World Values Survey,” that ranks Pakistanis among the most racially tolerant people in the world.
The “World Values Survey” was based on respondents in more than 80 different countries to identify the sorts of people they would not wish to have their neighbours. In case of Pakistan, only 6.5 percent of the respondents objected to having a neighbour of a different race. This further proves the persistence of high level of tolerance in our people. Anglo and Latin American countries were among the most tolerant countries as respondents from UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were the most receptive to having racially diverse neighbours. It means that Pakistanis are more racially tolerant than even Germans or the Dutch.
India, Jordan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong are among the least racially tolerant countries, according to the survey. It indicates that 43.5 percent of Indians, 51.4 percent of Jordanians, 71.8 percent of Hong Kongers and 71.7 percent of Bangladeshis are “racially intolerant”. Only three countries, out of the 81 surveyed, had more than 40 percent of respondents saying that they would not like to have a neighbour of a different race.
How many people in the world have the courage to start from scratch and touch the skies of glory with an unrelenting hope and courage to fight adverse circumstances? Every day we wake up with a renewed vigour to defeat the radical forces that have plagued our country. The resolve of our nation is even more strengthening and our commitment to defeat intolerance, fundamentalism and extremism is still indomitable. It is due to this resolve and courage that we are not ready to give up despite all challenges. This is the true face of Pakistan.
Although the findings of this study are worth celebrating, yet we have to acknowledge that other side of the picture in our country is not so good. Here exit some fundamental problems that are not less than a daunting challenge. Unfortunately, evils like racial discrimination, radicalism, fundamentalism, religious intolerance, sectarian violence, gender disparity, poor economic and human development, injustice, inequality and bad governance still prevail.
To overcome these menaces, the State of Pakistan should play a proactive role in strengthening social fabric of our society. It should promote equality, justice, social harmony, unity and tolerance in society, as we can’t afford any more divisions in the name of religion, race and language.
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