Give peace a chance – Laiq Ahmed Atif

An Indian demonstrator installs placards during an anti-war demonstration called by pacifist organisations in New Delhi on March 4. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

An Indian demonstrator installs placards during an anti-war demonstration called by pacifist organisations in New Delhi on March 4. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

The times we live in pose great challenges to the peace and prosperity of the entire world. Despite the fact that everyone appreciates and comprehends that the world badly needs peace, tolerance, harmony and forbearance, regrettably, it seems as though people are unwilling to take the necessary steps, measures and precautions to get there.

Sadly, the flames of wars and conflicts are being seen in many parts of the world and the storm clouds forewarning us of World War III are getting heavier by the day.

The horrific devastation of such a war is beyond imagination and its effects would last for decades to come. Children of current and future generations will, more than likely, be born crippled or with genetic defects due to the lasting effects of radiation.

A recent example of such threats to peace is the growing tension between two nuclear-armed countries, India and Pakistan. The situation is escalating day by day and army troops are being deployed in droves near boarder areas.

At this critical moment, the voice that needs to be heard is that of giving peace a chance. Every sane and sensible citizen of either country should work together to achieve peace and prosperity.

As a true lover of humanity, it is my firm belief that the world needs peace, love and brotherhood. The world needs an end to wars. Instead of walls of hatred being erected, we need peace to prevail and for this to become a reality we must all join together and work hand in hand for the betterment of the entire human race.

It is an undeniable fact that, when wars break out, no one wins or loses, but the side that suffers the greatest loss is humanity and humanity alone.

When wars break out, no one wins or loses but the side that suffers the greatest loss is humanity and humanity alone

So, at this critical juncture, I appeal to both countries to give peace a chance and let the better sense prevail. Both sides should show restraint and resilience, convey the message of peace and harmony, engage in dialogue and tread on the path that leads to peace, not war.

I do not intend to go into the geopolitical debate that has haunted the Indo-Pak borders for many decades, however, I would like to draw the attention of both countries to the fact that, instead of spending billions of dollars on defence budgets, they should seek to establish peace between themselves and spend that wealth on the well-being and welfare of their citizens.

This is because poverty, ignorance and illiteracy are at their highest and there is a dire need to provide education, health and employment to the people of both countries.

It is noteworthy that the ever-rising defence budget of both countries is far higher than combined budgets of crucial areas like health and education. The money that needs to be spent to provide health and education is being spent to buy weapons. The means that need to be utilised for the survival and betterment of humanity are being exploited to inflict pain and injury to humankind.

The worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has, on many occasions, drawn the attention of world leaders towards the fact that everything else comes second; what comes first is the well-being of the global population.

Furthermore, he has also warned that neglecting the well-being of the population will, ultimately, cause global unrest to increase while providing ease in the lives of people will lead to peace and prosperity.

Moreover, he has highlighted the importance of resilience and peace building and the Quranic injunction of cooperation, which states: “Help one another in righteousness and piety; but help not one another in sin and transgression” (5:3).

He prayed for the world in the following words:

“I pray with all my heart that mankind forsakes greed and forgoes the pursuit of narrow self-interests and, instead, comes to recognise the importance of protecting all of humanity and of showing kindness, compassion and love towards God’s creation. I pray that a spirit of service to humanity takes permanent root in society so that we protect our future and leave behind a better world for our children and coming generations to live in.”

I very humbly urge both India and Pakistan, and, indeed, the entire world, to unite in the name of God and spread love and compassion. Because “God is love, God is peace! Love can never beget hatred and peace can never lead to war”.

Laiq Ahmed Atif is president  of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta.

This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece


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