Pakistan: A Warm Reception
Taj Hamad and Robert Kittel
June 20, 2006
At the end of the World Peace Summit in Korea, Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak told Mr. Taj Hamad, Deputy Secretary General for Interreligious and International Affairs of the Universal Peace Federation, “You are going to Pakistan.” He and Dr. Robert Kittel, head of UPF-India, traveled to Islamabad, Pakistan, and then together to Afghanistan.
Allama Mushtaq Hussain Jaffery, Chief of Islam for Peace Movement
received Ambassador for Peace certificate from Mr.Taj Hamad
“Twenty-four hours before the June 20 event, we didn’t know who was coming or what the program would be,” Mr. Hamad said. “The UPF leader for Pakistan, Dr. Zulfiqar A. Kazmi, is a wonderful person; he is fluent, hospitable and genuine in approaching his people. A group of small Japanese women who do not even speak the language are making a difference in this country. When you look at their faces and hear their stories, you cannot help but cry. They move heaven through their earnestness and sacrifice.”
The event was held in the Marriott, the best hotel in the capital. The banner was hung about five minutes before the event began, while people were coming in. The hall filled up, with more than 300 people in attendance.
A famous singer in the country offered praise to the Prophet Mohammad. A government minister spoke highly of UPF. The imam of the largest mosque in the nation spoke; more than 30,000 people come to Friday prayers every week to listen to him. One of the most outstanding scholars in the country spoke. A group of children came on stage dressed like emissaries of peace, wearing white robes and with doves on their head.
“I had the privilege of reading the speech,” Mr. Hamad said. “I read Father Moon’s speech as he instructs it to be given, adding occasional words in Arabic from the Qur’an and the speeches of the Prophet to help the Muslims understand.”
This was followed by the prayer for blessing of marriages. Six couples stood in front representing all the couples in the audience. Several religious leaders were on the platform to offer their prayers and support. One of the imams spoke about the value of marriage, and another imam offered a prayer for the couples. Mrs. Pak offered a blessing prayer in Korean. Afterwards, the Japanese women sang a Pakistani song, moving the hearts of the people.
Robert Kittel gave a presentation about Father Moon’s life, and Ambassador for Peace certificates were presented to generals, university professors, NGO leaders, scholars, authors, and women leaders. Local, continental and international leaders joined to cut the celebration cake.
“There is an incredible grace of God in Pakistan,” Mr. Hamad observed. “We had been concerned about how things would work out, but people’s hearts were melted. People were receptive. They came running up to me asking for a copy of the speech.”
A trip to the UPF Peace Embassy in Lahore followed. Lahore is the cultural capital of the country. The Peace Embassy, built with money donated from Japan, is a two-story marble building with an elegant reception area. There are framed photos from various conferences in the rooms, and on the second floor is an auditorium for 200 people.