Representative Eric Hutchings, co-chair of the Utah International Relations and Trade Commission, spoke on “The Quest for Peaceful Interfaith Co-existence” at the Universal Nexus for Interfaith Trust and Engagement (UNITE) conference in Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
UNITE believes that religious minorities in Pakistan need to be better protected from the violence that is so often occurs in that country, and that their rights and safety should be ensured.
The head of UNITE, Mufti Abu Huraira Mohiuddin, believes that the best way to do this is through the teaching of patience and tolerance to the youth in Pakistan. This organization is meant to provide dialogue among representatives of different faiths which will lead to solutions for religious harmony, respect and greater security within the country.
“I believe the role we can play as states, in moving forward meaningful dialogue and relations with entities in other nations, is important in creating increased understanding among many different peoples throughout the world,” explained Hutchings. “The bridges we build through these relationships can lead to greater cooperation, tolerance and ultimately to peace. My grandfather, Theron Hutchings, traveled to Pakistan at the request of the federal government in 1957 to assist in training the people on best practices in soil management, and Utah was one of the first responders to Pakistan when they experienced catastrophic flooding in 2010. I firmly believe that we should seek out opportunities to build on past dialogue and cooperation, with an eye toward greater safety and stability for all of us.”