Pro­mot­ing Plu­ral­ism

Enterprise - - Out and about -

The Cana­dian High Com­mis­sion launched an ini­tia­tive for plu­ral­ism at an event invit­ing over 350 promis­ing young lead­ers and youth ac­tivists from var­i­ous col­leges, stu­dent so­ci­eties, eth­nic and re­li­gious mi­nor­ity groups and other com­mu­nity lead­er­ship fo­rums. The event also fea­tured the South Asian-cana­dian mu­si­cal group Josh and was part of a broader dis­cus­sion on the role of plu­ral­ism and di­ver­sity in Canada and Pak­istan.

The event sent the mes­sage, “In a pro­gres­sive so­ci­ety, the true vic­tory is the vic­tory of democ­racy and plu­ral­ism.”

The mu­si­cal band Josh rep­re­sented an ex­pres­sion of Cana­dian plu­ral­ism and pro­jected how di­ver­sity can be­come a force for creativ­ity as Rup (Rupin­der Magon) was born and raised in a prac­tic­ing Sikh fam­ily in Mon­treal and Q (Qur­ram Hus­sain) is a Pak­istani im­mi­grant to Canada.

The Cana­dian High Com­mis­sion also in­tends to con­duct a me­dia cam­paign to en­gage Pak­ista­nis on the theme of plu­ral­ism. The event also hon­oured the mem­ory of slain Shah­baz Bhatti, for­mer Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Mi­nori­ties on the first an­niver­sary of his as­sas­si­na­tion.

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, An­drew Ng, Head of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Cana­dian High Com­mis­sion, said that Canada has very strong peo­ple-to-peo­ple links with Pak­istan and there are an es­ti­mated 300,000 Cana­di­ans of Pak­istani ori­gin.

“Like Pak­istan,” he said, “Canada has a long ex­pe­ri­ence deal­ing with di­ver­sity. Canada was founded on the prin­ci­ples of peace, or­der and good gov­ern­ment, which were very much rooted in the mu­tual accommodation of the French, English and First Na­tions com­mu­ni­ties. Over the years, these prin­ci­ples have ex­panded to wel­come gen­er­a­tions of im­mi­grants to Canada, first from Europe and then from all over the world. I would add that Chris­tian­ity is the largest re­li­gion in Canada, but Is­lam is the sec­ond largest, with over 1 mil­lion of Mus­limCana­di­ans, which amount to 3 per­cent of our pop­u­la­tion.

He re­marked that Pak­istan has a long his­tory of ac­com­mo­dat­ing di­ver­sity from the Gan­da­hara, Mo­hen­jadaro and In­dus Val­ley civ­i­liza­tions and that for cen­turies, Hindu, Sikh and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties have co-ex­isted peacefully in what is to­day Pak­istan.

“Quaid-e-azam Mo­ham­mad Ali Jin­nah cap­tured the spirit of plu­ral­ism when he used the phrase ‘unity in di­ver­sity.’ The chal­lenge of unit­ing peo­ple from di­verse com­mu­ni­ties is com­mon to all plu­ral­is­tic so­ci­eties around the world.” South­east Asia and Sub-sa­ha­ran Africa and a new chap­ter in the Abraaj Cap­i­tal story.”

Com­ment­ing on the trans­ac­tion, Sev Vet­tivet­pil­lai, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Aureos said, “The in­te­gra­tion with the Abraaj Group is a tes­ta­ment to Aureos’ suc­cess and in­vest­ment propo­si­tion in the high-growth economies of Asia, Africa and Latin Amer­ica. It fur­ther val­i­dates and strength­ens our busi­ness model and will pro­vide us with ac­cess to greater re­sources, tremen­dous syn­er­gies in the back of­fice, new mar­kets and com­pelling in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. I look for­ward to work­ing within the Abraaj Group to fur­ther ex­pand the Aureos fo­cus on the SME seg­ment across all emerg­ing mar­kets and in­te­grat­ing our busi­ness plat­forms to fur­ther en­hance in­vestor re­turns and longterm value for all stake­hold­ers.”

Rod Evi­son, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, CDC, a UK De­vel­op­ment Fi­nance In­sti­tu­tion, com­mented, “Aureos has been able to build its in­vest­ment busi­ness on a track record of care­ful and mar­ket-ori­en­tated in­vest­ment in SMES, so the an­nounce­ment is good news for en­trepreneurs in emerg­ing mar­kets. It will mean in­creased ac­cess to cap­i­tal and lo­cal ex­per­tise for busi­nesses to help them grow and reach their po­ten­tial.”

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