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.”