Strengthen secularism to fight religious extremists in S Asia | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 20, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 20, 2011

Strengthen secularism to fight religious extremists in S Asia

Speakers tell int'l seminar

Development and rights activists of South Asian countries yesterday stressed more democratisation of state to strengthen secularism at all levels for fighting religious extremism in the region.
At an international seminar, they also put emphasis on creating a Saarc parliamentarian forum to bring the legislators of all countries together to envision a common future of South Asia.
The two-day seminar “Envisioning New South Asia: People's perspective” held at Brac Inn in the city concluded yesterday.
Income inequality, control of economic resources by the rich, and rise of corporate interest dominating the state institutions are only adding new tensions in the countries, said the speakers.
Former Indian navy chief M Ramdas said the world saw US$ 1,200 billion trading of armament last year and 30 percent of it went to India followed by 14-15 percent purchase by Pakistan.
New Age Editor Nurul Kabir said secularism along with an equitable distribution of wealth and income in the society could provide the basis of a sustainable state.
Pakistani labour leader Karamat Ali, Lalita Ramdas of India, Netra Prasad Timsina of Nepal, and Nazma Sadiq of Pakistan also spoke at the seminar.
Participants from the Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Afghanistan were present at the programme.

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