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Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit to Pakistan

13 June 2014


From the Revd Dr David L. Gosling

Sir, - I appreciated your upbeat account of the Archbishop of Canterbury's brief visit to Pakistan (News, 6 June). But I wish there had been more emphasis on the Church's educational resources, such as Forman Christian College (where General Musharraf was a student), or Kinneard College for Women, both in Lahore. There were no references to Roman Catholics, and of the four constituent members of the United Church of Pakistan, Anglicans predominated.

The lack of prominence given to education is unfortunate, because I believe that this is the most effective response to the horrific incidents noted in your article. Taken in isolation these may be no worse than, say, the mass shootings carried out in certain Western schools; but there is in addition a pervasive undercurrent of hostility to minorities in Pakistan - including minorities within Islam - which is not to be found in many other places.

When, however, young people from majority and minority communities learn together in the schools and colleges, in many cases founded by Christians, then mutual understanding can overcome the fanaticism and extremism currently so visible in the press. I believe that it is here that the Pakistani Churches must concentrate their efforts.

(former Principal of Edwardes College, Peshawar)
2 St Luke's Mews, Searle Street
Cambridge CB4 3DF

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