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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 18:19 GMT
Prince urges religious tolerance
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in Pakistan
The Prince of Wales has called for religious tolerance and moderation in a speech during his visit to Pakistan.

He was speaking at a women's college near Islamabad after safety fears led to the cancellation of a planned trip to Peshawar close to the Afghan border.

He and the Duchess of Cornwall spent an unscheduled second day in the capital.

Charles urged his audience to "stand up against the kind of mistaken and misguided leadership that can so easily set one community against another".

The world is in desperate need of people who have moral courage, who are not afraid of standing up for truth and fairness and civilised values
Prince Charles

"The world is in desperate need of people who have moral courage, who are not afraid of standing up for truth and fairness and civilised values - especially at a time in the world's history when ignorance and prejudice are so prevalent and so dangerous.

"Religion has once again become a source of conflict and intolerance.

"One of the tasks of education must surely be to engender the acquisition of wisdom," he said.

"In a secular age you hear again and again the accusation that religion is the cause of so much misery and strife in the world.

"However, religion itself is not the problem. It is surely human misinterpretation of the sacred texts handed down to us that can lead to such appalling misunderstanding and hatred.

"Will you, for instance, have the moral courage to stand up against the kind of mistaken and misguided leadership that can so easily set one community against another?"

Map

At the university, in Rawalpindi, armed commandos, including veiled women, from the Punjab police were on guard.

The hastily-arranged trip saw the prince and duchess touring classrooms before sitting in an open-air cafeteria with some of the young women.

One pupil, Zill Esuma, 21, said as she waited for them to arrive: "We didn't know anything about it. We have not been told."

Teacher Ruksana Hassan, co-ordinator for gender studies, said she was only informed of the royal visit a few minutes before they entered the room.

When asked by one woman if she had seen any differences between Pakistan university students and British ones, the duchess said Pakistani students appeared more hard-working.

"They're more into partying and having fun," she said of their British counterparts.

Wasp annoyance

The couple went on to an archaeological site at Taxila, also outside the capital.

Carrying out their second engagement at the ancient Buddhist ruins, the duchess was pestered by wasps.

She told reporters: "They're not my favourite things."

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
The royal couple visited a women's college and an archaeological site

She went on to buy a marble mortar and pestle from a small roadside stall for her son Tom Parker Bowles.

The prince was described as being "extremely disappointed" at the cancellation of the couple's planned visit to the north-west because of fears of violence after Pakistani forces destroyed an Islamic school near the border, killing 80.

In Peshawar, 500 members of a hardline Islamic group burned an effigy of US President George Bush and denounced Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf.

And at least 10,000 people protested in the north-western town of Khar near the site of Monday's missile attack

In the southern city of Multan, a member of Pakistan's largest Islamic political group said the military had bombed the school to show Charles how tough they could be on terrorism.

People were martyred on Prince Charles' arrival as a salute to him
Jamaat-e-Islami leader Tariq Naeem

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Tariq Naeem said: "Whenever an important American or British personality comes to Pakistan, innocent people are martyred in the name of militants.

"People were martyred on Prince Charles' arrival as a salute to him."

On Monday, the prince met President Musharraf and among subjects discussed during their 45-minute meeting was the case of a Briton sentenced to death in the country.

Prince Charles also launched a scheme aimed at helping poor youngsters become entrepreneurs and attended a reception hosted by the British high commissioner during his visit.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Prince Charles visits a women's university



SEE ALSO
In Pictures: Royal Pakistan tour
31 Oct 06 |  In Pictures
Rally condemns Pakistan air raid
31 Oct 06 |  South Asia

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