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Civil society takes out peace walk to put an end to the violence sparked by ethnicity and creed

Faisalabad: Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM), Peace and Human Development (PHD Foundation), SPMUDA, Development Organization for Social Transformation (DOST), Participatory Organization for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER) and Liaison for Enforcement of Human Rights (LEHR) jointly staged a peace walk to mark the solidarity day, which calls for equal opportunities for the excluded, for justice, and the good governance, accountability and rule of law, and promotion of diversity and harmony among communities as a step towards establishing peace. The peace march was held in solidarity with all those that are suffering injustices, tyranny, violence, bombings, target killings, extortions, kidnappings and lack of access to opportunities.

The participants were carrying peace symbols, banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of peace, democracy, justice and human rights. They marched at Circular Road, and chanted slogans against discrimination, class division, feudalism, exploitation, extremism, intolerance, terrorism, inflation and corruption present in the Pakistani society.

The peace march was joined by over 110 Muslim and Christian participants from different walks of life including students, lawyers, representatives of trade unions, workers’ unions, political parties and civil society organizations namely; PHD, AWAM, DOST, POWER, CARE, NCJP, RDS and Idara Samajhi Behbood.

Speaking on the occasion, Naseem Anthony, Shazia George, Nazia Sardar, Naseem Akhtar, Aamir Shahzad, Arif Ayaz and Amina Zaman shared their views on the challenges and prospects for peace in the county.

They stressed on the need of unity and harmony among communities for building culture of peace in Pakistan, and urged the government to take exemplary actions against elements for their involvement in destructive and unlawful activities, and for inciting hatred and creating rifts on various grounds for their vested interests.

The participants of the march urged the government to take tangible steps for the promotion of peace and harmony: The sectarian, ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity must be recognized, respected and promoted in order to build a culture of tolerance in Pakistan; The government must put an end to the violence sparked by ethnicity, colour and creed; The rights of marginalized groups such as; women, minorities, children, workers and persons with disabilities must be protected; Lives and properties of the citizens and religious sites of all communities including shrines must be protected; The educational curriculum must be purged from biased material in order to make it a source of peace promotion, whereas material promoting human rights, peace, harmony and religious, sectarian and ethnic tolerance must be included in the syllabus; Sincere efforts must be put to control unemployment, inflation and loadshedding of gas and electricity.

For more information, contact:
Naseem Anthony
Executive Secretary
Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM)
Street No.9, Block ‘D’, Barkatpura, G.P.O 665, Railway Road,
Faisalabad-38000 Pakistan
Tel: +92-41-2004270
Fax: +92-41-8721370
Email: contact@awampk.org

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