Report by ‘We Journalists’
We Journalists, an effective voice of media people, human rights activists, environmentalists and political thinkers, organized a cultural activity on the occasion of Aman Ittehad – Solidarity Day, jointly with CPCS, Women Action Forum (WAF) and Saranga Literary Society on Friday, January 1, 2010 at Hyderabad Press Club. The event with concise introductory speeches, poetry recitation and lyrical music attracted a large number of people ranging from civil society, literature, journalists and teachers to intellectuals to share their little contribution to promote love, peace and harmony in the society.
Iqbal Tareen hailing from Virginia , United States , presided the function, while Jami Chandio of CPCS, Jaffar Memon of We Journalists, Mahesh Kumar President Hyderabad Press Club and Amar Sindhu of WAF also spoke on the occasion.
Ustad Mazhar Ali was invited to perform songs from the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a great Sufi poet, to open the dialogue and cultural event.
In his welcome address, Jaffar Memon told the audience that this programme under the banner of Aman Ittehad is being organized at around 50 locations of different cities and towns of Pakistan– from Khyber to Karachi– to involve the people in large numbers to raise voice together to promote peace and harmony in the society, as increasing fears of terrorism and restlessness have panicked the peace-loving people all over the country.
Memon on the occasion read out the joint statement, saying “as the new decade begins, citizens from across Pakistan will reaffirm their belief in the indivisibility of peace and their commitment to struggle for democratic governance, rule of law, justice, and a life of dignity for all.”
The Solidarity Day, organized under Aman Ittehad– a citizens’ platform connecting trade unions, media, students, lawyers, youth organizations, minority groups, NGOs, academia, and business, Jaffar Memon said will express a resolve to strive for stronger democracy and democratic institutions.
Identifying extreme inequality and disenfranchisement as a cause of extremism, the Solidarity Day will demand that the state provides equal opportunities to all its citizens. It calls for the reform of all state institutions as well as governance regulations and rules pertaining to key sectors of the economy in order to ensure efficiency, equity and accountability, he said.
Aman Ittehad calls for a Social Contract between the state and the citizens based on the 1940 resolution establishing equal rights of all citizens, provinces and nationalities. The social contract must recognize the primacy of ownership of resources at the provincial level as well as the need for their equitable distribution among the federating units. It also calls upon the state and citizens to celebrate diversity promote pluralism and ensure that the function of the state is separated from personal religious belief. In order to reverse the trend of spiraling violence, it also identifies the need to reduce the trust deficit at all levels – between citizens and the state including its institutions; and, also amongst citizens.
Iqbal Tareen, who presently is in Pakistan , appreciated the organizers for the impressive event, which attracted people from different walks of life to sit together on the common understanding just to promote peace. He threw light on the sentiments of terrorism and condemned horrible incidents occurred recently, loss of precious lives and property, ever-increasing uncertainty and urged upon the participants to address this with extending unity among the people like they have come together today on the Aman Ittehad—Solidarity Day.
Tareen said State and Religion are two different things and should be dealt with separately. There is no need of this combination in the society, which is struggling to strengthen democracy. For restoration of peace in Pakistan all the people have to decide how to deal with this phenomenon. He called the nations living in Pakistan with combination like a rainbow and said all the colours have their natural beauty. He said small nations have never tried to breach the national agreements. They always struggled for unanimity, but he said, irony is that certain elements have always pushed the small nations to the wall and in result the people belonging to small nations always felt differently.
Talking about the particular case of Sindh, which is rich in natural resources, agriculture and its more contribution to national exchequer through different resources, Iqbal Tareen said “the people of Sindh should realize why they are not capable to represent their province on “negotiation table”, which decides the destiny of small nations in Pakistan . He emphasized the need to extend collaboration to recognize their right and sit together with the decision-makers of the country. Because, he said, looking to the changing world scenario we should realize the fact that the world nations are going ahead to a placeless society. There will be no borders in future. In this situation peace is the only way out to learn how to live together with national harmony.
Jami Chandio sharing about the events organized in different cities to express solidarity with each other disregard of their association with political ideology, religion and faiths, said terrorists are on rampage in the society, killing innocent people and spoiling peace. To counter this phenomenon, Chandio said, we all should come together, it is our responsibility. For this, he said, Aman Ittehad is broad platform where all the people struggling for restoration of peace should be part of this “movement for peace”.
He said the Solidarity Day will mark the beginning of a citizen struggle for their right to a life of dignity. He calls upon all citizens to join this struggle for peace and a democratic state and society.
He said terrorists in the all forms are in small number. The majority is of those wanting peace. Therefore, he appealed to all the participants to come together and light a candle each to contribute for the return of peace in the society, which presently is under countless threats. He said on this occasion all the people belonging to all four provinces and nations have put their signatures on a New Contract between the provinces.
Mahesh Kumar, President of Hyderabad Press Club expressed thanks to the organizers for choosing venue at Hyderabad Press Club for this august gathering for a cause. He said the participation of saner elements from political ideologies, civil society organizations, literature, human rights activists and journalists is inspiring for the wide majority, who are fighting terrorism and discrimination. He said this platform can be effective, because now the restoration of peace should be on top agenda for all the people of this country.
Amar Sindhu of WAF said we are living in a war-like situation and in this atmosphere talking about the restoration of peace is a great effort. She said the foundations of State in which we live are on the basis of unfairness. So there is a need to redefine this state now. There should be consensus that there would be no discrimination with anybody at any level. There would be no exploitation. In this connection, Sindhu said, this movement for peace is inspiring. Because, she believes that instead of military forces people themselves can restore peace through their mind change and unity.
The second session of poetry recitation to promote peace was also inspiring, attracted wide number to appreciate the poets for their creativity. This mushara was chaired by Taj Joyo, Secretary Sindhi Language Authority (SLA). Ali Dost Ajiz, Hafeez Kumbhar, Iqbal Rind, Irshad Leghari, Saleem Kumbhar, Gulshan Leghari, Abdul Rehman Sial and Qazi Manzar Hayat shared their creative moments with the audience. Ishaque Samejo of Saranga Literary Society conducted the session.
At the last, Ustad Sadiq Faeer and Shafi Faqeer with their musician teams performed songs of sufi poets.
Earlier the wide banner –Social Contract–was displayed for participants to put their comments and signature over it for national consent.
We journalists, organization,
( January 01, 2010)