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Posts tagged with: Peace

10 Lessons Pakistan can learn from the Northern Ireland Conflict

Pakistan has suffered extensively from a war which has bled this nation with hundreds and thousands of lives lost to a ruthless enemy called TTP & Talibans. Pakistan needs to come out of this conflict for the survival of our own existence – but to solve this crisis, we as a nation are forced to stand at a cross-roads – to either go headlong into a “military action” or explore a “ceasefire option”.

The choice is not, one or the other, but the choice is to explore a combination of both, using good cop – bad cop approach, try to head into a ceasefire talks but use strategic & timed military force to drag the militants back onto the peace table

Truly the bleeding hearts of every Pakistan screams, to beat the hell out of these murdering terrorists, but for the sake of Pakistan, and as, educated Pakistanis we must avoid being lead into a mindless war without exhausting avenues and all non-military options, for the fear of loosing our country further.

I share a paper published by London School of Economics and Political Science titled Ten Lessons for Conflict Resolution from Northern Ireland by Jonathan Powell is a great paper to read it sheds light on the lessons that can be extracted from the Northern Ireland conflict. Jonathan Powell was the principal negotiator on Northern Ireland and was instrumental in bringing about a lasting peace in that troubled province after centuries of conflict this

I accede even prior to quoting this paper in context of Pakistan there is no way to convinceably argue that the conflict in Pakistan is similar to the Northern Ireland, but it is equally wrong to suggest that there are no lessons to be learned, from the mistakes the British made and from the successes they achieved.  These lessons can be applied elsewhere, with care, by people like us in Pakistan to learn and seek a lasting settlements to this armed conflict.
Continue reading “10 Lessons Pakistan can learn from the Northern Ireland Conflict” »


From Mandela to Khan: Extracting Peace in the face of Adversity

Imran Khan with Nelson MandelaWith all the condolences messages being sent hailing Nelson Mandela as a symbol for Peace. What people forget is this same “liberated world” used to call Nelson Mandela – TERRORIST MANDELA. All because he fought for peace and worked to end  Apartheid rule in South Africa.

The struggle to resolve any conflict through a peace is a long drawn battle. It does not end with just the signing of the peace accord – it needs to slowly change peoples sentiments and may take years, if not decades. The apartheid ended in ~1990, but ironically Mandela remained on the Terrorist watch list till 2008

SOWETAN: In 2008 just before his 90th birthday, the United States gave Nelson Mandela a special present, striking him from a decades-old terror watch list and ending what US officials called “a rather embarrassing matter.” In past years, US officials have beaten a path to his door in his family village hoping some of his almost saint-like aura would rub off on them. On Thursday, when Mandela died at age 95, President Barack Obama hailed him as belonging “to the ages”

Yet decades ago many in America did not share in the adulation of Mandela and his African National Congress, which had been billed a terrorist organization by both South Africa and the United States. His severest right-wing critics painted him as an unrepentant terrorist and a communist sympathizer.

I do not like to draw correlations – but I see a similar situation in Pakistan – most Pakistanis want peace, but at the same time there is a lobby that castigates against any attempt to further the peace process – their justifications, in part, are understandable – they kill us, so we must kill them – but that itself is a vengeance driven mindset which is bound to lead to more blood shed and the loss of even more innocent lives

At the same time I see a leader in Imran Khan who continues his commitment towards Peace in Pakistan – despite all the thrashing handed to him in the media and by his political opponents, day-in & day-out.  Any other  leader would have succumbed to the constant assault and back tracked, but Imran Khan remains committed to his vision for a prosperous Pakistan, and the dream is an exercise in futility, without Peace

Surprisingly as similar to Mandela being labelled by his right-wingers as Terrorist Mandela, Khan is similarly painted as Taliban Khan mostly by his opponents, predominantly settled on the left-wing.  Such resistance, is in my opinion, merely because driven by his opponents who see these “peace talks” attempts to disrupt their own established control on Pakistan.  The name calling will never stop true genuine leaders, in fact, it is in the face of such adversity that actually drives them harder to continue their struggle for whats best for their country – Peace

Salute to Nelson Mandela for showing the world that Peace is an entity that is worth fighting for, Salute to Nelson Mandela for picking up South Africa from the ashes to show that this nation can rise up from the oppressive Apartheid to transform into a dynamic progressive country that it is today.

Let us take lessons from a visionary leader like Nelson Mandela, and Let us do something similar for Pakistan .. Peace is definitely possible in Pakistan 


The Battle for Malala

A brutal attack on an innocent little girl has finally nudged awake our sleepy collective conscience. Will this be the long awaited moment of truth, or will Malala be remembered as just one of those endless sad events that have now come to be part of our daily existence?

Both claiming to be defenders of Islam, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the savage militants operating from what they term as Islamic Emirate of Waziristan, are locked in a bloody war of survival. What are the strengths, weaknesses, differences and commonalities of the two warring sides, and what are the chances of success for Pakistan? Let us look at a few key performance indicators.

Despite their convoluted mindset, the Taliban seem to know much more about what they are doing, who their enemy is and why they must attack a certain individual. The state, on the other hand, seems completely clueless. It was the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who announced that they had carried out the attack on Malala and that it had nothing to do with education. Their spokesperson explained with great clarity that they attacked Malala for her pioneering role in preaching secularism and moderation. On the other hand, the closest the Pakistani parliament could come was to name the enemy as some “savages and beasts”. Surely a chicken-hearted, inept and amorphous approach towards such a grave situation.

Continue reading “The Battle for Malala” »


Support a Pakistan & India Peace Film

Ali Kapadia, a filmmaker has recently embarked upon a film which talks about Peace between Pakistan and India – he aims to raise $75,000 through Kickstarter campaign – if you believe in promting peace between Pakistan and India read the story line of this movie it might compel you to support this cause.


Citizens against Karachi Violence – Press Conf & Rally – August 6th Sat 3:00pm

A group of citizens has met to discuss solutions to the city’s violence. On Saturday Aug 6 at 3pm a Press Conference which will be held at the Karachi Press Club which will be followed by a rally. Please join the Karachi Concerned Citizens and let our collective voice of protest be heard above the gunfire.

Press Conference & Rally by Citizens Against Karachi Violence
Location: Karachi Press Club
Date: 6th August 2011
Time: 3:00pm

Given below are solutions we hope to present at the Press Conference.

From: Karachi Concerned Citizens Forum

To: The President & Prime Minister of Pakistan of Pakistan

You represent the unity of the federation of Pakistan and, as such, must ensure that the federal as well as provincial governments deliver on commitments of the federation, the most important of them being the security of all its citizens.
Continue reading “Citizens against Karachi Violence – Press Conf & Rally – August 6th Sat 3:00pm” »


A Step towards Decency, If not Peace

Much before the two Prime Ministers can agree on a solution to Kashmir problem, converting Siachen into a peace park or concluding a no war pact, they could begin by taking a few small steps that can bring the two neighbors closer to decency if not peace. Each day as the flags are lowered at the Wagah border, Indian and Pakistani guards high-kick and stamp their feet in a vulgar display of aggression, anger and animosity. The spectators on both sides line up in large numbers to passionately applaud this officially choreographed drama of make-believe power and masculinity.

Why do the two neighbors need to enact hatred as a symbol of their national pride. Why can they not lower their flags with peace and dignity – like it is done the world over. Is it too much to ask that as the fever subsides at Mohali, the two Prime Ministers will come to a small and simple agreement – the two sides will henceforth put an end to the disgusting daily display of belligerent posturing at the Wagah border.

The ceremony that provides a daily dose of hatred to the people of both sides continues despite an earlier indication that it would be stopped. Wonder which party shall exhibit greater wisdom, friendship and good sense by announcing a unilateral end to this insane practice


[Op-Ed] Giving up on Pakistan

This op-ed was drafted a day before Gov Salman Taseers assassination, erringly it talks about peace and the notion of blasphemy in Pakistan

As we round the corner, saying goodbye to 2010 and entering the new year, everyone chooses to make a new year’s resolution. Promises are made, hoping for some miraculous conviction that will transform our wishes into a reality. But practically, each one of us knowingly accepts that these promises are meant to be broken, only to be remade the following year. Many wishes are egocentrically linked to personal wealth and happiness, while some fools, like me, choose to wish for a better and a peaceful Pakistan.

Innocent and howsoever utopian this resolution may sound, it should have an important place amongst every Pakistani. After the bloodshed from the escalating violence and uncontrolled terror attacks, one would have hoped that the disastrous year would have sent shockwaves compelling people to denounce terrorism with a very strong commitment to peace. Denounce they do, but it’s limited to a simple vocal chatter rather than concrete measures to prevent such bloodshed from happening again.
Continue reading “[Op-Ed] Giving up on Pakistan” »


Message by Ali Asghar Khan on Solidarity Day 2011

[singlepic id=3242 w=320 h=240 float=right]The response to Solidarity Day 2011 has been amazing and the energy it has generated across the country inspiring. The objective of observing Solidarity Day had largely been met even before the eve of the New Year as we were all preparing for the next day’s events. Aman Ittehad had been introduced in109 locations as activists and friends worked tirelessly and selflessly to mobilize people and spread the messages of the Ittehad. New contacts had been established and an awareness created that citizens across the country simply must get involved in shaping the destiny of this nation.

On 1st January, Solidarity Day went on to reconfirm that Aman Ittehad is a viable and effective platform for citizens to raise their issues and their voices. It is not important if in some places the numbers did not meet the expectations of organizers or if in others these expectations were exceeded. What is important is that in 109 locations across the country there were people who expressed their resolve to affect change. Be the catalyst. We now must harness this energy that we witnessed from -16 degree Gilgit to the shores of Gwadar.
Continue reading “Message by Ali Asghar Khan on Solidarity Day 2011” »


[Pictures] Solidarity Day Rally for Peace in Pakistan – Islamabad

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Fikr-e-Insaan an audio track by Arieb Azhar for Solidarity Day 2011

Arieb Azhar on the request of Aman Ittehad has created this masterpiece audio track called Fikr-e-Insaan which he will sing at the Solidarity Day peace rally in Islamabad on 1st Janurary 2011.

It has just been released for us all to enjoy and we hope to run this track in most of the 108 Solidarity Day locations across Pakistan

Enjoy !! and thank you Arieb for producing a very inspiring track for Pakistan !!!

[audio:Fikr-e-Insaan.mp3]

[Press Statement] Solidarity Day 2011

Islamabad, 30 December 2010: Aman Ittehad has given a call to hold rallies on 1st January 2011 at 1:00 pm as an expression of solidarity with those suffering violence in any form, including suicide attacks, bomb blasts, target killings, kidnappings, disappearances, and torture killings. It is expected that these rallies will be held in more than 100 different locations across Pakistan

While raising the issue of growing insecurities across Pakistan, Aman Ittehad has demanded urgent action to devise a political solution to ensure the security of life and livelihood of the people of Balochistan according to their aspirations and in a manner that helps restore trust. It calls upon the state to refrain from the use of force and immediately end military action in the province.  Aman Ittehad calls for mechanisms that provide effective recourse to those that are suffering at the hands of representatives of state institutions, influentials, extremists and militants who are using the current lack of law and order to exploit citizens by propagating terror and the use of force.

Citizens from across the country will participate in the Solidarity Day rallies to demand that people’s interest becomes the only measure of national interest to define all actions and policies of the state.
Continue reading “[Press Statement] Solidarity Day 2011” »


Slogans for Solidarity Day Rallies across Pakistan

In an attempt to gear up supporters of the Solidarity Day rallies across 108 cities of Pakistan – here are some slogans created by activists of the Aman Ittehad Naeem Sarwar Khan.

Do spread them around, and we welcome more creative suggestions from the community at large
Continue reading “Slogans for Solidarity Day Rallies across Pakistan” »


[UPDATED] List of 108 locations lined up for Solidarity Day in Pakistan – 1st Jan 2011

The amazing team of volunteers at Aman Ittehad have pledged to hold Solidarity Day peace rallies in 108 locations across Pakistan. The list is growing at a fast paced, commitments coming in from various location throughout Pakistan and contact details being updated frequently.

Shared below is the latest list, which is a work in progress, if you are interested in being part of the nationwide Solidarity Day, just show up at your local Press Club at 1:00pm on 1st January 2011 and join the effort

FACEBOOK PAGE
Continue reading “[UPDATED] List of 108 locations lined up for Solidarity Day in Pakistan – 1st Jan 2011” »


Solidarity Day for Peace in Pakistan – 1st Jan 2011 [100 cities across Pakistan]

Rallies for peace will be held on 1 Jan 2011 in over 100 locations across Pakistan in solidarity with those suffering violence and repression.

We demand accountability of all, particularly those that use religion or any ideology to create hatred amongst the people of the region. We condemn the use of political, military or economic power to repress and exploit people. In doing so demand an end to the protection of all those state and non-state actors that take the law in their own hands and propagate or encourage militancy and extremism by their words or actions.

We, the citizens are ready to lead the nation to progress, to justice, equity and tolerance. The people’s interest instead of the much flouted National interest must be the measure for all actions and policies of the state.

Solidarity Day is an expression of the power of ordinary citizens. It is a call to enable the people of this region to exercise their choices and free will. It is a clear message that we SHALL NOT sit back and watch.

JOIN US! | AMAN ITTEHAD

More updates to follow leading up to the 1st of Jan event across Pakistan – also RSVP on the Facebook Event Page

– UPDATE –
104 108 cities across Pakistan will be hosting the Solidarity Day rallies


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