Multan: Media Foundation 360 organized a seminar on ‘Religious and Social Festivities ’ with University cluster at The First Hotel, Multan on November 26, 2019. Journalists from print and electronic media, lawyers, human rights activists, members of civil societies, four partners of Azm e Pakistan (AeP), and students from Bahaud Din Zikria University and Nawaz Sharif University attended the seminar.
Lodhran Pilot Project’s representative, Faisal Saleem, briefed the participants about his organization’s projects for peacebuilding in Multan. “There were plenty of challenges when we initiated our projects a couple of years ago but we did not give up. The result is our acceptance in society and people acknowledge our efforts for peacebuilding in the area of operation.”
Faiza from Peace and Justice Network said, “My organization is working for awareness amongst youth and students at colleges and universities. We observed that students from different faiths were reluctant to sit with each other. Sharing anything edible with a person of the opposite faith or sect was next to impossible for them. We worked on them. Today most of them are good friends.”
Ahmad Ali from Youth Development Foundation said, “Youth is our focus. We regularly hold discussions amongst youth to pull out sting of hatred of them. I think we are successful.”
Muhammad Ahmad from Accountability Lab Pakistan said, “Our organization tells youth that every person should conduct self-accountability first before judging others. Nobody should be hated on the basis of his race, religion or political views. We reformed several students who were part of various extremist groups.”
Hyacinths Peter of Peace and Justice Organization, “We are working to turn Pakistan into a peaceful state for all communities by bringing people of all faith together. Our moto is to make every citizen of Pakistan realize that he is a Pakistani first and working for peace is his duty as a citizen.”
Peter said that his organization hold counseling sessions with the persons of extremist mindsets. Now some of them are working with us, he added.
Hasnain Tirmizi presented the following findings.
Still extremist elements are free to preach their views in universities.
The current curriculum in schools, colleges and universities is also part of problem.
Healthy activities like dialogues, music events and galas are not encouraged in the government’s universities.