Governor for promoting peace through dialogue
PESHAWAR, June 20: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar has called upon civil society organisations and political leaders to encourage dialogue and culture of understanding in the society to promote peace and tolerance.
Speaking at a daylong seminar on “Peace”, organised by an NGO “Bardasht” – meaning tolerance – in collaboration with the UN Women here on Wednesday, the governor said intolerance was depriving the other person of their right to expressing views.
He said that there was a need to engage and provide opportunities to people to express their viewpoints on different issues and promote tolerance. Educational institutions, he added, could be the best places where such discussions could prove more productive.
Bardasht chairperson former senator Nilofar Bakhtiar and barrister Adnan Ruhaila also spoke on the occasion and highlighted their role in promotion of peace in society.
Ms Bakhtiar, who founded the NGO in 2007, said that they were working for peace and non-violence through promotion of health awareness, disaster management, economic empowerment of women and advocacy and legislation implementation.
Mr Rohaila said that they were also working to help improve living environment in the society. He said that this event was part of series of five seminars.
All such events, Ms Bakhtiar said, would offer opportunities to intellectuals and public opinion leaders across the country to contribute to peace-building and promotion of tolerance.
Former legislator Nasreen Khattak, MPA Nighat Orakzai, security analyst Brig (retired) Mahmood Shah and chairman of the provincial and Fata branches of Pakistan Red Crescent Society Dr Sher Mohammad Khan spoke on this occasion and talked about security situation in the country and the need for tolerance.
Chairing one session, Provincial Minister for Women Development and Social Welfare Sitara Ayaz highlighted the achievements of women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa despite hardships. She said that man-made disasters and natural calamities had hit the province and the tribal areas, but they needed to put their house in order. “We should work for promotion of tolerance and peace instead of relying on foreign agencies to support and solve our problems with mere funding,” she said.
Brig (retired) Shah said that the US was in this region for its own interests.
After group discussions, the participants recommended that the government should give protection and due role to tribal elders and representatives in deciding matters pertaining to them. Changes in the FCR should only be made in consultation with people of Fata and the extra powers given to political agents be withdrawn. The government should refrain from turning a blind eye to extremists, they said and added that the army should clear conflict areas and the government should ensure safety of all people in tribal areas.
They said that parliamentarians should be sensitised on the importance of women-specific legislation. The participants also proposed that timely contingency plans be made in consultation with stakeholders to avoid losses in case of natural disasters.