Democracy Festival - Multan

Democracy Festival with theme “Non-Discrimination: The Basic Principle of Democracy” was held at Multan  Arts Council-Multan  on  September 10, 2013 under the  auspices of Centre for Human Rights Education-Lahore in collaboration with different 20 civil society organizations across the country. The Festival was participated by approximately 1000 participants including men, women and transgender of different areas of the country.

The festival was held in connection with the International Democracy Day (15 September) as CHRE every years observed democracy week (10-15 September) and organized variety of activities in different parts of the country.

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Goodwill Exchange Visit in Multan

on August 31, 2013 Centre for Human Rights Education-Lahore arranged some Goodwill Exchange Visit at Shah Shams Darbar, Amaam Bar Garh, Mandar and Chruch for its member of Democracy Support Council to visit different religious places and to promote the culture of religious and social harmony. 

At the end a Media Group (Khabarain Newspaper) to see how media works. (Read More)

 

Peace Rally in Multan

On 31st August 2013 Centre for Human Rights Education-Lahore in collaboration with Voice of New Generation-Punjab, Democracy Support Council-South Punjab, Activist Pakistan, Peace and Development Foundation and Humanity Support Foundation-Multan organized a Peace Rally in Multan to demand the peace in Pakistan especially in Karachi. The rally started from Nawan-e-Shair Chowk to Press Club-Multan. (Read More)

 

Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony Week

People of Southern Punjab, Pakistan belonging to different sects and religions endorse the Charter of Demand presented by the Centre for Human Rights Education for the promotion of Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony in Pakistan and agree that Pakistan cannot cope with the current crisis without taking concrete steps to eliminate religious intolerance and social discrimination. 

The activities during the week included a Media Briefing with the representation of different sects and religions, Launching of a Signature Campaign, Goodwill Exchange Visits and a Peoples Forum on “Religious  Tolerance and Social harmony: Challenges and Solutions”.

Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan has commemorated a week for the promotion of Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony on 05 – 11 August,  2010 at Multan.

Opening of “Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony Week”

The opening of Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony Week was done with a Media Briefing at Multan Press Club- Multan on August 5, 2010, which was addressed by Allama Israr-ul-Haq Mujahid (Representative of Sunni Muslims) and Allama Mujahid Abbas Gardezi (Representative of Shia Muslims), Dr. Kishwar Murad Kishwar and Dr. Adu Ram (Representatives of Hindu Community), Mr. Akram Bhatti Advocate, Ms. Munaza Hashmi Advocate, Mohammed Jamil, and Mr. Samson Salamat, Director of Centre for Human Rights Education.

The media was briefed about the objectives of the commemoration of the Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony Week and the nature of activities to be implemented by the Centre for Human Rights Education

Mr. Samson Salamat (Director CHRE) in his opening remarks said that discrimination on the basis of religion, gender, and ethnicity has led Pakistan to the current crises and therefore the elimination of discriminatory laws and policies is very important for a better Pakistan.

Allama Israr-ul-Haq Mujahid (Representative of Sunni Muslims) and Allama Mujahid Abbas Gardezi (Representing Shia Muslims) condemned the killings in the name sect and religion.  Religions promote humanity but some notorious leaders try to get indecent popularity by giving statements which result in promotion of hatred.  The media should promote only such news which is constructive and refrain from those which promote hatred.

Dr. Kishwar Murad & Dr. Adu Ram, representatives of the Hindu Community said that the founder of Pakistan in his address on 11th August, 1947 said that all citizens are equal. Pakistan is facing its biggest crisis and the only way to face these challenges is giving least priority to the discriminations based on faith, sect or language, caste and creed.

Muhammad Akram Bhatti Advocate said that the Constitution of Pakistan in some of its articles promote discrimination and leaves no space for minorities but our unanimous voice can bring a change one day.  

Munaza Hashmi, leading human rights activist and consultant of CHRE said that we all need to unite for the promotion of religious tolerance and social harmony.

The panel gathered at the press briefing endorsed following charter of demand.

  • Human Rights should be included in the curriculum of the schools, colleges and universities to promote human dignity among the students. A monitoring system should be developed to monitor and the material which promote biases and discrimination should be banned.
  • Social, political and religious leaders should raise awareness among the community on the basis of the first article of UDHR which says that “All human beings are born free and are equal in dignity and rights.”
  • All types of discriminations on the basis of religion, gender, caste and creed should be removed from constitution, laws and policies to ensure that people are treated equally.

The elements involved in spreading religious and sectoral hatred must be treated strictly according to the laws and the ban of the propagation of hatred should be implemented in letter and spirit.

Hundreds join hands for

Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony through CHRE’s Signature Campaign

Everyone around was looking skeptically at the team members of the Centre for Human Rights Education when the team members were displaying banners on the wall of a girl school building adjacent of the shrine of Shah Rukn-e-Alam and the famous bird market of Multan to launch the signature campaign for the promotion of religious tolerance and social harmony. CHRE’s signature campaign is a national level campaign and the Charter of Demand shall be presented to the government of Pakistan.

However, the drum beating finally attracted the people gathered to pay homage at the shrine of Shah Rukn-e-Alam (Sufi Saint) and the bird sellers and they started questioning about what was written on the banners and the its objectives.

Knowing about the contents and objectives of the signature campaign for Religious Tolerance and Social harmony, maddrassa students, bird sellers, traffic warden, women and men devotees of Sufi Saint started endorsing the Charter of Demand by putting their signatures and thumb signs

“We are glad that we have been given a chance to give our opinion to bring a change” said those who signed or imprinted their thumb impression on the banner for the signature campaign.

Banner signed by hundreds proved the acceptance of religious tolerance and social harmony which is vital to guarantee the equal rights to the marginalized segments of the society.

The thought–provoking performance by Taraqee Passand Theater Group helped people, understanding the importance of religious tolerance and social harmony. The story of their street theatre focused on social and religious discrimination prevailing in the Pakistani society.

The people gathered to watch the street theatre endorsed the concept of religious tolerance and social harmony by giving their signatures and thumb impressions on the signature campaign banner after the play.

Mr. Samson Salamat, in his concluding remarks said that people of Pakistan in general are receptive for Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony and therefore efforts are required at all levels to raise awareness among people and discourage the laws, policies and all the other elements which promote hatred and biases among the human beings

CHRE team moved to its next destination with the same agenda and collected people of different walks of life in front of Press Club- Multan.
This time CHRE staff did not read out the charter of demand or didn’t have to brief because the audience at this spot was literate and upon looking at the banner started signing in agreement after reading out its contents.  
The citizens expressed their eagerness to join hands with CHRE for the promotion of religious tolerance and social harmony.

Goodwill Exchange Visit

A delegation consisting of people of different sects and religions in the stewardship of Centre for Human Rights Education made Goodwill Exchange Visit to different worship places i.e. Muslim (Mosque), Christian (Church) and Hindus (Temple) in Multan on August 8, 2010 to promote religious tolerance and social harmony.

This Goodwill Exchange Visit outlined a picture that no matter citizens of Pakistan belong to which religion, but everyone needs to accept each other as human being and also welcome each other. Those who are supporting the barriers to separatism are giving the wrong picture of Pakistan to the world.

The delegation was welcomed by the committee of the Shrine and Mosque of Shah Shams.

Mr. Samson Salamat (Director CHRE) led the delegation which included Muhammad Jamil, Zahid Rehman, Dr. Adu Ram, Dr. Kishwar Murad Kishwar, Mrs. Safira Walter, Ms. Yasmin Wafa, Mrs. Zohra, Ms. Ayesha Rasheed, Iftikhar Hassan, Ms. Shahnaz, Qasim Bhutta, Naeem Khan, Rana Mohsin, Muhammad Ali Rizvi, Walter John and Imtiaz Amanat

The management committee of the Shrine paid a tribute to the delegation by presenting golden dastaars (a turban used to tie on the head and is thought to be an award, religious in nature) to the delegation members.  
Haji Ehsan-ud-Din Qureshi, Provincial Minister for Religious Affairs also called on  the delegation at Shah Shamas Darbar & Mosque and endorsed the CHRE’s Charter of Demands”  for the promotion of Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony with his signatures. He appreciated the efforts of CHRE and extended the support of Punjab Government.

Mr. Samson Salamat Thanking the Minister and the management committee of the Shrine for a praiseworthy reception said, “CHRE’s goal is to promote religious tolerance and social harmony among the society”. CHRE believes on the  respect of all human being and believes that non-Muslim should also be treated equally. 

At the Hindu Temple the delegation was warmly welcomed by the community members. 
In the Christ Church- Multan Bishop Amir Kamran welcomed the delegation and the government of Punjab’s Peace Committee members.

Bishop Amir Kamran and members of the Government’s formed Peace Committee suggested expanding the campaign to other districts too as more the people interact with each other more the discriminatory attitudes will convert to tolerance. The participants at this occasion signed the Charter of Demand

Peoples Forum Demand the Elimination of Discriminations

The CHRE’s week for Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony concluded with a Peoples Forum on “Religious Tolerance and Social Harmony: Challenges and Solution” held at Multan on August 10, 2010m where people demanded the elimination of all kinds of discriminations on the basis of religion, gender or ethnicity. The participants of the people’s forum included men and women of different faiths and religions. The speakers included Prof. Salah-ud-Din, Allama Mujahid Abbas Gardezi, Dr. Kishwar Murad Kishwar, and Ms. Tareen, Ms. Munaza Hashmi and Mr. Samson Salamat.

Munaza Hashmi, a leading human rights campaigner opened the forum by mentioning the speech of the founder of Pakistan Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah on August 11, 1947 before the Constituent Assembly which defines Pakistan all citizens equal without any discrimination. “We must follow the vision of the founder of Pakistan and should eliminate religious and other discriminations for the promotion of religious tolerance and social harmony in the country”, said Munaza Hashmi

Dr. Kishwar Murad Kishwar, representative of the Hindu Community said that “respecting everyone’s religion and beliefs is the need of time”. 

Ms. Tareen said that women are neglected in decision making which is very discriminatory. “We must follow the vision of the founder of Pakistan and treat all the citizens equal” she added

Allama Mujahid Abbas Gardezi said that we are in support of a peaceful existence and therefore condemn target killings, suicide attacks, bomb blasts in the name of religion.

Professor Salah-ud-Din Haider quoted discriminatory articles of the Constitution of Pakistan. He said that laws and policies should be well defined keeping in view multi-religious and multi-cultural structure of the Pakistani society. “We are lacking tolerant behaviors because no education of human rights and respect for human beings is a part of our syllabus taught in educational institutes and therefore the charter of demand presented by CHRE is the need of time, he added.

Mr. Samson Salamat, Director of the Centre for Human Rights Education said that the discrimination in the constitution, laws and policies on the basis of religion, gender and ethnicity is inculcating religious intolerance and social discrimination and is the main hindrance for the promotion of a human rights culture in the society.

In the end the forum was opened for question and answers and comments.  
Mr. Ali appreciated the step taken by CHRE and suggested to organize the same activities in other areas specially the far reach areas.  

Mr. Jameel from the audience negated the issue of inequality in Pakistan and pointed that this forum seems against Pakistan to him and he didn’t knew that he is participating in a forum which is against Pakistan.

Prof. Salah-ud-Din insisted that no policy can be changed without the pressure from the citizens. Therefore, it is our duty to make the government visualize how important it is to treat all of us equal.