In the end of every fiscal year, Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan held an Evaluation and Planning Meeting Planning Meeting on 22-23 May, 2015 at Dar-ul-Musarat- Lahore.
The participants of this meeting included Board Members, the staff, and alumni/volunteers of CHRE who were selected by the CHRE team on the basis of their performance in the field and the level of affiliation.
Day 1 (22 May, 2015)
Mr. Samson Salamat, Director of CHRE started meeting with a warm welcome and round of appreciation for all the CHRE team for their hard work to carry forward the objectives of CHRE in the current difficult circumstances of the country.
Mr. Samson Salamat explained the agenda of the meeting and said that “there are two approaches one is that we plan all the activities and then inform all the members about it, the other one is that we sit with the team and plan together all the activities. CHRE has always adopted the 2nd approach- participatory approach. We try to involve different people on different levels”.

“This is a very important meeting as we are going to make history. Our People don’t know where we want to take Pakistan. We want to serve as a think tank whose impact would be on next generation. We want to know your vision and want to hear from you.”

The Chairperson of CHRE Mr. William Basharat said “my personal analysis so far about the last 5 years is that all the people attached to CHRE are sincere and hard working. CHRE breaks all boundaries for everyone and brings them at one common platform. We would be hearing from you all about the future activities and ideas. We are the future of Pakistan. I welcome you all to the planning meeting 2015-2016. we need to go ahead very speedily.”

Mr. Deedar Ahmed, alumnus of first batch of PCDHR said that “being with CHRE has refined me a lot. I was never an activist even before but now I am leading my own organization.”

Mr. Umar Farooq, another alumnus of first batch of PCDHR, also shared his experience and said that “there is a need of bringing practical changes and CHRE is trying to make difference.”

Mr. Abdullah Malik, President of Civil Society Network welcomed all the participants and said “Rwadari Caravan was a success and we feel happy to hear your success stories. I request Samson Salamat to continue his efforts. We are with you but we need to understand this that we are doing all this activism for our people Best of luck to CHRE for the future.”

After all these messages, Mr. Samson Salamat gave the briefing of Annual Evaluation and Planning Meeting to all the members. It was briefed that the first part would be the brain storming only where there will be discussions among the participants and a session with Mr. Jami Chandio about the Current situation of Pakistan while the part will be the Evaluation and Planning.


Situational Analysis:

Mr. Samson Salamat put forward following questions for brain storming: What are the key issues of Human Rights in the society?
What has been the response of civil society? Its strengths and weaknesses. What is the way forward? Approaches and strategies?

What are the key issues of Human Rights in the society?
   Lack of unity and coordination within the civil society.    People are not playing their own roles.
   The absence of civilian supremacy.    Religious extremism
   Absence of freedom of expression
   Cultural and sectarian taboos
   Human rights defenders are under threat.    Human right is not government’s priority.    Political intolerance
   Economical discrimination    Lack of democracy
   Constitution doesn’t promote Human rights    Police culture and lack of Justice
   Poor Governance
   Socio-economic injustice.    Discriminations
   Lack of security.
   Lack of awareness of Human Rights
   Hatred material in educational text
   Project based working of NGOs.

What has been the response of civil society? strengths and weaknesses.
   Lack of voluntarism.
   Lack of coordination
   Isolated efforts of civil society.
   NGOs are creating issues within themselves    Project based working approach.
   Lack of right based approach.
   Unaddressed grass root level issues.
   No proper follow up.

What is the way forward? Approaches and strategies?
   National Action Plan implementation
   Working with the political party’s alliance.
   Countering of the laws against freedom of expression.    Coordination with all Organizations
   Civil society must promote dialogue and respect views of others.    Right to information must be used.
   Focus on international lobbying.
   Mobilization for dialogue.
   Transparency must be ensured.
   Movement based working
   Effective use of electronic and social media.
   Filling the gap between civil societies and political parties.    Forming non-traditional alliance.
   Multi-dimensional approach.
   Use of Innovative tools & techniques.    Inter-religious celebrations.
   Preparing conflict management groups through training.

Concluding the discussion Mr. Samson Salamat said that “we have tried to look at the current issues and what we need to focus on. We all agree on the points which have been highlighted during the discussion.

The key issue is that there is no civilian supremacy over military establishment. Therefore democratic development should not be left behind along with other thematic areas. Change is not going to come easily and would come gradually. Although the situation is not good but we have to continue our work .

“An overview on the overall situation of the country and the role of civil society”
Mr. Jami Chandio was especially invited to speak to the members of the Annual Evaluation and Planning meeting to give an expert opinion on the overall situation of the country and the role of civil society.

Mr. Chandio started his session by congratulating CHRE for completing its 5 years and said that in order to understand the role of civil society it is important to have an overview of Pakistan.

Pakistan has never been a peaceful country and the society has faced it consequences. Pakistan is a part of this world and the global trend is to resolve conflicts. If Pakistan refuses to be a part of world or refuses to adopt the global trends then it is a suicide.

People  have  been  welcoming  martial  law  of  Ayub  Khan,  Yahya  Khan,  Pervaiz Musharaf in the past but today in Pakistan dictatorship is not acceptable, this is an emerging potential. No political party would welcome dictatorship. Consensus has been built on constitutional rule. Federalism is a positive element of Pakistan. To deliver through governance is the duty of the government and the role of government is to be responsible and responsive. The law of economics, i.e. demand and supply, applies in politics too. Today’s society is not at all unaware rather it is fully aware. Nothing can be as weak as being unaware and nothing can be as strong as fully aware.

On  the  other  hand,  the  Pakistan  of  a  lay  man  doesn’t  have  water,  education, employment, etc. Although the state wants to help the people but it is helpless. Many additions have been done in the constitution but there is no implementation on them. Now there is deficit of trust on the government institutions. When the people of the state are in danger the state comes forth to save its people. But Pakistani state is not doing anything to save its people. Disconnection and deficit of trust in people and state is emerging due to collective frustration of the people. The state has failed to satisfy people. Democratic procedure doesn’t seem to be much substantial. If democracy kept on going like this then the state would get weaker. Democracy means to improve the quality of life. Frustration of the people is rising. If democracy shall not be improved then anarchy would origin.”

Mr. Chandio concluded his speech by saying “civil society cannot do everything and it will have to figure out what they can do. There is a need to create a moderate narrative because narrative is a power. As it is said that it makes no difference what you are at home, what matters is that what you are in society. Bhutto had many flaws but the narrative made him won. So, there is a strong need of building a new moderate narrative in which civil society has a role of making it.”

The session was concluded on the note that there is wide range of fields for the civil society to work in. Democratic development is must in order to empower the society.
In the end of the day cake cutting ceremony was done for celebrating the completion of 5th year.


Day 2 (23 May, 2015)
The 2nd day began with a review of the previous day’s discussion and session of Mr. Jami Chandio and with a question that whether we were able to identify the issues or not?

Mr. Arslan Khan said  that “everything was clearly told and Jami Chandio very maturely portrayed the situation of Pakistan without putting everything on the state.”

Ms. Asma Amir said that “the sessions helped me in building my capacity and the counter narrative is good point for me.”
Mr. Umair Ahmed said that “we have come to know about the ideologies of many people by the discussions yesterday.
Ms. Saima Ali said that “the current situation of Pakistan needs a lot of working for its development and   the civil society needs to take joint initiatives.”

After a long discussion following themes were finalized to focus in next years:

   Religious tolerance
   Democratic development    Human Rights
A presentation was made at this occasion on the suggested activities and initiatives for 2015/2016.  It was told that firstly the reason of giving importance to peace and tolerance was because it is important to counter religious extremism to save democracy and the country that is why the theme of peace and tolerance shall be given importance in the future.

Under the theme of Peace and Tolerance, the PCPT course was discussed and then the idea of Rwadari Tehreek was also exposed. Mr. Samson Salamat said that change cannot be brought until we don’t develop social movements and we cannot develop movements through traditional type of activities.

Rwadari Tehreek objectives were explained and the practical steps were discussed for the launching of Rwadari Tehreek which included the formation of Rwadari Support Council, Central Executive Committee and Coordination Committee. 20 districts were decided to be focused for Rwadari Tehreek. The organizations willing to affiliate for Rwadari Tehreek were listed.

The activities under the theme of democracy development and human rights were also discussed to be launched in 2015-2016, which included 6th PCDHR, assessment report on the threat on Human Rights Defenders and International Lobbying & Advocacy.
In the end of the meeting Mr. Salman Abid shared his views by saying “if we want to take Pakistan ahead we will have to deal with state and other people. If you keep doing service delivery activities nobody gets upset. The problem occurs when one challenges the state, when one confronts the government for not giving the rights of the people to the people. If the state weakens then it would affect the people. The process of bringing change is gradual process, so be patient. We will have to build a momentum to counter these problems.

Mr. Salman Abid in his motivational speech further said that the dialogue culture has weakened that is one of the reason of the crisis in the country. Women should be made part of this Rwadari Tehreek in a large number. You guys are precious and don’t indulge in petty issues, rather focus on big things. And for that you will have to adopt strategies and make use of all the available space.  Publicize and advertise your work to generate debates.  Raise question on social media, raise slogans, spread positive message.