PARTICIPATORY COURSE ON PEACE AND TOLERANCE

Introduction
The  2nd  Module  of  CHRE’s  newly  launched  Participatory  Course  on  Peace  and Tolerance  was held at Dar-ul-Mussarat Training Institute Lahore on May 2-7, 2015. Participants from Sindh, Punjab, KPK, Baluchistan, and FATA participated in the training. The group consisted of Male, female and trans-genders from different religious groups- Muslims, Christians, Hindus.
Participatory Course on Peace and Tolerance has been designed  to  strengthen  the  concepts  of  non-violence, religious  tolerance  and  respect  of  diversity  including religious  diversity  in  a  multi-religious  society  for  a peaceful co-existence, expose the participants to history
of non-violent movements and international standards for peace and conflict resolution, and promote volunteerism among youth and skill development to promote non-violence, religious tolerance and respect for diversity in the society, through peaceful ways and means.
PCPT  consists  of  participatory  techniques  and  methods,  which  helps  to  develop understanding on different social subjects. Provides the opportunity to interact and develop networking with people from diverse backgrounds and from different parts of the country. It also provides an opportunity to learn about different ways and forms to highlight different social issues, helps to practice the values that are helpful in building a peaceful society and respect of human beings. It provides the opportunity to learn from renowned experts of different social subjects.
PCPT is designed for human rights defenders and educators working with NonGovernmental organizations (NGO’s), community based organizations (CBO’s) and the students of the social science departments (Sociology, political science, Gender studies, International  Relations,  Mass  Communication,  etc),  the  officials  of  different  state institutions, media and other civil society groups.

Objectives
   Provide  in  depth  knowledge  to  enhance  conceptual  clarity  on  peace  and    tolerance while respecting human rights.
   Encourage the development of skills, and formulation and application policies, necessary to transform that information into practical professional behavior.

Built partnership and networking among the participants and their       organizations.
   Sensitize participants to their practical role in protecting and promoting peace    and tolerance in the society.

Facilitators and Resource Persons
   Mr. Samson Salamat (Director, Center for Human Rights Education)    Ms. Saima Ali (CE, HSF)
   Mr. Imtiaz Alam (President SAFMA)
   Mr. Salman Abid (Director, Strengthening Participatory Organizations)    Mr. Irfan Mufti
   Ms. Ayesha Rao (Monitoring and Evaluation Officer- SPO, Lahore)

 

Course Proceeding

PCPT 2nd module began on 2nd May with welcoming remarks of Mr. Samson Salamat and briefing on the goals and objectives.
PCPT Session 1:  Tips & Techniques for Presentation/facilitation.
This session was facilitated by Saima Ali, the Alumni of CHRE to strengthen the presentation skills of the participants. Based on CHRE’s policy of giving chance to its Alumni as facilitators, Saima Ali was selected among the CHRE Alumni.

Saima Ali described tips and techniques and used PowerPoint presentation to show how a good power point Presentation is to be made and how it should be presented.
Following topics were discussed:
   Steps of preparing a good presentation (1. Plan, 2. Prepare, 3.Practice, 4. Present)    Main characteristics of presentation (1. Understandable, 2. Memorable, 3.       Emotional)
   Structure of slides (1. Introduction, 2. Main theme, 3. Summery)    DOs and DONTs in preparing PowerPoint slides.
   Dealing with questions after presentation.

PCPT Session 2:
Middle East Crisis and its impact on the Region and Pakistan.
Mr.  Imtiaz  Alam  was  the  resource  person  for  the session which was held to discuss the Middle East Crises and its impact on Pakistan.
Mr. Imtiaz Alam shared his own views about Middle East Crises and its impact on the Region and Pakistan. In   second   part   he   answered   the   questions   of participants.

Following are some  key points from the lecture of  Mr. Imtiaz Alam’s lecture.
   Pakistan’s half law is Muslim and half is secular.
   Pakistan has always been in trouble since its birth just because religion is used in          politics and state affairs
   Pakistan’s state affairs and religious affairs should be separated.
   Our curriculum is biased and we are being taught half truths in our history         books.
   Pakistan and India’s enmity has caused army to take illegal part in governmental           matters.
   Because Pakistan was demanded for Muslims therefore now minorities are being           neglected and are not given their rights as Pakistani citizens.
   We have not decided yet that what is going to be the controlling force in   Pakistan- Army or government.
   Muslim world is still in dark ages, we have yet not come to the age of reasoning.

Exposure visits:
The participants participated in Oath for Peace Ceremonies held at St. Anthony’s High School-  Lahore  and  Sacred  Heart  Cathedral  School-  Lahore.  Approximately 2000 students and their teachers participated in the Peace Oath Ceremonies.
The ceremonies were organized by CHRE Alumni Komal Patras to give an idea to the participants to working with students and teachers in the educational institutions.

PCPT Session 3:
Prospect of democracy and human rights in Pakistan: Challenges & way forward.
This session was facilitated by Mr. Salman Abid, renowned columnist, journalist and activists shared his thoughts on challenges to democracy and human rights and ways to deal with the challenges.
Throughout his lecture Mr. Salman Abid pointed out hopeful possibilities and changes in Pakistan, which are giving space to civil society to work for democracy and human rights. He encouraged participants to wisely avail the space which is given to civil society to bring change. Following points were discussed by Mr. Salman Abid.
   In Pakistan, the army, political parties and civil society all agree that Pakistan     should be a democratic country.
   Dictatorship has always been practiced in Pakistan in the name of democracy.    Pakistan’s future is hopeful because of our youth.
   Pakistan has more than 80 news channels, which is the hopeful indication             because voice of civil society is being heard now.
   Civil society has many opportunities through media to raise their voice now and           therefore we must avail this space.
   The major blockage which Pakistani society is facing that we have demanded
democracy but we don’t have enough homework on the subject.
   We ourselves need to go forth and promote non-violent conducts and acceptance           for diversity.
  Democracy is a slow process. It won’t happen in one night and we need to be      slow but steady for democracy to be established.

PCPT session 4:
Promoting the concept of peaceful Co-existence in Pakistan: Role of State Intuitions, Political Parties & Civil Society.
This session was facilitated by Irfan Mufti, Deputy Director of SAP- Pak and renowned human rights activist. Mr.   Irfan   through   a   PowerPoint presentation highlight the following points which were followed by question and answer session.
   The  challenges  and  difficulties  which  are   being faced by minorities in Pakistan.
    Brief report of Blasphemy cases in Punjab (2012) and crimes against non-           Muslims.
   An account of the horrific events from Riaz Ahmed of Mianwali in 1993 to          Shahzad and Shama of Kot Radha Kishan in 2014.
   Fundamental questions were shared, which needs to be raised for such violent on the name of Blasphemy.
   An analysis on the role of Civil Society and State.
    11 actions in points were shared to be taken in current situation.

PCPT session 5: Proposal Writing
This session was facilitated by Ayesha Rao, the M & E Officer of SPO who used
different participatory techniques including group work, Powerpoint presentation and individual sharing during her session on Proposal Writing.
Following contents was discussed:
   Difference between Proposal Writing and Concept Note.    Introduced basics of Proposal Development.
   Need statement.
   What is Project Proposal?
   What makes a good Project?
   Budget (financial planning)
   What do the donors want to know?    Why Proposals are rejected?
   Sustainability of the Project.

 

Certificate Distribution and closing Ceremony:

Certificate Distribution was held on 6th May, 2015 at Dar-ul-Mussarat. Mr.  Samson
Salamat, Director CHRE in his opening remarks congratulated all the participants who
completed their course and appreciated their interest and passion for learning and their
practical work.
Dr. Seemi Bukhari of Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf, Mr. Jamshaid   Sultan   of   SPO,   Ashee   Butt   of Transgenders  Community,  Ms.  Sidra  Zakir  of Social   Welfare   Department,   Amna   Malik   of Armaan Foundation were among the guests who distributed certificates among the participants of PCPT.
Participants of PCPT Ms. Tamsila Ali from Nawabshah- Sindh, Mr. Ahmad Mughal from Bahawalpur, Mr. Jalal Sherazi from Abbotabad, Mr. Dileep Doshi from Hyderabad and and Ms. Seema Maheshwari from karachi shared their experience of PCPT.
Mr. Jamshaid Sultan congratulated all the participants and said that we have to adopt the attitude of non-violence and should reduce violence by non-violent conduct.”

Doctor Seemi Bukhari said that “Intolerance is increasing in Pakistan day by day and we need to understand that Pakistan didn’t come to existence only for Muslims. It was made for Pakistanis, no matter what their religion is.
PCPT has provided a platform to promote peace and tolerance through practical works.” She added.
Ms. Sidra Zakir Butt said that “I have noticed that each participant is clear about his or her vision. Change seems happening but we need the implementation laws but the process is slow. But the good thing is that our youth is zealous for change.”

 

PCPT Comments of the Participants:

Khizar Hayat from Quetta- Baluchistan
“PCPT course is a good course to change our biased mentalities towards diversity acceptance. I would like to thank CHRE for developing such course. But throughout the whole course I noticed that there were people here who were pessimist about the current situation of Pakistan. They think that our country’s situation will not change soon. But I believe that if the person who wants to bring revival will be hopeless, how will he or she bring revival? This society is consisting of us citizens so the change or revival should first come at individual level. At the end I would like to say that Sir Samson Salamat is like a peace symbol for me.”

Seema Mehashwary from Karachi- Sindh:
“Over all it was a good experience. I have learnt a lot here. By coming in PCPT we have found a platform to work. Because I like to do things practically than just the ideas. I’m very proud that I’m part of CHRE team and in future, I would like to work CHRE. I would like to give a suggestion too. After 1st module of PCPT we were not contacted frequently by CHRE. We didn’t get few emails. For that reason I wasn’t able to share much of my activities. I would appreciate it if CHRE will be in contact frequently in future because I’ve few ideas to work on and for their implementation I would need your guidance.”

Mehwish Fatima from Lahore:
“First of all I would like to thanks CHRE for giving me this opportunity. Because of my mother’s illness I wasn’t expecting to join in for 2nd module but I’m glad I did. I’ve been in some courses and trainings such as PCPT but the experience and learning I’ve got from here has surpassed all of my pervious learning. The encouragement of the implementation of ideas, which I’ve got here I wish I had got it before. Sir Samson and Miss Komal have always encouraged me. Therefore I would like to work with CHRE in future.”

Dileep Doshi from Hyderabad:
“Throughout the time of PCPT 2nd module I was having discussions with other participants and was taking their feedback. The feedback which I received from participants was positive and encouraging because I see change in thinking patterns and views. The participants, who were not ready to embrace diversity in 1st module, are now accepting it. In Sindh I face much oppression but I made my way here, this is how intelligent  people  make  their  way.  My  suggestion  is  that  we  should  work  with organizations of working class. Working with them would fasten the social movement. We should go forth as a movement, with a clear plan and governmental help. Our views about religion are clear but I want that we have such clear views about democracy as well. It is my request that none of us should slow down and left behind because   if   a   one   person   slows   down,   the   whole   movement   will   suffer   the consequences.”

Fazli Malik from FATA:
“Before I came to Lahore, I had heard bad views about the hospitality of the people of Lahore but after experiencing and living among you I’ve come to know that your hospitality is even better than that of FATA. I like Bacha Khan and the way he went out and approached people to come out for a movement of Peace. After attending PCPT we know that non-violence is the right way. I believe that Sir Samson is Punjab’s Bacha Khan. I’ve already attended many seminars and trainings on Peace but PCPT is unique in itself. I would like to share a suggestion as well. FATA is being represented here and around the world in negative perspective. I would be obliged if  you would do something to represent the positive side of my culture in FATA.”

Tamseela Ali from Nawabshah
“Here, I have learnt a great amount of knowledge about diverse cultures of Pakistan. I’ve gained confidence and motivation to do something for the betterment of my country. I request all the participants as well to be encouraged to work for Pakistan’s betterment and to promote the message of peace to others as well.”

Arham Abtahi from Cheecha Watni
“After coming here I realized that I was alien to my own country’s diversity. I learnt that how civil society works and what part I can play. I request others as well to be civilized in their conduct when they go out because when we go out we represent civil society. But during Rwadari Caravan our little deeds like throwing the trash on road side was representing our bad conduct. If we would behave civilized when we go out then we can change our society.”

Muhammad Khamis from Lahore
“Before I came here, I had biased mentality concerning KPK and FATA etc. But after I came here I got the opportunity to know their hardships and why they are so concerned about their culture. Our country is like our home and we are like brothers and sisters so I would suggest that as a family solves its conflicts within their home, we should also resolve our conflicts by ourselves”.

Ahmed Mughal from Bahawalpur
“Before I came here my views about diversity were much rigid and I was only expecting to have enjoyment here, not learning. But I was wrong. I learnt a lot here, especially about tolerating diversity. Here I’ve been around such diverse people that by practical of living in diversity, I’ve learnt to tolerate. My suggestions are that we missed outing and watching movie in this module, which we should include in every module.”

Arslan Barijo from Islamabad
“Because of my family issues it was very difficult for me to come for 2nd module but I came because what I learn from here, I value. To me Irfan Mufti’s session was the best session in 2nd module. Rwadari Caravan was a good effort but we need to approach more and more people through social media. And by different ways because some people like to read, where some people like to watch videos. By both ways we can approach great number of people for our peace message.”
“I would like to request CHRE to make me part of their upcoming events because by our collaboration we will learn better. Betterment in our learning is needed because our work in other cities doesn’t just represent us but CHRE.”

 

Following is the list of participants who successfully completed PCPT
   Mr. Fazli Malik (FATA)
   Ms. Weeda Khara (Lahore)
   Mr. Arslan Barijo (Larkana)
   Mr. Atif Ramzan (Rahim Yar Khan)    Ms. Tamsila Ali (Nawabshah)
   Mr. Rizwan Shoukat (Shanti Nagar, LHR)    Ms. Mahwish Fatima (Lahore)
   Ms. Seema Maheshwari (Lyari, Karachi)    Mr. Muhammad Khamis (Lahore)
   Mr. Khizar Hayat (Quetta, Baluchistan)    Mr. Ali Ikram (Lahore)
   Mr. Jalal Sherazi (Abbotabad)
   Mr. Ahmad Mughal (Bahawalpur)
   Mr. Dileep Doshi (Tharparkar, Sindh)    Ms. Arham Abtahi (Cheecha Watni)   
   Ms. Asma Amir (Lahore)
   Mr. Muhammed Arsalan Khan (Sialkot)
   Mr. Bramash Baloch (Noshki- Baluchistan)