Rally against Talibanization at Lahore’s Mall Road

On 5th January 2015, a rally against Talibanizatiion was held on Mall Road Lahore under the umbrella of Peace and Tolerance Parnership (an alliance of civil society organizations and progressive citizens for peace and tolerance), and led by Centre for Human Rights Education-Pakistan in collaboration with other civil society organizations.

Hundreds of Peace Activists marched on the Mall Road Lahore who were led by renowned social personalities including Director of Centre for Human Rights Education-Pakistan Samson Salamat, President of Civil Society Network Abdullah Malik, Director of SPO Lahore Salman Abid, Zafer Malik from Aghaz Foundation and Amna Malik. Famous social and political leaders Farooq Tariq, Syeda Deep, Aima Mehmood, Um-e-Laila, Amna Ulfat were also present at this occassion.
The participants of Rally held play-cards in favor of peace and chanted slogans against extremism and demanded a firm action for its elmination. Participants of the rally reiterated that for a peaceful coexistence elimination of religious extremism and intolerance is very important because due to religious extremism and intolerance we have lost precious lives along with irreparable loss of country being prey to disintegration and deteriorating socio-economic and political conditions day by day.

At this Occasion while addressing to the participants of the Rally, the Director of Centre for Human Rights Education-Pakistan Samson Salamat said that “Pakistan has suffered enough and now this should be enough and the government, political leadership and the law enforcement institutions should do everything required to end up terrorism and religious extremism which is important for the safety and security of the citizens”.  Samson Salamat further added: “The huge presence of the citizens from different walks of life in the Peace Rally is a clear sign that people of Pakistan will not just rely on the lip-service but want to see the implementation of the Action Plan which has been formulated after the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar”.

He demanded that the access of the militant outfits to the educational institutions and their financing should be checked and banned and all those individuals or groups who are supporting the militants and terrorists openly or secretly should be held accountable. He further demanded that a very comprehensive border security plan should be formulated to control the foreign terrorists for entering in Pakistan and using our soil for terrorist activities and the ban on hate speech should be implemented in letter and spirit and all those found in spreading hate speech through print or electronic media or through loud speakers should be apprehended

The president of civil society network Abdullah Malik said that stern action against terrorists and militant outfits wherever they exist without any recognition of good or bad Taliban is a need of the time. The terrorists do not deserve any softness as they are killers of thousands of innocent citizens and should be brought before justice indiscriminately. Malik further added that “the hideouts and Training Centers of the militant outfits should be targeted where they are training youth for terrorist acts”. He further said that "Peace cannot be achieved without Deweopanization of Pakistani society and therefore strong political will and an effective policy is required for deweaponization. For this heavy responsibility rests on the shoulders of major political stakeholders".  

Salman Abid- Regional Head of SPO while addressing the rally said “we need to understand that the action against the Taliban and other militant groups is in the best interest of the nation and the country and therefore the whole nation needs to be united against Talibanization and religious extremism”. Salman Abid emphasized on the need to thoroughly check the syllabus of educational institutions and the material which spread hate on religious, sectarian or any other basis should be eliminated from the curriculum. 

Zafar Malik- Executive Director of Aghaz Foundation and Umeed Jawan Program said that our struggle for a peaceful Pakistan shall continue despite the terror and threat because Pakistan and religious extremism cannot go together. Elimination of Talibanization is what the government and the other stake-holders need to focus at this moment.