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Day of Peace in Pakistan

Peace remains a dream without social justice. We must understand the deep reasons for terrorism, extremism, and suicide bombing. Islam preaches peace, tolerance, stability, and forgiveness. Suicide killing is a very nasty tactic of terrorism. The Marriott Hotel suicide bombing is one of the worst attacks against Islam and Pakistan. Such naked violence surely works only to destabilize Pakistan and to defame Islam in the world.

These views were put forth by renowned peace expert Mr. Syed Zia Rizvi, the Director General of the Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Issues —New York (IBHI), and by Ambassador for Peace Mr. Sardar Muhammad Tahir Tabassum, the Executive Director of the European NGO Institute of Peace and Development (INSPAD).

Both of these men spoke on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Peace 2008 in a ceremony for signing a memorandum of understanding by both NGOs. The Secretary General of INSPAD, Miss Farhat Jabeen, Ph.D., and IBHI Coordinator Mr. Babar Hameed Gorsi also gave addresses on this occasion. Both eminent nongovernmental organizations have agreed to work together as partners in establishing an International Commission on the Kashmir Issue and to cooperate in championing causes such as human rights, especially with reference to the objectives of the United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In addition, they pledged to take part in future peace initiatives, participate in interfaith and intercultural dialogue, and further religious coexistence and sustainable development.

Both organizations agreed to work for the promotion and protection of peacebuilding and peacemaking initiatives to resolve conflicts especially in Kashmir, Palestine, Tibet, and Darfur, and also to combat ignorance, discrimination, and injustice in society. Both have vowed to protect and strengthen human rights, fundamental freedoms, civil liberties, the rights of minorities and women, good governance, and traditional values.

They plan to accomplish this by mobilizing public opinion through sponsoring conferences, seminars, and workshops, and via print and electronic media resources. In particular, they affirmed their desire to publish books, journals, research reports, articles, and pamphlets, as well as a monthly newsletter entitled Peace Initiatives in the near future.

IBHI and INSPAD further determined to establish institutions to educate parliamentarians, NGOs, and media for the purpose of expanding public awareness of human rights issues and methods for conflict resolution. As a special emphasis, both look forward to organizing conferences to strengthen communication among the peoples of the regions of Jammu-and-Kashmir and Ladakh, the city of Gilgit, and the Kashmiri diaspora.

Finally, in the memorandum of understanding, both NGOs also pledged to strive for greater harmony and understanding between India and Pakistan and to critically address other challenges concerned with promoting peaceful coexistence in South Asia.

To read UPF's Peace Declaration and reports of observances in other nations, click here.

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