Karachi: April 9, 2017. (PCP) Rwadari Festival held at Art Council Karachi on April 8, 2017 under the auspices of Rwadari Tehreek strongly denounce the prevailing culture of hatred, extremism and terrorism and demands an in discriminate action against all those involved in hate speech, violent extremism and terrorist activities.
The participants of the Rwadari Festival included the members of Rwadari Tehreek Rwadari Caravan, which consists of Peace Activists of different faiths and walks of life from KPK, Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan. The agenda items of the Rwadari Festival included Penal Discussions, Peace Songs, Sufi Music and theatre performances on interfaith harmony and to highlight the effects of hatred, extremism and terrorism in our society.
Rwadari Festival was Chaired by Mr. Samson Salamat, the Chairman of Rwadari Tehreek and the other distinguished guests and Speakers included Mr. Jami Chandio (writer & intellectual), Mr. Umar Farooq (Secretary General of Rwadari Tehreek), Ms Sabira Asmat (President Rwadari Punjab), Mr. Samuel Pyara (Member CEC Rwadari Tehreek), and other religious, social and political personalities..
In his keynote speech Chairman Rwadari Tehreek Mr. Samson Salamat said that “our future is linked with peaceful coexistence which is not possible without adopting and popularizing the culture of religious tolerance and respect of religious and all types of diversity in our society”.
Mr. Samson Salamat further said that “our country has suffered a lot due to different forms of violence prevailing in the society, mainly in the name of religion and sect but “Enough is Enough” and now we have to do every effort to control this unfortunate situation because peaceful environment is our right and therefore all those who are responsible for the safety and security of the citizens needs to take it serious because the life of every citizen is important and should be protected”."We have organized this Caravan to give a message to the people of Pakistan that they need to make efforts to undo this deteriorated situation and adopt the ways and means which can lead our nation towards a peaceful future” Mr. Salamat added.
Mr. Samson Salamat further said that “through Rwadari Caravan we would like to urge the government, the political leadership and the state institution to do their best to end hatred, biases, violent extremism and terrorism from the society.
Mr. Jami Chandio, renowned writer and intellectual said that "This is very unfortunate that even after two years to the National Action Plan, the leaders and activists of the banned terrorist outfits are openly holding rallies, meetings and other activities which are threat to the lives of people as they are involved in hate speech on the basis of sect and religion which is a matter of grave concern. Therefore, we call upon the government to come out of the question of "Good or Bad" and take indiscriminate action against the individuals or the groups who are involved in terrorist activities and are killing people in the name of religion or sect".
Vice Chairman of Rwadari Tehreek Deedar Ahmed Meerani said that for Pluralistic Pakistan, it is important to separate religion from the state affairs and there should be a ban for using religion for political purposes and gains. Mr. Meerani demanded that A Constitutional Reforms Package in consultation with minorities and civil society should be brought to end discrimination and biases and to ensure equal citizenship rights. He further demanded that "an action on Justice Qazi Faiz Essa Commission Report on Quetta incident and those who are held responsible in the Commission's report should be apprehended and brought to justice and urged the government to implement the National Action Plan in letter and spirit”.
Mr. Umar Farooq, Secretary General of Rwadari Tehreek said that "the syllabus of the educational institutions needs to be thoroughly checked and the material which spreads hatred on religious, sectarian or any other basis should be eliminated from the curriculum, all forms of discriminations and biases should be eliminated against women and all other deprived and marginalized sections of society. while a comprehensive and effective de-weaponization policy should be adopted to end arm culture".
Rwadari Tehreek (Movement for Pluralism) is a non-violent social movement which began in 2015 in Pakistan and aims to generate a debate on the importance of religious tolerance and respect of diversity in a multi-religious society and to remind the government, political forces, state institutions and other stake-holders their responsibilities to seriously address trends of hatred, violent extremism and intolerance in the society which has created an atmosphere of fear among the citizens and have riddled the public life, particularly of those belonging to religious minorities.
Members of Rwadari Tehreek belong to different faiths and segments of the society including students, teachers, social and political activists, religious scholars and leaders, journalists, lawyers, doctors, and artists and contribute their time and energy in promoting the aims and objectives of Rwadari Tehreek on voluntarily basis. Rwadari Tehreek is a joint initiative of civil society groups and like-minded individuals who believe on pluralism, respect of diversity, human rights and fundamental freedoms and envision for making Pakistan a peaceful society for everyone without any discrimination.
In the end, all the office bearers and members of Rwadari Tehreek in an Oath Ceremony which was led by Rwadari Tehreek Chairman Mr. Samson Salamat pledged to continue to their peaceful struggle to weed out violent extremism and terrorism.