What the country needs most right now is peace, pronounced the Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, vice-chancellor Professor Dr Parveen Shah  at a peace and harmony festival organised at the campus on Tuesday.

The one-day festival was organised in collaboration with Bhittai Social Watch and Advocacy (BSWA) and Inter University Consortium for the Promotion of Social Sciences Arts and Humanities.

The vice-chancellor in her presidential address said the festival was the need of the hour, considering the depressed scenario of the country and the overall situation of the world. Dr Shah said this forum will provide an opportunity for promoting the concept of reconciliation, harmonious coexistence and cooperation among the people of the region and country. She was of the view that everybody desires peace, harmony and balance for themselves, families, communities and the society.

Human Rights Commission Pakistan secretary-general,    I A Rehman, speaking as the chief guest said that Sindh has remained the abode of peace since centuries. He lamented that some illiterate elements are behind the killing of fellow Muslims. There is no space for imposition of ideas in any religion, he said. With the help of peace, we can achieve development and progress in the country. We all must speak out against the war and strive hard for the promotion of local, regional and international peace, he said.

Former MNA Syed Jawed Ali Shah Jillani addressing the participants said peace is very important for nations and countries. He said country’s economy is in a shambles due to terrorism and tribal feuds. He said that the position of UN has turned very weak and it has failed to safeguard the interests of the weaker countries. Criticising the drone attacks, he said, Pakistan’s sovereignty and security has been challenged. He urged the vice-chancellor to involve the faculty and students in research to curb the menace of tribal violence and clashes.

Sukkur commissioner Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi said Islam preaches peace and harmony and therefore it is called the religion of peace.

Society for Alternative Media and Research’s Adam Malik spoke on the tribal conflicts and its economic and social impact on culture in Sindh. He revealed that in the year 2013 up till November, 852 people were murdered in Sindh, out of which 557 were women. About 37 schools in Ghotki, 88 in Khairpur and 12 in Shikarpur are closed due to the law and order situation, he added.

Assistant Professor of International Relations Department, Sarfaraz Ali Korejo, presented his paper on promoting peace education. Korejo said war is a major threat to humanity for centuries as it brings death, damage and misery, while peace brings progress and development. He said that in all world religions the second name of God is peace and it is the best source of empowering the youth with the importance and philosophy of peace. In South Asia, the people are paying the price of war and they have learnt that war is not the solution and peace is the only source of survival.

Source: Express Tribune – 02.01.2014 – http://tribune.com.pk/story/653473/need-of-the-hour-pakistan-needs-peace-first-and-foremost/