FAISALABAD: Christians and Muslims rally as they express solidarity with victims of fundamentalist violence.
Resolutely bearing in mind demands such as; strengthening of foreign policy, structural reforms and improving education the participants of this “solidarity march 2014” beat all the religious differences. This Solidarity March 2014 was ambitiously organized by the Aman Ittehad activists.
As CIP has learned, Pakistanis turned out in large numbers across Pakistan; expressing solidarity with the victims of fundamentalist violence. The demands put forward by the participants are: A strengthening of Pakistan’s incoherent foreign policy tied to an age that has past, which must adapt to new and ever more dynamic world powers; peaceful coexistence between Islamabad and neighbouring countries, combined with the improvement of bilateral relations based on trade relations that should be pursued by means of a urgent and proactive diplomatic efforts.
Excitingly, Aman activists along with laymen from different faiths marched through the streets of Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi, Sialkot, Multan, Abbottabad,Quetta and Peshawar. At least 300 drew in Faisalabad including lawyers, religious leaders, politicians, educationists, journalists and others. The participants of the march solemnly demanded re-establishment of “peace and solidarity” and request the government to strengthen foreign policy.
At this occasion, the participants expressed solidarity with the sufferers of terrorism. Terrorism has been on the rising side of late in the country, specifically against religious minorities. Among the many notable incidents when religious minorities were singled out by the extremists is the attack on Peshawar’s historic Church in September last year. A women’s rights activist Amina Zaman who actively participated in this undertaking urged for reformation of the judiciary and strengthening of the penal system. The former Christian MP George Clement said: it is the duty of the State to ensure respect for the law. “The government must take serious action against those who foment extremism through words or actions. We must not allow anyone to make misleading actions in the name of religion or ideology.
Another alarming issue that was emphasized by the participants was the distressing fact that: according to estimates by the World Economic Forum, Pakistan is in 133rd place out of 148 countries in 2013/14 – a disturbing figure that shows an “alarming collapse” of its economic structures. Restructuring without delay, is needed thus recuperating competitiveness, boosting the infrastructure of education system in Pakistan.