Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Civil Society activists Walk for Human Rights in Pakistan

On 10th December 2010, Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM) in collaboration with Lyallpur Development Organization (LDO) and Liaison for Enforcement of Human Rights (LEHR) organized a ‘Walk for Human Rights’ from District Council to Circular Road in Faisalabad on the occasion of international human rights day. The purpose of walk was to acknowledge equal status of all citizens of Pakistan, to raise voice against human rights violations, to discourage extremism, terrorism, class division and corruption, to condemn laws and traditions against women, and to promote human rights, peace and tolerance. This walk was led by Khalida Mansoor (Parliamentarian), and was joined by over 100 Muslim and Christian participants from different schools of thought including representatives of civil society organizations namely; AWAM, LDO, LEHR, PHD, Pattan, JWO, Maumar, EDEN, WPP, LQM and peasant workers groups.

The participants of walk chanted slogans against gender discrimination, corrupt elements, inflation, Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST), load shedding of gas and attacks on shrines and worship places. They were carrying banners and placards bearing the slogans for the promotion of peace, social justice, harmony, equal human rights, tolerance and gender justice.

At this juncture, the participants of the walk demanded that: Affirmative actions should be taken to revoke the discriminatory laws and customary practices against women, new legislation must be created for the elimination of violence against women, and curriculum must be made free from all forms of biases; Govt. should ensure safety and security of shrines and religious sites belonging to different faiths for the promotion of religious and sectarian harmony; Govt. must withdraw its support for corrupt elements and must take strict action against all influential people and institutions, and must increase the national reserves by recovering money from the possession of corrupt elements; Government must enforce direct tax on politicians, bureaucrats, landlords and industrialists instead of imposing reformed general sales tax (RGST) on public, in order to provide relief to the general public.

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