Saturday November 26, 2022

Youth gather to identify challenges, solutions for bringing peace

By Our Correspondent
September 30, 2022

Islamabad : In order to commemorate International Peace Day, young peace-builders from Newly Merged Districts (NMDs) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa gathered in Islamabad to identify the challenges and solutions for bringing peace in their respective areas.

Organised by Community Resilience Activity - North (CRA-North) project under UN Migration, the dialogue featured presentations from youth groups belonging to Khyber, North Waziristan, Kurram, and Orakzai districts followed by a panel discussion where experts shared their experience in peace-building thro­ugh various tools.

The youth leaders shared that the issues posing challenges to peace-building generally include disputes on land, water, forest, and minerals, border conflicts, illiteracy, unemployment, intolerance, poverty, sectarian identities, cultural values, lack of dialogue, political parties, and gender discrimination. They suggested awareness raising around the need for peace among communities through different tools such as sports, public gatherings, cultural gatherings etc. in addition to engaging with local leadership, building trust, and provision of social justice.

The speakers at the panel discussion guided youth in conflict analysis and further polishing their activities in their respective areas. Executive Director PAIMAN Mussarat Qadeem urged the participants to stay culturally sensitive, focus more on indigenous wisdom, and stay alert to instigating factors. “Almost similar challenges are faced by the majority of the country. The only thing missing there is the instigator,” she said.

DG Ministry of Human Rights Jahanzeb Khan shared the government’s initiatives for the development of NMDs. Professor Peshawar University Asfandyaar Marwat talked about conflict analysis tools and the history of peace-building efforts and their results with the young peace-builders.

Vice President National Press Club Myra Imran discussed the role of media, especially social media, in bringing peace to the community. She said that every social segment has a role to play in bringing sustainable peace in a community.

Irfan Mohammad, Regional Team Lead for the project, said that dialogue and interaction among diverse groups are essential in ensuring peace in society. While introducing CRA - North project, he said that it is designed to support community-level development and conflict prevention activities in the newly merged districts of Khyber, Kurram, North Waziristan and Orakzai. He said that the project is working in close coordination with the Government of Pakistan at the regional and district level, to promote cohesion within and between ‘at risk’ communities, especially those with social, ethnic, or religious identities who have been exploited by violent extremist elements.