“We will spread the message of peace in the city through the families of those who have lost their lives in the violence,” said Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon. This is a part of the ‘peace campaign’ that the Sindh government will start on Wednesday.
Memon told a press conference on Tuesday that the government would accompany the affected family members to disturbed areas of the city and ask them to appeal to different groups in the sensitive areas to express tolerance and give up the rivalry.
The campaign is being launched due to the volatile situation of Karachi and will comprise walks, seminars and interactions between the government and the political parties as well as between the government and civil society members.
Memon said that the aim of the peace campaign is to bring the socio-economic condition of the city back to normal.
He explained that the government will start interacting with leaders from different political parties, NGOs and other civil society members and ask them to play their role in bringing the law and order situation under control.
“We appeal to the people of Karachi and other stakeholders to cooperate with the government and make the campaign successful. The government will give a special award to those who play the best role during the campaign,” announced Memon.
The information minister went on to say that they had not only organised seminars and walks, but the government together with members of civil society organisations would erect banners and distribute pamphlets in all the areas of the city including markets, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities.
“We will ask our celebrities and national heroes to play their role in maintaining the law and order situation through radio, film and other fields,” he said.
He said that PPP workers would start the campaign from different areas and would also appeal to people to hoist ‘white flags’, symbolising peace, on their buildings and markets. He announced that the government had started printing peace stickers, which would be distributed on a large-scale among public and private transporters.
Religious scholars would be approached and asked to deliver peace sermons during Juma and prayer times in their mosques.
Memon explained that President Asif Ali Zardari has directed them to bring peace in the city and this initiative is being launched on his directions.
“During the campaign we will not indulge in recriminations ,” he said. Along with the peace drive the government would continue administrative efforts to maintain order in the city.
PPP’s MPA Imdad Pitafi and MPA Mukesh Kumar Chawala were also present at the conference with Memon.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2011.