Strong democratic norms coupled with the provision of equal rights to citizens can ensure an end to forces detrimental to extremism and terrorism. This was said by speakers at rallies arranged to mark Solidarity Day across Hazara on Sunday.
Traders, labourers, students, female political activists and members of civil society organisations participated in a peace rally that started from the Haripur Press Club.
The rally was part of a nationwide series of Aman Ittehad rallies held simultaneously in 140 locations including Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Another rally was held at the main bazaar in Abbottabad, where Tehrik Hukook-e-Hazara Chairperson Ali Asghar Khan expressed his concern over the growing number of target killings and kidnappings in the country, terming it a failure of the state’s machinery. “The state must be held accountable for its inability to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens,” he said.
While speaking about the issue of Balochistan, Khan said that the continued spate of violence in the region was worrisome and called for a political resolution, adding that the government must provide a roadmap for peace that reflects the aspirations of Balochis.
He stressed for an uninterrupted corruption-free democratic system with the supremacy of parliament. He condemned the government’s misplaced budget priorities and demanded a reduction in military spending so that urgent investments for gas, electricity, health, education and justice to citizens could be implemented.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2012.