Karachi: In the backdrop of the deteriorating peace in the city, the civil society and concerned individuals of Karachi came together to form a consortium and formally announce the launch of a peace campaign titled ‘I AM KARACHI’ here Wednesday at a local hotel. This campaign is a collective response to the ever-increasing violence and bloodshed witnessed regularly by the city.
Ghazi Salahuddin, a senior journalist and an active civil society member, said that Karachi – the biggest city and economic hub of Pakistan – has unfortunately witnessed thousands of killings over the last two decades and is likely to continue suffering this ill fate if the civil society and concerned individuals do not come together to lead the residents of Karachi to strive for a peace and rejection of violence.
“I AM KARACHI is an initiative to curb violence by promoting peace. If we do not take a collective action now, we will surely lose the opportunity to reclaim our city which was once enriched with a peaceful culture and celebrated diversity,” he added.
Founder Chief CPLC, Jameel Yusuf, stated, “We all have been doing good work for years but in isolation which usually goes unnoticed and does not accomplish desired results. Using the platform of I AM KARACHI, the civil society organizations and individuals from Karachi can work together to collectively achieve peace and sustain momentum.”
“I AM KARACHI is the force which has united us and made us work for a single-point agenda of reclaiming the city by raising hope and striving to reject violence,” he emphasized.
Prominent literary figure, Rumana Husain, highlighted the mission of I AM KARACHI as promoting pride and ownership, celebrating diversity of people, increasing inclusivity, understanding and acceptance amongst people, initiating dialogues for better understanding of dynamics of the city, and reclaiming public space for restoring safety and instilling cultural appreciation across Karachi.
She appealed to the residents of Karachi, regardless of their religion, sect, background, ethnicity and political affiliation, to come forward and own I AM KARACHI for lasting peace in the city.
Saad Amanullah Khan, a senior corporate sector member, briefed media about the ongoing activities of I AM KARACHI being organized by different consortium members and supporters of the peace campaign. He informed that over twenty I AM KARACHI activities have taken place so far since August this year. These activities have attracted thousands of people and all participants were deeply impacted by values of pride, unity and resilience as drivers in achieving and sustaining peace.
Amin Hashwani, a renowned businessman, highlighted the primary role of I AM KARACHI consortium which is to spearhead I AM KARACHI activities and ensure the campaign is directed towards realizing its objectives.
“We are glad that the consortium and supporters of I AM KARACHI are increasing with each passing day,” he said and concluded the briefing on naming consortium members.
I AM KARACHI consortium is comprised of more than twenty civil society organizations and individuals combined together. These include Amin Hashwani, Arshad Mahmud, Asif Farrukhi, Ghazi Salahuddin, Dr. Humaira Aziz, Jameel Yusuf, Khaula Jamil, Rizwan Jaffar, Rumana Husain, Saad Amanullah Khan, Saima Zaidi, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Sheema Kirmani, Zara Basharat and Ziad Bashir.
Organizational members of consortium include Arts Council of Pakistan (ACP), Karachi, ARM Child & Youth Welfare, Charter for Compassion (CfC) Pakistan, Engro Foundation, Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF), INJAZ Pakistan, Karachi Conference Foundation, Karachi United Football Foundation (KUFF), Karachi Youth Support Network (KYSN), Khudi Pakistan, MAD School, Matteela Films, National Organization for Working (NOW) Communities, Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities Pakistan (NOWPDP), Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Pakistan Youth Alliance (PYA), School of Leadership (SoL), SEED Ventures, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Society for International Education (SIE), Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT),Taqweem-e-Pakistan Welfare Organization, Tehrik-e-Niswan, The Citizens Archive of Pakistan, Women Development Foundation Pakistan (WDFP), and ZAHRSSS Productions.