Joint action plan launched for peace in Karachi

KARACHI: A group of youth delegates launched a Joint Action Plan drawn on the agenda of “Exploring Peace and Reconciliation Alternatives: Towards a Karachi for All” at the Karachi Press Club here on Sunday.

The Joint Action Plan originated from a conference similarly titled held in Karachi last month. The conference brought together civil society activists, youth, students’ organizations, policy makers, state officials, parliamentarians, political parties, experts and academics to discuss, debate, identify issues and come up with potential strategies to address violence and extremism in the city of Karachi.

The conference and the Joint Action Plan was organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER). It was held under the “I am Karachi” campaign by the Karachi Youth Initiative. The Action Plan was prepared on the basis of the recommendations presented at the conference as well as a Group Work exercise. Over 400 delegates attended the conference and 200 youth members participated in the Group Work. These recommendations will be shared with the stakeholders who have a role in the city’s development, administration, politics, law and order and the economic sector. PILER has constituted a group of youth to pursue these recommendations through engagements with the stakeholders.

Speaking to the press, the members of the youth committee responsible for pursing these deliberations with stakeholders said that Karachi’s multi-layered problems range from violence and extremism, political conflict, weak law and order structure, an unresponsive civic infrastructure, inequality, an acute development divide, a non consultative development approach, and lack of safety and mobility for commuters.

The youth delegates said that they are determined to play their role in making their home city liveable where inclusiveness, equality and social and political justice form the basis of citizenship. They said that the conference brought experts from various backgrounds together and the insights shared by them helped clarify the multiple challenges of the city. The experts who participated in the conference included: Senior Economist Dr Kaiser Bengali, renowned Town Planner Arif Hasan, academicians Dr Tariq Banuri, Dr Jaffar Ahmed, Prof Fateh Mohammad Burfat, Zahid Shahab, and Nida Kirmani, PILER’s Executive Director, Karamat Ali; development expert Farhan Anwer; ex-Senator, Javed Jabbar; DIG South Khalique Sheikh; CPLC Chief Ahmed Chinoy; MNA Shahida Rehmani; Writer and Journalist, Ghazi Salahuddin; Fiction Writer and Academician Asif Farrukhi; T2F Director Sabeen Mahmud, writers and editors Ayub Sheikh and Aijaz Mangi, and Media Reporter Rabia Ali.

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