Various organisations joined a rally on Tuesday to observe the International Day of Non-violence.
The rally for Non-Violence for Peaceful Coexistence was jointly organised by Peace and Human Development (PHD) Foundation, Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM), CARE Foundation, Liaison for Enforcement of Human Rights (LEHR) and RASTA Network. It was joined by students, political workers, teachers and trade union representatives.
The participants gathered at the district council hall and marched up to Circular Road. They condemned violence and discrimination in Pakistan. They also condemned the anti-Islam video posted on Youtube.
The speakers asked the government to put a stop to violence against journalists, women, workers, and religious, sectarian and ethnic minorities.
AWAM director Nazia Sardar said the government must announce a policy to end ethnic and religiously motivated violence.
PHD Foundation director Suneel Malik said the government should promote peace, tolerance and pluralism in Pakistan. “It should strive to ensure the rule of law,” he said.
AWAM Executive Secretary Naseem Anthony said the government should take steps to recognise, respect and promote sectarian, ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity to build a culture of tolerance in Pakistan.
CARE Foundation President Yousaf Adnan said journalists are frequently targetted in Pakistan in pursuit of their professional responsibilities. He said violence against journalists and human rights defenders must be stopped.
The participants carried peace symbols, banners and placards. They also chanted slogans against those who incite hatred.