By The Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS)

Oct 28, 2013

indexThe Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS) has recently proposed a ‘National Policy for Peace and Harmony’, promoting a culture of tolerance and equality and countering terrorism, as a part of its work towards countering and preventing radicalization tendencies in Pakistan. This Policy document was launched at the culmination of a Two-Day International Seminar organized by the Centre on 21st – 22nd August 2013. This document was then floated at various national and international platforms, including various relevant governmental institutions.

Shortly afterwards, the All-Parties Conference (APC) held on September 9th 2013 passed a joint resolution tackling similar issues. The text of the resolution highlights various points raised by the Policy document. In fact, the call for the APC in itself is in line with the recommendations of the proposed policy, as emphasized in the concluding paragraphs of the document:

The National Policy for Peace and Harmony is aimed at resolving the existing radical extremism in Pakistan using peaceful means, integrating and coordinating national efforts on the basis of agreed principles achieved through consensus. This task is enormous and cannot be undertaken alone by any government, political party or group.

 The policy document itself stressed the need for consensus via an APC. Similarly, many other congruencies presented themselves within the texts of the two documents. Some of them have been highlighted below.


APC Text

Guiding Principles:

Guiding principles should include respect for local customs and traditions, values and religious beliefs and the creation of an environment which brings peace and tranquility to the region.

Reforms:

  1. The APCs in February 2013 reiterated that attaining peace through dialogue should be the first priority.
  2. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan are paramount and must be safeguarded at all costs.
  3. And determined to promote friendship with all and enmity towards none”; Emphasizing the imperative need to review our national security strategy, in the context of an independent foreign policy with focus on peace and reconciliation, and to attach the highest priority to dialogue

Policy Text

Guiding Principles:

Recognising the principles of freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam; Wherein adequate provisions should be made for all the communities to profess and practice their beliefs;
Implement proposed action plan in a co-ordinated and co-operative manner keeping in view local social, religious, political and economic realities of Pakistani society.

 

Reforms:

  1. Identify issues and initiate dialogue all segments of society representing different views.
  2. Produce National narrative based on agreed values and principles around shared history, culture, sovereignty of the state, peaceful coexistence and rule of law.
  3. Understanding the need for integration in international system for peace and harmony on the basis of universal human values, norms, principles and traditions.

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