HRCP seminar makes students think about how to end conflict
KARACHI: Aqsa Naseer wants peace in her city and country. She wants the citizens of Pakistan to get their priorities right and give education the value it needs.
Naseer was one of the students attending ‘Children for Peace and Communal Harmony’, a seminar organised by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and AGHS Legal Aid Cell on Thursday.
The students attending the seminar said that peace has been replaced by conflict. They sat together to discuss how they could change the current situation in the country.
Kanza Nadeem, a student of The City School, said that people were afraid of the firing, bomb blasts, muggings and strikes. She believes that the only way to reach a positive solution is to understand the others perspective.
Pathway British School’s Pireh Jatoi said that everyone should be appreciated for who they are. “We should be looking at similarities, not differences,” said the student. “We need to fix ourselves rather than fixing others.” She added that the countrymen faced many problems because they were divided by sects and ethnicities.
The 15 students were asked to divide into five groups and design newspapers and give headlines of their choice. The names of the newspapers and headlines reflected the students emotions. The lead story of one of the newspapers was ‘Prime Minister distributes free pampers to mothers’, another read ‘Terrorism has ended, start wearing your jewellery’.
The Kid’s Herald ran headlines such as ‘Strict laws made against child labour’ and ‘New football stadium for kids in Karachi’.
Also discussed at the seminar were children at juvenile jails. A student from Pathway British School said that children ended up in these places because their elders had set bad examples.
Dr Jaipal Chhabria of the HRCP said that children should be inspired through text books.
HRCP’s Zohra Yusuf said that intolerance was a big issue in Pakistan. She added that in Karachi, diversity was taking people towards conflict rather than harmony.
Pakistan Peoples Party leader Taj Haider’s wife, Naheed Wasi, was present as chief guest at the seminar. She said that peace could be achieved by respecting opinions. She remembered the days she had spent as principal of different schools, and said, that the children had taught her more than books. “Children,” she said, “fight but know how to forgive and that is what we need to learn from them.”