What Can People Do For Peace?

Today, our country is confronting a host of issues ranging from economic crunch to more basic challenge of peace and security. Our people are living in a war zone, especially in northern part of our country. Every other day, we hear of a terrorist activity and resultant killings of dozens of innocent citizens. People are sending their kids to educational institutions under strong threat of their security. Our children are growing and youth is living under constant threat to their lives.

In all this mayhem, what makes one thoroughly disappointed is our people’s propensity of being manipulated by so many actors of power game and a highly “corporatized” media, often against the larger good of our beloved country, but for the benefit of few stakeholders of the system.

It is high time to realize our own responsibility instead of putting blames on irresponsible media, “incapable” politicians and ready-to-grab-power institutions of tis fateful country. Let’s try to see where we can make our contribution towards better future of our next generations and of our country.

Let me cite here, how the initiatives from people and the civil society have been preventing war between Peru and Ecuador.  In 1995, for the third time since 1941, Peru and Ecuador went to war. There were calls for a cease-fire, a separation of forces, and negotiations to find a definitive settlement to the longest-running  border dispute in the Western Hemisphere. The diplomatic initiatives concluded, eventually, with the signing of a peace accord on 26 October 1998, in Brasilia. Running parallel to the diplomatic moves, was a process referred to as “citizen diplomacy”—an initiative in which civil-society groups discussed issues underlying the conflict, and ways of resolving it without official and diplomatic constraints.

Similarly, older people – the senior citizens – came out to play their role in resolving the political turmoil in Kyrgyzstan in 2005. A report by HelpAge International states that due to the turmoil, pensions of older people were suspended. They came out and negotiated peace between the conflicting factions of political parties.

But this is not about launching a “mass movement”, it is just to realize our own responsibility and then thinking together what the people can do constructively to get the country out of this labyrinth of problems.

With this view, I’ve launched a series of on-line seminar, for which I’m very grateful to  Ms. Zoia Tariq, for helping me mature this idea. I invite all of you to kindly participate in this seminar under this and post your comments / suggestions. We’ll compile all your recommendations and suggestions into a citizen’s resolution and then put it to action.

You can also place your comments on my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marvi-Sirmed/54285023894?ref=ts Earnestly waiting for your contribution!