The political instability in Pakistan for the past many decades is the parent of all ‘evils’. From liberal and progressive point of view, it is certainly the absence of democracy due to which insecurity, conflict and extremism have spread out their tentacles and made Pakistan a hostage. In a bid to make Pakistani secure, it is irony that we have become insecure.

South Asia Partnership Pakistan’s own start dates back to 1987, just one year since the lifting of martial law from Pakistan. On the basis of our experience and research, we find that the one of the fallouts of the military regimes has been that the right wing obscurantist forces have taken control and banished the culture of dialogue from the country. Today’s sectarian violence, the phenomenon of states within state, military actions, suicide bombings, narcotics and smugglers mafia, and all menaces of the sort are in fact connected to the nightmare of the same and human security, opportunity, equality, justice, dignity and peaceful co-existence are now scarce commodities from Karachi to Gilgit and from Turbat to Lahore.

SAP-PK is of the considered view that peace and human security serve as plinth for any society to grow at if it has to grow at all. A lot of efforts are in fact now required to reboot the state and reclaim governance from the myopic establishment and minion zealots in the interest of the 170 million people and billions of people living in the region. We believe that education on peace, democracy and accountability and transparency feature central in any attempt to regain Pakistan. This is why SAP-PK has been mobilizing communities and national civil society to be part of peace and human security agenda in their individuals and collective capacities since we started off.

Glimpses of Past Ten Years
1.  Use of Cultural Spaces and Youths Training: 2000 Onwards

Revival of secular, folk and cultural heritage is one of the on-going initiatives of SAP-Pakistan. The organization is of the firm view that Sufi tradition holds values of peaceful coexistence of different faiths and carries’ the message of love and equality. It is closer to the heart of the common people, both men and women. Therefore, the organization started various cultural and peace related initiatives around known and respected festivals of Sufi saints in different Parts of the country. These events are now regularly organized by the local population.

Training youth activists and community peace groups is another achievement of SAP-PK. We address conflicts and promote tolerance and social harmony through this. We train youth in tribal areas and conflict areas of Sindh, Balochistan, Southern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These young peace activists are actively promoting peace through their local initiatives.

2.  FATA Reform Movement:

In the year 2002 along with notables from all FATA, representative social organizations, academics and political activists SAP-PK initiated FATA Reform Movement. A series of discussions were held which resulted in formulating FATA reform charter, first consensus document which essentially discusses the issues and possible solutions for the inhabitants of different tribal agencies.

3.  Democracy and Human Rights Program (DHRP 2002 and 2003)

SAP-PK implemented this project in 42 districts with political parties, media, minority groups and human rights organizations for highlighting rights-based agenda of the citizens especially women, minorities. The emphasis obviously was on peasants, workers and other marginalized groups. The program educated 1.5 million people about fundamental rights and engaged them in meaningful political activities. The organization also conducted election monitoring in 40 districts during the general elections of 2003 with the help of the same.

4.  Democratic Rights and Citizens’ Education Program (DRCEP 2000-2003)

SAP-PK implemented the program in 87 districts of Pakistan. Other than voter’s education, candidates’ facilitation and election monitoring of more than 2100 polling stations was also carried out under that program. More than 3 million citizens were approached through mass media, public forums and theatre and communication material.

5.  Pakistan Coalition for Free, Fair and Democratic Elections (PACFREL 2008)

SAP-PK trained 2100 individuals representing different civil society organizations across Pakistan in observing electoral processes and election days monitoring and developed its report for building civil society movement in Pakistan for free and fair elections in Pakistan.

6. SAP-PK’s Engagement with UN Human Rights

Engagement with UN Human Rights South Asia Partnership-Pakistan has submitted the joint submission to the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights. Pakistan will be reviewed in United Nation’s Human Rights Council in October 2012. The universal periodic review is a new human rights mechanism. Through it the Human Rights Council reviews, on a periodic basis, the fulfillment by each of the 193 United Nations Member States of their human rights obligationsMore