LAHORE: An anti-war rally was taken out from the Lahore Press Club by dozens of members of human rights organisations and the civil society to condemn the war hysteria on both sides of the borders and to urge both the governments of India and Pakistan to maintain peace.

The members of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Women Action Forum (WAF), Asma Jahangir Legal Aid Cell, Democracy Reporting International (DRI), South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK), labour unions, Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE), Aurat Foundation, Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) and Rawadari Tehreek as well as several others gathered in front of the press club and rallied around the area shouting slogans and holding placards.

‘Peace, not war’ shouted the protesters.

“The flames of war need to be quenched with love, not bullets,” they said.

A poem about peace by Sahir Ludhianvi, titled ‘Aey Sharif Insano,’ with the first lines going as ‘khoon apna ho ya paraya ho/ nasl-i-adam ka khoon hay akhir’ was read out.

Awami Workers Party (AWP) leader Farooq Tariq declared that the war would bring about no benefit to the people of both the countries.

“We do not accept war from either side and condemn the warmongering on both sides of the border,” he said.

Samson Salamat from Rawadari Tehreek said this was a matter of the security of millions of people. He called on both the governments, saying they should understand that there was no place for war in this region and attempts to create paranoia and jingoism should also be greatly discouraged.

Artist Salima Hashmi and journalist Munizae Jahangir also spoke at the demonstration.

An announcement was also made that another demonstration would be held outside the press club at 3pm on Sunday, March 3, in coordination with the rest of the world. The Sunday’s demo is meant to be a global standout for peace in South Asia and the people from major cities of the world, including Karachi, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Washington DC, New York, Boston, San Francisco and many places will gather in their respective cities to call for peace.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2019

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