HYDERABAD, Feb 13: Speakers at a meeting held here on Sunday called for a mass campaign to promote religious harmony and tolerance.

The meeting was attended by representatives of political parties, social forums and civil society organisations who discussed the challenge posed by increasing intolerance threatening the traditional values set by Sufi saints.

It decided to hold meetings at divisional headquarters of the province to be attended by representatives of political parties and civil society and human rights activists and writers. There will be equal participation of women activists in the meetings.

The meeting set up a 'Movement for Peace and Tolerance' with a 15-member coordination committee to organise processions, meetings and other activities.

Zulfiqar Shah, executive director of the Institute of Social Movement, said similar meetings were being held in other provinces to mobilise people and work out an effective plan to raise awareness about the teachings of Sufi saints and those political leaders who gave the message of tolerance and peace.Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz general secretary Asif Baladi informed the meeting that his party had already reactivated Bazm Sufia-i-Sindh, formed by the late GM Syed, Shaikh Ayaz and Rasool Bux Palijo to promote peace and tolerance.

He said the JSQM believed in principles pointed out by its leaders. Other leaders called for organising activities in Sindh to mobilise people so play their role in promoting tolerance.

They proposed a march for peace and tolerance in Sindh and other parts of the country.

Activists of the Left Unity, a Hyderabad-based alliance of progressive parties and groups, and representatives of university students also attended the meeting and suggested a youth–led initiative to help the movement.

The meeting criticised the role of the government which it said had left the people at the mercy of elements which were creating uncertainty and destroying traditional values. It also suggested that smaller marches should be organised at the shrines of Sufi saints.

The meeting said the there was an urgent need to first raise people's awareness through literature, speeches and pamphlets.

The meeting said Sindh was passing through a transitional phase and there was scope to work for unity, peace and tolerance.

Dr Dodo Maheri, general secretary of the Sindh United Party, Suleman G. Abro, executive director of Sawfco, Mustafa Baloch, regional manager Strengthening Participatory Organisation, Punhal Sario of Sindh Porhiyat Hari Council, Zulfiqar Halepoto of Sindh Democratic Forum, Javed Hussain of the Sindh Community Foundation and coordinator of HRCP Sindh task force Dr Ashothama addressed the meeting.