Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan
National Interfaith harmony, inclusion of the invisible faces as they are also Pakistan.
In the recent times in Pakistan, intolerance and violence is on peak and many ethnic groups and faith are being forced to violence like Hazara, Shia, Christians and Hindus. The campaign was to bring the students from different part of the country from different sects, religions and ethnics groups to spend time together, challenge the stereotypes and unlearn these stereotypes. In these camps the students given an environment of coexistence and reflection of their own surroundings and a message of peace are being spread through these young people. The journey starts from this camp and they are given social action projects to lead in their cities too. These are not only one time camps but Imran has conducted five camps alone in the last two years with more than 500 alumnis in the country and he has started a programs for the returning campers and educators too.
To create a alternate space out of school to challenge the stereotypical notions of other sects, religion.
To create a mass level of awareness that Christians, Shia, Hazara are also Pakistanis.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
We have seen amazing changes in these young people after the return back to their home towns. They have made for the first time a friend from other religion, sects and region. They challenge stereotypes in their schools, communities and families. Many of the alumni have started their own initiatives around peace.
This program is unique in a way that the whole family, schools are involved. partnership are being made through the schools and parents are invited to the witness the whole selection process. Consent are taken from the parents and they are also involved - this is a not a training, this is a life style with counseling and dialogue session at camp. Sharing their personal stories, eating together, feeling with each other and building trust. At the camp young people learn mutual respect and how to live with each other in a peaceful in Pakistan.
It is also unique that for the first time we have done Shia-Sunni dialogue, bring young people from the internally displaced camps, Hindus who were forcefully converted to Islam.
We have seen an impact as the government of Pakistan have asked to share the manuals and conducted similar activities for them. On the community level we have seen a dialogue between young people who are talking about these issues which they were told are not their issues. Many of these young people have challenged - our alumnis are engaging young people at the grass-roots level and it is becoming a social movement now.
Imran has not only received so many threats from Pakistani agencies but also Taliban and recently ISIS.
This country has diversity country - These are important discussion and dialogue. We have learnt that it is important to have these dialogues, have more discussion to understand each-other. We have learnt that people are misguided, misled and wrong perception are conceived.