By Shujauddin Qureshi
A six-member peace delegation from Nepal arrived in Karachi on Sunday morning to take part in a global peace march called \”Jai Jagat 2020\”. The delegation would take part in various activities in Karachi and would also visit Hyderabad.
Karachi Press Club hosted a lunch in honour of the guests on Sunday, which was also attended by the representatives of media and civil society organisations.
\”Jai Jagat\” is an international campaign to respond to the deepening economic, social and environmental crisis. The campaign is an urgent appeal for people to transform and achieve one planet one people. The themes of the global march are: Eradicating poverty, eliminating of social exclusion, ameliorating the climate crisis, and halting conflict and violence.
Acting President of KPC Saeed Sarbazi, and senior member of the club Tahir Hassan Khan welcomed the delegation.
Speaking at the KPC reception, a member of the delegation Mr. Jagat Bahadur Basnet said that most of the delegation members belong to the land rights movement in Nepal.
Nepalese peasants are facing poverty due to a lack of resources and opportunities. He said they are the participants of the Jai Jagat March as participants from other countries have also gone to some other countries.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Riaz Ahmed Shaikh, head of Social Sciences at Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) said the exchange of students was one of the activities of the South Asian Foundation, of which he was an active member. But due to strained relations between Pakistan and India, South Asian activities are almost at a halt.
For example, he said a large number of Pakistan were visiting India to get medical treatment. But now India is not issuing visas on health grounds as well.
Karamat Ali, Executive Director of Pakistanis Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) underlined the need for the revival of SAARC and said the last summit was held in 2014 and the 2016 Summit was scheduled to be held in Islamabad but could not be happened due to India\’s refusal to take part in it.
He said civil society has a platform of People\’s SAARC, which meets on the occasion of the official SAARC summit. The civil society of Pakistan had planned such a meeting in 2016 but due to the postponement of the official summit People\’s SAARC meeting was also not held.
Ms Farhat Parween of the NOW Communities pointed out that South Asia had become the worst region where women suffer a lot, She underlined the need to address gender issues on a priority basis.
Ms. Saeed Baloch, Secretary General of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) said fishermen of both Pakistan and India are facing problems as they are arrested and their launches are confiscated on regular basis.
Imran Sherwani, a senior journalist said the media of South Asian countries should work together.
Former Administrator of KMC Faheemuz Zaman Khan, former Chief of Citizens-Police Liaison Committee Nazim F. Haji, Zahid Farooq of Urban Resource Centre, senior trade union leader Habibuddin Junaidi, Qazi Khizar of HRCP, Nasir Mansoor of NTUF and Shujauddin Qureshi and Zamir Awam of PILER were also present on the occasion.
The Nepalese delegation included two women and four males. Their names are: Ms. Geeta Pandit, Mr. Bhawani Ghimire, Jagat Bahadur Basnet, Jagat Bahadur Deuja, Lyam Bahadur Darjee, Somparsad Bhandari and Ghimire Bhabani.
\”Jai Jagat\’ means \’victory of the world\’. It is in line with the concept of Sarvodaya (‘well-being of all’) that was put forward by Mahatma Gandhi.
The Jai Jagat 2020 is a five-year programme with multi-country engagements which are linked through the Communication Hub and through the Ekta network, comprising a number of international events that were organized during 2016 – 2018, and culminating in a Global March in Geneva in 2019-2020.
The biggest action is the Global March that commenced from Rajghat in New Delhi, on December 10th, 2019, the year of Gandhi’s 150th Birth Centenary. It will be led by a group of 150 youths from different countries, which will traverse 8400 kilometres by van and by foot from Gandhi’s resting place in India and will arrive in Geneva, Switzerland on the 19th of September, 2020.