People’s Peace Alliance

Introduction

Since the inception of Pakistan, continuous political and social changes have adversely affected not only this country but also the whole of the South Asian region. Due to these negative effects aggression and conflict of all forms have taken a strong hold on our society. This exploitation of the lives of people has turned from bad to worse and continues till this day.

The awareness of peace issues has led many individuals and organizations to initiate networks to mobilize people against aggression of any kind and support peace and unity within Pakistan as well as on the regional level. These networks however were not very successful, as most of them were limited to a few city-based individuals or groups and provided no opportunity for broad-based participation and neither were they accessible to the people in general. Hence a need for a network arose that would be accessible to individuals and groups in remote areas whose voices had not previously been heard and who could participate and generate a dialogue about the need for peace not only within Pakistan but also at the regional and international levels.

Keeping all this in view, ASR Resource Centre formed a new network called the People’s Peace Alliance (PPA) after receiving an extremely positive and encouraging feedback from participants attending ASR’s programs and conferences. People’s Peace Alliance was launched on 10th December 2002 on the International Human Rights Day. The structure of the initial Alliance was formed in units each comprising of a team of twenty people with a democratic representation, which would be organized at the national and regional levels. Furthermore participants from all over South Asia are encouraged to join and participate enthusiastically in PPA. Although this is not an institution-based alliance the team at ASR runs the network in order to strengthen and reinforce its functioning.

The objectives of the People’s Peace Alliance comprise of three levels and are listed below:

National Issues:
  1. People’s Peace Alliance (PPA) strongly condemns a dominated federation in Pakistan for it is a major hurdle in provincial development. This, in turn, aggravates ethnic and sectarian violence. PPA supports provincial autonomy and stresses on the need for equal rights of all the four provinces of Pakistan.
  2. People’s Peace Alliance strongly supports democracy at all levels and in every way. PPA is totally against militarization and dictatorship at every level and in any form.
  3. People’s Peace Alliance supports the peasant and the tenants’ movements who have been struggling for their rights for many years. PPA condemns the torture that is being carried out on them by the aggressive and dominant forces to suppress their legitimate rights.
  4. People’s Peace Alliance is strongly against privatization and demands the state to withdraw this policy, as it will make the lives of people more difficult.
  5. People’s Peace Alliance demands that Pakistan’s national budget should not be wasted on the construction of nuclear arms and weapons as they aggravate conflicts and suppress peace and freedom. PPA further demands that the national budget should be spent instead on social and development needs.
  6. Women at all levels are extremely victimized and tortured in Pakistani society. People’s Peace Alliance strongly condemns this and demands that women should be given their equal rights and be able to enjoy an equal place in society. Their needs should be recognized as the needs of any human being.
  7. People’s Peace Alliance stresses on the equal rights of the minority groups within Pakistan and that their voices be heard and their needs be met. PPA further condemns the act of aggression and terror being meted out against them.
Regional Issues:
  1. People’s Peace Alliance demands that Kashmiris be given the right of self-determination and both India and Pakistan should stop infiltration and torture in Kashmir.
  2. People’s Peace Alliance supports the view that India and Pakistan should cease all manipulative political games and instead stress on friendlier ties with each other. Furthermore PPA also demands that the people of both these countries should be allowed to visit each other, as it will help develop closer ties.
  3. Women are the main sufferers at the regional level and PPA demands that they should be heard and given equal rights and status.
  4. Women are the most effected by all forms of conflict all over the world. People’s Peace Alliance condemns all kinds of violence on women and demands that in conflicts their voices be heard and that women be included as a vital part in the restructuring of society at all levels.
International Issues:
  1. People’s Peace Alliance condemns the so-called ‘war on terrorism’ being dramatically played by the United States. It demands that the interference of the United States in Iraq’s national affairs be stopped immediately.
  2. People’s Peace Alliance strongly condemns Israel’s game of terrorism and hostile policies against the Palestinians. It further demands that the United States should immediately stop supporting and encouraging Israel against Palestine.
  3. People’s Peace Alliance also demands that the United States and its allies should withdraw their forces from Afghanistan and let the country decide its own future.
  4. People’s Peace Alliance is totally against globalization, which in reality symbolizes poverty. Multinationals continue to make the lives of people more dependent on them, which, in turn, will increase poverty all over the world.
  5. Women are the most effected by all forms of conflict all over the world. People’s Peace Alliance condemns all kinds of violence on women and demands that in conflicts their voices be heard and that women be included as a vital part in the restructuring of society at all levels.