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Pre event Press Release - National Convention of Pakistan India People’s Forum For Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD India) - 20th to 22nd September, 2013

20 September 2013

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Press Release (Pre-event)

Friday, 20th September 2013

National Convention of Pakistan India People’s Forum For Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD India)

“Peace and Democracy in South Asia: The Emerging Challenges”

20th to 22nd September, 2013

Ghandhi Darshan, Raj Ghat, MG Road, New Delhi

Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) is organising a 3-day National Convention on “Peace and Democracy in South Asia: The Emerging Challenges” as part of its ongoing program of building peace between the two nations by facilitating democratic and secular people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. This year, PIPFPD is also entering the 20th year of successful people-to-people intellectual and cultural exchanges between India, Pakistan and the disputed region of Jammu & Kashmir. The three day convention begins on 20th with a public meeting followed by National Convention on 21st and 22nd of September, 2013 at Gandhi Darshan, Rajghat, Delhi.

Day one – 20th September

The day one of the National Level convention will begin with an inaugural Public Meeting at Ghalib Institute, New Delhi, chaired by Tapan K Bose (Co-Chairperson, PIPFD India). The thematic presentations on issues include ‘Peace & Democracy in Pakistan & India’; ‘Disarmament in South Asia’; ‘Demilitarising Kashmir - Challenges and Opportunities’; ‘Media as Combatants in Conflict’; ‘Disarmament & Peace in South Asia – A Labour Perspective’. The speakers include: Com. B M Kutty from Pakistan, Praful Bidwai, Seema Mustafa, Sumit Chakravarthy, Com. Ashok Choudhary, Sukumar Muralidharan & Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal.

The day will conclude with different cultural programs including a concert by renowned musician Dr. Vidya Rao followed by an experimental musical fusion led by Ashish Dha, Debamitro Charkraborti and Hemant Kanojia.

Day two – 21st September

The day two of National Convention begins with a condolence meeting in honour of Shri. Balraj Kumar (Chairperson-PIPFPD Delhi Chapter), who passed away in the evening of 18th September, just prior to the commencement of the National Convention.

The context of the national convention will be elaborated by Ms. Manimala (Director, Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti) and Mr. E. Deenadayalan (General Secretary, PIPFPD India). The thematic presentations at the opening plenary session will touch upon varied topics such as ‘Who are the terrorist and what do they want’ (Tapan Bose); ‘Securing Peace, Freedom & Democracy in Afghanistan - A People’s Perspective’ (Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty) & ‘Why the ceasefire matters? Lives of People around LOC’. This will be followed by parallel Thematic working groups in the afternoon. The parallel sessions will look at the plight of the fishworkers and other prisoners; the ssues of visa regimes between India & Pakistan; Impact of Globalisation; Gender and issues of peace and security; Developing a peoples’ Energy paradigm for South Asia, etc.

The day’s programmes will conclude with the screening of ‘Dreaming Taj Mahal’, an award winning documentary film by Nirmal Chander about the small dreams of ordinary people of India & Pakistan and how that features in the agenda of peace-building.

Day three – 22nd September

Day three of the National Convention chaired by Prof. Asha Hans, will witness reports from state chapters and discuss activities of Forum at the national level. The elections to the National Committee and new office-bearers will also be held other than finalisation of the Delhi Declaration of PIPFPD 2013. Later, the planning discussion for the 20th anniversary celebration of PIPFPD will be followed by cultural celebration led by a Partition Dastan by Darain and Ankit, Ghazals by Saba Prateeksha and Musical by Ekam Satyam Band.

The biennial National Convention of PIPFPD is happening this time around in Delhi at a time when fundamentalist forces have been negatively impacting the relations between the two South Asian nuclear powers like never before. Both India and Pakistan face unprecedented democratic and secular challenges in containing communal, fascist and militaristic propaganda. In India what is unfolding as ‘communal riots’ in Bihar & UP is nothing but a manifestation of this – especially at a time when the country is facing imminent General Elections. The theme of the national convention, “Peace and Democracy in South Asia: The Emerging Challenges” hence, is most relevant in the current circumstances.

About PIPFPD: PIPFPD has been a pioneering people’s platform that has consistently impacted the political and people-to-people relations between India and Pakistan since early 1990s. The initiative towards formation of PIPFPD as a membership based organization was taken in late 1993 and the first joint declaration was announced on September 4, 1994 at Lahore. The objective of this initiative was to facilitate common people in both the countries to listen to voices that are different from the belligerent voices of the respective Governments.

It is with the objective of asserting the sanity of the peace loving people of India and Pakistan that concerned citizens and groups in both the countries have come together to formulate strategies for promoting peace and strengthen democracy in the sub-continent. Democratic rights activists, business people, trade unionist, environmentalists, women’s movements, artists, writers, social workers, professionals, academicians, students, scientists and mass movements have joined hands in a concerted attempt to persuade their respective governments to enter into meaningful negotiations and adopt policies that will reduce tensions and pave way for lasting peace and friendship.

The forum has collectively agreed to work on the five major issues:

  • War, de-militarisation, peace and peace dividends;
  • Democratic solution to Kashmir problem;
  • Democratic Governance;
  • Religious intolerance in India and Pakistan; and
  • Globalisation and Regional Cooperation.

For more details please contact: 9811081240 (Haris) / 9910137929 (Nishank) / 9013882466 (Elizabeth)

Email: delhipipfpd at gmail.com