International Peace Day today

Staff Report

LAHORE: Various civil society and religious organisations staged activities on Saturday to mark the International Day of Peace that is to be celebrated across the world on September 21 (today).

The day is an important one for Pakistan in light of the current insurgency and incursions by United States forces, which the government is confronted with in the Tribal Areas.

The Aurat Foundation on Saturday held a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club to mark the day. The participants carried placards inscribed with slogans calling for peace across the globe, including the Tribal Areas of Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. They said that the US should not create a situation that may lead to a third World War. They also said that following 9/11, suicide attacks had increased in Pakistan, causing a devastating affect on peace in the area. They said that since the start of clashes in Bajaur, 500,000 people had gone homeless, adding, “The only way to bring peace is through negotiations not violence.”

Seminar: Separately, the National Council for Interfaith Dialogue organised a one-day seminar to mark the day. Speakers at the seminar said that the world was in the grip of hatred, discrimination and terrorism. They encouraged children to become ambassadors of peace and to spread the message of peace, love, social harmony and brotherhood.

OFM Cap Francis Nadeem presided over the seminar, while Jamia Dar-ul-Quran Principal Maulana Talib Hussain and St Mary’s High School Principal Samina Joseph also spoke at the occasion. Children from the schools organised a tableau and played national songs to commemorate the occasion.

The International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21 every year and it calls for a full day of peace and ceasefire throughout the world. The ‘Peace Bell’ is rung at the United Nations Headquarters to celebrate the day. An inscription on the side of the bell reads: “Long live absolute world peace.”

Every country in the world celebrates the day in their own manner. The event was celebrated for the first time in 1982 when the United Nations General Assembly declared the third Tuesday of September as the International Day of Peace to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace.

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