Wednesday, August 8, 2012

People’s Saarc steering committee formed

Civil society organisations and various individuals of Sindh province formed a 15-member steering committee of People’s Saarc (Sindh Chapter) during their meeting held at the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) House.

The steering committee of People’s Saarc, representing civil society organisations of the province, would chalk out various activities and programmes to mobilise public opinion towards a South Asian Union. Over 60 people attended the meeting.

The members nominated on the committee, include: Karamat Ali (PILER), Nasir Mansoor (NTUF), Asad Butt (HRCP), Hameed Baloch (political worker), Noor Mohammad (trade union leader), Mohammad Ali Shah (Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum), Zulfiqar Halepoto (Pakistan Peace Coalition), Suleman Abro, Bilquis Rehman (HANDS), Ejaz Qureshi (Benazir Bhutto Chair, Karachi University), Zahida Detho (SRPO), Mir Askari (NSF), Dr Tipu Sultan (PMA), Zehra (Labour Party) and Lateef Mughal (Peoples Labour Bureau).

People’s Saarc is an initiative of organisations and individuals working on regional peace, and is a parallel process to the official SAARC aimed at presenting the South Asian civil societies’ collective voices on pressing regional issues.

Earlier, Karamat Ali, Executive Director of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), briefed the meeting about the People’s SAARC process. He said that after the election of all provincial steering committees a national steering committee would be elected. According to him, Saarc Summit is planned to be held at Kathmandu, Nepal, by the end of this year. The Peoples SAARC meeting is also planned on the occasion and a memorandum would be presented to the heads of the Saarc states.