Pak team looks up to India for civil society activism

Pak team looks up to India for civil society activism

Decades of military rule in Pakistan has ruined its judicial and civil society activism, feel members of the Pakistani civil society members. Hence, they want to learn from the better track record of India.

These views came forth from a delegation from Pakistan, which was in the City on Wednesday to take part in an interaction programme titled ‘Common interests and a common future: Exploring India-Pakistan Partnership.’ 

Bina Raza from Lahore said, “We lived under military rule, which is why the civil societies did not prosper. We have to learn civil society activism and judicial activism from India. We need to educate ourselves on civil society activism. You (Indians) are way ahead of us in holding civil society dialogues.”

Adnan Mobin from Karachi, who is the Deputy Director for Education at the Sindh Education Foundation, said the governments behave differently as they have to run a nation comprising divergent groups of people. This diversity is reflected in civil societies too, due to which they all work in isolation.

“Issues pertaining to education, environment and water are fought in an isolated way. We need to work unitedly and find a composite solution,” he said. 

Sadaf Arshad from Karachi emphasised that issues of hunger, poverty, illiteracy, health, environment and malnutrition were common in India as well as Pakistan. “We, the nationals of two countries, are victims of mismanagement. Pakistan too suffers the way you suffer. We too have stringent laws, but the problem is in their implementation. We also find sustainability of resources an issue,” said Arshad.

Kshitij Urs of People’s Campaign for Right to Water (PCRW) said attempts were being made to privatise water in India. In Karnataka, the government has gone ahead with entrusting the water supply system to a French company, which claims to offer 24x7 water supply to make Bangalore a global city in its true perspective. 

“There is a bid to control everything that matters to the common man. We have decided to fight 24x7 against the 24x7 water supply.”

Earlier, Environment Support Group, which organised the event, made a presentation on the garbage crisis in Bangalore, its struggle against the attempt to divert Amritmahal Kaval lands in Chitradurga district for defence-related facilities and its fight against the privatisation of water bodies in Bangalore and elsewhere in Karnataka.

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