Give peace a chance

Let’s come together and focus on building peace not only for ourselves but for all that’s around us

'Imagine there's No Countries/ It isn't Hard to Do

Nothing to Kill or Die for/And no Religion, too;

Imagine all the People Living Life in Peace.'

Released in 1971, John Lennon’s Imagine became the best-selling single of Lennon’s career as a solo artist. Forty-six years on, Imagine is a peace anthem taught in schools, sung by peace mongers, and musicians especially from the developing nations. The record breaking song inspired people to think beyond their nationality, social class, and most importantly their faith and creed. Because peace is the signature slogan of every religion, and peace is what we all want.

But what do we do in an age where political boundaries cannot be eradicated, where cultural diversity cannot be altered, and where the basic fundamental belief of every religion is love, brotherhood and peace. Should we not overlook our differences and embrace our similarities to live as one united nation?

Monday’s blast in the heart of Lahore left us torn apart. But united we are as we mourn the deaths of the many innocents lost during this shrewd brutal attack on humanity. Hundreds of policemen had gathered at Lahore Charing Cross, The Mall to safeguard and protect the representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. For over 12 hours the policemen, always willing to lay down their life for the nation, remained in the line of duty with valour, patriotic pride. It was within a fraction of a second, the location was marked by the blood of the innocent, and among many were the police personnel who embraced martyrdom.

Respect to the media personnel as well, who put their life at risk every second hour of the day. While it is reported that three media people died on the spot, some others are left struggling for life. Not to forget the workers of the pharmaceutical industry who had gathered for the cause.

While coward acts such as the diabolic attack at Charing Cross might shake and cause some people to question the authorities, or the very purpose of living in this country, let’s not forget we are all in it together. The need of the hour is to stand united as one solid nation and defy the blows of the enemy. We need to combat terrorism with peace and love, and that’s isn’t difficult to do at all. While we expect our security forces to crush the anti-state entities with an iron fist, it is our core duty to promote anti-extremism discourse and inculcate a peaceful narrative among the people, young and old alike.

Elvis Costello in his famous song, What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?, originally written by Nick Lowe, questions why we all cannot; the powerful and the weak, come together to build peace and spread love. After all, as someone wiser than the wisest said, “Peace is not a season. It is a Way of Life.”

Believers of peace, love and harmony, through their respective fields of work, continue to showcase the resilience of this nation. One example that’s worth mentioning here is the ongoing art exhibition I Live Pakistan. Sadly, however, it is tragic events like these that also testify to the solidarity and national unity of this country. We have grown into becoming the most resilient nation in the world. Come what may, nothing can break us. We understand what peace is. We are all overflowing with patriotism. So let’s come together and focus on building peace not only for ourselves but for all that’s around us with a vow to build a peaceful Pakistan.

Marian Sharaf Joseph is an independent journalist. Her work for local and global publications focuses on culture and community affairs

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