Punjab Assembly Peace Committee determined to eradicate hate speech

Lahore: Punjab Assembly Peace Committee (PAPC) held a press conference in Lahore Press Club to brief about the PAPC work for peacebuilding within the Punjab Assembly. It was appreciated that the Peace Committee members have raised seven relevant questions in the Assembly for speedy initiatives on hate-speech, curriculum and training of officials on hate-speech material.  The panel was consisted of the newly elected office bearers of thePunjab Youth Parliamentary Caucus (PYPC), which runs the Peace Committee.

At this occasion, the establishment and consequent work of the Punjab Assembly Peace Committee (PAPC) was hailed as a big step for the MPAs working on peacebuilding and in support of National Action Plan in Punjab.

Patron of the PYPC/PAPC and Parliamentary Secretary of Youth Affairs in Punjab Assembly MPA Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal said that support of elected representatives and parliamentarians was crucial to support implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).  He appreciated that the PAPC has organized briefing and orientation sessions on NAP for MPAs and assisted them in presenting questions and resolutions in the Assembly sessions.  The MPAs fully support newly enacted laws and actions to curb hate-speech material and other forms of extremism and are active part of campaign to eradicate extremism Punjab.

Chairperson of the PYPC, MPA Asif Mehmood hoped that he and other newly elected office bearers of the PYPC will continue consolidating democracy through input of young parliamentarians in Punjab. He said that parliamentarians’ main task is to legislate laws and oversight of the executive. For that they need technical and thematic support. While appreciating technical assistance provided from Bargad an organization for youth development to the young parliamentarians, he added that proceedings, briefings and legislative support of the PYPC have resulted beneficial to the parliamentarians.

MPA Rana Abdul Manan, Vice-Chairperson of the PYPC, said that it is high time that young parliamentarians should support on-going efforts to root-out much deeper issues of extremism in society and promote tolerance. Their legislative performance and oversight of the executive will bring positive results especially for future generations of Pakistan.

MPA Hina Pervez Butt, who has been elected as General Secretary of the Youth Caucus, said that Pakistan is entering into its prosperous and peaceful phase ahead. This needs to be facilitated with formulating and support relevant laws and better performance of the MPAs to make a transition to a progressive country.

MPA Saadia Sohail Rana said that young MPAs have brought erstwhile ignored issues on floor of the Punjab Assembly. This has encouraged the MPAs to put forward questions and resolutions on issues that go beyond their respective constituencies but are important for peacebuilding & countering violent extremism in Punjab.

MPAs Ramesh Singh, Mary Gill and Executive Director of Bargad, Ms Sabiha Shaheen also spoke during the press conference.The panelists in the end cut a Christmas cake to convey a message of national solidarity and inter-faith harmony congratulated fellow Christian citizens at this occasion. MPA Mary Gill thanked MPAs and other participants on behalf of the Christian community.

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