Linked with Feroz Mehdi – Canada & Pakistan.
By Feroz MEHDI, 7 February 2006 – Find all on Alternatives.
Alternatives has been working with civil society organizations in Pakistan for over a decade. Our beginning point was to work with and support NGOs promoting peace in the region. Most of the organizations in all major cities of Pakistan are supportive of the people’s initiative of people to people dialogue between India and Pakistan. This lead us to work closely with organizations like the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Also, our work on women’s rights lead us to work with important women groups like Aurat Foundation. We had the opportunity to invite people to Canada from various organizations, including Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, HRCP, whose then Chairperson Asma Jehangir addressed a women’s rights conference in Canada.
We also work with NGOs in Peshawar, especially on Afghan refugee issues. This work was supported by CIDA and developed in the formation of Afghan-Pakistan People’s Friendship forum. Its main activities included rights awareness among the refugees and sensitizing the local Pakistani population on the needs of the refugee population.
Alternatives has also supported local artist groups in performing street theatre in all major cities of Pakistan in order to sensitize the population on the issues of women’s rights, religious tolerance and regional peace.
With its expertise on environment issues, Alternatives started working with environment groups in Pakistan several years ago. It started working with the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum and other organizations on issues of water management and disaster mitigation issues.
Prior to 1994, Alternatives’ members worked in and on Pakistan through one of its three founding organizations, the Centre d’études et de ressources sur l’Asie du Sud (CERAS).