ISLAMABAD: Local leaders hailing from various districts across Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Punjab vowed to prevent violence and promote peace in their communities through collaborative, solution-oriented approaches during a five-day training workshop on peace building jointly organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Search for Common Ground|Pakistan (SFCG).
According to a press release issued by SDPI, conducted as part of SFCG|Pakistan’s national “Pakistan Peace Initiative”, a project supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the training aimed to enhance the capacity of Pakistan’s local leaders to explore issues affecting them through a constructive approach that is geared towards reconciliation and peacebuilding.
Held on February 1-5, the workshop was attended by 16 participants comprising local political leaders, tribal elders, religious scholars, Jirga members, district government officials, representatives from civil society organizations and the private sector.
These trained leaders for peace will also participate in forthcoming district-level dialogue forums where they will engage in constructive discussions on peacebuilding and democratization processes.
“We are standing at a poin in Pakistan’s history when there is an urgent need to localize the concepts of peace and security,” said SFCG|Pakistan Country Director, Ammara Durrani while addressing the workshop’s concluding session. “Our local communities have indigenous solutions and a genuine social will to resolve conflicts through creative collaborations. We need to explore and harness this tremendous social capital.”
Executive Director SDPI, Dr. Abid Suleri stated that: “Conflict transformation implies finding a common ground between conflicting parties, which essentially creates a win-win situation for all.”
During the workshop, participants learned successful negotiation skills including establishing common goals, focusing on interests not positions, separation of people from the problem, inventing options for mutual gain, and openness to third-party assistance.
At its conclusion, Country Director SFCG|Pakistan and Executive Director SDPI distributed certificates amongst the participants.