Music for Peace
Though conflict is heading towards lower ebb in Pakistan after successful operations and political determination, need for accelerating the efforts for de-radicalization, counter narrative and peace building is emerged as all levels. Youth can play their role in combating extremist narrative and they may better spread their message of peace through music and songs.
Infochange Pakistan- INFN (www.infochagepakistan.net) in collaboration with a progressive music group ‘Peace Voice Movement’ led by Sajid Kaleem is starting a programme “Music for Peace” on its social journalism media place.
Peace is the essence of inseparable existence of human beings. It is the freedom to fulfill our dreams. It is the ability to express ourselves. It is the opportunity to relate with others through understanding, trust, goodwill and cooperation. It is a corner stone of our survival and triumph as a species. Peace is the very foundation of every human being. Our original nature is composed of love, compassion and peace.
Music possesses incredible power to inspire, motivate and energize human beings. It helps bridge divides among conflicting people and ethnic groups and create a safer world for all humanity. Music invokes emotions such as peace, love, hope and states of mind such as stability, self worth and tolerance. Music can help build a counter narrative rejecting a sort of Taliban brand ideology.
It is emotionally and spiritually uplifting, healing, relaxing, calming and mentally invigorating. Music is the universal soul of humanity. It deals with hearts and minds. It has a great power for bringing people together. With so many forces acting to drive wedge between the people in this world, its important to preserve those things that help us experience our common humanity.
Peace Voice Movement (PVM) is an exceptional vocal group created by Sajid Kaleem, a progressive poet and human rights defender from Pakistan since 1980, who suffered three years rigorous imprisonment during Zia’s dictatorial regime when religious extremism and fanaticism was cultivated and promoted. PVM is working for the last 5 years to promote peace, tolerance, interfaith harmony, pluralism, women rights, gender mainstreaming, conflict prevention and awareness on many other socio political issues.
Infochange Pakistan and PVM are firmly committed to combat extremism in Pakistan though music. We are also determined to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music. The ‘Music for Peace’ idea emerged from a common belief that music has the power to breakdown boundaries and overcome distances between people. No matter whether we come from different geographic, political, religious, ethnic, economic or ideological background, music has the universal power to transcend and unite us as one human race. And with this truth firmly fixed in our minds, we want to share it with the world.
Objective of Music for Peace Programme
- To wean away the youth from the negative influence of extremism, violence, insurgency and apathy, and to promote a culture of peace and positivism in the region through the power of positive music.
- To raise awareness for bringing people of Southeast Asia closer together through music creations and build bridges of peace and friendship between the people of the region.
- To raise awareness for promoting conflict prevention, conflict resolution and de-escalation through music.
The programme focuses on the war on terror hit children and youth and the conflict-ridden areas in Pakistan. We believe that ‘Music for Peace’ project can change the lives of these youth and children and help build peace in these communities.
Our goal is to help children and youth know that they always have the power to make their own choices that the paths of peace leads to happiness and security, that weapons do not equal power and safety, and that violence is not the answer.