The Pakistan Peace Initiative was a project held in collaboration between Uks Research Centre and Search for Common Ground (SFCG). The Pakistan Peace Initiative project sought to involve media personnel, local leaders and youth, in peace building activities so as to develop and present models of coexistence, tolerance and moderate attitudes across Pakistan (Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtukhwa, Baluchistan, FATA, Islamabad, Giglit-Batlistitan, and Pakistan administered Kashmir).
Aims and Objectives
The project aimed to promote a participatory environment that stimulates information flow, nurtures youth involvement for proactive conflict mitigation, and strengthens state and civilian relationships and community reconciliation initiatives in Pakistan.
The objectives of the project were to provide Pakistani community with non-violent, peaceful alternatives to resolve conflicts. Keeping in view the volatile situation of the country it was hoped that through this project the Pakistani population would shift their approach of using extreme violent methods, and come opt for peaceful, tolerant and open minded solutions to their problems. The major objectives of the Pakistan Peace Initiative were:
- To enhance the capacity and sustainability of Pakistani media (electronic and print) to play an active role in promoting peace, tolerance, co-existence and non extremists approaches,
- To enhance the capacity of Pakistani youth and local leaders to explore issues affecting them through a constructive, solutions-oriented approach that is geared towards reconciliation and conflict transformation,
- To establish platforms/mechanisms for Pakistani youth, civil society, and local government officials to foster greater collaboration towards constructive dialogue, increased understanding of local conflict dynamics and issues of key importance to youth, thereby fostering increased moderation and tolerance across the country.
To achieve this aim Pakistan Peace Initiative, three major activities were carried out by Uks including,
1. The primary training of 30 PBC Presenters and Producers:
A five-day training workshop of 30 Participants would be organized by Uks Research Center in collaboration with Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) for PBC’s presenters and producers. Participants from these trainings were trained in `Common Ground Approaches’ to radio production that enabled them to produce talk shows that were solution oriented, aimed at reducing stereotypes, and proposed constructive solutions to the complex issues of conflict that were taking place at the local level. PBC, which was taken on board nominated thirty participants representing twenty five districts from across Pakistan. The training aimed to train participants on ‘Common Ground Approaches’ to radio production.
2. One-hour coaching sessions of radio show participants
Uks successfully conducted “One Hour Coaching Sessions” with 12 Producers trained in Advance Level Training conducted by Intermedia. The 15 coaching sessions were for those participants who had been selected by Uks for the Advanced level Workshop. The coaching sessions addressed the sensitivities and met programmatic needs of participants from PBC Radio Stations More specifically, the coaching sessions helped participants to translate the knowledge and skills acquired during the training into actual programming, as well as in disseminating this knowledge and skills among other staff in participating radio stations. Resultantly, the coaching enabled the radio presenters and producers to effectively apply ‘Common Ground’ tools in their talk shows.
3. Production and broad casting of radio shows
After the trainings Uks in collaboration with SFCG carried out the production and broadcasting of 45 ‘Common Ground’ Radio Talk shows. As scheduled, Production and Broadcasting of shows began in May and was completed in July. 45 Common Ground Radio Talk shows (each 15-30 minutes long) were aired by the 15 PBC Radio Stations trained in Advance Level Training. Each participating radio station produced three radio talk shows labelled ‘Common Ground’ on a daily or weekly basis as part of their normal operations. The ‘Common Ground’ talk shows produced in the context of this project served as a model — a high-level quality standard that each radio presenter and producer would hereafter seek to realize whenever possible in the context of their daily work.