From the outset it was made clear that there was no restriction on participation, anybody can participate, and it is a self-reliant event. The distance of the march is 80Km.
*“The purpose of this event is to highlight the issues of Peace and Non Violence in our region,” says humanist Irshad Ahmad Mughal. “We are marching against terrorist attacks, suicide attacks, foreign invasion, and against domestic issues that are forcing people to adopt violent reactions.”*
(from first communique)
Peace-Marchers are excited to continue non-violence activities until the USA stops drone attacks and the killing of innocent people in the name of anti-Al-Qaida operations and providing ever more reasons, attempted justifications, and excuses to militants to retaliate with suicide attacks.
The Peace Marchers consist of 6 legal advocates, 14 activists from Khaksare, 4 individuals, 14 Humanists, all doing the March together. Various TV channels and newspapers have covered the March and covered proceedings with interviews.
See photo: Irshad speaking to press with the Sayyed Azhar Hussin Shah in lawyer’s black coat as representative of lawyers and a walk organizer; those with red flags and belcha are activists from Khaksar thareek political party as seen with the red flags; and the others are humanists from Iraj Education & Development Foundation and civil society, with our green caps and banners.
*“Throughout the march, a police guard was with us. Intelligence agencies closely watched all movements, but they didn’t disturb us because we were peaceful. All those who participated in the march completed the walk except one woman lawyer due to pressing family need.”*
*”A loudspeaker was used throughout the route by the Khaksar group to inform citizens about our march. It was peaceful throughout without any violence, a relief for police and security agencies but surprising for citizens that any group could walk so long and without some violence. People by the road offered juice, cold water and food. Otherwise, we looked after ourselves. In Kamoki we overnighted at School The Educator, the owner a friend of humanist Anees Ahmad Khan Lodhi.*
*“My personal feelings – as a humanist, this was my first active non violence experience,” recounts Irshad. “I walked all the way on foot with our group. I got several foot injuries and was in the end unable to stand when I got home. It was really hot. Temperatures started from 38 degrees C at outset and rose by 3pm to around 42 degrees C.*
*“The road was very hot and marchers needed to stop every five to six kilometres until we reached the Tomb of Iqbal our national poet near Badshahi Mosque. There, Mr.Azhar from the Lawyers, head of Khaksar Mr. Sadiq, and myself Irshad Ahmad Irshad Ahmad Mughal as Chairman IEDF, addressing those gathered to tell the purpose of our march and say thanks to all the people supporting us.*
*“This has proved to be an outstanding activity to set up a Humanist Party in Pakistan.*
*“Overall the experience was very good, tough and exciting.*
*“We hope for peace throughout the world.*
*“We are all happy, excited, and also very tired now.*
*“Joy and hope for peace.”*
Irshad and all the marchers send thanks to all humanist friends and others around the world who sent their appreciation.