“Festival for Peace and Regional Convergence” by Media Training and Research Centre (MTRC) on 12th September, 2018 Lok Virsa, Islamabad

Media Training and Research Centre (MTRC) organized a peace festival titled “Festival for Peace and Regional Convergence” on 12th September, 2018 at Lok Virsa in Islamabad, in collaboration with Mediothek Afghanistan. The festival was part of the initiative “Youth Ambassadors in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan”. In addition to speeches by key speakers the festival had numerous activities depicting the culture of the three countries, including the intermingling of the youth from the three countries.

The festival was graced by H. E Mr Sherali Jononov, Head of the Tajikistan Mission in Islamabad and H. E Mr Shams Zardasht, Deputy Head of the Afghan Mission in Islamabad, representatives of German Embassies in Islamabad and Kabul Mr. Lorenz Strittmatter and Ms. Inga Tessendorf, Prof. Dr Qasim Jan former Vice Chancellor of University of Peshawar, Quaid e Azam University, and President Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Dr M. Salah Uddin Mengal, Chairman Press Council of Pakistan (PCP), Mr. Hamid Zazai, Mr. Rasuli, and Mr Atif of Mediothek Afghanistan.

The event brought together government officials, Youth Ambassadors of Youth Ambassadors Program from the three countries, university professors, academics, civil society and media activists; journalists; representatives of youth groups; cultural experts, icons, and artists; university students and citizens.

The initiative seeks to establish strong civil society and people to people contacts and active regional networks through the promotion of effective communication between civic and media organizations, improving relations and creating understanding and trust between groups and institutions and providing a platform for introducing/promoting the cultures, arts and customs of the three neighbouring countries. The idea is that building strong youth networks, cultural exchange, tourism and collaboration in art will promote regional peace and harmony

Almost all the speakers recognized numerous commonalities and common grounds between the three countries in terms of regional history, culture, and heritage. Regarding the very close mutual proximity with Afghanistan and Tajikistan there is hardly any doubt or confusion on tapping opportunities offered by shared geography, history, culture for broad based mutual cooperation and warm brotherly relations. The relations between the three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, should be ideally based on shared interests, mutual respect and common desire to promote peace prosperity, stability and development in the region. It hardly needs repetition that the regional stability peace and prosperity of the three countries is dependent upon close broad based cooperation. Especially the young generation should be aware of the opportunities and challenges in this regard. Strong regional youth networks and connectivity in cultural exchange, art, and tourism will pave the way for regional peace and harmony.