Pakistani electronic and print media has played no positive role in countering the hate, xenophobia and bigotry that has permeated into our society. The public space in Pakistan, specially Punjab, has been taken over by the right-wing organizations. It has been filled with callas for jihad, social and monetary boycott of religious minorities, incitement to violence and a general zealous attitude towards religious practices. The confusion created by such a discourse within the media and the hijacking of the public space reflects into the nation’s attitude towards Taliban violence and the lack of will from various segments of society to present a counter narrative to a discourse that only preaches isolation and violence.
In such circumstances, any initiatives that can change the discourse and attempt to recapture the public space would be a pleasant change. One such campaign led by Lahore based Institute for Peace and Secular Studies has attempted to install messages promoting peace and co-existence on auto-rikshaws running in Lahore, Pakistan. Since right-wing organizations have been making an extensive use of rikshaws to advertise their agenda, it remains important to counter the propaganda through messages promoting love and harmony instead of hatred.
The campaign has started a crowd-funding campaign to collect donations to continue installing more of these advertisements. The details of the donation- drive can be found at: