In 2011, JAD Foundation (a GNDR member) had launched a voluntary as well as youth and women-led ‘Peace Building and Youth Development’ – PBYD programme to supplement its mandate.
PBYD works to bridge the existing gap between various inter and intra faith groups within the country as well as beyond borders. It also contributes to advancing the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security by engaging young people as part of inclusive and participatory approaches to building peaceful and inclusive society in Pakistan.
By supporting peacebuilding efforts and brining the youth of diversified culture, religion and regions, PBYD capitalizes the potentials of youth (the leaders and change maker of tomorrow) to promote peace, prevent violent conflict, and practice social inclusion.
Led by Aliya Harir from Chitral, the PBYD programme partnered with Chandigarh, India-based NGO Yuvsatta for the annual Global Youth Peace Festival.
She led a series of annual delegations of young people (particularly women) from Pakistan to India for participation in the peace festival as well as for other dialogues and exchanges from 2013 – 2016. In September 2016, when the India-Pakistan tensions were at peak, Aliya Harir led a delegation of 19 young women to India. With security concerns of the visit, the Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj approached the delegation and ensured their safe stay & return. When Aliya thanked the foreign minister on twitter for her hospitable gesture, she received a heart-warming response from Ms. Sushma and the news of their twitter exchange went viral in both the countries.
Because of the commitment of JAD Foundation to enhance people to people contact in the region and particularly between India and Pakistan, Aliya’s work was nominated for the N-Peace Awards 2016. The peace-building efforts emerged as winner in October 2016. Aliya received the PEACE GENERATION AWARD (Peace Generation – young women and men building peace through volunteerism) at Bangkok on February 9, 2017 from Her Excellency Ms. Donica Pottie, the Canadian Ambassador to Thailand.
N-Peace is a multi-country network of peace advocates in Asia working for the advancement of women and peace issues. The network is coordinated by the United Nations Development Program’s Bangkok Regional Hub and supports women’s leadership for conflict prevention, recovery, peace building and more. Established in 2010, N-Peace is a network of peace advocates from Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan seeking to advance Women, Peace & Security (WPS) issues. It supports women’s leadership for conflict prevention, resolution and peace building, and promotes the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, and related resolutions, at regional, national and community levels.
Beginning January 2017, JAD Foundation’s Peace Building and Conflict Transformation’ program has launched partnership with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Nepal based organizations to replicate the same work in their specific context.
Aliya has also received other awards in recognition of her work for India-Pakistan peace by various organizations such as Pakistan-US Alumni Network, Digital Empowerment Foundation, and Public Peace Prize. She is also the co-founder and co-convener of an India-Pakistan friendship initiative called ‘Aaghaz-e-Dosti’ – that is focused on citizen diplomacy and works primarily through peace education aimed at familiarizing Pakistanis and Indians about the ‘other‘ and countering stereotypes of a homogenized and negative image of the other. She studies ‘Peace-building & Conflict Resolution’ at National Defence University Islamabad.
Speaking to GNDR, she said that “I am proud to share that I have been recognized as a Peace Generation Young Women Leader with an N-Peace Award by the UNDP in Asia and the Pacific for building peace, friendship, and understanding between India and Pakistan, contributing to the enhancement of the Women, Peace, and Security WPS 1325 of the United Nations. The award is not only for me but for everyone who believes in peace, and has been victim of the India-Pakistan conflict.”.. Press release by Syed Harir Shah, 17 Feb 2017