14th Aawaz II Provincial Forum Meeting
22 September 2023, Peshawar
The 14th meeting of Aawaz II’s Provincial Forum (PF) in KP was held in Peshawar on 22 September 2023. The PF members reviewed progress made on key policy and governance issues pursued by its six sub-committees. Dr. Yasmin Zaidi shared key recommendations emerging from the district and provincial dialogues to promote interfaith harmony. “Effective measures are needed to ensure religious minority communities do not face discrimination in accessing education and employment opportunities,” she said. The PF members were informed that a meeting was also organised between the sub-committee on religious minorities and the Auqaf Department in which increased number of safe and accessible worship/funeral places and better access to affirmative measures like scholarships were recommended. Better access to CNICs for transgender persons and action to check the increased violence against them was discussed by the sub-committee on transgenders. It was agreed that coordination with other relevant stakeholders like the regional office of the National Commission on Human Rights will be ensured for synergy and leveraging impact. Mr. Ijaz Khan, Deputy Chair of the KP Child Protection & Welfare Commission and Chair of the PF, informed members that CPUs were now functional and encouraged Aawaz II to ensure referrals to them. The PF members were also informed about the overall progress of the programme’s phase II. “Aawaz II has extended its footprints to 5 more districts in KP and 10 in Punjab in its phase II that began in January 2023,” said Dr. Yasmin Zaidi, Team Lead of Aawaz II. An Aawaz II Partners Network has been formed to ensure engagement is maintained in the districts included in phases I and II.