Ashfaq Fateh, one of the ASSIST News Service’s special correspondents in Pakistan, has been awarded a U.S. “Peace Prize” for his work in the East Asia country to promote peace.
|Ashfaq Fateh receives his award from I.A. Rehman and Dr. Pritam K. Rohilla|
The award comes from the Oregon-based Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA), which works to promote peace, love, and interfaith harmony in Asia and other parts of the world. ACHA is a non-profit and non-political organization.
The organization monitors peace and harmony work done around the globe and grants the ACHA Star Award for Peace after every two years to those it considers have done important work in this field.
The awards have been given to people from almost every continent since its induction and this year it has given its awards to four Indians and two Pakistanis from South Asian nations for their peace work, and one of them is our own Ashfaq Fateh.
“I am pleased that I have been granted the ACHA Peace Star,” he said in a message. “I feel blessed to share that there are people around the globe who recognize the positive work being done in their society. The award is a message for people around the world who want to see Pakistan as a strong and a peaceful country and believe that peace here is possible.”
|Group photo of school children selected by a leading news channel to exchange peace messages with Indian children on Indo-Pak border. Ashfaq Fateh formed the youth delegation|
He went on to say, “I also wish to thank the Christian Church around the world for their never-ending educational, spiritual and financial support to empower the Christian community here in Pakistan.
“The mainstreaming of Christians in Pakistan is because of the strong voices raised internationally for their rights. However, there is great need to empower the poor of the poorest from the South Punjab and also those in the interior Sindh province.
“There are hundreds and thousands of people still living without the basic necessities. They are experiencing extreme poverty and I still hear many stories of women and children being abducted.”
Fateh urged the international community to “come forward” and support such groups that are working to “bring closer the people of various sections of life.”
Advocate, Awas Shiekh, is another Pakistani from Lahore who was granted the same award for his brave work to promote India-Pakistan Peace. He is known as the “Peace Ambassador” and is also the author of several books on Indo-Pak Peace issues.
|Ashfaq Fateh addressing a Christian Muslim gathering on peace during a Christian program in 2010|
Pakistan’s rights and peace icon, I.A. Rehman, the former Chairman of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and Dr. Pritam K. Rohilla, Executive Director of ACHA, presented the awards to two Pakistanis on Monday, February 7, 2011, in a ceremony held in Lahore Gymkhana Club. People of various sections of society attended the ceremony and after the awards were given, congratulated the award recipients.
Dr. A. H Nayyer, Saeeda Diep, Karamat Ali, B.M Kutty, Dr. Pavez Hoodbhy and Rev. Fr. Bonnie Mendes are the founding fathers of the peace and rights movement in Pakistan and have been granted the same awards in the past.
One of Pakistan’s largest English language newspapers, “The News” published details of the work of work Ashfaq Fateh in October 2010, in the edition of Aman Ki Asha (A Wish for Peace). To see if, please go to: http://www.amankiasha.com/detail_news.asp?id=274
“I am thankful to you all for your support, prayers, allowing me to share the opportunities to cultivate peace in Pakistan,” Fateh told ANS.
Ashfaq Fateh, 38, studied civics and human-rights at Pakistan’s leading University, the Aga Khan University in Karachi. He has been working to promote peace, human rights and has particularly been fighting for the rights of Christians in his country. He has also been working against what he calls “the discriminatory laws prevailing in Pakistan.” His wife, Rafia Salomi, is serving as deputy director for the Society for Human Development, popularly known as Human Development Center, an icon of Christian’s rights in Pakistan since 1984.
Note from Dan Wooding: On behalf of our dedicated ANS team of writers, I would like to congratulate Ashfaq Fateh for his much-deserved award which has recognized his untiring efforts to bring peace to Pakistan. If you would like to also congratulate him, his e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org