Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Islamabad with the sponsorship of United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington launched FM Radio Program, Da Aman Awaz (The Voice for Peace) at Peshawar Press Club on June 19, 2012. The said radio program will be broadcast in selected districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) via FM Radio to promote counter-narrative to radicalization. The launching ceremony also coincided with the annual anniversary of the CRSS’s earlier FM Radio program “Sabawoon”. People from diverse backgrounds: media men, civil society members and students were part of the launching ceremony. KP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussian was among the speakers at the event.
Delineating upon the unfolding security situation in Pakistan and especially in KP, Provincial Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain noted that the law and order situation of the country in the near future will be of immense importance, as terrorists have developed internal differences. And they will get more and more ruthless to assert their respective factions. “We have two options either to launch a sweeping operation against the militants or face worse situation than the past”, he said this while addressing the inauguration ceremony. He added that programs like Sabawoon and Da Aman Awaz, can pave the way for much needed social reforms and public awareness, which will, in a way prove counter-narrative to Taliban propaganda. Such initiatives are first line of defence in war against extremism and militancy, he illustrated.
“The voice for tolerance and peace should be covered in ‘Da Aman Awaz’ program, so that the real picture of Pakhtun culture may be presented. Radio program should contain authentic and unbiased information”, the Minister asked. He assured that the incumbent government will provide all possible help if CRSS needed at any stage and at any level for smooth running of the program. Mian Iftikhar further said that the CRSS is contributing constructively towards peace building in the society and providing quality information and knowledge in the shape of Sabawoon. He expressed hope that the newly launched program will also contribute towards enhancing the quality and content of Pashto language programs. The coming era is the era of Radio, he noted. He narrated that Radio will be very important tool of information and knowledge sharing in future. Outlining the policy goals of present government, he said “Those who are peace loving are our friends, and those disturbing the peace would be treated with iron hands.”
During the ceremony Dr Raj Wali Shah, Abaseen Yousafzai, CRSS executive director, Imtiaz Gul, Asif Orakzai and Dr Begum Jan also spoke about the importance of information and knowledge and its delivery means in contemporary era. On the occasion, Dr. Begum Jan said that the role of women in a society is always very important, and in case of a tribal society like in FATA, it becomes even more crucial. She added that radio can play its role for women empowerment in socially conservative Pakhtun society.