GNRC Pakistan was launched on 27th July 2022, in Lahore, Pakistan, at a ceremony that brought together twenty-nine (29) participants; among them, GNRC Pakistan committee members, led by the Coordinator Mr. Iftikhar Mubarik and representatives from different organizations and faith traditions namely, Islam and Christianity. Children were also represented.
The event began with a recital of the Holy Quran by Mr. Arshad Abbasi, followed by prayers from Pastor Saleem Khokhar. Mr. David Paul, GNRC Pakistan Co-Coordinator, opened the event by welcoming the participants and giving an overview of the activities implemented by GNRC Pakistan. All the activities mentioned aim to protect children from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation, and harmful practices.
In his opening remarks, the GNRC Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, appreciated GNRC Pakistan’s work towards strengthening and reinvigorating the Network and congratulated them on launching the committee.
Pastor Saleem Khokhar appreciated the establishment of the GNRC Pakistan committee, stating that religious communities need similar platforms that can help build knowledge and skills to deal with violence, abuse, and exploitation of children.
Ms. Rashida Qureshi, a committee member, reiterated GNRC’s commitment to creating safe spaces for children to learn, explore, and express themselves without fear. She also emphasized the need to engage children in actions for child protection to ensure that GNRC Pakistan is working towards the meaningful participation of children in all its matters.
Sheral, a child member of GNRC Pakistan, shared that every child has a right to live free from all forms of violence and abuse. “There is a need to empower children through consistent efforts so that they can identify the various types of violence and abuse and be able to react in such difficult situations,” she said.
Dr. Mustafa pronounced the GNRC Pakistan committee officially launched and wished participants the best in their work towards a world free of child violence.