01/02/2014, 00.00
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Faisalabad , Christians and Muslims march for peace and economic development of the country

by Shafique Khokhar
Strengthening of foreign policy, structural reforms and improving education . These are some of demands of participants in the solidarity march 2014, organized by Aman Ittehad activists. Thousands of people marched across Pakistan , expressing solidarity with the victims of fundamentalist violence .

Faisalabad ( AsiaNews) - A strengthening of Pakistan's "incoherent" foreign policy tied to an age that has "past" , which must adapt to new and ever more "dynamic" world powers ; peaceful coexistence between Islamabad and neighboring countries , combined with the improvement of bilateral relations based on trade relations that should be pursued by means of a "urgent and proactive" diplomatic efforts. These are the requests made by thousands of citizens , who marched across Pakistan for the Solidarity March 2014 organized by the activist network Aman Ittehad ( United for Peace) .

Activists and ordinary citizens marched through the streets of Lahore, Karachi , Sialkot , Hyderabad, Peshawar , Abbottabad , Quetta, Mardan and more. In Faisalabad (pictured) at least 300 people marched, including lawyers, Muslim and Christian religious leaders , politicians, educators, journalists and students. Their common goal is to relaunch a program of "peace and solidarity" and request the government strengthen foreign policy, in a nation that has in the recent decades become a "surrogate" of foreign powers.

According to estimates by the World Economic Forum , Pakistan is in 133th place out of 148 countries in the period 2013/14 , a figure that shows an "alarming collapse" of its economic structures. Reforms are urgently needed aimed at improving competitiveness, enhancing the level of education and stepping up infrastructure. Within the overall framework of "national security" in fact fit the goals of "economic growth and stability."

The protesters also marched in solidarity with the victims of terrorism, a growing phenomenon in the country, in particular against religious minorities . Among the many incidents, the attack on Peshawar's Christian community in September, which caused hundreds of casualties. The women's rights activist Amina Zaman calls for a reform of the judiciary, strengthening of the penal system . The former Christian MP George Clement adds that it is "the duty of the State to" ensure respect for the law. "The government must take serious action - he adds - against those who [...] foment extremism through words or actions. We must not allow anyone to make misleading actions in the name of religion or ideology."

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