Search For Common Ground (SFCG) have just launched a new peacebuilding initiative in Pakistan. Through Radio for Peacebuilding (R4PB), SFCG is helping to develop the skills of radio broadcasters from almost 50 percent of FM radio channels in Pakistan so as to facilitate constructive and culturally sensitive dialogue on critical issues facing the country. The aim of this project is to produce a radio show comprising of 120 episodes tackling critical issues that are important for the Pakistani society to constructively address. The project timeline is two years, mainly focusing on training programmes for radio producers and journalists on conflict resolution skills.

The R4PB programme was launched through a National Summit of radio stations in Pakistan. At the summit, representatives of over 50 radio stations met in Islamabad in June 2010. The representatives pledged to use their stations to promote much needed peace in the country. According to SFCG, “This is the first initiative of its kind across Asia and was the largest meeting of FM radio stations in Pakistan's history. It is anticipated that the partnership will encompass all 130 FM stations within the coming months. Through the Partnership, the radio stations will be supported with a range of services, facilitation, training and technical assistance”.

In the future, the project will also include promoting "Radio Partnership for Peace", whereby radio stations will become a united voice of peace and development in local communities across the country. It is an impressive initiative and hopefully radio stations through their wider reach will spread the message of peace to people miles away from the reach of TV channels or news papers.

Click on the following links for more information on R4PB:

Zahid Shahab Ahmed, Pakistan Local Correspondent. 30 June 2010