Pakistan Saga Awards 2019 honors personal stories of struggle amid social vulnerabilities

Islamabad: A colorful “Pakistan Saga Awards 2019” ceremony celebrating some of the best video packages on pluralism, diversity, and rights was held in Islamabad, participated by diplomats, journalists, and scholars participated. The top three awards were bagged by videos narrating stories of courage and bravery of a person living with disability, a transgender, and a religious minority – individuals who are grow up as excluded.

In his introductory remarks, PIPS director Muhammad Amir Rana said that the Saga brings to light those aspects of Pakistan which are generally hidden from the general public. An element of positivity is celebrated, amid negativities surrounding us. The ceremony was marked to award top five videos produced from the 120 videos produced over the year, covering areas like minority rights, women issues, critical thinking, counter narrative, and so on.

Speaking on this issue, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology Dr Qibla Ayaz said the transgender community had demanded self-assumed identity, the identity of their choice, rather than being imposed by them. This, he said, was granted to them, in light of religious code, after consultation in the Council. It was a big development, which led to the passage of the law that mainstreamed the transgender community.

Strikingly, the top three videos, which were also showcased at the ceremony, were diverse unto themselves, touching on the issue of disability, women rights, and religious minorities. The best video award was given to a story from Peshawar of a girl who lost her hands at early age but who continued pursuing her education. While she lost her arms, she did not lose aims, as she continued writing with her feet. Today, she has been a position holder in her class. The second best award was given to Bilal Rana for a video package on the country’s first transgender radio host who has been promoting transgender community rights. The third best video was awarded to a story of a woman in Peshawar’s Christian Colony, who had established an educational setup where she has been providing education to all, including Muslims and Sikhs of the city.

The award was given by Andreas Wutz, First Secretary at the German Embassy. He appreciated the rich diversity of Pakistan.

“Pakistan Saga” has been an initiative of Pak Institute for Peace Studies, an Islamabad-based think tank, highlighting pluralism, diversity, and harmony. Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) is an independent, not-for-profit non-governmental research and advocacy think-tank. An initiative of leading Pakistani scholars, researchers and journalists, PIPS conducts wide-ranging research and analysis of political, social and religious conflicts that have a direct bearing on both national and international security.

About Arif Qureshi

Check Also

Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in a tragic train accident.

Islamabad: H.E. Mr. MATSUDA Kuninori, the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan on Monday expressed grief …