KARACHI The Jashn-e-Faiz was celebrated here on Sunday with colourful events including seminars, theatre performances, screening of documentary films, folk dances and literary gathering (Mushaira) on the poetry of Faiz. Under the umbrella of Centre for Democracy, the daylong mega event was held at Sports Complex where stalls were set up by civil society organisations to exhibit their work. The mega event was aimed at reaching out to citizens of Karachi through open dialogue, but no seminar or discussion visible during daylong activities ranging from impact of extremism on working class, womens issues, urbanisation and labour issues to American wars-Pakistani consequences. Different organisations hosted the seminars on different topics where experts of area shared their views. Tasneem Siddique, former bureaucrat and founder of Khuda Ki Basti in Karachi, Sameer Dodhy of Shehri, Professor Noman Ahmed of NED University and peace activist and poetess Attiya Dawood while speaking in seminar entitled 'Urbanisation, Development and Ethnic Harmony, said that after green revolution of 60s decade, the people migrated from rural areas to cities, but urban planning is missing. They said that political interference as well as builders influence caused urban problems. They further said that there were only 500 Katchi Abadis in Karachi, but now 55 per cent area of the city is Katchi Abadi. Under the umbrella of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research organised, a dialogue titled 'Impacts of Extremism on Working Class also held at Jashn-e-Faiz celebrations. Speakers at the seminar including Dr Naeem Ahmed of International Relations Department Karachi University, Saeed Shamsuddin from HRCP, Punhal Sario of Bhandaar Hari Sangat, Dr Haider from Green Rural Development Organisation, Farid Awan of Pakistan Workers Confederation, Lateef Mughal of KESC Workers Union, bonded labour activist Munnoo Bheel, Sheikh Majeed from PIA Union, Saeed Baloch of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, and Karamat Ali, Executive Director PILER in their speeches linked Pakistans existing problems, including terrorism to the absence of democratic institutions and norms. They observed that the state itself is complicit in usurping peoples rights and promoting an elite centric model of development. Denying people the right to have a say in national life has promoted divisions and frictions in the society, In his presentation on extremism/terrorism, Dr Naeem Ahmed elaborated on causes and factors associated with terrorism. He argued to dispel the myth that terrorism has roots in poverty. Rather, terrorism is more linked to a persons commitment to causes/he is espousing. He also observed that there are greater chances of extremism to grow in quasi democracies than in complete authoritarian regimes. He pointed out that statistics show that since the instatement of the current democratic government, there has been a consistent rise in terrorism, which could be attributed to the non serious-attitude of the government towards the issue. Syed Shamsuddin of HRCP regretted that labour has no representation in the parliament and decision-making structures of the country. He also observed that organized workers are becoming a minority in Pakistan. He urged for a redefinition of the legal structure addressing labour issues. Trade union leaders from KESC also observed high handedness of the KESC authorities who not only continue to crush workers rights, but their profit-making drive is also leading them to non investment in electricity generation capacity, depriving consumers from electricity and causing billions of dollars of loss to the economy. Speakers observed that rise in fundamentalism and terrorism has created an environment where the state has little inclination to pay attention to the real issues of people. There are very important citizenship and basic rights issues including landlessness, housing, livelihood and now food security. States pre-occupation with crisis management, as well as its own complicity in promoting an elite centric model of development that is seriously undermining basic rights and pushing people further down the spiral of poverty and vulnerability. Speaking at the end, Karamat Ali of PILER urged workers to work on issues simultaneously. No two issues are mutually exclusive. The issue of rights is linked to peace which is linked to the economic progress of the country and the region. He opined that the tendency to work on specific micro issues, while ignoring the larger macro issues will continue to undermine any struggle related to rights in the country. Fundamentalism is linked to absence of democratic norms in the country and unless that is addressed, there is little likelihood of any improvement in the general condition of people. Meanwhile, eminent personalities including former Judge of Supreme Court Justice (Retd) Fakhar G Ibrahi, HRCP director Iqbal Hyder, PPPs leader Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and others also participated in the celebrations of Jashn-e-Faiz.