We at SPO believe in rejoicing in progress and celebrating commitment. Our work with communities across the country validates the belief that destinies change when people themselves make decisions governing their lives. We do not define Pakistan by its beautiful landscapes, mighty rivers, sandy beaches, breath-taking mountain peaks, Mughal architecture, monuments and relics. To us, the country is about 140 million people who work tirelessly; whose majority struggles hard to make a decent living; who are denied the basic amenities of life and whose economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights have yet to be realised.
SPO witnessed expansion of not only its programme area but also geographical coverage in the last two decades, which have witnessed withering away of welfare state and triumph of liberal economy in the world. These tectonic shifts in the world politics and economy also have repercussions on the economy and politics of Pakistan. At political level Pakistan witnessed many vicissitudes in the shape of early dismissals of elected governments and military rule. In economic domain the country is dominated by liberal economic regime of the world. The cumulative result of these developments appeared in the shape of weak state structures.
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are comprised of fragmented villages and valleys alongside the rugged terrain of Pak-Afghan border. The complex tribal setting and predominant socio-religious mix of FATA sometimes creates hurdles in socio-economic development of society. Stagnancy in socio-economic domain is a result of inherited internal conflicts plagued by social, political and religious divide and centuries old history for being the host land of conflicts between and among the internal and external actors.
With an aim to nurture ownership of local issues among the leadership of different political parties, SPO introduced the concept of district steering committees in Dera Ghazi Khan. They were brought together to create among them the culture of mutual acceptance and tolerance, appreciation for the difference of opinions, recognition of and appreciation for each other and the rights of others, and unity to tackle the issues of common concern. Through trainings, they were sensitized about the basic human rights, democracy and good governance, leadership and their traits and ethics of politics. They were sensitized regarding the roles they are supposed to perform and can/must perform as political activists and leaders to address the common issues of general masses. This sensitization played a pivotal role in changing their thinking patterns and approach towards political struggle for the uplift and protection of the basic rights of general masses.
Mirpur Bhitro is a Tehsil of Thatta District. People from the outskirts and neighboring villages come to the main market of the city to buy their day-to-day needs. The daily wagers including hawkers, cart-carriers, sales-men and general laborers of the market would neither get equally rewarded for their services nor would be treated as equal human beings by the shopkeepers and daily market visitors/the customers. Nobody would appreciate their needs and rights as equal human beings. Their exploitation was at its ultimate heights.