The initiative aims to celebrate Pakistani identity and culture, while encouraging all Pakistanis – both at home and abroad – to make a new resolve to stand up for their country at a time when the Pakistani way of life is coming under threat. Azme-Alishan is backed by some of Pakistan's leading media groups. Through a series of public events and activities planned throughout 2010, the initiative aims to:
- Celebrate the real Pakistani identity and culture; shared values of peace, diversity, tolerance and unity; and rejection of the image that has been assigned to Pakistanis everywhere.
- Challenge all Pakistanis to speak up for these values and to act on them, and
- Invite Pakistanis and the world's media to see a different Pakistan, the one behind the images and stereotypes of division provoked by a few.
In 1940 the very idea of Pakistan was born in Lahore through the signing of the Lahore Resolution (sometimes called the Pakistan Resolution). Today, it appears that the country has reached a crossroads. Suffering from problems at home and an increasingly poor image abroad, the country's very way of life is coming under threat.
Azme-Alishan was established to help patriotic Pakistanis find their voice. The people behind the movement stress that it's nothing to do with government or big business. It's about Pakistanis as a people, taking part in something together, renewing their faith in each other, and rekindling the communal spirit that laid the foundations for the creation of Pakistan 70 years ago.
Azme-Alishan (the Glorious Resolve) is a line in Pakistan's national anthem, something that every young Pakistani is brought up to learn and love.
The Azme-Alishan initiative centres on asking Pakistanis to make a new resolve to stand up for their country; calling on them to register their support and declare themselves a Nishane-Azm (A symbol of Resolve)
The Azme-Alishan initiative was launched with a TV event filmed at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex in Lahore on 23 March 2010, the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Lahore Resolution. The event featured performances by local students and star acts such as Waris Baig, Sajjad Ali and Arieb Azhar.
Pakistan's leading film actress, Reema, used the occasion to endorse the Azme-Alishan initiative and to urge Pakistanis to offer their support. The evening culminated with a symbolic passing of a Diya to the younger generation, as young achievers in areas such as sports and education were recognised with special awards from the AeA movement.
Azmealishan.com is the home of the AeA movement on the web.
The official site was launched at the event on 23 March and has become a one-stop-shop for all things related to the initiative. It is regularly updated with videos and images of AeA events, and includes a 'Live Blog' where visitors can comment on relevant issues and articles and have their say on the future of Pakistan.
Prior to the official launch, azmealishan.com featured a special digital image of the famous Minar-e-Pakistan monument made up of hundreds of separate pixels, each one representing an Azm (resolve) made by a supporter.
Supporters can still claim a pixel and declare themselves a Nishan-e-Azm on the website or by sending an SMS to 5454, Azme-Alishan's dedicated cell number. Azme-Alishan also has its own Facebook page and an active Twitter account, @azmealishan.
Several public events have been launched to encourage support for the Azme-Alishan initiative.
‘Sanwaro Pakistan' – literally meaning 'Make Pakistan Better' – is an initiative encompassing one of the largest clean-up campaigns ever seen in Lahore and a series of tree planting ceremonies across 40 of the city's schools.
Two mass motorbike rallies were held in Lahore and Karachi to drive awareness and participation. More than 150 riders wearing branded AeA T-shirts and helmets, on green bikes with AeA flags attached, took part in the events.
Public participation events such as the symbolic lighting of Diyas in and around Lahore have become commonplace and attracted widespread support and media coverage.
From 5 June 2010 onwards, Strings along with Arshad Mehmood will start appearing on TV1, NEWS1 and Waseeb TV as judges for the Azme Alishan National Song Competition.[needs update] The Azme Alishan movement's manifesto is to revive the same spirit of nationhood and community that lies at the heart of their vision of Pakistan. Azme Alishan aims to highlight the Pakistani youth musical talent within Pakistan and all across the world with this televised competition. The TV shows will continue throughout the summer, concluding with the grand finale announcing the winner on 14 August. The competition opened mid-March with a request for all Pakistanis from within and across borders to send in their original national song entries – no song covers were entertained. For the television show, a jury panel has been established which will feature the likes of Pakistani model Vinnie, the multifaceted Arshad Mehmood and music producer and previous member of the band Vital Signs, Shahzad Hassan (Shahi), Khalid Anwar from Aaroh, Najam Sheraz and many others as guest judges along with Strings, who are the permanent judges.
Azme-Alishan's events are supported by a mass media advertising campaign featuring TV, press, radio and digital ads.
The advertising campaign used to support the launch events featured Pakistanis burning words such as 'intolerance' and 'division' in the flames of Diyas, which are increasingly becoming associated with – and symbolic of – the Azme-Alishan initiative itself.
Support for Azme-Alishan is growing all the time.
The online Nisham-e-Azm campaign features contributions from thousands of Pakistanis, and in April 2010 the initiative announced that more than 100 people had submitted songs for the National Song Competition.
The initiative has also been endorsed by a range of famous Pakistanis including actors, musicians, journalists and sportsmen.
Significant names associated with the movement include the noted TV anchor Faisal Qureshi, the singer and actor Sajjad Ali, and Taher Khan, the founder and chairman of Interflow Group, one of Pakistan's largest marketing and media companies.
- Lahore Resolution
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