Those of us who actively promote the concept of universal peace are viewed as oddballs by the world at large: we are openly scorned, laughed at, labelled crazy hippies or worse, and yet, despite the visible and invisible obstacle course we ‘peace people’ tackle, our numbers are definitely growing which should give pause for thought.

Take, for example, the armies of people, mostly under the age of 30 years, who took to the streets of our major cities to clean up in the wake of recent protests - during which deranged rioters smashed and looted at random and, sadly, made more news headlines, around the world at that, than the processions of peaceful protestors who outnumbered them by far.

People protesting peacefully is pretty rare in Pakistan these days and, for ‘peace people’ to physically hit the streets to clean up after their totally manic brothers and sisters was a milestone event: one for which the organisers deserve all the accolade - public and governmental - they can get. Ironically, it was via the internet on which, as we are all so well aware, the insulting and derogatory film about Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was and is, like it or not and we don’t, made available, that the ‘peace people’ organised their massive cleanup operation - which illustrates that internet social networking sites, when used sensibly, are one of the wonders of this modern world.

It is, in point of the fact, largely via social networking sites, that the new global peace movement has been born and is multiplying rapidly as, thanks to equally expanding computer literacy and access to the worldwide net, people from all over planet earth are able to interact on a regular basis, sharing information and galvanising each other into direct, visible action on a scale never before witnessed. And which, whilst obviously wide open to abuse - this by fifth columnists, intelligence agencies, governments and a whole host of other troublemakers either openly or in disguise - has completely altered previously held notions of friendship, relationships and ‘togetherness’ in every conceivable way including, to the chagrin of the so-called ‘authorities’ worldwide, enabling ‘activists’ full reign to organise their now numberless ‘armies’ to band together in an attempt to make the world a better place for all which is where, inevitably, the question of peace comes in.

No one in their right minds wants war. But the major obstacle to global peace is that a massive number of people are not, by any stretch of the imagination, in their right minds at all as war tops their devilish agenda. Instigating a war, irrespective of its magnitude, means huge financial gains for the multinationals, industrialists and associated ‘ventures’ that, openly or covertly, run entire countries via the governments or dictators they have, even in countries where people turn out to vote, hoisted into public office for their own nefarious - read financial - purposes and this, if there is ever to be even a semblance of peace in our currently violent world, has to change.

Protesting against governments will not, contrary to the beliefs of the majority, bring about any lasting, potentially peaceful change: those profiteering from war are the ones who must be brought to book and toppled from the thrones of control from which they pull the strings of the puppets cavorting to their unholy tune and this, make no bones about it, should and can, be accomplished in a peaceful manner by using all the powers of existing law, be these laws in localised, national or international form, plus, by ensuring that new, equitable laws are introduced if need be, and not only introduced, but enforced. Instigating peaceful change through due process of law is most certainly not everyone’s cup of tea and it would be laughable to insist otherwise and, equally obviously, there are many useable spokes in the wheel of change - the majority of which are ‘lawful’.

Actual power, this means the power for change of any kind, lies directly in the hands of the people - not - as is erroneously accepted - in the hands of the puppets who control us. The people are many - the controlling hands extremely few in comparison and yet, all over the world, this blatant fact is almost totally ignored. The inherent problem here though is that, unfortunately, of the 98 percent ‘ordinary’ people on planet earth, perhaps as much as 97 percent have been brainwashed into believing that they must, like sheep, follow a leader - even if they have to have their heels nipped by persistent sheepdogs to ensure that they stay in line. Therefore, unless and until the people break free of the mould they have, right since they were tiny children being indoctrinated by societal and family mores, via televisions, movies, the internet or even at school if they were ‘lucky’, to shed the shackles of accepted convention and learn to think, not solely for themselves, but for the collective good of all.

If, and yes it is a major suggestion and one which could take generations to ‘happen’, people come to realise and respect that the power for positive change lies right there, in their own hands, and then actively and together, do something about it, rather than simply talk, there can, quite conceivably, be ‘peace, love and harmony’ for all!

The writer is author of The Gun Tree: One Woman’s War (Oxford University Press, 2001) and lives in Bhurban. Email: