Armstrong: Pakistan is taking a leadership role in integrating the charter into civic life. This a country right on the edge of the main conflicts that could fill our world – the whole world could implode because of what happens in Pakistan. It’s got Afghanistan and Iran next door, it’s a nuclear power, and it’s had conflict with India since its inception. This is a really explosive situation.
And yet the enthusiasm for the charter has been astonishing. I was there in 2011 for the launching of the charter; speaking three times a day, with thousands of people showing up each time. They’re concentrating on education. They’ve created a compassionate character for [the Pakistani version of] Sesame Street; this guy is really cool – not just some simp hanging out with flowers. He’s a positive role model for preschool children.
On the other side of the Gulf is Jordan, also explosive with Iraq on one side and Israel/Palestine on the other. During Ramadan, people in Jordan and Pakistan ran a web competition where participants were invited to post a compassionate action every day during the holy month. They were only expecting to have a few takers the first year – perhaps 10,000 – but 40,000 people did it every day.