Exhibition of expressions for Indo-Pak peace held in Delhi
Ghazanfar Abbas, IndiaTomorrow.net,
New Delhi, Feb 16: Aiming to strengthen citizen diplomacy and peace building efforts between India and Pakistan, an exhibition of letters, greeting cards and paintings made by the schoolchildren from both the countries was organized at India International Center (IIC) here in New Delhi on Thursday.
Through their works, the children shared their thoughts on peace and good relations between the two neighbors.
Along the exhibition, a panel discussion titled "Revitalising Indo-Pak Peace building Efforts" was also organized by Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative.
Talking about the future sustainability of peace, Dr. Naresh Verma, the president of IIC said, "The joint declaration at the first ‘Aman ki Asha' meeting noted with concerns that the South Asia remained the world's least economic integrated region; and India and Pakistan should join regional trade and commerce."
"The people of both sides have genuine desire of peace but there are obstacles too. The people should force their governments to let them cross over to each other's home and establish a bond of unbroken amity. The peace process needs to be continuous. The two countries need to be vigilant over the extremists of both sides," he asserted.
Senior journalist Rahul Jalali emphasized that the peace process initiatives should focus efforts to change the narratives within the media on both sides for peace building.
"Today an agenda is decided by the media in both the countries. Media has an agenda to sale sensational material on both sides. Organized trolls on social media also working on the agenda of hatred. In this situation Aaghaz-e-Dosti and other such organizations on both sides has to take peace process as mission to change the narratives within the media," he said.
Appreciating the initiative he said, "Aaghaz-e-Dosti should build a peace movement and organize the unorganized masses."
Besides them, some other eminent personalities who spoke on the occasion were Major General (Retd.) Ashok K Mehta, TCA Raghwan, former India's High Commissioner to Pakistan and Kapil Kak, a Defense Analyst.
Speaking to InidaTomorrow.Net, Ravi Nitesh, founder of Aaghaz-e-Dosti said, “This 'Revitalising peace building Efforts’ was organised in the view to listen experts and to let people know that peace is not merely a talk of common people but also a wish to all stakeholders and together with a greater understanding and alternatives of activities available, we can move further to contribute in making of peaceful, harmonious relations of India and pakistan.”
“Our stereotypes in our minds, our situational hatred and jingoism must be stopped. People of both countries need to come forward through various styles of communicating with each other to let the present and future generations know that peace is the only alternative that can ensure a prosperous future together,” he added.
The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Medha Bisht, faculty of International Relations at South Asian University, New Delhi.
Ravi Nitesh, the founder of Aaghaz-e-Dosti India team along with team members Devika Mittal and Madhulika convened the program.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti is a volunteer group of students and young professionals working for Indo-Pak issues through citizen diplomacy for last five years. Aaghaz-e-Dosti has been working to facilitate people-to-people contact, challenge mutual hatred and suspicion, create a culture of peace and understanding among people of both countries and to highlight issues of victims of conflicts.