Marvi Sirmed and Khushal Khattak: let people meet

Indo Pak calendar Islamabad launch

Youth groups from India and Pakistan have jointly launched a ‘Calendar for Peace and Love’ for the third consecutive year featuring selected paintings by Indian and Pakistan students.

“The calendar is a collection of shared dreams and hopes for friendship which we will be reminded of every day,” say the convenors of Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint Indo-Pak initiative of two youth groups — Mission Bhartiyam in India, and The Catalyst in Pakistan. The calendar was launched on December 28, 2014 in New Delhi, and in Islamabad on January 15, 2015.

The calendar launch events are accompanied by seminars addressed by prominent speakers.

Various Indian and Pakistani organisations have collaborated with Aaghaz-e-Dosti to make the 2015 calendars and their launch events — Justice, Aid, and Development Foundation, Social Awareness Media and Art Junction, South Asian Writers and Artists Network from Pakistan, and Indian Council for Talent Search and Competitions and Yuvsatta from India.

Asad Shoaib of Aaghaz-e-Dosti moderated the Islamabad launch seminar “Sharing hopes for a peaceful co-existence”. Featured speaker at the seminar Marvi Sirmed, a noted columnist and activist, pointed out that civil society members in both countries have been pushing for peace since the 1990s, despite setbacks like the 2008 attacks in Mumbai. She criticised hurdles placed in the way of people-to-people communication, particularly for ordinary people. She emphasized the need to structure peace and friendship initiatives at all levels.

Political activist Khushal Khattak who studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India, shared his experiences as a student at JNU. He said that people went out of their way to make him feel at home. It is at the state level that barriers are formed from monthly police reporting to visa limitations.

Similar calendar launch events and seminars are planned in Chandigarh, Nashik, Panipat, Ajmer, Chennai and Lahore.

Journey for peace

Star Malik

Star Malik

London based Pakistan origin entrepreneur “Star” Malik, “Peace and Friendship Envoy for Pakistan and India”, is reaching the end of the peace journey he started three years ago.

Starting in London on 12-12-12, at 12:12:12, he has driven through 21 countries to promote peaceful relations between Pakistan and India. He travelled through 13 countries in the European Union for the first phase. The second involved driving through six Gulf states. The last part of the journey will be in Pakistan and India The determined peacenik has released video trailers of his peace journey through Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Supporters around the world have appreciated his commitment and passion for promoting peace.
Details at his website

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