Indo-Pak Peace Calendar Released – Newspaper

LAHORE: As part of a peacebuilding initiative called Aaghaz-i-Dosti, Indian and Pakistani schoolchildren released a jointly and voluntarily created “peace calendar” on Thursday during an online event here.

The Indo-Pak Peace Calendar is an initiative of Kick for Tolerance and Sudhaar and both led the discussion on “Sharing Hopes for Peaceful Coexistence”.

Professor Tauseef Ahmad, Salima Hashmi, Rita Manchanda (Research Director at the South Asia Forum for Human Rights) and Medha Patkar participated in the online event, along with many students, teachers, activists and a large number of young people.

This calendar includes paintings on the theme “India-Pakistan Friendship” in which about 500 students from both countries participated and six paintings from each side were selected for the calendar.

Ms. Rita Manchanda said recent news of Indian wheat being sent to Afghanistan via Pakistan gives hope that regular civil society calls and actions for peace and cooperation are actually working.

Professor Ahmad spoke of the need for more and more connections between the two parties. He said seeing today’s young students from both sides in this gathering, he was overwhelmed and believed there was hope for peace.

Patkar spoke of the need for these connections between the two parties, as it gives people the opportunity to get to know each other directly instead of what is taught in our media and textbooks. She said that nowadays social media is actually taking the form of anti-social media and military budgets and militarization are increasing. She said people on both sides should know that they should uphold their own unity, equality and fairness, and together should protect their natural resources and environment.

Praising Aaghaz-e-Dosti for being consistent over the past 10 years and bringing a young generation to connect with each other and break down stereotypes, Salima Hashmi said that while we sometimes consider works of art by young students like normal works of art, as an artist and academic, she knows how intense and message-laden these works are.

Posted in Dawn, February 25, 2022

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