Attari-Wagah, Aug 15 (UNI) At the stroke of midnight, a group of Indian and Pakistan citizens emerged at this joint Indo-Pak checkpost to light candles and send symbolic messages of peace and friendship to residents on both sides of the man-made border that came into existens 61 years ago.
The group calling itself the Hind-Pak Dosti Manch descended at the check post with the message, ' Yeh desh bi hamara hai, yoh desh bi hamara hai', meaning both India and Pakistan are one nation. Led by eminent journalist Kuldip Nayar, the peacemakers called for ending all hostilities on either side of the border and strengthening people-to-people contact.
A couple of Pakistan nationals who had crossed over to India a couple of days back joined their Indian brethren in the candle night vigil. Similar was the case on the other side of the Radcliffe Line where noted Indian Punjabi singer Hansraj Hans and his colleagues joined hands with members of the Pakistani chapter of the Manch.
Later well known Punjabi journalist, Satnam Manak read out a resolution which was adopted by members of the Manch on both sides of the border.
In the resolution, the Manch appealed to the governments of the two countries to end all hostilities along the Line of Control in Kashmir and create an atmosphere of peace and friendship along the border. The resolution also called for an early solution to the Kashmir problem.
In another significant step, the Manch called for taking effective steps to check terrorism in India and Pakistan and in the entire South Asia region. China and Russia should be involved in this fight against terrorism by the two neighbours, another resolution stated.
The resolution also called upon the two countries two take steps to check the growth of fundamentalist and communal forces. However there was no mention of the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
A resolution also called for ending the visa regime in the two countries. Citizens of the two countries should be free to move arcoss the border, the resolution added.
The members of the Manch on both sides paid homage to the 10 lakh odd victims of the 1947 partition. As the candles went off, the Manch members on both sides parted company with the promise to return again and again till their mission to 'unite the hearts and minds of Indians and Pakistanis' was not fulfilled.
UNI XC-HS BP1600