Wagah, August 14-15 : At midnight of August 14-15, the gates at Indian side on the Wagah land border that divides it from Pakistan, were thrown open to for peaceniks from both nations, nations divided 61 years ago by the British colonial rulers.
Peaceniks lit candles at the gates of their respective countries to symbolize the hope and promise of Indo-Pak friendship and fraternity and celebrate their 14th friendship movement of common people of two nuclear powered nations.
The Zero Line heard slogans of "Hind Pak Dosti Zindhabad" (Long Live India-Pakistan Friendship) at midnight.
What started about thirteen years ago as a small initiative aiming to generate a consensus among the Indian and Pakistani public to pressurize their respective governments to soften the border and allow people-to-people contact, appears to be taking shape.
During the candle light vigil, human rights activists, politicians, lawmakers and artists etc from both nations lit candles at both sides of the international border to celebrate Pakistan's Independence day and welcome India's Independence Day.
It was the first time that Pakistan security allowed peaceniks from their nation to light candles at the international border.
An elated Hind Pak Dosti Manch president Kuldeep Nayyar seeing this development said: "If not in a few months, but in few years, the border would just be a drawn line through which the people of both nations would be able to cross without any hesitation or hitch".
"Though Pakistan allows peaceniks up to the gate, but dreams of dissolving of borders between India and Pakistan would be reality in near future," a hopeful Nayyar added.
Cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who joined this movement three years ago, said:"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle".
He said that it is a great binding factor between the two countries and these efforts would materialise into reality soon.
The other peaceniks present included human rights activist and Pak MNA Iqbal Hyder, Pak MNA Choudhry Manzoor Ahmed, stage personality Harbhajan Mann and the Wadali brothers.
They assembled for the function at Attari about two kilometers away from the International border.Delegates of both countries highlighted the views of their respective scocieties on the occasion.
Hyder said both nations needed to learn to live together. He said that war and Jihadism could not solve the problems of the common people of both countries, and added that only the people of India and Pakistan could solve it by meeting each other.
While condemning terrorist attacks in India and Pakistan, he said that ultimately it is the common man who suffers from the anti-social activities of the terrorists, and this should be stopped at all costs.
The peace activists also paid homage to those who had died during the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Floral tributes were paid at the Friendship Monument. By Ravinder Singh Robin