Safma activists of Pakistan, India talk about peaceArchive
LAHORE: The South Asian Free Media Association (Safma) organised a candlelight vigil on both sides of the border at Wagah and Attari to pay a tribute to the martyrs of national liberation besides protesting the casualties being caused by continuing violation of the Ceasefire Agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) and working boundary.
According to Safma, the event was so prestigious in which peace activists and journalists exchanged felicitations across the heavily guarded border against the backdrop of cross-border shelling. Either side vowed to promote peace and cooperation in the subcontinent.
They raised slogans against war and enmity and for peace and friendship among the people. Both sides of peace activists exchanged good wishes, candles and flowers for peace and congratulated each other for the independence of their respective countries from the yoke of colonialism. Safma candlelight vigil in Lahore started from its secretariat and ended at Wagha post where hundreds of participants chanted slogan against increasing casualties of people at border due to violations of the ceasefire agreement. They called upon the two governments to start an uninterruptible and result-oriented dialogue while silencing the guns on both sides.
The Pakistani participants on Wagha side of the border waved Pakistani flags, lighted the candles to pay their tributes to the martyrs and called for amity among the people of two neighboring countries. They demanded the removal of obstructions in people to people contacts and trade across Wagha/Atari border posts.
Safma Secretary General Mr. Imtiaz Alam expressed grief over killings of innocent people on both sides of the LoC. He lamented the violation of ceasefire on the Independence Day which resulted in the death of a woman.
Mr Alam called upon the national security advisers of both countries to make their upcoming meeting fruitful instead of making it a venue of blame game.
“There is no option but to go for a peaceful resolution of disputes through negotiations,” he added.
On the other side of the border, according to a Safma Pakistan chapter spokesperson, the peace activists from Pakistan-Bharat Dosti Manch and Safma India raised slogans of friendship with the people of Pakistan.
Satnam Singh Manak, joint secretary of Safma India, emphasised the need to observe ceasefire on borders since innocent people were becoming victim of the uncalled for violations. He appealed to prime ministers of India and Pakistan to show political will to resolve the gridlock and move forward for mutually beneficial cooperation.
After a demonstration of over an hour, the peace activists on both sides of the border dispersed.
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2015
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