Message of peace from Pakistan

When efforts of policymakers, intellectuals and social workers have turned propitious, the ambassadors of peace from India and Pakistan (having failed to move the powers that be) have now turned their attention to the youth.

At a recently-concluded seminar at Delhi University’s SGTB Khalsa College, retired senior army officers of both the countries exhorted the students to forge peaceful and friendly ties with their Pakistan counterparts.

The event, an enterprise of India Pakistan Soldiers’ Initiative (IPSI) saw participation of Lieutenant General (retd) Humayun Bangash from Pakistan and Lieutenant General (retd) Moti Dhar from India, and nearly a dozen high-ranking officers from the armed forces of both the countries.

On the face of it, the event was oxymoronic in every sense of the word given that the two armies whose officers were “talking peace” have been fighting with each other at the border for nearly six decades.

When the same issue was raised by a BSc (physical science) final year student Shubham Malik on Friday, one of the panelists invoked the Bhagavad Gita to give the message that “we have to fight our brothers as a part of our karma”.

The students were overwhelmed by the outpouring of emotions of delegates, College principal Jaswinder Singh and the Delhi University Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh.

“A beginning has been made to forge peace between two nations. It is no coincidence that only recently I made a proposal to send the next (Gyanodya Express) students’ train to Lahore which will transport nearly 1,000 students from different colleges and our students would meet the youngsters from the neighbouring country,” Dinesh Singh said.
The visibly emotional Vice Chancellor, who is also a mathematician, opened a page of history to strike a reconciliatory chord and said, “Gore aaye aur ek lakeer kheench kar chale gaye, aur hamne use maan liya! (The Britishers came, divided the nation into two and we accepted it!)”.

Picking up the refrain Lt Gen Bangash said, “We may have been divided by this line but there is no line between our hearts and we must continue to strive to reach out to each other to mend the differences.”

Though there were a few voices of dissent at the conclusion of the conference, but the predominant feeling and message the students carried home was of peace and friendship. “The session was an eye opener for many of us who have understood that the people from Pakistan are not our enemies. And we must try to be each other’s friend,” said Naveen Sharma, a third year student of BA (programme) at Khalsa College. 

Echoing similar sentiments Shubham Malik told Metrolife, “What really caught my fancy was the fact that even a politician, Manjit Singh GK from Shiromani Akali Dal, shared his personal experiences to assert the fact that the people in Pakistan are friendly and affable towards us. That gave a lot of credibility to the claims made during the conference.”

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