ATTARI: A group of Pakistani nationals arrived in India via Attari border on Wednesday to attend the 8th joint convention of Pakistan-India People's Forum for peace and democracy, scheduled to be held in Allahabad from December 29 to 31.
The peaceniks were of the opinion that efforts made to reduce differences at common man's level to forge cordial ties have helped change the mindset of people in both the countries.
Talking to TOI, chairman of Pakistan chapter of the forum, A Rehman, said they would discuss with their Indian counterparts about ways and means to further the ties between the two nations.
"We have to coexist in a peaceful environment and not under the threat of militancy and arms race," said Rehman, adding that it was due to the pressure built up by the common man that both governments were holding composite dialogue for confidence building.
He said that in the past eight years, he had seen a sea of change in relations between India and Pakistan. "People of both countries have now got ample chances to meet each other and exchange views, which was not the case earlier," he said.
A delegate, Dr Ravish Nadeem, a resident of Rawalpindi, who had arrived in India for the first time, said that about two decades ago, India was an enemy country for common Pakistani, but now the mindset has changed.
"There are only a few people left who still have the same dogmatic thinking while majority of people in Pakistan wants friendlier relations with India," said Nadeem.
President of Folklore Research Academy, Ramesh Yadav, said that efforts like holding conventions were confidence building measures at civilian level. He expressed hope that with the efforts of peaceniks, travel and trade would soon become a common phenomena between the two nations.
Friday, December 30, 2011
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