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Posted at: Aug 15, 2016, 1:41 AM; last updated: Aug 15, 2016, 1:41 AM (IST)SEMINAR ON INDO-PAK RELATIONS: PROBLEMS AND EXPECTATIONS

Delegates from India-Pakistan decry belligerent approach of governments

Delegates from India-Pakistan decry belligerent approach of governments
Participants from India and Pakistan release annual magazine ‘Panj Pani’ during a seminar which was a part of the 21st Hind-Pak Dosti Mela in Amritsar on Sunday. Photo: Vishalkumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 14

Indian and Pakistani delegates unanimously decried confrontational approach of governments on both sides of borders during a seminar organised on “Indo-Pak relations: Problems and expectations” as a part of the 21st Hind-Pak Dosti Mela here today.

The mela is jointly organised by Folklore Research Academy (FRA), South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) and Punjab Jagriti Manch for peace and friendship between the people of India and Pakistan.

Rise above politics on religion, caste and race

Mark Tully, a senior journalist, called upon people of both the countries to reject political parties seeking votes in the name of religion, caste and race.

Among others, Lahore Press Club president Shahbaz Ahmad, former Minority Commission member, Prof Bawa Singh, social activist Jatin Desai, and former Delhi Press Club president Pushpendra Kulshreshta addressed the participants.

They were unanimous in their opinion that reluctance of natives of both the countries to go to war prevented them to resort to a full scale battle.

Rich tributes to people who died in Partition

They also paid tributes to 10 lakh people, who were killed at the time of the Partition, due to communal frenzy. Homage was also paid to all those, who became victims of communal and terrorist violence, in both the countries in the past. Delegates also condemned all activities of terrorists, besides communal violence.

Solve Kashmir issue through peaceful dialogue

While expressing concern on mounting tension between Indian and Pakistan on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, they appealed to the India-Pakistan governments to solve the issue peacefully through mutual dialogue and without giving direct or indirect assistance to forces adopting violent means and encouraging conflict on the issue.

Attacks on security forces condemned

While expressing sympathies with families of all those killed or injured in clashes during the recent tension in the Kashmir Valley, the participants appealed to security forces to exercise restraint while tackling such situation. They also condemned attacks by terrorists on security personnel and expressed sympathy with families of those killed or injured in attacks.

They appealed to the Union and Jammu and Kashmir governments to find political solution of problems through dialogue.

Set up visa centres in Amritsar, Lahore

They demanded visa office at Amritsar and Lahore to promote trade, cultural exchange and cooperation in other fields in East and West Punjab. It would ensure proper use of buses running between Amritsar-Lahore and Amritsar-Nankana Sahib, they added.

Empower SAARC

They said governments of both the countries should take initiative to empower SAARC, besides ensuring speedy implementation of resolutions adopted at its various summits.

Thwart evil designs of terrorist outfits

They appealed to all people of South Asia to come forward for a strong peace movement in the area and strengthen mutual unity for thwarting evil designs of Al Qaida, ISIS, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizbul Mujahideen and other such terrorist outfits in the area.

Tributes were paid to social activist Abdul Sattar Edi of Pakistan, who passed away recently. They exhorted people to keep in mind his slogan “No religion is higher than humanity”.

Later, the Indian and Pakistani delegates released annual magazine “Panj Pani” to mark the 21st Hind-Pak Dosti Mela.

Participants also held a candle vigil on the intervening night of August 14 and 15 at the Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post.

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