Posted on my blog (which contains several links for those interested in exploring further - www.beenasarwar.wordpress.com): Initiated by an Aman ki Asha supporter in New Delhi, this global event on Sunday, Jan. 27 is taking place in different cities at different times around the world. Facebook event link http://on.fb.me/YqWuAl
- It invites Indians and Pakistanis and those who want peace between the two countries, to come together in their respective cities. The purpose of the vigils is to urge the governments to continue the dialogue, and not give in to the war hype being created by some sections of sections of society. Scroll below for the vigil statement.
Bradford - 2-3 pm, Student Central, J.B. Priestly Library, University of Bradford
Cambridge, MA: 4.30-5.30 pm, Harvard Square Pit (fb event link)
Islamabad: 6 pm, Press Club, F-6/4. Contact 0344-5469738 and 0300-9880397
Karachi: 5.30 pm, Karachi Press Club
Lahore: 6 pm, Lahore Press Club, Shimla Pihari (fb event link)
Los Angeles - 5 pm, in front of UCLA
Mumbai: 7 pm, Gateway of India
New Delhi: 5.30 pm, Gandhi Peace Foundation, email aaghazedosti@...
Shahdadkot- 5 pm, Press Club
Toronto: 5 pm, 365 Bloor St. East, Toronto (outside Indian Consulate) (fb event link)
Washington DC: 6 pm, Chutney Restaurant, Springfield, VA
More cities are being added. The list will be updated online at: http://on.fb.me/VwImkB
PRESS RELEASE / STATEMENT- INDO-PAK PEACE: APPEAL BY CIVIL SOCIETY
India-Pakistan Peace Now - Global Vigil being observed in several cities around the world on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013
The following statement framed by citizens of India and Pakistan summarizes the formal appeals made by various organizations listed below
We, the people observing this global vigil for peace between India and Pakistan on January 27, 2013, want to tell the governments of India and Pakistan that people in dozens of cities across six continents want them to continue the dialogue and take forward the peace process.
We appreciate that the governments of India and Pakistan have reiterated their commitment to continue the dialogue process and to strengthen the mechanisms for resolving disputes on the LoC and minimising violations.
We condemn the recent violations of the 2003 Ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) and condole the loss of lives on both sides.
We condemn any kind of mutilation or beheading of human bodies.
We believe independent investigations must be made into these reported incidents so that the truth is known.
We urge the media, politicians, and other public figures to show restraint and not create or add to a war hype that has the potential to derail the peace process.
We urge India and Pakistan to immediately resume the implementation of the new visa policy that was to begin on Jan 15, 2013 by allowing senior citizens visa-on-arrival facility at the Waga-Attari border. People-to-people contact needs to be enhanced not restricted.
We urge both governments to take immediate steps to resume normal trade and travel across the LoC. Dialogue between India and Pakistan must be uninterrupted and uninterruptible. Any deviation from this process will only encourage and strengthen extremist, hawkish and fanatical elements on both sides who want to derail the peace process. The families of soldiers and members of divided families suffer most due to cross-border tensions.
We urge India and Pakistan to stay the course and continue with the progress made towards normalising relations that began in March 2010, with steps like easing the visa regime, improving trade relations and other confidence building measures. These steps have the potential to contribute to long-term peace, economic stability and SAARC-wide integration.
Posterity will judge our courage and patriotism not from the revenge we wreak but from the peace we win in these troubling times and from the progress resulting from such peace. A prosperous and well-connected South Asia is our best response to these divisive factions.
This statement draws upon several appeals issued by citizens from India and Pakistan since Jan 8, 2012:
1. India and Pakistan citizens' joint statement
2. AJK civil society elders' statement
3. The Poonch civil society appeal
4. Members of divided families appeal by the India Pakistan Families Solidarity Association (IPFSA).
5. The Society for Promoting Rationality (SPRAT), India
6. Indians and Pakistanis' letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari
7. Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD) statement .
8. Kashmir Initiative Group statement