इंडियन आवाज़     25 Sep 2023 09:46:57      انڈین آواز

Indo–Pak Peace initiative in Odisha

Pak-India Forum to hold convention in Bhubaneswar, Focus on Kashmir



Our Correspondent / Bhubneshwar (Odisha)

In a bid to cool growing tension along the India-Pakistan border, far away in the Capital of Odisha, a group of peace loving people are deliberating on the way to restore peace and friendship between two estranged neighbouring countries.

Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), a public initiative has organized a two national convention “Weaving Peace amidst War” on 10-11 February.

Earlier such a convention was held in New Delhi in October 2013. Organizers feel that in the changed scenario, where there is a complete holdup on the dialogue, people-to-people contact has become a casualty and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has become so volatile, this public initiative could play a significant role in shaping the public opinion for peace.

In recent past there has seen a significant increase in ceasefire violations along the LoC leading to heavy loss of of life and properties. Violation has severely affected the livelihood of people living in these areas.
The past few years there has been no dialogue between the two countries and also the Indian government with the people of Kashmir.

Anuradha Bhasin, co-chairperson of PIPFPD, said the forum primarily, believes that India-Pakistan must resolve their disputes through friendship, co-operation, and democratization of the region.

In view of the prevailing situation in the sub-continent, it is important for this organisation to have a major presence in Jammu and Kashmir and play a stronger role, Bhasin said whose father late Ved Bhasin was the co-founder of the Forum.

Visa has become extremely difficult to get and it has affected people-to-people contact badly and there is no dialogue, so keeping this in mind, a detailed agenda has been finalized, she said.

Prof Asha Hans, who is also the co-chairperson, said the theme of the convention will be growing tension between India-Pakistan and Challenges before us. It is important at this time that the people of the two countries compel both the governments to resume dialogue and make a liberal visa regime, she added.

The Kashmir issue will come up for a detail discussion and a host delegates also from Kashmir are coming to the convention, Prof Hans said.

PIPFPD has been a pioneering people’s platform that has consistently impacted the political and people-to-people relations between India and Pakistan since the early 1990s. The initiative towards the formation of PIPFPD as a membership-based organization was taken in late 1993 and the first joint declaration was announced on September 4, 1994, at Lahore.

The objective of this initiative was to facilitate common people in both the countries to listen to voices that are different from the belligerent voices of the respective Governments.


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