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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Peaceniks to take up Pak Hindus' forced conversion during mela

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, August 13, 2012
First Published: 00:27 IST(13/8/2012) | Last Updated: 00:29 IST(13/8/2012)

Indian peaceniks would take up with their Pakistani counterparts the matter of forced conversions of Hindus in that country during the Indo-Pak Dosti Mela to be held on the Attari border.

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Addressing the media at a press conference, general secretary of Hind-Pak Dosti Manch, Satnam Singh Manak, said: "Our resolution is to raise voice for the safety of minorities in Pakistan. At the fair on August 14, we will take up the matter with our Pakistani counterparts and also the Indian delegation that visits the neighbouring country on August 13."

"The reports of forced conversions, kidnapping and extortion that have surfaced from Pakistan is unfortunate," Manak said. "Any minority has the right to practice his or her religion; nobody should convert them by force."

Earlier, elaborating on the 17th peace mela, Manak said, "Artistes from Pakistan and India will performing during the cultural night event and thereafter peaceniks will go to the border for the candlelight vigil."

Apart from this, a delegation of 25 people, including journalists, politicians, writers and peaceniks, will cross over to Pakistan on August 13 with the message of peace. The Indian delegation will participate in a seminar there and also in the candlelight vigil. Similarly, a 34-member delegation from Pakistan will come to India on August 13 and take part in a seminar.

President of Folklore Research Academy, Ramesh Yadav, said, "All arrangements for the peace mela are complete and we expect both the governments to work for Indo-Pakistan friendship."

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