Amid the rapport of gunfire exchange along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, there were echoes of friendship on the zero line at Attari on Thursday midnight, as peaceniks from both India and Pakistan reached the Joint Check Post to hold a candlelight vigil.
This year, only a couple of Pakistani citizens had crossed into India for the 18th Hind Pak Dosti Mela that Hind-Pak Dosti Manch, Folklore Research Academy, and other volunteer bodies had organised here, but on the night between the freedom anniversaries of both countries, many peace lovers were walked up to the border raising slogans for better ties.
As the Indian contingent moved towards the dividing line, the sight of Pakistani friends on the side brought a glow on their faces. "Hind Pak dosti zindabad, we want peace," chanted the peaceniks. "It indicates how desperate the common man on both sides is for better India-Pakistan relations," said Hind-Pak Dosti Manch general secretary Satnam Manak.
"This annual effort for peace has survived the ups and downs in the India-Pakistan relations," said Folklore Research Academy president Ramesh Yadav. Earlier, during the cultural evening that was part of the friendship fair, singer Lakhwinder Wadali entertained the audience.