Stating that indiscriminate acts of terror on both sides of the India-Pakistan border had led to immense tragedies and inexplicable pain for people in the two countries, Punjab governor Shivraj Patil stressed the need for establishing peace in the region.
The governor joined his voice with those of the Indian and Pakistani artistes, who shared the stage on the occasion of 'Saanjh: 11th Amritsar-Lahore Festival' held here on Sunday with the theme 'Let's give peace a chance'.
The festival was organised at Spring Dale Senior School with the collaborative efforts of Punarjyot and its Lahore-based counterpart Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop (RPTW).
"In the struggle for dominance between principalities and powers, it's the common masses who suffer the most, irrespective of the fact that their hearts yearn for peace and bonhomie," said the governor,while addressing the gathering.
He lauded the efforts of Punarjyot and Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop at establishing peace in the region by exploring the shared heritage of Indian and Pakistani Punjabs through the medium of "Saanjh'.
Patil congratulated the organisers of 'Saanjh' whose peace initiative has entered its eleventh year. "We hope that a day will come when the efforts of the organisers of 'Saanjh' at uniting hearts on both sides of the border would bear fruit and there would be peace in the region," he said.
Meanwhile, the audience got a chance to savour a musical treat when performers from Pakistan, including Mian Meeri Qawal, Sain Zahoor, an internationally-acclaimed folk singer from Pakistan, Wahadat Rameez and Krishan Lal Bheel shared the stage with Indian performer Dhruv Sangari, a budding singer of Coke studio fame.
"Saanjh is all about spreading peace, which stands violated every now and then by mindless acts of terror. My parents along with Faizaan Peerzada, former COO, Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, Lahore, ignited this candle to teach people to live and let others live. It is my pleasure not only to keep this flame aloft and ignited, but we also desire to take initiatives that can help in making 'Saanjh' more effective," said Dr Kirat Sandhu Cheema, director, Punarjyot.
Sahiljit Singh Sandhu, director and managing trustee, Spring Dale Educational Society, thanked the public for supporting the peace-building measures sponsored by Punarjyot and RPTW, Lahore. "But for public cooperation and support of peace lovers on both sides, 'Saanjh' would not have been possible. We shall make all possible efforts to ensure that this caravan of 'Saanjh' continues," he said.
S S Sandhu, chairman, Spring Dale Educational Society, Rajiv Kumar Sharma, principal, Spring Dale Senior School, Usman Peerzada, CEO, Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, Lahore, Sadaan Peerzada and Aleena Peerzada of RPTW also addressed the gathering.
Among others who attended the event were OP Soni, MLA from Amritsar Central, Ravi Bhagat; Amritsar deputy commissioner; Bakshi Ram Arora, mayor; Jatinder Singh Aulakh, Amritsar police commissioner and Dr Taran Deep Kaur, deputy commissioner, income tax, Amritsar.