The killing of five Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch sector has led to the cancellation of the famed cultural evening of the annual Indo-Pak peace mela this year.
The cultural event was scheduled for August 13. This is the first time in 18 years of the event that organisers have called off the event that sees Indian and Pakistani artistes perform together.
A seminar and a candle light vigil — at Attari border — will, however, take place as scheduled on August 14 under the peace mela.
NGOs such as Hind-Pak Dosti Manch, Folklore Research Academy, Punarjyot and other organisations jointly hold the peace mela to promote peace and friendship between the two nations.
“All the people involved in this mela are deeply shocked after the killing of the Indian soldiers. We condemn the incident and have jointly decided to cancel the cultural evening. The Pakistani artistes have been informed about this,” Folklore Research Academy president Ramesh Yadav said on Thursday.
“Our efforts over the years have been to promote peace and harmony, but such incidents are definitely not good.”
India has squarely blamed Pakistan army regulars for the brutal act.
Amid the gloomy scenario, the organisers still hope to further the cause of peace through the seminar. The topic is “Possibilities of Indo-Pak relations after formation of new government in Pakistan”.