Saying that governments of both India and Pakistan must move forward in order to have better ties, the peaceniks of India and Pakistan proposed a peace park on the border where people can visit without any visa.
Imtiaz Alam, secretary general, South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA), was here to review the arrangements of the annual Hind-Pak Dosti Mela on the intervening night of August 14 and 15.
Addressing a press conference along with Satnam Manak, general secretary, Hind-Pak Dosti Manch, Alam said, "We are looking forward to the annual mela on the border where peaceniks from both the countries will light up candles to pray for peace between India and Pakistan."
He said, "We propose a peace park on the border where anyone can enter without a visa and hold discussions, talks, organise exhibitions and even exchange delicacies. We want that as a goodwill gesture both the countries approve the project. The peaceniks are ready to fund the park as it would bring people of the two countries together," he added.
Alam said though the Mumbai attack did affect the peace process, their spirits were high and on August 14-15, they would celebrate the mela with enthusiasm.
The SAFMA secretary general said a delegation of 32 members would reach India for the mela and hold a seminar on peace. A delegation of 27 members from India will cross the border on August 13 to hold a seminar on 'In Pursuit of Shared Destiny'.
People from the Pakistani side will also come to the border to light up candles on the intervening night of August 14 and 15, he claimed.
Manak said, "Trade is a big unifying factor and people from both sides want better economic ties."
There have been certain issues that have affected the peace process but the peaceniks are positive about the peace process, he added.
The time the mela started, not many people got involved, but now it had come a long way. Artistes and intellectuals on both sides had shown a great spirit of patriotism, he added.
Nayar to skip mela
The Manch said that this year their president Kuldeep Nayar would miss the mela owing to family reasons. Manch general secretary Satnam Singh Manak said, "Nayar won't attend the function this year as his wife is unwell." Nayar has faced criticism from various Sikh organisations for his recent book 'Beyond the Lines'. Nayar had later apologised to the Sikh community.