Peace Hankies Chain & QBR at Wagha border – and Milne Do

Posted to beena-issues yahoogroup yesterday:

Pakistani and Indian schoolchildren at the white line marking the border. The Pakistanis were about to pass the banner signed by 1900 kids from Abbottabad to their Indian counterparts. And oh look! Someone's actually standing ON the line!! Photo: Beena Sarwar

Aman ki Asha, Milne Do, Peace Hankies Chain & the Queens’ Baton Relay… Much has happened since my last post, the Aman ki Asha Milne Do curtain raiser. The foreign secretaries met in Islamabad and so did the Home Ministers. We had a senior reporter give each of them a set of our Milne Do campaign — editorial, my curtain raiser, op-ed articles by Vazira Fazeela and Manvendra Singh, the Aman ki Asha page of June 23, and the TOI page of June 24, plus the ads we’ve run since last week focusing on the main issues (city specific visas, police reporting, same entry/exit points, no tourist visas etc).

Several people have written supporting the campaign – some very moving letters were published in The News. There’s a real feeing of hope laced with good old-fashioned cynicism and dampening `realism’ – `nothing’s going to change’. Well, it may not, but we’re not going to stop trying.

Had a marvelous early morning ceremony at Wagah border on June 25th when the Queens’ Baton Relay was being passed across into India. Aman ki Asha jumped into the event with our peace hankies – had four chains of 100 hankies each on either side of the border, and kids met up at the white line where they knotted two chains together. They pulled one chain into India and the other into Pakistan – a sort of `tug of peace’. Schoolchildren in India have made some 200,000 such hankies and in Pakistan, about 30,000 (population wise that’s not bad). Photos and reports of various hankies events are up at http://www.amankiasha.com. Also see my Picasa web album with pix of the ceremony.

After the knot tying, we had some energising performances by the Pakistani bhangra singer Jassi Lailpuria Singh, Najam Shiraz (and his little daughter Haya) and Jawad Ahmad (who recently also co-produced the first joint Pakistani-Indian film, Virsa, in Punjabi, filmed in Australia). See Tug of peace at the border.

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  1. […] This cup of tea was served by: Journeys to democracy […]

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