By TCN News,
New Delhi: Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a cross-border Friendship Initiative, conducted the first Indo-Pak peace workshop on May 30 with the Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, an organisation that works for the welfare and empowerment of the socially marginalized at the Indian Social Institute.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a cross-border Friendship Initiative of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and The Catalyst (Pakistan), aims to create unwavering bonds of peace and friendship between India and Pakistan. Through its initiatives that ranges from interactive sessions in schools and colleges, discussions, virtual peace building course and peace calendar, it aims to create a culture of mutual respect and understanding.
The facilitators of this workshop were Devika Mittal, Madhulika Narasimhan, Madhuri Mittal, Shruti Achesh and Amrita Middey.
In the beginning of the workshop, the audience was asked about their perception about Pakistan. The facilitator Madhuri Mittal inquired, “What word comes to your mind when you think about Pakistan?” The responses ranged from “terrorism”, “good food” to “cricket”.
The first part of the workshop had the facilitators Madhuri Mittal and Shruti Achesh to tell the audience about the similarities between India and Pakistan and Pakistani perceptions about India and Indians and their love for Indian films and their stars. This was corroborated by Ajat Shatru of CSEI who has been to Pakistan many times.
This was followed by screening of Aaghaz-e-Dosti’s introductory video about Pakistan emphasizing on its rich diversity.
Amrita Middey spoke on the religious diversity in Pakistan and communal harmony. She also briefed them about the challenge of religious extremism and conservatism and the resistance by the people. She shared that incidents of communal violence against the minorities are regarded to be against Islam and the constitution by the people of the majority religion, Islam. She shared photographs of Muslims forming human shields around churches and temples to protect the minorities.
Madhulika Narasimhan later talked about the major issues between India and Pakistan and the need for peace and conflict resolution as the way forward for a peaceful and prosperous nation.