Students from Chandigarh, Lahore talk of peace at Mohali


Mohali : “We all want love and brotherhood, not hatred”, is the message youths from Chandigarh and Lahore were giving to people outside the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here Wednesday while the high-voltage India-Pakistan World Cup cricket semifinal clash was on.

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Volunteers of Chandigarh-based NGO Yuvsatta and students from the Institute for Peace and Secular Studies, Lahore, jointly distributed over 10,000 peace flags and around 20,000 love stickers, with flags of both the nations, among cricket fans going to the stadium to watch the match.

Ayesha Arif, a young film director from Lahore, said: “We have distributed thousands of peace flags among the youngsters and people of all age groups. We appeal to the decision makers of both countries to break the barriers and start an easy flow of people between the two countries. We all want love and brotherhood.”

The students also signed an appeal, that will be sent to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and to his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.

“We have appealed to both prime ministers to urgently implement the visa-on-arrival programme for young students and senior citizens of India and Pakistan,” said Pramod Sharma, coordinator of Yuvsatta.

He added, “We want to replace the common misconceptions and myths about each other by the culture of hospitality and friendship that is characteristic of this part of South Asia.”

India and Pakistan are playing against each other in the crucial semi-final match of the 2011 cricket World Cup.

“This was the best opportunity for us to convey the message of peace and love. People of both countries are alike and have no differences. We also invite Indian students and social activists to Lahore to take part in similar initiatives,” said another student from Lahore.