Indian delegation on ‘peace mission’ to Pakistan

February 21st, 2009 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz SharifNew Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Reciprocating the “message of peace” carried by a Pakistani delegation that visited the capital last month, an Indian group of artists, activists, academicians and journalists is set to go across the border on a similar mission.
Concerned about the recent turn of events between the two countries in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the India delegation will meet civil society members, the media and politicians in Pakistan urging that the peace process should not be deferred under any circumstances.

The delegation will leave for Pakistan Sunday and will return Feb 27.

Shabnam Hashmi, social activist and member of the National Integration Council, who will be a part of the delegation, said: “In difficult times, initiatives to resolve the tense relations through dialogue by civil society groups of both the countries can play a major role.

“The unofficial diplomats can sometimes heal wounds faster than any official channel. People’s initiatives can pressurise governments to take necessary actions, to confront and address important issues and to find solutions.”

Amongst those who are a part of the 13-member delegation are filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, social activists Swami Agnivesh and Kamla Bhasin, educationist Kamal Mitra Chenoy, journalist Seema Mustafa and peace activist Ramesh Yadav.

The delegation will cross over the Wagah border Sunday and have a round table discussion and dinner at noted Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jehangir’s residence. They will also meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The Pakistani delegation led by Jahangir visited India Jan 21-24 urging leaders of the two countries to resume the stalled peace process.

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