Blessings for Peace

Some messages or blessings from people who have been working to strengthen the relations for many years:

Beena Sarwar

drawing “In this drawing, it shows two banyan trees reaching out across a border, and their branches meet and join together. It’s from a dream I had some time ago, and shows the intensity of the desire of the people of India and Pakistan to have normal, friendly relations.”

Beena Sarwar, a leading journalist and film maker from Pakistan. She is the editor of Aman ki Asha, a peace initiative between India and Pakistan

Pritam Rohila

“I hope and pray that this calendar, consisting of paintings by youth, will encourage governments of India and Pakistan, to take substantial steps, to bring about peace, not only BETWEEN, but also WITHIN, the two countries, and inspire people to commit themselves to help their governments, to make it happen. I wish you and sister groups a resounding success!” 

– Pritam K. RohilaExecutive Director of Association for Communal Harmony in Asia 

Awais Sheikh

“Very happy to know about Aaghaz-e-dosti. It is indeed a time to create an atmosphere conducive to peace and brotherhood and better understanding between the two neighbouring countries of South Asia. They should bury the bitterness of the past and start living like good neighbours. This was the message given to Mahatma Gandhi and Quid-e Azam Jinnah at the time of partition.”

– Awais Sheikh, the Pakistan-based advocate who is looking many cases of Indian prisoners in Pakistan including Sarabjit Singh

Ram Puniyani

“I am very happy to know about Aaghaz-e-dosti. India and Pakistan countries share a common culture and socio-economic challenges. We need to have amicable relations so that out industries, trade, education, sports and culture can benefit from each other. This is what will see a better dawn for people of both the countries.”

Ram Puniyani, a noted Human Rights Activist in India, author of several books on communalism in India, recipient of several peace awards

Saeeda Diep

“The people of pakistan and india need to be vigilant and alert from the forces of hate , war and violence. We have been living together for centuries and can not over run our shadows.”

Saeeda Diep, peace activist of Pakistan, chairperson of IPSS

Sirish Agarwal

“Meri pehchaan kisi desh, jaati, dharm, rajniti, tak seemit nahee, vibhajit nahi, Main dosti aur pyaar ki khushboo hun, mai aaghaz e dosti hun.”

– Sirish Agarwal, Founder of India Pakistan Families solidarity Association(IPFSA)

Haji-Syed-Salman-Chishty

“Salaam o Adaab
Hope u r well n have the blessings of the blesseds. We are pleased to know about launch of Indo-Pak calendar and the IndoPak friendship initiative. We would like to extend the support from Ajmer Dargah Sharif and Chishty Foundation Ajmer Sharif.
Inshallah, look forward to see u n host u all at Ajmer Dargah Sharif in near future.
May Allah always Smile upon you n all by your side, Ameen.
Peace, Prayers n Blessings from Ajmer Sharif
Salman Chishty”

Haji Syed Salman Chishti,  Gaddi Nashin – Khadim e Khawaja Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (r.a.) – Dargah Khawaja Saheb. He is the Director of Chishty Foundation, Ajmer Sharif

Raza Rumi

“For too long the people of Pakistan and India have suffered due to their state-policies. It is time that we change it and reshape our region for all the young people who want peace instead of war; seek opportunities and not bombs.”

Raza Rumi, Director of Jinnah Institute, Senior Journalist associated with several reputed newspapers of Pakistan and author of the book “Delhi by Heat: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller”

Kuldip Nayar

“India and Pakistan share the same heritage and the same composite culture. Walls between two countries are unnatural. The people should meet, trade and do business the two are similar and they must live in love and peace.”

Kuldip Nayar, A veteran indian journalist, columnist, human right activist and author. He is a columnist with several renowned Pakistani Newspapers like the Dawn, Express Tribune, Pakistan

Kiran Nazish“Peace begins with knowledge. I learnt this when I came to India. Each student, teacher, journalist, police man, shopkeeper, Government official I met, taught something to me about myself, whenever they spoke of themselves. I realized we are so similar, that its impossible not to inspire each other.

We cannot find peace, if we avoid each other. Pakistan and India are a natural romance. I learnt this from Indians.”

Kiran Nazish, a Journalist-Activist from Pakistan. Her works appear in reputed newspapers like Dawn, Express Tribune, Friday times, Tehelka, Forbes, Huffington Post and several others

“CongParmod Sharmarats to Aaghaz-e-dosti team for inspiring change and promoting a culture of peace and nonviolence. It’s time for youth in India & Pakistan to understand that politics if left to politicians alone will wipe out our present and future so we should not leave any opportunity to unite, be counted and support/raise  voices for sanity, peace, brotherhood and love. We’re sure with passage of time such efforts will deepen further & grow more.”

 Pramod Sharma, Coordinator, Yuvsatta-an NGO empowering youth for peace, Chandigarh, India. He has organised several Indo-Pak youth camps

satya pal “The established interests of both the countries have fought with each other for the last more than four decades, now we need to give a chance to common people to establish Peace, Friendship, Understanding and Co operation. Let them demolish the walls and build the bridges.

I am happy that now younger nation has picked up and with a new name of Aghaz e Dosti with the same mission has started. My best wishes and prayers are with you, the torch bearers.”

Satya Pal, Secretary General of South Asian Fraternity. Secretary general of South Asia Fraternity. He is among the renowned personalities working actively for Indo-Pak peace and friendship

Shakeel Wahidullah Khan“A very good initative from your side. BBPPF pakistan appreciate your efforts. Salam to your love for prosperity and loving thinking for both the countries. We wish and hope for love, Peace and Prosperity for both the people of India and Pakistan.”

Shakeel Wahidullah Khan, President of Pakistan Chapter of BBPPF

tara gandhi aaghaz-e-dosti“Pakistan and India belong to the same heritage. Nourished and inspired by the same cultural, human and spiritual flows, the people of the two countries of one land are immensely close to each other. Pakistan and India will set an unprecedented example for the world and the humanity if they could transcend the negative aberration caused by few. We are committed to be friends and to be together. The challenge is there. We shall overcome – today.”

Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi. She is the author of “Reflections of an Extraordinary Era”. She is the Vice Chairperson of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS) and the Chairperson of Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust situated in Delhi (India)

pervez hoodbhoy aaghaz-e-dosti“I am hopeful of the day when India and Pakistan will be at peace. All nations are learning – albeit very slowly in some cases – to treat people with respect, both inside and outside their national borders.”

 – Pervez Hoodbhoy, Eminent Pakistani nuclear physicist and defence analyst. He is also a prominent environmentalist and social activist. He is a strong supporter of peaceful use of nuclear technology, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

Admiral Ramdas Aaghaz-e-Dosti

“The year 2015 gives us yet another opportunity to resume the Indo-Pak dialogue to bring permanent peace in South Asia. Although geography and identities have changed, we have a shared history and we must build upon this, focusing on greater trade and exchange of people to people visits for a better future. This would be helped by an easier visa regime between our two countries.”

  •  – Admiral L Ramdas, Former Chief of the Indian Naval Staff. He is Magsaysay Awardee for Peace – shared jointly with I A Rehman of Pakistan. He is President Emeritus of PakistanIndia Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) and Patron of India Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace (IPSI)

Ishtiaq Ahmed Aaghaz-e-Dosti

“Indo-Pak Peace is the prerequisite for Indo-Pak prosperity. It is therefore imperative that we join hands on both sides of the border to realize this dream.”

Ishtiaq Ahmad, Renowned political scientist from Pakistan. He is a visiting professor at Lahore University of Management Studies (Lahore), Professor emeritus of Political Science at Stockholm University (Sweden) and honorary senior fellow at Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. He has authored several books including ‘The Punjab Bloodied, Partition and Cleansed’. 

Shailja Kejriwal Aaghaz-e-DostiJis sarhad pe sooraj do tukde hokar dooba tha
Wahin se dhoop ke sufed parinde ude hain…
Jahan tooti thee azadi ki chodiyaan,
wahin nanhe-nanhe haath jude hain.

Tareekhein to bahut badleein,
Shayad ye calendar waqt badal paaye….
Jahan ‘Siyasat’ haar gayi,
Wahan ‘Masoomiyat’ jeet jaaye…!!!

 – Shailja Kejriwal, Renowned name in the Indian TV Industry. She is the Chief Creative Head of Special Projects at ZEEL for Zindagi Channel. Zindagi Channel is the first Indian Channel to air Pakistani Serials.

Aamir Nawaz“A living person cannot live without breath and according to my thoughts, friendship between Pakistan & India is breath for the people on both sides. We share culture, language, dressings and even living styles. Why we cannot share thoughts of brotherhood and peace?” Long Live Pakistan & India”.

Aamir Nawaz, President of a leading Pakistani Theatre group- Maas Foundation that has several plays on Indo-Pak issues. He has produced and directed a TV drama series by the name of “Pachtawa” which is aired on Royal TV Channel. He is also a visiting faculty at Beaconhouse National University (Pakistan).

sheema kermani “India and Pakistan share a great cultural history and I am convinced that the people of both the countries want to live in Peace and Harmony. It is our common art and cultural heritage that binds us together and therefore, I am convinced that we the artists of these two countries can break down this artificially created hatred and enmity! Let us join hands and minds to create a beautiful, peaceful future together!”

Sheema Kermani, A well-known Pakistani exponent of Classical Dance (Kathak, Bharatnatyam and Odissi), theatre director and women’s right activist. She is the founder of Tehrik-e-Niswan, an organization dedicated to improving women’s rights in Pakistan by raising awareness through the use of dance and the performing arts.

Prof. chaman lal“Both countries are geographically apart, but culturally closest to each other than any other country. Both have common languages, living style, literatures and music. Indians and Pakistanis abroad are best friends to each other, same should be asserted at home as well. Hope Aaghaz-e-Dosti’s initiative shall move in the directions of India and Pakistan as best friends not only at people to people level, which they really are, but at political and governmental levels too!”

Chaman Lal, Professor-Coordinator at Centre for Punjabi Language, Literature and Culture in Central University of Punjab, Bhatinda (Punjab, India). He was formerly a Professor at JNU. His area of research includes Bhagat Singh for which he has undertaken cross-border research and has written several books on him.

Reema AbbasiIt is always disturbing to see so much love mired in helplessness in the general populace of India and Pakistan, to the point that one has become exoticised or alien for the other. I truly hope that the New Year brings not hope but a new Reality whereby avenues for intellectual, cultural, business, medical and educational gains remain open and unaffected by the capricious political climate. This is the only route to strengthen the region and to celebrate shared, antiquated legacies and history. Let’s also resolve to remember that we are the same people.”

Reema Abbasi, Renowned journalist and author from Pakistan. She is the author of ‘Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience’. She has been honoured as the best literary personality of the year at the Fifth Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Awards. 

bm kutty Karamat Ali “May the year 2015 usher in an era of tension-free relationship between Pakistan and India, based on a firm commitment on both sides to seek the resolution of inter-state differences and disputes through peaceful dialogue and dialogue alone! May the year 2015 see a steady expansion of people-to-people contacts between Pakistan and India and the introduction of a liberal pro-people visa regime!” 

B M Kutty and Karamat Ali, Renowned Peace Activists from Pakistan. B. M. Kutty is member of the Board of Directors of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education (PILER) and Secretary General, Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC). Karamat Ali is the founder member of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and also among the co-founders of The Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD).

Deepak Malviya“We can change our friends but not our neighborhood. Let’s take a step towards a healthy friendship”

 – Deepak Malviya, Secretary of Servants of the People Society. Servants of the People Society is a not for profit social service organization that was founded by Lala Lajpat Rai (a prominent leader in the Independence struggle) in Lahore in 1921. After partition, it was shifted to Delhi.

“PeacOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe between India and Pakistan is crucial for promoting peace and prosperity for the region. It could and will also lead to a solution of the Kashmir dispute so that Kashmiris of both sides of the line of control can live with dignity. Together the governments and the people of these two countries can bring peace in Afghanistan and fight religious intolerance that has plagued the world of today.”

  Asma Jahangir is currently part of U.N. panel for inquiry into Sri Lankan human rights, member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and vice president of International Federation for Human Rights. She was the first woman to hold the post of President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan in 2010. She was awarded with Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1995

Lalita Ramdas“HUM JO AMAN PE YAKEEN KARTE ……..

Peace between our people and lands will happen if more and more of us believe in it and walk the same path together.

My grand daughter Mira Husnara is Indo-Pak-Amriki – personal is political

Dharti Baanti, saagar Baanta, math baanto Insaan ko”

 – Lalita Ramdas is a renowned peace, human rights and anti-nuclear activist from India. She is  one of the founding members of Greenpeace India, former Board chairperson of Greenpeace International, AAP Policy Group on Gender Justice-AAP Shakti. She is actively involved in community education and women’s development.

Anwer Jafri“It is my firm belief that the vast majority of people of our great sub-continent want to live in peace and harmony with each other. It is the duty of us – artists of both India and Pakistan – to give expression to this sentiment.

Anwer Jafri is an artist, filmmaker, playwright, theatre practitioner and a peace activist from Pakistan. He was born at Karachi in 1948 to parents who hailed from Peharsar, a village in Bharatpur, India.

meenakshi chhabra“Just as we have needed each other to sustain the conflict, we need each other to create peace. Let’s restore our histories, that divided us, to write a new narrative of a shared past and a shared future.” 

 – Dr. Meenakshi Chhabra is a scholar and practitioner in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies. The focus of her research is in education and youth development in conflict zones with an emphasis on South Asia. She is a faculty at Global Interdisciplinary studies, International Higher Education and Intercultural Relations at Lesley University, Cambridge (USA).

Zahid Ahmed profile picture“Solutions, to the present level of animosity between India and Pakistan, demand creativity from peacemakers. I see this calendar as one such initiatives aiming to build confidence across borders. In an environment in which hatred is spread through the media and schools, there is a dire need of peace education that spreads the message of peace through humanizing literature.”

 – Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed is a faculty member at the Centre for International Peace and Stability, NUST, Islamabad, Pakistan. A specialist in foreign relations and regional security in South Asia, Asia regionalism, peace education, and peace building, he has been associated with the Secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for a Research Internship, Regional Centre for Conflict Transformation (Asia) as a Program Manager, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (Pakistan) and Peace Direct.

Dr Dhananjay Tripathi“It was an unfortunate partition of United India in 1947 but bigger misfortune is that we have yet to learn the art of living together as good neighbors.  Only initiatives of bringing people together from both sides, will help us to bridge this partition.  Aaghaz-e-Dosti in this regard is doing an admirable work. 

Dhananjay Tripathi is an academician and peace activist from India. He is a faculty member in Department of International Relations at South Asian University. His research interests includes South Asia. He has authored several books and articles on South Asian relations. 

ayesha siddiqa“The 67 years of animosity has hidden the fact that India and Pakistan can naturally be each other’s ‘strategic depth’ only if we see relations through the lens of human well-being and prosperity. Our need for progress makes it imperative for us to connect as friends.”

 Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa is a social scientist and a full-time writer, and Islamabad-based independent political and defence analyst. She is author of two books on military decision-making and political economy, published in international academic journals, been a civil servant and the only woman to work as Director of Naval Research for the Pakistan Navy.

Sadia_Dehlavi“The rhetoric of hate between India and Pakistan must give way to love, acceptance and respect of one another’s country and its citizens. The way forward is to facilitate easy travel for people of both countries for tourism, trade, cultural exchanges, pilgrimages, conferences and visiting relatives. Both governments must do away with police reporting visa requirements and city specific visas. Let us follow the path shown by Sufis, mystics and sages, by Guru Nanak, Baba Farid, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. The efforts of Aghaz-e-Dosti are exemplary in the efforts to build bridges and creating an environment that will ensure peace in our region.”

– Sadia Dehlvi has been working in media since 30 years and has writen for various Hindi, urdu and english magazines, scripted documentaries and television serials and is author of Sufism: The Heart Of Islam And The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs Of Delhi. She has been engaged in voicing concern on issues regarding heritage, culture, women and Muslim communities.

farzana bari“The working classes of both Pakistan and India must understand that the ruling classes fabricate enmity to perpetuate rotten systems of exploitation and patriarchal oppression. Without the overthrow of this political class within our own countries, there can be no hope for any peace, stability and prosperity.”

 Dr. Farzana Bari is a renowned Human Rights Activist from Pakistan. She is the Director of the Centre of Excellence in Gender Studies at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. She has been actively involved in raising awareness about crimes against women, particularly concerning honor killings and the Hudood Ordinance. She is also founding member of PATTAN, a Development Organisation working for the marginalized.

Ram Mohan Rai“In today’s world, peace is a constant struggle. It is unfortunate that when there are bigger problems like starvation and poverty, we are still caught up between religion, dominion and community. I believe that the path to peace is through education, employment and religious-cultural tolerance.”

Ram Mohan Rai is a practicing lawyer in the Supreme Court Of India, Chief Editor of Nitya Nutan Patrika, General Secretary of Hali Panipati Trust (promoting the work and ideology of Khawaja Altaf Hussain Panipati) and General Secretary of Gandhi Global Family. 

indopak peace calendar lahore launch - nisar ahmed chaudhary south asian fraternity“India and Pakistan are connected together by a bond far stronger than just a geographical one. However, we must realize the external forces at work that are trying to jeopardize this relationship. We must encourage tolerance and ensure that their work does not break the bonds of peace between the two neighboring countries. We should leave no stone unturned in achieving peace and harmony in the South Asian region and let this project of “Aaghaz-e-Dosti” prosper in true letter and spirit.”

Nisar A. Chaudhary is a renowned peace activist and has been working in the field for 26 years to promote harmony by encouraging people to people contact. He is currently the President of South Asian Fraternity, Pakistan and the Chief Coordinator of Foundation for SAARC Writers and Literature, Pakistan. He has also worked with other organizations including Foundation Dialogue for Peace and the 14 August Committee, Norway.

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