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Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA)
www.asiapeace.org    &  www.indiapakistanpeace.org
4410 Verda Lane NE , Keizer , OR 97303
503.393.6944
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Link to Asia Peace (ACHA) Site
ACHA Peace & Harmony Story Collection

India-Pakistan Peace Day 2007

REPORTS

 

* August 5, 2007 , Toba Tek Singh , Pakistan: MAKING COMMITMENT FOR PEACE

Students sang peace songs, played peace-building games, and made speeches at Making Commitment for Peace, a program held today at St. Peter’s High School, Toba Tek Singh. They are attending the two-month Youth Formation Camp here since June 22. They are from local and many far flung areas of Pakistan.

Youth leader Karishma Samuel invited young boys and girls to make their commitment to peace by lighting a peace candle. Each one who made the commitment received a peace band. As a part of their commitment the students will participants in the following programs:

  1. Planting peace banners, posters, slogans and trees shall in three Toba Tek Singh parks, August 7-13
  2. Remembering the victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima on August 9
  3. Signing the Petition of Apology to the Victims of Partition-related Violence in 1947 as a part of the celebration of Pakistan Independence Day on August 14. The theme of this year’s celebration is Responsibilities of Pakistanis to make Pakistan a Peaceful Country. The petition is being circulated by the Association of Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA), a US-based peace organization.
  4. Making phone calls and sending email messages praying for peace in South Asia, on India’s Independence Day, on August 15
  5. Sharing of memories, on his birthday, with Dr. Bonnie Mendes, recipient of the 2005 AHCA Star Award for Peace
  6. Participating in India-Pakistan Peace Festival, August 12-17
  7. Participating in the ACHA’s 39 Days of Peace program by reading aloud one of the statements affirming peace and harmony on each of the 39 Days from Pakistan’s Independence Day on August 14, and ending on International of Day of Peace on September 21
  8. Making a peace symbol, poster, or image, one for each statement affirming peace and harmony for use on 39 Days of Peace. These products will be displayed in an exhibition on International of Day of Peace on September 21
  9. Participating in the Role of the Youth and the United Nations in World Peace program to be organized as a part of the celebration of International of Day of Peace on September 21
  10. Writing letters to young people in the United States through the Peace Pal program


    Lighting a candle of commitment


    Showing off bands of commitment


*Indo-Pak Independence Day marked with music, comedy, Ashfaque Swapan, India-West, August 17, 2007

“Geet Aur Ghazal,” z joint Indo0-Pakistan Independence Day celebration event was hosted August 10 in Newark, Calif., with music and comedy skits under the banner of Soul Treat Entertainers. The event drew around 150 people, organizers told India-West, despite a schedule conflict with a religious occasion.

The event was a welcome reflection of the warmth and camaraderie between substantial sections of Pakistani and Indian expatriates here. The audience had a lopsided representation of Indians with Indian Pakistani ratio 7:3, but with proper planning, that can be rectified easily, organizers said with confidence.

The event prsented four singers, all local: Qaif, Ishmeet Narula, Junior Kishore, and Shakila Khurasani. A performer called Vivek presented comedy skits.

Local Pakistani American activist Annie Akhtar welcomed the audience. Akhtar, who runs a weekly South Asian radio show, is particularly active in Pakistani cultural activities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The event went on late into the night until 1:00 a.m. Organizers told India-West they were very happy with both the event as well as the spirit of South Asian solidarity it underscored.

Pakistan-born Siddiqui said the common cultural, social and historical roots act like a magnet to bring together people of the neighboring South Asian states despite the bitter political disputes in the old country.

“We are great friends anyway,” he said. Events like this really bring us together.

 


Junior Kishore performs a Kishore Kumar hit at Geet Aur Ghazal function in Newark, CA, on Aug 10.


Ishmeet Narula entertained the Geet Aur Ghazal audience with many Pnjabi songs in Newark, CA, on Aug 10.

 


 

*Joint Independence Day Celebration, Lahore, Pakistan, August 14, 2007

The function was organized, at Lahore, by Pak-India Peace Initiatives which is actively engaged since last 12 years in promoting peace and amity between the two conflict ridden countries of South Asia, Pakistan and India.

Main feature of the celebration was a seminar entitled “60th Anniversary of Independence of Pakistan.” A delegate from India Mr Tridivesh Singh was the guest of honour.

After the function, the Azadi (Independence) Cake was jointly cut by Indian and Pakistani participants.

In his welcome speech, Awais Sheikh awaissheikhadvocate@yahoo.com, President of the organizing group announced that Pak-India Peace initiatives would invite one thousand delegates from India on the 61st Independence Day Celebration next year.


 

* Let World Peace Become a Reality, Toba Tek Singh, Punjab , Pakistan

Youth of the International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) presented art work, songs, games, and role play on the theme of peace, to mark the International Day of Peace, on September 21, at Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan .

“Let World Peace Become a Reality” and “Fight Poverty, Build Peace,” were themes of the celebration. It was organized jointly by St. Peter's High School, Convent of Jesus and Mary, Human Development Centre (HDC), Mary Jean Foundation Trust, International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) and Bangladesh-Bahrat-Pakistan Peoples Forum (BBPPF).

The celebration marked culmination of “39 Days Peace” campaign which had been launched by the U.S.-based Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (www.asiapeace.org).

Starting on Pakistan Independence Day, August 14, 2007 , every day the young people read affirmative statements about peace and harmony. Also they made symbols and posters based on these statements.

In the evening a special prayer service and peace vigil were held at the Catholic Church. A large number of local peacemakers attended this event. After the service, people lighted candles and joined in a peace procession, in memory of all those who had lost their lives in the various wars, conflicts, terrorism incidents.

"Peace is not the absence of war; it is respecting and accepting each other and promoting human rights," said Nida Ashfaq, an IYCSer.

School Principal Ashfaq Fateh treated the participants to a Peace Dinner at "India-Pakistan Peace House. The participants had brought one dish made by them to share their food with others.

“People of India & Pakistan should come together to build real peace in South Asia ," remarked Mr. Ahsan of Bangladesh-Bharat-Pakistan Peoples Forum (BBPPF).

In the Peace Program at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School, the previous day, Muslim and Christian students presented various items. HDC Director Fr. Bonnie Mendes and Rafia Ashfaq of DA 11 encouraged the students.