The Aghaaz-e-Dosti- a youth-led peace initiative between India and Pakistan- recently released paintings for voting to publish on Indo-Pak Peace calendar 2018.
“Every year, Aaghaz-e-Dosti creates and releases an #IndoPak Peace Calendar, which is a collection of 12 Indian and Pakistani paintings. We invite you to help us select the Paintings from both countries.” the post on the campaign’s social media page Aghaaz E Dosti reads.
The calendar will be launched in Islamabad and New Delhi in the first month of 2018.
The campaign focuses to create awareness among the children and youth on the importance of peace between and publishes a calendar every year to promote their message in both countries. The campaign volunteers also organize online sessions between youngsters and school children to remove the stereotypes, which strengthens the people to people contact between both countries.
The paintings drawn by the school kids have a message for peace and friendship.
The two countries in South Asia have a long history of hostile relations since the independence. Pakistan and India got independence from British in 1947 but the relations between the countries have never been stable. The two nuclear countries had indulged in four wars and border skirmishes are a routine phenomenon.
In such a tense situation when the two states are using all the possible international platforms from United Nations to White House to malign the status of each other the activist from the two countries are sending message of peace and harmony to each other.
In September 2017 the Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj blamed Pakistan for supporting Terrorism during her speech at UNGA. While in the same week the Pakistan’s permanent representative at United Nation, Maliha Lodhi counter blamed India for conducting state terrorism in Kashmir, a disputed territory according to the UN resolutions.
Contrary to the political approach to the Indo-Pak relations a large number of youth from the two countries are shown a great concern to the growing hostility.
The people involved in such peacebuilding initiatives are of the opinion that constructive relations between the two important actors in the South Asia is vital to uplift the standard of life of 1.5 billion masses in both countries.
The issues like hunger, poverty, unemployment, lack of access to drinking water, illiteracy and energy crisis are the few of many which are leading both countries towards human crisis.
The peacebuilding dialogues between New Delhi and Islamabad are often derailed due to lack of trust between the parties and lack of resolve to solve the long-standing issue from the state organs. In such situations the international stakeholders take advantage of marketing their military resources to the two troubled states.
The common people from both countries are using social media platforms to openly expressing their desire for the improvement of relations.
The governments losing grip over media due to the publics’ growing access to social media the common masses are realizing the fact that a lot of information they receive through the traditional media is the construct of state institutions.