Historic Two Week Peace Mission
For the first time in mod ern history, a group of both Indians and Pakistanis living in US, UK and Canada are jointly engaged in People-to-People diplomacy by organizing a joint visit to the region. (There have been many Indians visiting Pakistan and Pakistanis visiting India for business or educational reasons). The purpose of this joint mission is to encourage two neighboring nuclear powers to find peaceful solutions to their long standing problems and help create friendship and goodwill between the people living on both sides of the border.
This visit is an independent effort by concerned individuals of Indian and Pakistani origin living in the US, UK and Canada. It does not have the influence of any governments, their agencies not even the private business interests.
The Joint Delegation is very pleased with the recent decision of the Indian government to reduce number of troops in the Kashmir valley and the positive response from Pakistan. The Delegation notes that it is a step in the right direction and encourages both governments to think innovatively to find a lasting solution.
The Joint Delegation will begin in Karachi on December 27, 2004 and will visit Peshawar, Quetta and Moenjodaro before reaching Islamabad on December 30. Members of the Joint Delegation will hold meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the opposition leaders. The delegation will also meet with grassroot and student organizations, academics, women’s groups and other NGOs. The Joint Delegation will visit Lahore and the birth place of Guru Nanak before crossing the Wagah border by foot. The delegates will observe a short remembrance service for the victims of Indo-Pak conflicts since 1947 at the border.
On the Indian side, the members of the delegation will visit Amritsar, Jammu, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai. In Delhi the Joint Delegation will meet the President, the Prime Minister, leaders of the ruling and the opposition parties. The delegation will also meet women’s groups, NGOs, the diplomatic community, academics and various student bodies.
The Joint Delegation is a part of the growing people-to-people contact movement in the subcontinent. The aspirations and concerns of the Non-Resident Indian and Non-Resident Pakistani communities should be known to the policy makers and the public in South Asia. This delegation intends to help the process of dialogue and understanding between the people of India and Pakistan and will continue to do so in the larger interest of both nations and their people.
List of Participants of the Joint Delegation:
- Capt. Mohammad Suleman Mahtab, Vancouver, Canada
- Dr. Riffat Hassan, KY, USA
- Dr. Gowher Rizvi, MA, USA
- Ms. Nilofer Ashan, IL, USA
- Dr. Tariq Cheema, IL, USA
- Cllr. Faizullah Khan, London, UK
- Mr. Murtaza Solangi, DC, USA
- Dr. Nizamuddin, NY, USA
- Mr. Azmat Yusuf, NY, USA
- Ms. Zahra Hassan, IL, USA
- Mr. Tofail Ahmed, MD, USA
- Mrs. Alfreda Gill, MD, USA
- Mr. Earnest Gulab, DE, USA
- Mr. Manzoor Alam, DE, USA
- Mr. John Prabhudoss, DC, USA
- Mr. Shrikumar Poddar, MI, USA
- Mr. Mohammad Imtiaz Uddin, IL, USA
- Mr. Jose Anthony, IL, USA
- Dr. Pritam Rohila, OR, USA
- Mrs. Kundan Rohila, OR, USA
- Mr. Mohamed Rasheed Ahmed, IL, USA
- Mr. Mohamed Zeena, London UK
- Mr. Raju Rajagopal, CA, USA
- Ms. Rati Tripathi, NY, USA
- Ms. Tavishi Alagh, DC, USA
- Mr. Kartik Desai, NY, USA
- Ms. Vanita Sharma, Oxford, UK
- Mr. Muhammed Shams Kazi, RI, USA