After the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, India and Pakistan had the worst time with wars, conflicts, and different hatred narratives. As the historians quoted many incidents of enmity among both countries, on the other side there were many individuals or peace groups who initiated peace dialogues between the neighboring countries.
“Only 14% of Pakistanis see India in a positive light, while 75% give the country an unfavorable rating. Likewise, Indian attitudes toward Pakistan are generally negative – 65% express an unfavorable opinion of Pakistan and a plurality considers Pakistan the greatest threat to their country.” https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2011/06/21/chapter-6-how-pakistanis-and-indians-view-each-other/
On 4th November 2022, URI North India in collaboration with URI CC from Pakistan, Peace Hope Pakistan organized a dialogue for 15 young people from India and Pakistan aiming to inculcate a culture of friendship, peace, and connection of hearts across borders. This dialogue was organized and led by young people from India and Pakistan.
Participants during the virtual dialogue
United Religions Initiative (URI) has over the years, provided very strong grounds and support for peace dialogues and efforts organized by Cooperation Circles around the world.
Regarding this, Peace Hope Pakistan and URI North India collaborated to bring youth from both countries to the same table for peace dialogues, sharing good peace-building practices and urging to bring peace in the region of South Asia.
The event was important because there is a dire need of inculcating a culture of peace sans borders, we must not let the new generations fall prey to stereotypes and narratives of hatred, and they do not deserve to carry the burden of partition and hate that is not theirs
Friendship and culture of peace, sowing seeds of love between the youth of two countries that are so different yet share so much. The idea is to rekindle the connection of this group at least once a month until they become confident in leading the peace initiative more often. This time we used art as a modality for peacebuilding, but we aim to delve into other modalities to keep this initiative ongoing.
The feedback/reflections and artworks of all the young people are mentioned below;