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India-Pakistan veterans soldier on for peace between bitter neighbours

India-Pakistan veterans soldier on for peace between bitter neighbours
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India-Pakistan veterans soldier on for peace between bitter neighbours

Highlights

India Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace is a unique group of retired personnel of Armed Forces of India and Pakistan who are striving for nurturing a climate of peace between the two estranged neighbours.

India Pakistan Soldiers Initiative for Peace is a unique group of retired personnel of Armed Forces of India and Pakistan who are striving for nurturing a climate of peace between the two estranged neighbours.

It was founded by veteran Gandhian late Nirmala Deshpande who was the first co-chairperson of the India and Pakistan Chapters. The main objective of the group is to develop friendship and understanding between the people of India and Pakistan and foster a congenial atmosphere of trust and good neighbourly relations between the two countries.

With the two nations at loggerheads, Captain K.S. Menon IA and AS (Retd), a war veteran and IPSI member, lays emphasis on the importance of peace. He says, "As we all are aware that 1947 was one of the worst years in our history and to a very large extent diminished the thrill and happiness that the Independence of India should have given us. It brought in its wake, hatred, bloodshed and the largest human migration ever witnessed on earth and the birth of two nations and subsequently three. Ever since then we have been eyeing each other with suspicion, distrust and animosity, not to talk of the four wars fought since then. It is this animosity and perception that makes both countries spend large amounts on defence preparedness which it can ill afford and could easily be spent on other important sectors like Health and Education to name a few."

"This mindset prevailing with the generation that witnessed this upheaval of partition is understandable, but this need not necessarily be carried on or passed on to the next generation of both countries. The generation next, not being a witness to the unfortunate happenings may look at things differently and may yearn for peaceful co existence with each other," Menon adds.

He opines that this feeling has grown as a result of a lot of people to people contact in different fields of Art, culture, tourism and cinema, which has contributed to better bonding between the two countries and perhaps hopefully diluted the animosity to a large extent.

"It is therefore incumbent on our generation to bridge the gap of misunderstanding and establish a more tolerant and friendly platform initiated by DIDI which can be passed onto the next generation to carry the peace effort forward," Menon says.

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