Amid all the cross-border tension between India and Pakistan Aaghaz-e- Dosti, a voluntary organisation for peace and friendship between the two countries will be organising a ceremony to launch the 6 th Indo-Pak peace calendar in Lahore on January 27 at the Auditorium Hall of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA).
Aaghaz-e- Dosti is a friendship initiative run through joint collaboration of NGOs – Mission Bhartiyam of India and Hum Sab Aik Hain of Pakistan -- and maintained through crowd-funding by people of their respective countries.
The aim of this initiative is to create people-to-people contact to raise mutual concerns of both countries, such as climate change, poverty, growing intolerance and other social issues that are directly affecting people in the South Asian region. Through this initiative, the team of Aaghaz-e-Dosti in Pakistan has created a door of friendship between people of India and Pakistan through the letters exchange program, greeting card exchange program, cultural and open mic nights via video conferencing
For the past five years, the launch of the peace calendar has exhibited great support of people from both Pakistan and India who believe in peace and mutual prosperity of the South Asian neighbours.
The most beautiful and inspiring aspect of this calendar is that it carries paintings contributed by schoolchildren from both countries. The artwork reflects the innocent, but very powerful, aspirations of people for maintaining long-lasting and strong friendships throughout their lives.
The calendar also carries inspiring words of personalities who have made significant contribution to peacebuilding in the subcontinent.
The impact of this work has been very positive, especially in the school community which greatly helped students to express their affection for each other. It is also important to mention here that Aaghaz-e- Dosti is an apolitical effort by people of both nations and carries out its volunteer work while fully respecting the laws and sanctity of both India and Pakistan.
Since the last 2 years, Raza Khan had been organising the calendar launch in Pakistan. In May last year, Raza had become the convener in Pakistan and was proactively involved in the calendar initiative besides other peace education activities. However, the misfortune that Raza’s abduction has caused has not stopped the organisation from carrying on with the mission.