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India-Pakistan pilgrimage for peace and harmony


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According to Feroze Mithiborwala - President of Awami Bharat, the March that would be a combination of a Rath-cum-Padyatra would begin from Mumbai and follow the route from Dahanu (Maharashtra), Surat, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Mehsana - (Gujarat), Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Ajmer, Jaipur (Rajasthan), Agra, Mathura - (Uttar Pradesh), Delhi, Panipat - (Haryana), Chandigargh (Haryana-Punjab), Ludhiana, Amristsar (Punjab), Wagah (India-Pakistan border) before entering Pakistan and culminating in Karachi.

The march is expected to travel over 2000 kilometers in India and around 1000 kilometers in Pakistan by May 31, 2010.


Stating that a consensus is building for India and Pakistan peace and a vast majority of people in both the countries are in favor of peace, Feroze Mithiborwala said, "At the time when both the governments are now conducting discussions, we would only be adding to the climate & creating a larger space within the people of the two countries, as well as the powers that be."


Titled as India-Pakistan pilgrimage for peace and harmony, the march has been borrowed from Mahatma Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha launched during the British rule in the Indian subcontinent.


"Considering the religio-cultural history of South Asia, that has a deep devotion to Sufi & Bhakti Saints & for where Pilgrimages, either to Amarnath or Ajmer, are a holy & spiritually purifying act, we chose the name for our peace march", added Feroze.


"Throughout the course of our journey for peace, we would appeal to people to contribute a Mutthi bhar mitti - fist full of soil, that would then be collected from every city, town & village along the way. By this, people would feel that they are a part of the larger process of peace & unity", he said.


Noting that Peepal is the tree under which Buddha received his enlightenment and South Asia currently needs a generous dose of the same kind of enlightenment, he said, "We will also carry saplings - preferably Peepal from each of these places & plant them in the "GARDEN OF PEACE" that we will create along with a "PILLAR OF PEACE" or Bharat-Pakistan Shanti Stambh. This could then be made in all the cities towns & villages across the two countries."


"We do need a lot of emotional markers on our cultural landscape - We will create the same with the soil of the two countries", he noted.







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