The following is a press release from 'Partners in Victory - Flags for Peace' a campaign developed jointly be peace organisations in Pakistan and India.
We welcome the very positive statements of the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan issued from Mohali on the side lines of the Cricket World Cup Semi Final played on 30th March 2011.
Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement that India and Pakistan should put their "ancient animosities" behind them, work for a "permanent reconciliation" and "cooperative solutions" to their problems “to live together in dignity and honour" is historic and sets a new direction for the subcontinent. Mr. Yousuf Raza Gilani’s assertion that “our common enemy is poverty, hunger, disease, unemployment and that today the intention of both of us is to resolve these issues and both the countries should prosper” has the potential to rewrite history.
The reiteration by the Prime Ministers that “the people of India and Pakistan want to live in peace and amity... that there are difficulties in the way but we will make every honest effort to overcome those difficulties.. (and seek) the resolution of all issues through dialogue and that the two PMs have committed their governments to work in that direction”, can rank amongst one of the most positive and constructive statements issued during the last 60 years.
By saying that "winning and losing is something that has its own place but this is a victory for cricket and the two countries" Mr. Gilani endorsed the motto and spirit of the Partners in Victory - Flags for Peace Campaign that was jointly undertaken by a number of organisations of India and Pakistan where in thousands of flags of India and Pakistan tied together along with heart shaped stickers with both the flags were distributed to the spectators going in to the stadium to watch the match. We also salute the capacity crowd in the Mohali stadium who exhibited a spirit of cordiality and cheered good cricket.
Earlier, peace activists and cricket enthusiasts from Pakistan coming for the Mohali match were welcomed with garlands at the Wagah border by organisations in India and after serving lunch and refreshments, were escorted to Chandigarh and Mohali. Local people provided home stay and hospitality to the guests from Pakistan to further cement the People – to- People bond. The entire range of activities organised by the Campaign from the reception at the Wagah Border to preparation and distribution of flags and home hospitality to the Pakistani guests received extensive coverage in both the print and electronic media.
The Lead Organisations for the Partners in Victory- Flags for Peace Campaign were COVA, Folklore Research Institute and Yuvsatta from India and PPC, Ajoka and Institute for Peace and Secular Studies, Pakistan.
The “Mohali Magic” has created a new spirit by bringing everyone from the people to the Prime Ministers together for the same cause that is dear to and in the interest of all. The challenge now is to continue and sustain this “Mohali Magic’ till the goal of “cooperative solutions” and “permanent reconciliation” through “uninterrupted and uninterruptable dialogue” is reached to enable people of both the countries “to live together in dignity and honour”.