Lahore: Pakistani civil society activists have started a campaign to collect 100,000 signatures in support of a relaxed visa regime with India that will be presented to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
The campaign was formally launched at an event organised in Lahore yesterday by the Institute of Peace and Secular Studies to acknowledge the struggle of Kuldip Nayar and Mubashar Hassan for peace between Pakistan and India.
Following the introduction of the "Relaxed Visa Regime Campaign" that aims to collect 100,000 signatures to be presented to Prime Minister Gilani, there was a panel discussion on the significance of a relaxed visa regime with filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and Jatin Desai from India and civil society activists Hussain Naqi and Madiha Gauhar from Pakistan.
The programme was attended by a delegation from India, peace activists, dignitaries, students, civil society representatives, traders and journalists.
Speakers pointed out that a people-to-people peace process was sustainable while acknowledging the work done by senior colleagues.
Kuldip Nayar and Mubashar Hassan were welcomed on stage to a standing ovation.
They shared their experiences and spoke of the necessity of both countries to have peace for the benefit of their people.
They also spoke of the basic human right of every Pakistani and Indian citizen to meet each other across the border.
Civil society activist IA Rehman presented Nayar and Hassan with the Sindhu Aman Award.
The event concluded with Nayar and Hassan inaugurating the Relaxed Visa Regime Campaign.
IPSS director Saeeda Diep said the Sindhu Aman Award is meant to acknowledge the struggle of activists who stayed true to their ideals and goals for the sake of peace in the region.
The award, given away for the first time, recognises contributions to peace for the people of the Sindhu, the river which gave life to the ancient civilisation that was shared by all people of the region.