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09 Dec 2021, 06:35 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • 19 Pak girls in Chandigarh: 'War narrative limited to media'

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18:51 HRS IST

Chandigarh, Sep 28 (PTI) Amid rising tension between India and Pakistan since the Uri terrorist attack, 19 girls from across the border landed here last night only to learn "the narrative of war remains limited to our governments and media" and common public on both sides of the border want peace.

Pakistan's Girls for Peace Group, majority of them on their first visit to India, arrived here to take part in the 11th Global Youth Peace Festival, organised by an NGO.

"There is hype created that there is tension between the two countries. But this narrative of war remains limited to our governments. When we stepped in India, we didn't feel any difference. We felt Pakistan and India are the same," said Alveena, who is from Lahore.

She said "we are the same people" and "artificial borders" have been created between India and Pakistan.

"The general public over there and here want peace. I feel very welcome and at home," she said. "I think it's time we should realise that we exist as collective community."

Asked what is the mood in Pakistan when attacks like Uri happen, Alveena replied, "People do get scared because there is also a lot of hype in the media."

"At the end of the day, I think we share common history and if you put aside this narrative that we are going to war, then I don't think the common man is concerned with anything more than the fact he should have a decent life," she said.

Urwah Sultana, also from Lahore, said her family, like many others', was worried about the visit at a time when the tension between the two countries are on rise in the wake of the Uri attack that left 18 Indian soldiers dead.

"They said if tensions further escalate, what will happen? I told them, if, God forbid, war breaks out, we may die over there (in Pakistan). So how would it matter if I die here," she said.

Sultana is a student of social and cultural studies at University of Punjab and her ancestors belonged to Amritsar.

"Common Pakistanis want peace. They are big fan of Bollywood films. Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Ranbir Kapoor are hot favourites. There are many fans of Arjun Kapoor also.

The hype about war is just in the media," she added.

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