I am a member of an informal group called Indo-Pak Youth Forum for Peace. This group came into existence after the interactions between Indian and Pakistani delegates during the World Social Forum. Ours is a group which works towards the people to people interactions between the two countries. Well, we were anticipating the arrival of 20 Pakistani youths to India by 25th of December. They were to come to India and visit, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai in that order. We had an elaborate schedule prepared for them for their stay and other programmes including cultural stuff, sight seeing, interactions between the students of Mumbai etc. But as luck would have it, the Pakistanis couldn't get the visa and now their whole trip stands cancelled. But we plan to go ahead with an interaction programme we had planend with the students of Mumbai. This is a symbolic gesture just to show that we inspite of their absense, the message of peace would be sent.
It is very disheartening especially after the amount of time we have put in for meetings, discussions etc. detailing every single thing of their trip and stay in Mumbai. But this is the reality of the Indo-Pak relations. Whenever there has been a talk about Indo-Pak relations, I have always never been really affected by it. But this time it is different. We have actually had the chance to witness the visa problems the citizens of both the countries face in order to visit their friends and relatives. The problems or well, exagerrated problems, are so trivial that one wouldn't encounter of such things if one is travelling to some another country. But well....life goes on and we expect them in India real soon. Such increasing animosity just doesn't make sense any more and such events just make me wonder what GOOD RELATIONS are we talking about?