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Pandemic sparks Solidarity between Pakistan and India

Wednesday 28 April 2021, by siawi3


PIPFPD urges the Indian Government to accept the offer of Medical assistance from Edhi Foundation in Pakistan

Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy

Statement Issued on – 24th April 2021

PIPFPD urges the Indian Government to accept the offer of help by Edhi Foundation as an expression of mutuality of humanity and a peoples’ desire for peace and cooperation.

Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) warmly welcomes the heartfelt concern expressed by the people of Pakistan for the people of India as they struggle to overcome the dire impact of the present surge of the Covid 19 contagion which recognises no borders or nationalities. The overflowing of social messages of solidarity, with hashtags #IndianLivesMatter, #PakistanwithIndia and #PrayerforIndia going viral in Pakistan - shows a spontaneous groundswell of support and mutuality of humanitarian distress at the suffering of peoples across the border confronting the Covid health crisis. Prejudices, animosities and competing ‘hurts’ are shifting and sloughing away in the face of the gravity of the impact of the Covid pandemic and its reminder of our common humanity.

PIPFPD greatly appreciates the offer extended by Edhi Foundation, a Karachi-based humanitarian organisation for their support in offering healthcare assistance to the people of India in this massive health care crisis. In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (April 23, 2021), Managing Trustee Faisal Edhi offered to lead a health mission to India comprising 50 medically equipped ambulances and technical staff. He requested permission to enter India and offered to collaborate with assigned local administrative authorities.

According to professionals associated with health care in PIPFPD, this significant token gesture of cross-border people-to-people humanitarian support should be made pragmatically compelling if self-select healthcare establishments bordering Punjab or Rajasthan would come forward to partner with the Edhi Foundation Mission.

The Covid pandemic is a huge challenge as it lays waste what we hold dear, but it can be an opportunity to build anew, difficult relationships between peoples and between countries. The pandemic has shown we need each other, in our mutuality of dire need and distress if we are to survive and thrive. Governments of the region have recognised the fundamental importance of working together, but the historical baggage of an unresolved past of interstate Pakistan-India antagonism has repeatedly derailed cooperation.

In March 2020 Prime Minister Modi proposed that “SAARC nations’ leadership to chalk out a strong (common) strategy to fight Coronavirus” but the visionary project of sharing resources, expertise and best practices, of evolving SAARC Pandemic protocols on our borders floundered on the Pakistan-India mistrust and hostility.

People of Pakistan (and India) are showing the way forward based on the mutuality of our fate and of our lives, of the value and imperative of working together, and building peace if we are to survive and thrive. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan has tweeted a message of solidarity with those in our neighbourhood (India) battling the dangerous Covid wave and emphasised the need to confront, “this global challenge confronting humanity together.”

PIPFPD urges our governments to build on this opportunity, to respond to this recognition of the mutuality of humanity, our entwined present and future build peace and cooperation within our region. We demand that the government give substance to Covid diplomacy in neighbourhood and facilitate cross-border health missions in true spirit.

We once again salute the gesture and offer made by Edhi foundation, a reiteration of the founding values of the institution as laid out by its missionary leader late Abdul Sattar Edhi.

Dr Syeda Hameed, Tapan Bose, Vijayan MJ

On behalf of PIPFPD- India



Indian celebrities thank Pakistan for love and support as Covid ravages the nation

Published about 23 hours ago

Images Staff

Desk Report

Kangana Ranaut, Swara Bhasker and Anshu Mor have sent messages of thanks on social media.

India has found itself in deep, unfamiliar waters, and its citizens are on their knees, gasping for air at unforgiving hospital gates. In this time of great hardship, something good has emerged. Well wishes from across the border in Pakistan, whether from fear of a similar fate or sheer humanness, have been pouring in to great reception in India.

It is refreshing to see how crises unite traditional rivals.

Well wishes came out of every quarter in Pakistan, from the grassroots of civil society, who the horrors have reached through the internet and neighbourhood gossip, to the very top, integral members of the state and influential civil society members. It is perhaps easier to sympathise because the videos that have come out of the country have been truly nerve-wracking.

In addition to the intangible wishes, support was also offered by the Pakistani state. Civilian harmony would mean little without state level cooperation, and we are proud that the state did step up. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that the government would help with relief and medical equipment, saying it believes in a policy of humanity.

Twitter trends reflected Pakistanis flocking to the internet in support and these trends did not go unnoticed in India.

Actor and regular headline Kangana Ranaut noted the trend in Pakistan and expressed her delight.

Veere di Wedding actor Swara Bhasker also noted the support from this side of the border. She confessed the treatment of Pakistan has not been fair in their media or otherwise, and yet getting such a response melted her heart.

Comedian Anshu Mor was left joining his hands at the ’love and concern’.

Shoaib Akhtar was one of the noteworthy Pakistanis who sent in their well wishes, and we already know how much love and respect the Rawalpindi Express receives from his Indian fans. Indian National Congress politician Salman Nizami personally thanked him for his sentiment.

The world is truly united in this cause. It’s not just Pakistan, countries from across the world have stood in solidarity with India. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai too was lit in Indian colours in a show of solidarity.

As for Pakistan, while it is a time of great pride for how we have put aside our differences when the time asked for it, it is simultaneously time for great precaution. In our concern for India hides our fear of the same thing happening to us. Since reports started flooding in from India, social media has been asking questions about Pakistan’s readiness for such a crisis.

We too have weak healthcare infrastructure, we too can very easily run out of oxygen if a crisis rises — two of our provinces are not even capable of producing their own oxygen — so we absolutely must be careful, now more than ever. Wear your masks, and take care Pakistan.