After completing the Indo-Pakistan friendship and brotherhood march in Banaskantha near the border, the group led by Magsaysay Award-winner Sandeep Pandey will begin another march in Kutch, where proponents of peace and friendship from the Pakistani side will gather in Badin village in Thar Nagarparkar district of the Sindh province.
From June 19 to 30, Pandey had led a 200-kilometre march from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to Sui village in Banaskantha district in north Gujarat near the India-Pakistan border. The group demanded cessation of hostilities along the border, denuclearisation of the Indian subcontinent and opening of land routes between Gujarat and Sindh.
"While there is a road on the Indian side of the border, there is no connectivity on the Pakistani side. However, there are roads on both Indian and Pakistani sides along the Kutch-Thar Nagarparkar districts and so the opening of land routes is much more feasible here. When people from both sides meet, relations will improve," said Pandey.
He added: "Fishermen of both countries are often arrested for crossing maritime boundaries. But when they are released, they have to come undertake a long and time-consuming journey through the Wagah-Attari border. If this new route is opened, they can reach their homes in a matter of days."
Pandey also seemed pretty positive about the public response to the movement, saying, "Things are changing. Until now, there was only one narrative of teaching Pakistan a lesson. When we provide an alternative narrative about peace and friendship, people readily accept and support it."