Lahore meets Delhi; People sing for ‘Aghaz-e-Dosti’


— Participants perform songs and dialogue on culture; ask both governments to replace conflict with harmony

LAHORE: Pakistanis and Indians got a chance to come together virtually as Aaghaz-e-Dosti Pakistan and the Hum Sab Aik Hain organised a virtual cross-border open mic with Vijay Kumar and friends of Ideal Youth Health & Welfare Society of Delhi.

The Aaghaz-e-Dosti aims to eradicate mutual hatred and suspicion to create unwavering bonds of peace and friendship. Hum Sab Aik Hain is an organisation formed by a group of young people based in Lahore to promote peace and harmony among the masses.

Whereas the Delhi-based Ideal Youth Health & Welfare Society founder Vijay Kumar is a certified trainer of Play for Peace and he works with the marginalised youths including dalits and school dropouts.

The basic objective of the open mic was an interactive session among Pakistanis and Indians to promote art, music, and culture.

Through an internet video call from Lahore and Delhi, the young people from both sides participated in the virtual interactive event. On this occasion, Saad Hafeez and Hassan of Lahore initiated the event by an outstanding performance of the Indian song titled Teri Deewani.

On the other end, Vijay Kumar from Delhi sang a folk song in Bhojpuri language with the help of some children.

Some of the highlights from the event included a flute performance from Umair Ali which received a huge applause. A request was made from Delhi for a classical song by Ghulam Ali which was fulfilled by Allen Earl who performed Chupke Chupke Raat Din.

The event also included a question and answers session. A curious 12-year-old girl from Delhi called Neha asked if Muslims attend temples in Lahore in the way Hindus visit shrines and mosques. The audience from Lahore replied that “yes, we have two famous temples in Lahore and we do visit. Moreover, we are celebrating Holi, Diwali and Raksha Bandhan with our local Hindu community.”

Delhi audience revealed that their favourite Pakistani singers include Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

The participants appreciated the campaign and the open mic event. They were very grateful to be invited to such events to promote peace and tolerance. They said that the governments on both sides should replace their conflicts with love and harmony. It was also requested that visa process for both countries be relaxed so that people may travel across the border with ease.