Farmers for goodbye to nuclear arms
LAHORE: A group of Pakistani farmers, agriculturists and peace activists who visited India recently have appealed to Pakistan and India to stop their nuclear race and promote bilateral business relations for progress and prosperity in South Asia.
The farmers under the banner of Actionaid-Pakistan, a non-government organisation, told a press conference at the Lahore Press Club on Friday that a joint effort would bring about prosperity, create unity and promote a sense of competition in the region.
The 18-member delegation, including eight women, visited India from December 17 to December 25 and shared a wish for peace with people of Pakistan and India. “We hope such visits will promote peace and normalise Indo-Pak relations as well as promote trust, goodwill and friendship between the two peoples,” they said.
The delegation stressed a need to create awareness at public and government levels to alleviate poverty. “A vast majority of people are poor with problems like hunger, disease, illiteracy, unemployment, extremism, religious intolerance, lack of rights for women, religious and ethnic minorities and socio-political unrest,” the members said.
They said since Pakistan and India were basically agricultural countries with their farmers as the major stakeholders of peace, there should be people-to-people contact, focusing on pluralism, cooperation, equality and justice for all. “We particularly appeal to the two governments to reject nuclear weapons and stop the nuclear conventional arms race,” they said, adding, “We support and praise the ceasefire decision taken by the two sides after several decades a result of public pressure in Pakistan and India.” They said this would create better opportunities of livelihood for small farmers and villagers living along the border. —Staff Report