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Modi's wife Jashodaben appeals for Indo-Pak peace, insists, no soldier should die on borders

Sandeep Pandey with Jashodaben
By Kaleem Sidiqui
In an attempt to bridge the gap between India and Pakistan, the Indo -Pak Friendship and Peace Yatra", led by Magsaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey began on June 19 from Ahmedabad's Sabarmati Ashram, and is expected to reach Nada Bet, Indo-Pak border in Gujarat via Kalol, Nandasan , Mehsana ,Patan etc., by the end of this month.
As the yatra was about to teach Balisana village, after leaving Mehsana last week, a special guest came to welcome the participants: Jasodaben, wife of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She joined the march for some time after welcoming the padyatris, and prayed for world peace.
Jasodaben said: "I congratulate these travelers who want world peace. I also pray for world peace to the God ". Condemning the killing of soldiers on the borders, she added, “Killings of the soldier either Indians or Pakistani is wrong and inhuman, no soldiers should die at borders. I pray to the God for peace in India and world”. Jasodaben’s brother Ashok Modi also came to receive of the foot marchers.
Alok Pandey, one of the travelers, raised slogans such as ‘Bharat Pakistan Shanti yatra Zindabad’(Long Live Indo-Pak Peace March , ‘Yudh Nahi Shanti Chahiye’ (We Need Peace not War) , ‘Poori Duniya Me Shanti Qayam Karo’ (Let Peace Prevails all over the World), ‘Parmanu Shastr Nasht Karo’ (Destroy Nuclear Weapons), ‘Dakshin Asia ko Parmanu Mukt Jahir Karo’( Declare South Asia as Nuclear Free).
The slogans were also chanted by Jasodaben and Ashok Modi.
When the yatra started on June 19 from Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Ashram, the Gujarat police detained all the participants, including Sandip Pandey, following the peace march ceremony. The police argued, the yatra cannot be held in out of Ahmedabad city because it might disturb law and order problems. All the yatris were kept in Ranip police station, and released by police after three hours. Later, they started their yatra from Adalaj, Gandhinagar.
At Nada Bet, off Indo-Pak border, many social activists and political leaders from Gujarat and other part of India are likely to participate in the closing ceremony. These include Congress MLA Naushad Solanki and independent MLA Jignesh Mevani.
On the other side of the border, in Pakistan, social activist Karamat Ali plans to organize a gathering in support of Indo-Pak friendship and peace march.
Jashodaben joining padyatris
According to Sandeep Pandey, "During the march, which began on June 19, we did not meet more than three to four people who said that India and Pakistan friendship is impossible. Most people welcomed us."
He added, “Jayant Bhai Barot of Linch village, who initially said that friendship between India and Pakistan is not possible, now says that if this happen it will be good for both the nations. It is a tough job but nothing can be better than this. He not only welcomed the marchers but also sat with travelers and took sugarcane juice with us.”
Pandey continued, "After four-years’ rule of the Modi government, people have come to the conclusion that war is neither the solution nor the answer. Both the governments have no option but to have good relations. During this march, our big achievement is, the issue we are raising is getting the support of common people, including Jasodaben, the PM's wife.”
Pandey added, “When we reached Bilasena village near Unjha town, we got warm welcome from villagers, and found more than 100 families of the village have relatives in Pakistan, yet it is impossible for them to get a visa to visit Pakistan".
Kausar Ali Sayyed, a co-traveler, said, "India's relations with Pakistan is so bitter that people are afraid to take the name of Pakistan because, on the both sides, there is fearful atmosphere created for political mileage.”
He added, “My relatives are in Pakistan. Long time ago, my father went to Pakistan to meet relatives. When he returned, he had some Pakistani currency, so he was arrested and agencies labeled him a spy. Later he was released. Common people don’t want this kind of complication.”
During the foot march, signature campaign is held by travelers, demanding to bridge the gap between the two nations. People are signing with the hope that one day soldiers of both the countries will not be killed and no one will fire at the borders, and that Into-Pak relations will turn better.
Jasodaben and Ashok Modi also supported the demands by the signing demands on paper, which will be sent to the Prime Ministers of the two countries.

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