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Oxford-based India, Pakistan students insist: We refuse to see our friends as enemies

By Our Representative
Seventy Indian and Pakistani students at the University of Oxford have said, they are "deeply disturbed by the escalation of tensions over an impending war between India and Pakistan", adding, "As students in a land that is foreign to our homes – India and Pakistan – we’ve always marvelled at how we seamlessly gravitate towards each other, and how we are able to come together in community in ways we can’t back home."
Strongly condemning the suicide bombing in Pulwama, Kashmir, on February 14, 2019 which claimed the lives of around 44 Indian soldiers, in a statement, they say, following the terrorist attack, warmongering that has brgun is also "deplorable." They add, "At a time when India and Pakistan are lurching from crisis to crisis, we condemn the irresponsible rhetoric flooding the media in both countries in the strongest possible terms.
Pointing out that as students they often talk about the similarities they share in their food, culture, histories and the challenges they face, the statement says, "The Indo-Pak community has emerged as a place of refuge and comfort for us. However, when we imagine visiting each other’s homes we realise all the ways in which visas and politics restrict us."
Pointing out that course that the current discourse is taking is frightening, the statement urges "fellow Pakistanis and Indians both within and outside the subcontinent to stand together in unity, focus on our commonalities, and reject divisive narratives."
Calling upon the leaders of the two countries "to develop de-escalation protocols, organise constructive peace talks and dialogue for the resolution of all bilateral issues", it adds, "We dare to imagine a future that is free of divisions and violence, and unshadowed by the politics of war. We refuse to succumb to this environment of fear and suspicion. We refuse to see our friends as enemies. We refuse to hate those we hold dear."
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Click HERE for list of signatories

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